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Van making clicking sound in front end while driving
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I am Wildcat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Van making clicking sound in front end while driving Reply with quote

Went home at lunch today to swap out the car for the van to surprise my wife with a romantic lunch at her work. When I got in the van, everything was fine but as I started driving away in first gear, I started hearing a clicking noise. The slower I would drive, the less frequent the clicking and as I sped up, you could hear the clicking increase. I had about three minutes to crawl under the van to investigate and in that time I did not see anything that was obvious....nothing broken, no debris stuck in wheel well.

I jumped back in to drive away but the sound was still there, so I turned back and parked it and took my car instead. I did speed up enough to get into second gear to see if the noise was still present in this gear and it was. I never left my neighborhood since I didn't feel safe driving it with that noise going on. I just drove it two days ago for about an hour total. All on-road, city driving and speeds below 45 MPH. At that time, everything was great no problems at all. Since then the van has sat under a covered car port and not been driven at all. It should be noted that when I was driving the other day it was about 85 degrees outside and today it's 50 degrees and a little rainy. Just trying to give you as much information as I can.

I would take it to my local shop, but it's a good 35-45 miles away and I don't feel safe driving it that far while it's making this noise. When I get home from work tonight in 3 or 4 hours, I will have more time to look at it and try to determine what is causing the noise.

What are your first thoughts and instincts about what it might be or what I should look for?
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MakeFast
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CV joint or wheel bearing maybe? Is it only when turning, or all the time?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MakeFast wrote:
CV joint or wheel bearing maybe? Is it only when turning, or all the time?


All the time.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This might not be it, or even close, but I once had that same experience in my Subaru and after hunting and hunting, it wound up being a large rock wedged in my tread. When I had initially searched for the source, I think I missed the rock because I, by chance, stopped the car with the rock between the tire and road.
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JED THE SPREAD
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CV joint from me too....

Have you driven through any water recently, You could have a split in the boot or lost a clip and its washed the grease out. Have a look and give it a squeeze, it might only need packing with grease again. You can usually feel the steering twitch slightly.

jed
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if you have checked to see if your speedometer/trip meter is making the sound. Mine does if the reset button is stuck. I second the CV joint, possible wheel bearing, also not really sure what you mean by "all the time" but probably not when stopped with engine running?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies! I will check the CV joint as soon as I get home.

Jed - I haven't driven through any way in the last week or so and I haven't felt any steering twitches either.

akyrie - The sound was definitely coming from outside of the vehicle. Yes, you are right. To clarify, "it makes the clicking sound when the engine is on and the vehicle is in gear and moving forward." When the engine is running but the vehicle is not in motion, there is no clicking sound.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a look under the van and see if the prop is touching the small bar between the prop protection rails. I noticed you did abit of off roading and it could have taken a whack? Worth a look as I did that to mine once.

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I am Wildcat
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JED THE SPREAD wrote:
Have a look under the van and see if the prop is touching the small bar between the prop protection rails. I noticed you did abit of off roading and it could have taken a whack? Worth a look as I did that to mine once.

jed


Will do! It's been a week or two since I've been off-road and today was the first time I've heard that noise, so I can only assume it isn't from that off-roading trip. But stranger things have happened!

I want to make it back to the off-road park soon, but I think my wife is afraid of me hurting our van again. Embarassed Laughing
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since you recently bought the van and it has been out on tour for some time I can virtually guarantee that the CVs need to be repacked. Repacking the front CVs takes a fair bit of disassembly and isn't something that would be done on the road. If you don't have the ability to do it have it done as it is a maintenance item and fairly expensive to replace.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Since you recently bought the van and it has been out on tour for some time I can virtually guarantee that the CVs need to be repacked. Repacking the front CVs takes a fair bit of disassembly and isn't something that would be done on the road. If you don't have the ability to do it have it done as it is a maintenance item and fairly expensive to replace.

As always, your advice is much appreciated! It sounds like I need to take another trip to my local shop. They must love me by now!! Smile Can I drive the van 40 miles or so to the shop making this noise, or should I call in a AAA tow?
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First thing, look for cracked boots on all CVs.
If you find one and have a grease gun...get a needle for the end and fill the cv with some grease before the trip to the mechanic.
If not, just cross your fingers it isn't the front outer...cha ching.
Gotta love newly acquired Syncros.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And not to forget the easiest check for the noise - wheel lugs. I once had a 75K-mile Syncro come in that was diagnosed at the dealer as needing a new front differential - well, guess, what? It had loose lugs on the left front wheel. Also, check that the inner CV joint bolts are tight.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To update. When I investigated the CVs, no cracked boots, no odd movements when I pushed on it with my fingers. All wheel lugs were tight as well.

I decided to drive it 3 miles or so to my office today before making the 40 mile trek to the mechanic later today.

Start up the van, start going in reverse and I hear no sound. Shift into first and pull forward and I hear the clicking for about 150 feet until I hit a stop sign in the neighborhood. Hit another stop sign in fifty feet and during that short distance I still hear the noise while moving forward. When leaving the second stop sign, the noise is gone! Hit a stop light in about 1,000 feet. After that no noise at all the whole ride to work.

So what gives?! Maybe water got inside there and has since dried out? Still probably need to get those CVs repacked though, eh? Any thoughts?
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+1 for Front Wheel Bearing.

Had one go out on me, coming back from the mountains. I didn't have any idea what the sound was and didn't think much of it until the racer broke and the wheel stopped turning. Les Schwab had new wheel bearings and was able to get me back on the 6h drive. How lucky was that? My wife was real, real irritated with the van that weekend.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dry grease. Clean and repack the CVs with fresh grease might cure it. At the same time, after cleaning, you'll be able to examine them more closely for wear and decide if they need replacement.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
+1 for Front Wheel Bearing.

Syncros have a sealed front wheel bearing completely different than 2wd vans and they don't usually fail like you are describing.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

syncrodoka wrote:
Quote:
+1 for Front Wheel Bearing.

Syncros have a sealed front wheel bearing completely different than 2wd vans and they don't usually fail like you are describing.


-1 for Front Wheel Bearing.


haha. thanks for the info.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So what gives?! Maybe water got inside there and has since dried out? Still probably need to get those CVs repacked though, eh? Any thoughts?

If you had water in the boot it would mix with the CV grease and do a real good job of tearing up the CVs due to the lack of lubricant. It is odd that the noise went away, you probably had debris that was rubbing on one of the front outer CV bands as it rotated. Verify that the bands are all good and repack the front and rear inner/outer CVs when you have time as a preventative measure.
CV axles like to be well lubed and if they break on a trail you will be wishing that you had fixed them at home in the clean driveway with hand cleaner available to you. Idea
Burley sells a front outer CV boot that is worth the investment. They are easy to install when you have the front axles out being repacked.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. Yes, the noise going away today was a bit odd. Question

My theory is that Wildcat possesses a magical power similar to Chirstine who could heal itself. Twisted Evil

I'm putting it on the list and waiting a little bit before I take it in to the shop. I don't want to bring my baby to the doctor for every hiccup. Well, I do actually, but I'm trying to stop myself. Or at least realize that not every squeak or rattle means the van is falling apart...
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