rear clunking noise found, bearing or cv axle?

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I was trying to find the source of rear clunking noise, and finally found it.(rav4 2003) The cv axle has in and out play where it meets the wheel hub/bearing assembly. (not at the differential) But I'm not sure if it's the cv axle that is the problem or the wheel bearing itself. There is no bearing type noise or symptoms of bearing problems, just clunking noise. Could it still be the bearing or is it just the axle itself?
 
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Originally Posted by Chris142
Is the big nut loose?
The CV axle nut? No. I tried to torque it down and it's already torqued to max.
 
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It's also the same on both sides. Clunking noise is apparent coming from OUTER CV joint when pulling on the shaft while car is raised. It appears the problem is inside the boot because I can't see any other movement otherwise. All other suspension components are fine including stabilizer bar, links, as well as control arms etc.... So is it safe to say the CV axles need to be replaced? Thanks
 
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Those rear axles may be designed for in and out movement at the outer joint, instead of the inner as is universal on front wheels. One of the joints must allow the axle to move in and out. When the car hits a bump it changes the angle of the axle, so the length of the axle must also change. The real sign of a bad CV joint (inner or outer) is rotational play. With the tire off the ground, hold the axle still while turning the wheel. The parts of the joint should move together.
 
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Originally Posted by mk378
Those rear axles may be designed for in and out movement at the outer joint, instead of the inner as is universal on front wheels. One of the joints must allow the axle to move in and out. When the car hits a bump it changes the angle of the axle, so the length of the axle must also change. The real sign of a bad CV joint (inner or outer) is rotational play. With the tire off the ground, hold the axle still while turning the wheel. The parts of the joint should move together.
How does turning the wheel make any sense when this is for the REAR CV axle? So the loud clunking noise which is clearly coming from the rear outer axle when I'm pulling it in and out is normal?
 
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Hubs don't generally clunk, so yeah the CV is the prime suspect. It is the conventional design with movement at the inner joint not outer. Turning the wheel means the tire/rim not the steering wheel. Play would be slop when you turn it one way then change the direction and turn it the other way. We're not talking about spinning the wheel, just observing play changing wheel direction wiggling it back and forth between forwards and backwards rotation. You want to observe whether the rotational slack is happening at the joint based on how much the CV shaft after it is turning with the wheel, and of course a clunk sound or feeling.
 
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My point is that some joints are made to move in and out, but a bad joint will be loose in other dimensions as well. Not knowing the specific design of the car but that you had similar motion on both sides I was guessing it could be a design feature.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave9
Hubs don't generally clunk, so yeah the CV is the prime suspect. It is the conventional design with movement at the inner joint not outer. Turning the wheel means the tire/rim not the steering wheel. Play would be slop when you turn it one way then change the direction and turn it the other way. We're not talking about spinning the wheel, just observing play changing wheel direction wiggling it back and forth between forwards and backwards rotation. You want to observe whether the rotational slack is happening at the joint based on how much the CV shaft after it is turning with the wheel, and of course a clunk sound or feeling.
Oh okay thanks for clearing that up.
 
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Originally Posted by mk378
My point is that some joints are made to move in and out, but a bad joint will be loose in other dimensions as well. Not knowing the specific design of the car but that you had similar motion on both sides I was guessing it could be a design feature.
Thanks. I know what you mean about the design feature. My previous vehicle had that slight in out movement at the cv axles by design. I checked every single suspension component and re-torqued (stabilizer bar, links, control arms etc...,which were all replaced anyways due to rust) and the outer CV is the only one making the clunking noise, it's loud enough that I can tell it's the exact type of noise which I believe is being transferred over into the cabin. I had to lift the car to relieve tension and I can feel and hear consistent clunking while pulling the cv axle shaft...
 
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Really appreciate all the help. Will do some more diagnosis but it seems the rear CV axles need to be replaced at some time as I cannot find any other source for the clunking.
 
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You wrote "axles". While it is possible that both are the factory axle and both have similar wear, it is not necessary to replace both at the same time, won't cause any *imbalance* like non-matching shocks/tires/brakes would. If you're having a shop do the work, I might have them do both sides if there's a significant cost savings but as far as DIY, I'd start by just replacing the questionable side unless you need it in tip top condition for a long road trip, or are going offroading.
 
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Originally Posted by Dave9
You wrote "axles". While it is possible that both are the factory axle and both have similar wear, it is not necessary to replace both at the same time, won't cause any *imbalance* like non-matching shocks/tires/brakes would. If you're having a shop do the work, I might have them do both sides if there's a significant cost savings but as far as DIY, I'd start by just replacing the questionable side unless you need it in tip top condition for a long road trip, or are going offroading.
DIY. But the problem is both sides. Weird huh? Maybe I'll do a video of it tomorrow and post it here.
 
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The inner joint is a tripod on this cv axle and it is supposed to have in and out movement as the suspension travels and a very minor amount of play is normal.
 
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Originally Posted by Trav
The inner joint is a tripod on this cv axle and it is supposed to have in and out movement as the suspension travels and a very minor amount of play is normal.
But this is the outer joint
 
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Oh okay, there should be no play in that joint. You can get a joint and OE boot kit for that or Raxles does them for Toyota but whatever you do don't buy a cheap Chicom or reman or you will be on the axle swap merry go round until you break down and buy a quality part.
 
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Is the
Originally Posted by Trav
Oh okay, there should be no play in that joint. You can get a joint and OE boot kit for that or Raxles does them for Toyota but whatever you do don't buy a cheap Chicom or reman or you will be on the axle swap merry go round until you break down and buy a quality part.
I am buying a cheap one. The reason is this vehicle is driven very conservatively. I have bought and installed cheap ones in the past and they lasted for years.
 
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I liked the rear 1/2 shafts on the E 28s I did a factory kit from BMW, after, that , I kept used ones. Next one was 12 yrs later at over 300K . Every body says the same thing -rebuild the originals, You know they were good once. grin2
 
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