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Ticking noise


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The problem/noise is with my third vehicle a 93 Dodge Dynasty, but I figured that some of you smart Caddyinfo members would be able to point me in the right direction.

The car has a ticking noise that comes from the left front wheel area. It has something to do with the wheel rotation and changes frequency with veh speed, one "tick" per wheel revolution. It sounds almost like there was a small stone inside the hub cap and it "falls" on every wheel rotation (that is not it of course - lol)

It is not related to the brakes, or at least it does not change with brake application.

If I turn to the left, as in going around a corner the noise stops, then comes back. Going straight or turning right and the noise is there. I have jacked the front end up and spun the left wheel and the noise is not there which is a strange one, I expected to hear it and did not. My only thought is that something that is making the noise is in a different position when the suspension is hanging like when the car is on a floor jack, but that in a normal position it is making contact. This noise has been there for months, never gets worse or better, but I'm trying to sell the car and wanted to make it go away so that it was not a concern for a buyer. Any thoughts or suggestions?

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Just guesses, 1) Since it changes on turns, it probably is the CV joint/axle clicking, check the condition of the boot for cracks that let the grease out, 2) if it has a hub cap remove it and see if it still ticks, 3) pull the wheel, look at the lug seating areas for wear then re-torque the wheel with a torque wrench, and 4) it could be a bad hub bearing but most probably 1, 2 or 3, IMHO. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Per '96 Pontiac shop manual

"Clicking noise in turns - worn outer CV joint"

A bearing would more likely be a growling noise that would get louder when the bearing is loaded and quiet as it is unloaded in "S" turns.

Don't overlook the hubcap first.

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Good suggestions so far. It does not sound like a bearing issue to my ear, but it could be. I did pay attention tonight to any play or "clunk" when changing from drive to reverse and there is a little - not bad but I can hear it. That might support the outer c/v joint theory. What would make the c/v joint click except when turning left?

I have never changed a c/v joint. Is that a big job? Would I need any specialized tools? I'll try to find a parts price.

I won't have time to pull the wheel until later this week or on the weekend but I should be able to pop off the hub cap to see if that makes a difference tomorrow.

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I have never changed a c/v joint. Is that a big job? Would I need any specialized tools? I'll try to find a parts price.

I have done it twice, with the help of a neighbor who was a mechanic (actually, I helped him). Yes, as I recall you do need some special tools. In my opinion it is a big job. The drive (axle) shafts are removed all the way to the trans then the joint is seperated. Grease up to your elbows. Not sure I would do it again without expirienced help and I only did it to replace a ripped boot, joints were ok. Nasty job

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A sign of a bad CV joint is clicking in turns. They can cause vibration at high speed as the joint gets worse. Typically the boot rips, the grease flys out quickly due to the spinning forces. Then dirt, grit and gravel and a lack of grease destroys the joint.

The joint is not difficult to replace, typically there are about 4 to 6 case hardened bolts that connect it to the output shaft on the transaxle there is a large nut at the spindle and you probably need to break apart the lower ball joint and turn the wheel to slip out the axle. I dont know your front end with the Caddy you can leave the assembly hang from the strut and break loose the ball joint. There are some things to watch out for when handling the axle, try not to pull the tri-pod joint out of the inner joint resulting in separation of the internal components. Use a torque wrench when you reassemble. Also, sometimes it is difficult to remove the spindle from the hub assembly, if you can not bang it out with a dead blow hammer (protecting the threads), you can use a spindle remover. You can buy rebuilt axles for about $125... Good Luck, Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I thought that I'd try to answer my own question regarding difficulty of this repair so I did a google search on c/v joints. I found this link: http://www.autosite.com/garage/encyclop/ency16e.asp

Wow - a great site and an excellent explanation - a real c/v joint 101 course.

So now I'm hoping that it is not the c/v joint and if it is I might just try to pick up a remanufactued shaft assembly as the additional cost seems to be nominal with a lot less labor and fewer variables to worry about.

Another alternative is to lower my asking price enough that a little ticking noise won't get anyone overly concerned. What to do, what to do...

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Have you taken a look to see if the outer boot is ripped? Typically the outer boot rips.. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I can buy the CV half shaft assembly for about $80/side with exchange so that's not too bad if it has everything needed and includes a new c/v joint and boots. I need to ask more questions of the parts guys to make sure of what I'll be getting if I come to the conclusion that this is what I need to do.

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All you will get will be the half-shaft as a complete assembly, $80 is a good price. The job Larry did was messy as he was replacing the boot, you are swapping in a new assembly. The only tricky part is breaking the lower balljoint, I prefer NOT to used a FORK to break it apart as the ball joint grease boot can be ripped. There is actually a ball joint separater (I dont own one).. I have seen people however loosen the ball joint nut and give the stud a good shot with a heavy hammer to break the joint loose. I dont really think its too bad of a job, just take all necessary safety precautions. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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I haven't done it on a caddy but I changed both front axles on a dodge mini van its about the same amount of work I woud guess. if you can afford it I would go with the axel assy for $40 to $50 more you get new inner and outer cv joints and none of the mess.

Jeff

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Above maddog said he was getting the CV half shaft assembly, that includes both the inner and outer joints and comes as an assembly, its a feed into the hub and bolt in procedure and should NOT involve getting into the CV joints at all as Larry had to do above replacing the boots. Mike

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Make sure the replacement halfshaft has boots that are the same material as the original. Many times, the rebuilder will use a soft rubber boot instead of the harder thermoformed boot. The soft boots don't seem to last very long....

Kevin
'93 Fleetwood Brougham
'05 Deville
'04 Deville
2013 Silverado Z71

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I have asked the parts supplier to detail for me what is included with the half shaft assembly. I would think that it would be both inner and outer C/V joints and that it would come packed with the appropriate lubricant. I also asked about the boots, but did not specifically ask what kind of boot - the part person might not even be able to tell me that. Hopefully they will reply soon. I have not tried any local sources yet.

I'm thinking of finding a friendly local mechanic who would do the job on a time basis if I buy the parts. I'm sure this would be faster and easier with a hoist and the right ball joint tool. If it is basically unbolt, remove, replace and rebolt I can't see that taking more than an hour or so in a shop with the right tools. I just hate banging around on the suspension and drive line while laying under the car in my garage even if I have tried to secure the car safely. Jobs where I'm only reaching under from the side or working on a wheel don't bother me as much plus you never have the room that you want to have to work without a hoist.

I'm thinking that for less than $300 total I should be able to get the job done - so the question is should I just put it in the paper for $300 less and see what happens first. This ticking has been there since last summer. It annoys me a little when the windows are down, but the rest of the year you don't even hear it. If a c/v has been bad for that long it sure has hung in there without giving any other signs of a problem.

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Va Maddog,

I believe the fix will not cost you more than $200. Fix it and enjoy the Summer driving! ;)

The saddest thing in life is wasted talent

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If you are going to sell the car, you are better off coming down $300 after they hear the ticking, (if they hear the ticking) . If you want to be really up front, then let them see and drive the car then tell them about the noise and then come down $300.

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