2007 Chevy Uplander Grinding - CV Axle Replacement Problem

chevrolet
uplander

#1

Hey all, new here, but found some other topics that I think may help me, but I wanted to get some direct help rather than trying to restart a topic from 2009.

My wife has a 2007 Chevy Uplander. It was just in the shop ~3 weeks ago to have the fan assembly replaced and the place took over 4 weeks to do the job and charged way too much. Less than a week after the van was back, my wife called while I was out of town and said it was making a grinding noise that worried her, so it was parked at home.

Enter me the next week when I got home and I started looking for the problem. I’ve replaced several hub assemblies, so I was hoping it would be something relatively fast and easy like that. I took it for a drive and I could hear a low tone grinding from the driver front side. It was not terribly noticeable when I would make a left u-turn in the circles in our neighborhood at slow speeds, but turning right made it abundantly clear the grinding was not a figment of our imagination.

I next jacked the van up and pulled the tire off. I immediately noticed grease had been flung all around behind the bearing and the source was evident: The metal band securing the outer CV half shaft axle joint boot had broken and the boot was loose and likely the joint was dry.

We got approval to replace the CV half shaft with a reasonably priced new part from Rock Auto. Everything looked to match up well when the new part arrived. No difficulty in removing the axle nut and outer splines from the hub. Removing the old axle from the transmission was a little bit tougher, but a homemade slide hammer popped it out rather quickly. Splines looked good on the transmission side and I proceeded to lube the inner splines on the new shaft with some of the minimal amount of transmission fluid that came out (less than 2 ounces, and yes I checked the transmission level and it was full). and slide the new axle in. Heard it click and gave it a little bit of a tug to make sure the clip had engaged.

Once I buttoned everything up from the tie rod to the axle nut on the bearing side, I dropped the van and took it for a test drive. With the windows down and nothing else on, I did not hear anything as I started out. I made it about 2 miles and pulled a left U-turn in a drive way and headed back home when I decided to roll the windows up to quiet things down a bit and began to hear grinding again. By the time I got home I could noticeably tell that when I was turning to the right, it would grind significantly, as well as with acceleration. It is now parked in the driveway waiting re-inspection.

So far, my research as suggested multiple possibilities.

  1. The axle came out of the transmission. I doubt this because there was no issues with it being in park/neutral, etc and the grinding was still rather low and no acceleration of the grinding when the car was not moving. I have not jacked the van back up though, so I’m not ruling this out

  2. I read something about over tightening the axle nut. As with many other comments along these lines, I didn’t think this was possible. I would assume having it tightened down all the way would be much better than it being loose and allowing any play in the splines. I did just cinch down the bolt as much as my cheap air impact would allow, so it has a pretty good amount of torque

  3. The last option is that one of (the case of the post I read and what I may believe to be the case here) is that one of the CV joints separated during installation. The upper one seams to be the most likely culprit. The poster said they simply pulled everything back apart. Removed the upper boot and reset the joint and repacked the grease and then used a hose clamp to seal the boot back on and everything worked. The 3 ball system seams to be relatively easy to rebuild and apparently if you tug on the axle (like I tugged to test tightness in the transmission and maybe via over tightening the axle nut), this joint may separate, or separate enough that it would fully separate after some driving, and cause my grinding.

So my question for you all is: What do you think my problem is? 1, 2, 3 or an unmentioned one I haven’t thought of (like the wheel bearing magically failing during CV replacement).

Thanks in advance for you time reading and commenting on this book!

Brandon


#2

Those two statements are mutually exclusive.
You’re repairing it yourself? And her boss is having her drive a vehicle of uncertain safety?

This description of what her boss is doing is wrong on so many levels it’s hard to describe. [quote=“brandonmkoch, post:1, topic:106040”]
2) I read something about over tightening the axle nut. As with many other comments along these lines, I didn’t think this was possible. I would assume having it tightened down all the way would be much better than it being loose and allowing any play in the splines. I did just cinch down the bolt as much as my cheap air impact would allow, so it has a pretty good amount of torque
[/quote]
It’s these kinds of typical DIY errors that can easily leave a vehicle unsafe. In future, I suggest you use a good manual and trust its directions.

I also recommend that she have a chat with her boss. She needs to be given a safe vehicle to drive.


#3

It’s too much information for me.

You should NEVER perform any maintenance or repair on a company vehicle. It is the company’s responsibility to provide a safe vehicle. You screw up a repair who do you think will be held responsible?


#4

If you’re saying the noise is the same as before, I’d say the axle wasn’t (and isn’t now) the source (regardless of the boot failure).