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Bad axle? Help!

'90 Nissan Maxima…i replaced my passenger side axle a few weeks ago (boot was torn) with no problem. The other week i replaced the drivers side (it was clicking) which caused problems. After installing, I heard metal clanking sounds, the car vibrated while accelerating and felt like something was “loose”. I reintstalled that axle after turning it 90 degrees, which i heard may fix it, but it did not. This axle was a “new” EMPI brand. I figured the axle was bad, so i ordered another one (remanufactured from NAPA). I installed it the other day and it is much better, however I still notice some vibration/shaking while accelerating (around 2000 rpm)…something still feels wrong. What could it be? I have to believe it is one of the axles, not the motor. Thanks for your help.

Just from experience with stuff EMPI makes for Aircooled VW’s I can say it is mostly junk.

Did the original shaft have a harmonic balancer installed? It looks like a fat hockey puck that the half shaft goes through.

i didnt see a harmonic balancer…I replaced the EMPI with a oe remanufactured, it is much better but still vibration under acceleration sometimes.

I’ve had really good luck with the EMPI axles. Did you return it for a refund?

@ MattT
I bought an axle from Napa (sorry, don’t have the mfg) that failed in about 10k / 13 months on my 90 Dodge Caravan. The guy I usually deal with at the store admitted they’d had some bad axles, so he warrantied it without hesitation. Now I have a peculiar subtle shake under acceleration, like you describe. It’s a side to side motion, which I first noticed a few months after installing the replacement. I’m not sure I can blame that on the axle but it resembles a problem I had six or so years back, shaking on acceleration, which was solved by replacing an axle.

This car is now mostly retired, so I probably won’t pursue repair. Hope this helps you judge your situation.

I am returning the EMIP one…I will probably also return the NAPA one…is it better to go reman or new axle? I am just suprised I can’t get a decent axle. I have heard of raxles…anybody use them?

I’ve had good luck with this place in Groton, CT. (
Initially I picked it because they are relatively local and can get the shaft in two days shipped for cheap.
Their quality has been good so been using them since whenever I need a drive shaft.

Have dyou checked the engaine mounts?

Yeah…engine mounts are good…i bit the bullet and ordered from Raxles…costed 150.00, but i dont want to take the chance on another bad one. Guy from Raxles said a lot of the cheap axles are made in China and arent very good quality. I really hope this fixes the problem.

I’ve had really good luck with Raxles. I get them whenever I can (they don’t make 'em for all cars).