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Front Axle Assembly

I have a 2000 Honda Odyssey (135,000 k) and I just replaced the front axle. I took the van out for a ride and after 20 miles the van started to rattle violently. I was able to pull the van to the side and that was it. The van wouldn’t move, it just shaked.

I had the van towed to the shop which did the installation. They told me that the new axle was now damaged but the aluminum bracket that holds the 1/2 shaft cracked. The mechanic told me that this bracket has nothing to do with the shaft and that I should pay for the new bracket but they wion’t charge for the labor. They said that I would have to have hit someting hard or go over a bump for this molding to crack like it did. They will rplace the axle of course but I don’t think that I should have to pay for this bracket. They again said that the bracket has nothing to do with the axle. Should I pay for the bracket? Also, what other damage could have been done by this?

I assume the bracket on the left end of the shaft in this pic is the one in question and the damaged shaft is on this side also.
Note the part in the pic is only on one side of the vehicle; the other side does not have this.

Just my opinion here but your car is 9 years old and has gone 135k miles without a bracket problem and I’m of the opinion that this bracket was damaged by one of two things. One is that someone loosened or removed the bolts during the job and forgot to tighten them or they got a bit ham-fisted during the axle removal by pounding the shaft loose from the shaft shown in the pic above.

Aluminum is a soft, brittle metal and it will easily crack due to either one of those scenarios I mentioned; either leaving bolts loose or knocking the shaft loose with a hammer, etc.

There are a couple of possibilities in regards to other damage. One is that the shaft wallowing around (violent rattling) could have damaged the differential gears (serious) or damaged the shaft seal (leak, but not as serious). Pay close attention for any oil leaks or strange noises.

My opinion is that you should not pay for the axle because it’s my opinion that the shop is the one that caused this and the shop is dead wrong in telling you that the bracket has nothing to do with the shaft. It has plenty to do with it.
They’re simply in the cover the hiney mode.

Just curious. Exactly how much do they want to charge you for this bracket?
There’s a reason for my question.

Thank you for the information. I haven’t had a chance to see the bracket yet. I wanted to get some information such as yours before I go there. They also told me that they can’t buy the bracket without the 1/2 shaft.
Anyway, they told me that the part is $240.00 w/o labor.

It would be interesting to closely examine the damage. A careful inspection would likely determine what happened.

In case you don’t understand the layout of the car, that shaft shown in the pic plugs into the transmission, is bolted to the engine block, and the outer CV halfshaft plugs onto the end of the shaft in the pic and the outer shaft protrudes through the steering knuckle/wheel assembly.

The reason for asking about the price is that I was wondering if they were going to obtain a used part from the salvage yard and hit you for enough to cover the cost of a mistake. At 240 bucks for a used part, that would be the case IMHO.
A bit of psychology there; charge you for the “part only” when that’s not really the case at all.

(If you see the old bracket, examine the holes in it where it bolts up to the engine block. If the insides of those holes are wallowed out, marked up on the inside or outer edges, etc. then it’s more than likely the bolts were never tightened.)

I’ll take your advice. Thank you again, and I’ll let you know what happens. They ordered the part from Honda and hope to have it fixed by Monday.

A new part from Honda probably will cost every bit of 240 bucks.

I’m thinking they didn’t get the halfshaft completely seated into the transaxle. And if you don’t get that circlip to engage, that halfshaft is coming out of the transaxle and damaging everything in its path, until it comes out to where it wipes the splines out.


True, and if the car were mine the first thing I would do when I got it back is pull the magnetic drain plug and see if there are some annoyingly large pieces of steel stuck to it. Assuming it comes back with no readily apparent problems.

This entire thing would have me real antsy.

I went to the shop this morning and the owner showed me the damaged axle 1/2 shaft. It was still on the van but it was snapped in half. The owner told me that it snapped due to fatigue. When I told him that he should pay for the part and labor, he told me that he is bringing the van to Honda to get their opinion because he doesn’t beleive that they did anything wrong. He said that he will get it in writing from Honda that the part did not break because of their neglect.
Any advice?

Please let us know if Honda puts something like this in writing,why would a Honda Dealer go to bat for a Independant? my Service Manager would be gone if he ever wrote such a paper.

What broke exactly; the bracket, the shaft, or both?

The bracket snapped between the bolts and the shaft. The mechanic said the reason that the bracket snapped was due to the shaft rusting. Because of the rusting the shaft coudn’t turn and when the axle rotated, it snapped the bracket. Anyway, he decided not to contact Honda and fix the assembly and did not charge for the 1/2 shaft or labor. He was not a happy camper. Do you think I should bring the van into the dealer or another mechanic to have the assemby checked out? The car is driving ok, I’m a little concerened because he also fixed the breaks and when I push down on the brake pedal the pedal would push my foot off and it felt like the break was trying to grab on something.

Originally metal fatigue and now a “rusted shaft”. This guy doesn’t quit does he?
Looks like oldschool was right about putting it in writing.

Get someone else to look at the brakes and the repaired shaft.

Couple of questions on the brakes. Did they repair the rear brakes and do you know if the rear brakes are drum or disc? The rear could be either one.
Normally a pedal that feels like it’s attempting to push the foot up is caused by a severely warped rear drum. The warpage is often caused by someone hammering the lug nuts on too tightly with an air wrench.

To determine if the front or rear brakes is behind this problem go to a deserted street or parking lot, run the car up to about 30 MPH and then slowly bring the car to a stop with the park brake only.
If the problem goes away the trouble is in the front. If the problem remains the trouble is in the rear.