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Honda Vibratron....Need Help!

Hey everyone, I need some back up! I listen to the show weekly, this time I need help…

'97 Civic HX, runs great, no motor issue…more like driveline…Recently picked up a vibration, it just got much worse.
My thought is there’s a bad CV joint, but I can’t find much play…
Was vibrating at 60mph, let of the gas & it goes away…now, vibrates from the word go as if somethings out of round, if I coast, I now get a thunk/thunk/thunk until I ease back on the gas, then it vibrates. Braking…out of gear…thunk/thunk/thunk hardcore, braking while in gear I get nothing but less vibes…
Steering wheel does not shake, 4 brand new tires, brakes seem fine…CV JOINT?? or Something internal?

Thankyou in advance!!!

How many miles on it? Have you ever had any suspension work done? Does the vibration come through the steering wheel, brakes, or other?

Have you checked your motor mounts ???

You description doesn’t really sound like typical CV symptoms. Worn out CV joints typically make a clicking or knocking noise when pulling away from a stop while turning. Do you notice anything like this w/your car?

Also, its probably worth your time to visually inspect the tires for abnormal wear, missing balance weights, and to verify the wheel lugs are tight.

Motor mounts good…checked weeks ago, tires…Firestone, brand new…all 4 corners, nuts tight…Vibration does not transfer thru steering wheel…Mileage unknown, 98 motor…which has been fine for 2,5 years…Motors great, it’s in the drivetrain.

FWIW-I’ve had that problem (vibrating with power on, disappears when letting off the gas) on an old Dodge Grand Caravan. It never had the telltale clicking but the shaking was serious.

I was 1000 miles from home when that developed and couldn’t afford to have it break in the middle of nowhere (and that’s where I was headed). I paid to have it fixed asap rather than wait to see if it would eventually start clicking. First mechanic assured me it was NOT the axle, but he didn’t know what else to do, so sent me off with a shrug. The second wrench fixed it by changing the axle. That car seems to eat axles - someone has suggested the engine is slightly out of position on the mounts, but at 295k, I’m going to just let it be. None of them ever clicked. Like I said, fwiw…

Thankyou for all of your suggestions, comments thus far…I’m putting it up the air in the next hour to see what I can find… :wink:

Look closely at the bushings in the front suspension and for bent suspension components.

Alrighty, what I found was the pass. side half shaft seemed to pop as I turned the wheel by hand, while it didn’t make a pooping noise, it wasn’t smooth and popped towards the transmission, this created the vibration by pushing against the motor, shaking the motor. Of course NAPA gave me the wrong part, so I’ll follow up once complete…I type this as I wait for a ride to NAPA…Ugh…

To follow up, everything is complete & the vibration is gone. I cut the boot open on the old shaft to find 1 of the 3 roller bearings in the upper joint frozen or lodged in place, boot wasn’t ripped and still retained all the grease, I suspect that is why I didn’t hear a clicking noise, it was just somehow frozen. Prior to doing the work, I went on Youtube to see if there was any tips or tricks to do the swap, after an 11 minute video showing the swap, it was an easy job and I wasn’t stuck guessing on the procedure.

Happy ending, thanks to those who took the time to contribute!

@Detour so replaced the entire axleshaft?

As far as NAPA goes, it’s been hit-and-miss for me, as well. They’re just as likely to give me a good part as the wrong part or a faulty part. As far as getting the wrong parts goes, that seems to depend on the counterman.

Yes, I replaced the entire passenger side shaft, it was a 1/2 hour job once I had the correct shaft.
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I’m just keeping my mouth shut over the part mishap, having a friend of mine who’s a manager at a different NAPA, I had him call it in and took advantage of his discount (20 bucks)…so a part number could have been heard incorrectly or the like. My problem with NAPA is their pricing, with tax the shaft was $59 and change, without the friends company discount, their retail is $79 + tax…online, say Rockauto, they start at $40.00…I didn’t have the luxury of time to order online, otherwise I would have…Now a days, I unfortunately use retail stores when I have to, but I’m also somewhat remote, another reason for purchasing online besides pricing.

Thanks for replying with your followup diagnosis and that it worked. Seldom do folks asking questions reply with the final results after posting here. So it is helpful you took the time, and for the rest of us to know that CV joints can indeed create this sort of a vibration without the usual clicking/knocking when turning at slow speeds.

My own experience w/CV joints is from only what I know from driving my cars, one was a 70’s VW Rabbit, and the current is an early 90’s Corolla, and I’ve never experienced any symptoms at all w/CV joints, other than when a visual inspection shows the boot is starting to crack and fray, I’ll take everything apart, then re-lube and re-boot it. That has always worked form me.

One thing I’m curious about. When you checked for CV play the first time, was the car sitting on the ground? Or was it jacked up so the wheels were off the ground. Generally, checking for CV play – or driveshaft/bearing play and rotational/operational smoothness in general – this should be done with the wheel(s) off the ground.

Regarding the new rebuilt half shaft problem, it is rather common here to hear of reports of the wrong part being supplied, or that the part itself is non-functional. I doubt very much this is a NAPA problem. It is almost certainly that NAPA’s supplier of offshore rebuilt half-shafts isn’t doing due diligence.

@Detour
Glad you solved your problem.

I had a NAPA axle fail a couple years back, I had bought it 13 months prior, and had not accumulated many miles on it. I took it back and was told that they had had a bunch of poor quality axles around the time I bought mine. So even though I was just barely out of any warranty period (based on time) the guy I usually deal with handed me a new piece (different supplier) when I brought in the old one, at no charge.

George, I do a lot on forums, I’m a Jeep guy…not a Honda guy…lol…so I know it’s important to follow up rather than get an answer and run…Everyone should follow up, this makes the search function a much better tool. I’ve only owned 2 other front wheel cars in my 48 years, a Prelude and a 68 Eldorado…I rebuilt the Eldorado 1/2 shafts years ago, they contained actual ball bearings…lol!!
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I like NAPA parts over the other chain stores, I just feel their pricing is out of control, they’re independently owned, so pricing can vary…I simply don’t like paying double at our local NAPA for the same part I can buy online for less.