New CV Axel and the Boot Exploded

I have a 2007 Nissan Murano with AWD. I developed a front end shake and ended up replacing both control arms with ball joints, new tires and a alignment. Afterwards I was told I had a leak in my driver front CV axle. The mechanic who did my alignment said it wasn’t that big don’t worry about. I thought my shake and vibration would be gone. It wasn’t. I first thought brakes until I looked under the car and the driver side CV axle boot had exploded grease everywhere. I had a new CV axel put in and not thinking what caused it to exploded in the first place rather just old age and the speed threw the grease everywhere. So after the new CV axel got installed I took it for a ride and almost immediately I noticed the clunk when I pressed on the gas. When I got to Highway speeds 60-70 mph is when the vibrations/shaking came back. I went to the shop and said something isn’t right. So why would my inner CV axel boot exploded? Was it just a bad axel? Or is something causing a binding or the axel to the tear its boot? Like a motor or transmission mount. Tie rod?

Was the “new” axle a remanufactured axle, a new aftermarket axle or a new factory axle?

Was the first boot to “explode” the inner CV joint or the outer CV joint?

If the inner boot was torn both times, I’d look for some interference doing the damage.

A leaking CV joint boot is always a big deal and should be repaired immediately.

I’d be concerned about taking a car to a mechanic who said that. Any CV boot tear is a problem, because it not only will spin the grease out of the joint, but will admit grit into the joint and wreck it. There is no such thing as an “ignore it” level of CV boot tear.

Probably what happened is when the mechanic replaced the other stuff, he ganked the CV boot. That happens, but he should have either explained that it’s part of the job and replaced it on your dime, or replaced it on his dime, but he should not have dismissed it.

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It was driver side inner axle both times.

I had asked for new aftermarket over remanufactured.

I had thought about that. Messing those control arms they could of easily caused a tear in a boot in the old CV.

That doesn’t explain why the new CV and boot would just explode unless something else is wrong and I need a different mechanic.

The outer CV joint is designed for the extreme angles caused by both the vertical movement of the steering knuckle and the steering angle.

The inner CV joint does not see the extreme angles from the steering but it does have to travel in and out to compensate for difference in length between the transaxle and the steering knuckle as the steering knuckle goes up and down.

The issue could be that the aftermarket axle is not the right length and when the steering knuckle traveled to one of its extremes, it either over compressed the boot or it pulled it out. The after market axles come from China. I’ve had good luck with them but I have heard horror stories about them not fitting correctly. I have had very bad luck with reman’s. If the vehicle has any value to you, I’d recommend investing in a new factory axle.

If the mechanic still has your original axle, an alternative, and my first choice would have been to just get a new inner CV joint if the old one was messed up and reboot the axle. It costs a little more than a reman or aftermarket new but a lot less than factory new. Most of the cost is labor with this approach, but it is as fool proof as a new axle.

That would be my suspicion. Any mechanic who says it’s OK to ignore a CV boot failure is either a liar, or incompetent. Or both. Entirely possible that he borked the job when he replaced the first failed part.

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Did you ask for your old axle and/or ask to see the packing? From your description, the mech may have simply cleaned and put new boots on your old axle. (Unbelievable as it sounds, not all mechanics are honest.) BTW, if you feel anything wrong after even a simple repair, NEVER keep driving. I once bought new tires and then had my left rear tire pass me half a mile from the shop.

Have the engine compartment checked for any loose shields, etc. It’s a slight possibility some stray bit of metal is flopping against the boot at high speeds.

As for the vibration, try to locate a shop that still has the old spin balancing machine. They have been obsolete since the 90’s but do wonders at tracking problems like this. You might find one in an old alignment shop, in the corner, under dust and old parts. At very least, take it to a tire shop and have them check balance and slow spin the tires. You could have a bent rim?

So I took it back to the mechanic and explained something is wrong. So they brought it back in the shop and went over everything.

They rechecked both control arms. The grease I saw was left over from the old CV axle and wasn’t from the new CV axle. They rebalanced all the tires. All other suspension and steering components checked out fine.

The current thought or diagnose is a engine mount. As I still have the clunk when I first accelerate and have vibration higher speeds 60+.

With the current vehicle age 12 years and mileage 144K. This is quickly turning into a nickle and dime. With everything already replaced if motor mounts doesn’t fix it, I am unsure how willing I am to rebuild a 12 year old SUV.

Thanks everybody

Is the shop tech able see too much engine movement and what mechanical interference is causing the clunk sound when shifting from N to D when observing the engine compartment as the vehicle is idled and parked?

Nope, no visual confirmation. Even on test drive they told me they didn’t hear it.

I had went earlier tonight and tired to see if the engine was moving while idle or revving. It didn’t move excessively. Just what I would expect a little bit when you opened it up. I would expect more of noticeable movement when I opened it up if there was something wrong with a mount.

It could be because the drive gear wasn’t engaged so I didn’t see that much because it wasn’t causing enough torque? I am just guessing.

It is unlikely that a clunk would be attributed to a CV joint especially after you have had them replaced. To see if an engine mount is the culprit is rather easy to figure out, so it should not be a mystery.

To suss out the motor mounts…Open your hood and with your foot on the brake put the vehicle in gear and “power brake” the engine…meaning while in gear and with your foot on the brake holding the car from moving…apply the accelerator to have the engine torque load the engine mounts…then shift into reverse and do the same thing…then back to drive… Observe the engine movement, it will move but should not be excessive nor should the engine look as though it is lifting out of the engine compartment.

If you do not discover an engine mount to be the cause, then it is time to start suspecting the AWD system and its viscous coupling. The viscous coupling is a known “Clunk and Vibration” culprit on this vehicle. Some even disable the coupling and use the vehicle in 2wd instead of trying to repair it. You may find the coupling to be the root cause after you investigate the other easy to suss out suspects. My money is on the coupling… there is a wealth of information on the net about it…or should be, its a rather common issue if I recall correctly…

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Do you get a clunk when you first put it in gear or when you shift between reverse and drive. What I mean is a clunk as the gear first engages, not when you start driving. If you do, then this and your other symptoms would cause me to check the universal joints on the driveshaft going from the transmission to the rear end.

These do go bad and are often overlooked. The play can be difficult to detect sometimes if only one bearing cap at each end (or only one bearing cap at one end) is bad. They cause all your symptoms and if not corrected, they can cause a crack in your transmission.

No noise when I put in either drive, reverse, low, or neutral.

I also checked the central support bearing and it was fully intact with no missing rubber and only minimal movement when yanking on it.

I also check the top strut mounts though I couldn’t visually see them, I tried to with my weight and grabbing the wheel well moving the vehicle up and down to see if I heard anything. It was quite. Not exactly perfect test.

I haven’t tried the power brake test yet, I am doing that when my wife comes homes. So I can watch the engine.

The clunking noise doesn’t seem to happen all the time. When we first started having issues with the vehicle it was the vibration and some noise while sharp turning. Like into a parking spot. The vibration I had thought struts. The noise in the front end was at first a grind like a ball joint. hat is why we replace the control arms with the new ball joints.

When those were fixed it was shortly after that and before the new CV was put in that I heard the clunk. I thought CV, they spotted the leak while doing the tires. After the new CV it was still there which threw me off. Part of me still thinks it is still struts.

What makes it frustrating is that I can’t pin point the exact cause yet to repair it. It would be a case of best guess and hope that fixes it or else your rebuilding a vehicle slowly and expensively.

I think your right on the U joints. I went out and there quite of bit play in the rear axel.

If there’s any play at all in a driveline u-joint it has to be replaced. When I test u-joints on my truck I grab hold of one side with one hand, and the other side with the other and apply a twisting force. Any play at all I replace the u-joint. There will usually be some play if you simply apply a twisting force to the driveline, due to some slop in the differential and axles. So don’t confuse that with u-joint play.

Good call and thanks. I am going actually have to go to the u joint and test it out because there was some slop.

This has gotten my brain scrambled. There is one two many possibilities for what could be causing this.

I’ve had a clunk in my truck in the N to D transition I’ve never been able to figure out yet. Even the transmission shop who rebuilt the transmission couldn’t figure it out. They said it was just a normal thing for a truck. Seems an unlikely explanation to me. It pretty much has to be something from among the transmission, transfer case, driveline, differential, and axles. A friend of mine builds racing cars, and the Ford 9 inch rear axle is the preferred choice, so he has a lot of experience with it. My truck uses a Ford 9 inch, so I removed the third member and the two axles and took it all to his shop. He said that was set up perfectly and couldn’t be the source of the clunk. Since the transmission guy said it couldn’t be the transmission, that pretty much leaves either the transfer case or the driveline. There’s no play in any of the u-joints, so it’s not a u joint. It’s a two part driveline, and some folks report when that splined slip joint isn’t lubed correctly it can cause a clunk. Whenever I re-lube it, that definitely does reduce the degree of clunking, but doesn’t totally eliminate it. If the remainder of the clunk is the transfer case, that will have to wait until something else on the t-case breaks. Clunks in vehicles are indeed a mystery. Oh, one more thing, lowering the idle speed helps.

So I have been reading the service manual and trying to make sure I have the time line right as it is crucial. I had new tires put on, next morning aligned still with the clunk and vibration. The CV axel boot exploded the same day I had it aligned. I had a new CV put in but I ask for a new one and not a remanufactured one. After it installed I still had the vibration and clunk.

Now looking at the service manual, I noticed that it states there is supposed to be a dynamic damper on the CV shaft. My new CV doesn’t not. You can’t buy the damper sperate and only remanufactured CVs have the dynamic damper on the shaft. I wonder if this could be the cause of the vibration. As for the clunk… I am slowly ruling out possibilities.

Sorry… just saw your message. I think it may be only factory that has that damper.

Hopefully you have the problem fixed?