Replaced CV Joints...won't go!

Hello, This is my first time posting on the CarTalk Community, so hopefully I’ll get some good responses.

I’m the owner of a 1996 automatic shift Honda Accord. I got my neighbor to help me replace my CV joints / drive axles, and everything went as planned.

After driving the car for about 1 mile at low speeds (under 25 mph) the car then sounded like it slipped out of gear…The engine would just rev up and not go anywhere. Same for reverse.

Also, when I tried putting it into the “park” gear, it made a loud, continuous grinding sound, until I turned the car off. If I keep it in Neutral and then start the engine, the noise doesn’t happen.

Could anyone help me figure this out? Thanks!

Your transmission is turning but the power is not getting to the drive axles. The grinding when you put it into park is what shows the transmission is getting power.

Something in the differential part of the transaxle assembly is out of whack. Me thinks the backyard mechanics have missed something. It looks like a tow to a mechanic is in order.

I am going to guess that the splines have slipped out of position and that this is causing the drive axles to get no power.

Is it normal for these to slip out after installation? What if only one side slipped out…would that make a difference?

As far as I can tell (without tearing the whole thing down again) both joints are in there pretty well.

The axle has a C-clip that retains each half in the transmission. Sometimes the clips can prevent the shaft from being pushed into the transmission completely. Only a small part of the shaft is engaged and you can run for a while. Turning will eventually work the shaft completely out. Happened to a friend of mine in a U-turn. You’ll have to pull it apart and re-install the axle. Problem with this is that since only the very end of the axle spline is engaged in the tranny, the spines may develop a slight twist because of the force of acceleration. This may make it difficult or impossible to reinstall the orginal axle without some spline grinding and possible weakening of the splines. You can try to reinstall, but if it won’t go all the way in, time to get a new or rebuilt half shaft. This can happen to one side only and you would still have the same result. Be sure and check that both sides are all the way in so it doesn’t happen again.

Did you lose any transmission fluid during the swap?? Check the fluid level…

OK, I just re read your post. When you tried to put the trans in “P” and you heard the grinding, that was the output shafts of the trans still turning because there was nothing stopping it meaning that the cv joint/s have come off the splines of the output shaft/s.


It can be one side because you do not have a limited slip differential. All the power goes the wheel that spins, or in this case slips. Put the car in park with both front wheels off the ground. The wheel that is engaged is not your problem, the one that spins is.

Ripstop’s post mentioned “C” clips and he maybe on the right track. Neither axle maybe engaged all the way in the spine, but only one has slipped out. Once you get the slipping one in properly check your work on the other axle too.

Jack the car up with both wheels off of the ground. Spin the wheel on one side by hand. The other side should rotate.

If not, I agree with VDCdriver that it sounds like a spline engagement problem; or lack of engagement rather.
Looks can be a bit deceiving sometimes and you do not have to tear everything apart to seat the inner joints.
Grasp the inner joint and see if it can be moved back and forth. It should not. If it does move the snap ring is not seated in the differential gears. Hopefully the splines in the gears are not stripped. If so, then it’s going to get involved.

Another more obscure cause could be something I’ve seen a couple of times.
The axle shaft nuts were tightened very tight I hope? In several cases I’ve run across in which a half shaft job or brake job was performed, the nuts not tightened properly, and shortly thereafter the halfshaft splines would strip the splines out of the wheel hub. A very subtle “brrrrr” and no more moving.

I suppose I’ll try this…I’ll check back with (hopefully) a successful report on how things go.

The most common cause of this problem is along the same lines as the aforementioned c-clip problem. Those clips are in the joints as well. Sometimes the shaft will get jerked around during installation, causing the joint to come apart inside the boot, where it’s likely to go unnoticed until the car won’t move a mile down the road. I had this happen on a customer’s Accord once before :).

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I have attached a picture of what happened to the new CV joint…the differential end got pretty screwed up, and I couldn’t even get it to go back in.

Solution: removed the boot from the old joint, and used the old splines b/c they were undamaged. I then put a hose clamp on the boot, and it was installed w/o any problems.

Drove it for several miles at 65 mph, took several U-Turns, did some in reverse…seems to be on there for good!

Thanks for the help everybody, and although “Uncle Turbo” might have been right about me missing something, backyard mechanics can, and quite often, do have what it takes to get the job done.

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