Clicky driveshafts, time to sort them! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Clicky driveshafts, time to sort them!

So after noticing my inner nearside CV boot was split last year, I got the boot replaced and joint re-packed with grease - but alas, it's now clicking away at low-speed manouvering/parking.

Gave the shaft a decent shake yesterday and there's in/out play in the inner joint... Went to compare the other side and found another boot split and grease everywhere

OK I get it Alfa, you want new shafts...

So I've got a part used set from a 147 DC 1.9JTD that's being broken, not factory original but were a good price - lets me get my originals out and hopefully replace the spider bearings on the work bench in the garage so I'll have a fesh refurbed set ready to go when my cheapie replacements let go.

So my plan is:
  1. Acquire 1/2" breaker bar, 36mm deep-thinwall socket with the outside ground to fit down on the hub-nut
  2. Jack up car, remove wheel, knock hub-nut loose
  3. Undo bottom ball-joint, knock loose
  4. Undo lower long-bolt between the strut-fork and the lower wishbone - remove bolt
  5. hub-nut back on the axle loosely, beat with a hammer to losen from the hub without mushrooming out the threads
  6. Prybar wedged up at the diff-end of the axle, wiggle it free without damaging the seals
  7. Assembly is reverse

Anyone else with some pro-tips to help the job go smoothly? e.g. is it worth removing the caliper early on so there's more room to swing the hub out of the way when getting the shaft out? work just replacing the lower amrs once I'm in that far? I've got a set on the shelf... Brakes are getting a good service (cleaning, greasing the pins/sliders, bleeding etc.) at the same time too

Gonna be hand-tools only, hence wanting to find a nice big breaker bar for the hub-nut!

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(Post Link) post #2 of 34 Old 30-07-19 Thread Starter
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Guess that's a no then

Shafts are on the way, gonna order the rest of the tools I need this week too... 36mm thin wall socket, breaker bar, BJ splitter, pry-bars, and some 75W90 for topping off the gearbox ...

Worth getting a new set of axle seals for the diff housing?

Cheap enough from Alfaworkshop, these are 180K miles old now, and have survived 3 clutch replacements and whatever other jobs have needed the shafts popping out.
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Guess that's a no then

Shafts are on the way, gonna order the rest of the tools I need this week too... 36mm thin wall socket, breaker bar, BJ splitter, pry-bars, and some 75W90 for topping off the gearbox ...

Worth getting a new set of axle seals for the diff housing?

Cheap enough from Alfaworkshop, these are 180K miles old now, and have survived 3 clutch replacements and whatever other jobs have needed the shafts popping out.
Take pictures of the repair if you can (I might have similar issue but I ll get professional help..)
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(Post Link) post #4 of 34 Old 11-08-19 Thread Starter
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Is there any secret to popping the passenger's side driveshaft out of the diff?

I've managed to get the rest of the shaft out, split the inner joint and now I'm left with the cup stuck firm in the diff!

Tried pry-bars at multiple angles, no dice... Do the 4 bolt holding on what looks like a shield for the seal need to come off?

Gonna make a start on the other side whilst I have a think about this one 😅
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(Post Link) post #5 of 34 Old 11-08-19 Thread Starter
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I got it, answer was use a bigger pry bar

Last edited by _The_Editor_; 11-08-19 at 17:43.
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(Post Link) post #6 of 34 Old 11-08-19 Thread Starter
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Managed to swap out both shafts today, not too bad a job in the end.

Very dirty though when you've got the remnants of 2 split boots spread all over the place, I don't think that my t-shirt will ever look the same!

Had a little dribble of oil spill frorm the diff housing when I popped the shafts out, I reckon about 100ml at most... Took 800ml to top back up to half-way between the min-max, so I must have been driving around with a very low gearbox for a while!!!

Not sure when that oil went missing... Last time the box was off was when Autolusso did the clutch, so no doubt they topped it up properly... Only other jobs that have happened are having an inner CV boot replaced at a local shop... Possible they popped the shaft out and didn't top back up afterwards?

Who knows I guess... Just hope it's not done permanent damage to the greabox... The old-oil that dribbled out looked it OK, not sparkley/glittery with metal at all so hopefully there was just enough... Will keep an eye on the level, have a set of new shaft-seals in case they start leaking.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 34 Old 27-08-19 Thread Starter
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Well a knock has returned

Passengers side, single solitary knock when pressing the brakes... Gave shafts a wiggle and I can feel a bit of play (in/out) in the outer joint... I guess this is what you risk in buying used parts

No noises at low speed manouvering like the inners though, only a single solitary knock when I first press the brake...

Rubbish!
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Its up/down play you want to be feeling for really, in the inner CV joints. Check for up/down play, rotate the wheel 90 degrees, check again, etc etc. There's 3 bearings on the inner CV joint, often it is just one of them that develops play, so checking like that will always show it up.
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(Post Link) post #9 of 34 Old 28-08-19 Thread Starter
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Top tip pud

Will jack it up and give it a good wiggle in a few weekends time, little busy with work at the moment but won't be driving at all for a week or so now... If the shaft is shagged I'll order a rebuild kit from Autolusso and re-make the original shafts I've got in the garage... Worth replacing the outer CV joint too? If so any reccomendations?

Anything else you could think it might be?

It's a definite single "clunk" when first applying the brakes, even at the point where you can't feel any noticable deceleration. Can be at pretty much any road speed, but never when stationary. Happens when coasting in neutral, coasting with clutch depressed, or when in gear. Also doesn't happen every single time...

Deffinitely sounds/feels passengers side, but I couldn't pinpoint whether it was driveshaft or close to the gearbox... Definitely sounds "transmissiony"... occasionally I think I can feel it through the pedals/floor, but I might just be making that up tbh... I had the calipers off a few weeks ago to clean/re-grease the pad carriers and slide-pins as things has started to squeak/judder under hard braking, but everything looked and felt tight last night when I gave it a poke... Engine/gearbox mounts maybe?

If my inspections don't reveal anything then I guess I'll pop over to Loz in Bournemouth and let his guys work their magic...

Last edited by _The_Editor_; 28-08-19 at 14:28.
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What if you lift off abruptly while in a low gear & high revs so the car is braked, but by the engine rather than the brakes?
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(Post Link) post #11 of 34 Old 28-08-19 Thread Starter
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What if you lift off abruptly while in a low gear & high revs so the car is braked, but by the engine rather than the brakes?
I get a clonk!

I also get a clonk when launching from a standstill with the car facing downhill.. So braking, engine braking, and launching from a standstill... Seems related to weight transferring... Time to go poking mounts I guess?
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Clonking on braking is usually lower arms, rear bush.

Also check the tightness of the drive shaft coupling - 6 big socket head bolts.
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The 1.9 doesn't have those sort of driveshafts, they are the cup & spider bearing style - only thing that holds the two halves together is the CV boot clips! But once fitted on the car the suspension will never allow the driveshaft to slide that far out that it comes away.

Could be engine mounts, I'm working through a similar problem on a 147 GTA at the moment. Its had a knock on braking for a few years, in the meantime it has had almost every suspension component replaced and yet the knock remains. Can't detect any excessive movement in anything with the car on a two post lift, and nothing is shown up on the MOT 4 poster either. I am suspecting it is an engine mount knocking.

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Clonking on braking is usually lower arms, rear bush.
Hmmm... I suppose I did flex the arms about a fair bit more than their usual range of movement when extracting the shafts, could tie in nicely with the onset of the knocking... Had the balljoints and fork bolt out fo the arms so hopefully the subframe mounting bolts won't put up too much of a fight.... Got a fresh new set of arms on the shelf in the garage so should be a nice cheap repair

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Could be engine mounts, I'm working through a similar problem on a 147 GTA at the moment. Its had a knock on braking for a few years, in the meantime it has had almost every suspension component replaced and yet the knock remains. Can't detect any excessive movement in anything with the car on a two post lift, and nothing is shown up on the MOT 4 poster either. I am suspecting it is an engine mount knocking.
Intereting... Well I'll give everything rubber a decent prod and pry when I get the chance... If I find things in need of replacement are Birth/Originals the way to go for these, or aftermarket bits like the Powerflex inserts where available?
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Well I've found the problem....

Embarressed to say, but 2 wheel bolts had fallen out and the remaining 3 were loose

Alloy was shunting about on the hub when changing speeds... Hub looks OK, but the alloy is scrap... Bolt-holes are cammed out from being driven on, so I'm on the hunt for a replacement now.

Now as to why they were loose in the first place... Not 100% sure... I was the last person to touch the wheel, so definitely my responsibility... I torqued the bolts with my torque wrench, 110 Nm as I have done every time before... Didn't re-torque after a day or driving as you're meant to... Plus the bolts I had were the old wobble-bolts from my previous set of alloys which have never losened off before...


So my options now are:

1. Find a single replacement GTA alloy so I have my set of 4 back
2. Put my old 5x100 alloys back on with a new set of wobble bolts
3. Find a new set of 4 alloys

Either way, I'm a little wary about using wobble bolts again...
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GTA 17" teledial?
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GTA 17" teledial?
Yep that's the one.. Got a single for sale?
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I have a set of non-original GTA teledials, which I could be tempted to split. Would you be interested in taking two of them? Gives you a spare for the future if you ever need one.
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Could be tempted.. full sized spare in the wheel well would be nice too...

How much shipped to Devon?
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In contrast to 'accepted wisdom' (ignornance) which seems to exist in the motor industry with regard to wheel bolt/nut tightening, I offer the proven reliable procedure from truck/bus industry.

Clean oxidation/corrosion from wheel and hub spigot to ensure wheel can be removed & fitted without force. Ideally apply a light smear of ACF50 anti corrosion oil. Do the same to the same for the wheel and bolt conical seats. If necessary, do the same for the bolt threads to ensure they thread right in without any resistance.

This allows the wheel to be torqued correctly by tightening smoothly. If there is any jumping/skipping whilst torqueing, there is stiction which results in them being under torqued.

By doing what I suggest, the wheel fits against the brake disc on the hub without jamming and not going fully home. When the bolts tighten smoothly, it creates the correct tension in the bolts to stop them coming loose.

I bet people will disagree with me but as I mentioned, I've always done this and this is what the truck and bus industry has been adopting in the last few years to prevent wheels falling off. This is good advice for any nut or bolt and is exactly what engine builders (not production as they use thread lock to lessen tool tip wear). It is exactly the reason expensive thread and seat lubricant has been developed by top tier engine fastener producers.
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In contrast to 'accepted wisdom' (ignornance) which seems to exist in the motor industry with regard to wheel bolt/nut tightening, I offer the proven reliable procedure from truck/bus industry.

Clean oxidation/corrosion from wheel and hub spigot to ensure wheel can be removed & fitted without force. Ideally apply a light smear of ACF50 anti corrosion oil. Do the same to the same for the wheel and bolt conical seats. If necessary, do the same for the bolt threads to ensure they thread right in without any resistance.

This allows the wheel to be torqued correctly by tightening smoothly. If there is any jumping/skipping whilst torqueing, there is stiction which results in them being under torqued.

By doing what I suggest, the wheel fits against the brake disc on the hub without jamming and not going fully home. When the bolts tighten smoothly, it creates the correct tension in the bolts to stop them coming loose.

I bet people will disagree with me but as I mentioned, I've always done this and this is what the truck and bus industry has been adopting in the last few years to prevent wheels falling off. This is good advice for any nut or bolt and is exactly what engine builders (not production as they use thread lock to lessen tool tip wear). It is exactly the reason expensive thread and seat lubricant has been developed by top tier engine fastener producers.
I mind you said that about one of my front wheels. There was no obvious damage and even after I cleaned it, it was still tricky to get on. I've since gave it another good rubbing and whilst not perfect, it's much easier to go on. As you mentioned at the time, there may well be hub damage which is not obvious to the eye
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And to conclude... a happy ending.

New set of wheels fitted with a set of original wheel bolts. Liberal use of a wire brush before mounting anything up, and all clonks and funny shakes are gone. Lesson learned, take care when doing up the wheel bolts, and don't neglect to check them after a drive.

Also spotted the rear brake pads are down to their last few mm, so time to plan for another brake job... It never ends!

Now... Does anyone want to buy a set of three and a half 17" GTA alloys in dire need of a refurb?
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Spoke too soon, clonk is back
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Spoke too soon, clonk is back
Check the wheel bolts!
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Check the wheel bolts!
You'll be pleased to hear I did that as soon as I heard the first clonk... Pulled over and got the wrench from the boot on them, all solid with no movement anywhere...

Plan for tomorrow is get the wheel back off, check driveshaft as Pud suggested (up/down wiggles), get a pry-bar on the lower wishbone to jiggle the bushes, and double check the brakes are all tight...

If that doesn't reveal anything, I'm handing it over to the garage....
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