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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe that the inner CV joint on my front right axle needs at the very least to be repacked with grease and rebooted. I'm wondering whether it needs something more. I am experiencing a noise on acceleration and when the drivetrain is under load. I suspect it is what many have called a vibration in related threads but I experience as more of a whine or hum. I'm virtually certain it is not a bad front wheel bearing but it sounds similar. (I replaced the left front bearing 8k miles ago and am familiar with the change in the sound when banking left and right.) I also just replaced both rear wheel bearings, thinking/hoping they were the source of the sound but the sound remains and has grown louder over the past weeks/months. I suspect the inner CV joint because 5-8k miles ago I noticed grease on the right LCA and the top surface of the splash guard. I couldn't localize the source at that time and basically ignored what I'd found. Subsequently I noticed the grease again when pulling the splash guard for an oil change and radiator hose replacement. I have now localized the source to the outer edge of the inner CV joint. It's almost as if the grease is leaking out under the edge of the boot where it's clamped down. I know, it doesn't really compute but that's where I see grease and it matches the grease splash pattern. Also, the boot itself is fully intact. I'm wondering whether I can now get by with seeking to repack the joint and place a new boot--as is detailed in a few other threads--or whether I need to replace the entire axle unit or possibly have it rebuilt, though I am not familiar with options for having that done.
 

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I don’t know how much grease yours has lost yet, but depending on how long this has been going on, it maybe best to just replace it or have it fully rebuilt. I wasn’t able to find a place to rebuild mine, so I replaced mine with a new (not reman) CV axle from NAPA, it took a little bit of driving to break in but it feels nearly exactly like the original axle. It is way cheaper than the OE axle (about $95 vs $300 iirc) and it feels just as good.


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Are the axles original? OEM axles are pretty durable and will just need a reboot normally.

Aftermarket axles are finnicky and almost always give a vibration. If you do get an aftermarket axle, I'd only recommend GKN (OEM for Volvo)

I'd say repack, but if you get vibrations, and you feel it is because of the axles, then replace the axle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@mgm7890: the axles are original, ~110k miles. If I purchase a new axle it appears that there is no OEM available for my car (2005 T5 AWD M66). I'm limited to a $580 Volvo axle or ~ $100 reman/aftermarket from various providers.

@ebones5: thanks for sharing your experience. Yeah, I too don't know how much grease I've lost. How many miles have you put on your NAPA axle? Do you know what the warranty is?
 

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@ebones5: thanks for sharing your experience. Yeah, I too don't know how much grease I've lost. How many miles have you put on your NAPA axle? Do you know what the warranty is?
I have put about 700 miles on it so far. Warranty is limited lifetime. I don’t know if they’ll have the axle for an AWD M66, I drive an 2.4i auto, so it is a little more common. I BELIEVE that the NAPA MaxDrive axles are actually made by Cardone.


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What car specs do you have? 2.4i, t5? Fwd, AWD?

FCPEuro has GKN half shafts for sale depending on your config. You can't go wrong with those.

Just search the forums here and you'll find auto part store aftermarket replacements don't wear well. YMMV.

If you can't find GKN, and don't want to pay for original, you can try something like Erie VoVo.
 

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Here's my axle story:

I had a 1998 Accord, got a tear in one of the outer boots. Re-booted and repacked and no problems.
I have a 2005 Odyssey, it lost grease in the inner boots and that caused a vibration on acceleration (vibration, not noise, at the speed of the axle rpm). I replaced the axles with $100 units from Advance Auto. No vibration issues, but one of the replacement axles failed after a couple of years and I got it warrantied.

I have a 2006 S40 FWD. I rebooted and packed the inner and outer boots after I found a tear in one of the inners. I caught it quick, within 1000 miles, I'd say. So far so good.

So I'd say reboot and repack and hope for the best...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
What car specs do you have? 2.4i, t5? Fwd, AWD?

FCPEuro has GKN half shafts for sale depending on your config. You can't go wrong with those.

Just search the forums here and you'll find auto part store aftermarket replacements don't wear well. YMMV.

If you can't find GKN, and don't want to pay for original, you can try something like Erie VoVo.
My car is a 2005 T5 AWD M66. FCPEuro's only option is the Volvo branded axle. GKN is no longer available for my car config.
 

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My car is a 2005 T5 AWD M66. FCPEuro's only option is the Volvo branded axle. GKN is no longer available for my car config.
I have the AWD M66 on mine. I would personally get a temp in there from Autozone and get an OEM from a junkyard shipped in. Send it to a trusted rebuilder, usually for $100 fee plus some if a joint has to be replaced. Then you get an OEM quality one back and when the one from Autozone goes bad it's got a lifetime warranty - pull it out - put in your rebuilt OEM and take the old dead autozones back to autozone and get another one for free. 300,000mi+ of axles for $300 per side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have the AWD M66 on mine. I would personally get a temp in there from Autozone and get an OEM from a junkyard shipped in. Send it to a trusted rebuilder, usually for $100 fee plus some if a joint has to be replaced. Then you get an OEM quality one back and when the one from Autozone goes bad it's got a lifetime warranty - pull it out - put in your rebuilt OEM and take the old dead autozones back to autozone and get another one for free. 300,000mi+ of axles for $300 per side.
Thanks for the recommendation. As it happens Autozone has a 20% off sale right now. Do you have any suggestions about how one finds a trusted rebuilder?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Folks with experience replacing an axle ... have any of you found that you needed to replace the transmission seal at the same time? I've run across at least one thread describing damaging the seal when removing the axle and requiring a new seal. I want to have all my parts lined up as I approach the job.
 

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I haven't run into that issue and have pulled each axle multiple times.

However, if it was leaking, that would be the time to replace it.
 

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I haven't run into that issue and have pulled each axle multiple times.

However, if it was leaking, that would be the time to replace it.
I replaced both front axles for c. $600 with the seals for my 2008 v50 with OEM. Install wasn't so bad...about 4 hours of work. It took a good whack with a sledge to pop the left axle into the seal.
 

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Folks with experience replacing an axle ... have any of you found that you needed to replace the transmission seal at the same time? I've run across at least one thread describing damaging the seal when removing the axle and requiring a new seal. I want to have all my parts lined up as I approach the job.
Generally speaking, no. You would only damage the seal if you performed the job incorrectly (which is admittedly pretty easy to do).

If you drag the splines of the axle shaft (hardened steel) across the output seal (soft rubber), especially the bottom of the seal (thanks, gravity!) then you can tear grooves in the smooth surface of the seal. This can cause a pretty major leak. This is one of the "textbook" technician-caused failures because it's so easy to do if you are being careless. The big problem is when you don't notice/fix it before reassembly (it's hard to see except upon close visual inspection with the axle removed). It will create a slow to moderate gear oil leak. Once you are out of gear oil, it kills the differential/transmission pretty quickly. There is no warning light for running out of gear oil! By the time you hear even the faintest noise, the transmission is basically junk. Your only hope is you notice it making a puddle before it runs out.
 

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Thanks for the recommendation. As it happens Autozone has a 20% off sale right now. Do you have any suggestions about how one finds a trusted rebuilder?
Simple - ask them if they rebuild aftermarket axles - a quality shop will more than likely say no as the manufacturing methods for OEM and cheap aftermarkets are totally different and produce similarly different quality of parts for rebuild.

Folks with experience replacing an axle ... have any of you found that you needed to replace the transmission seal at the same time? I've run across at least one thread describing damaging the seal when removing the axle and requiring a new seal. I want to have all my parts lined up as I approach the job.
Nah, as others have said - just make sure you support it's weight on the way out and pull it out straight. Unless it's leaking already, no need to replace it. I usually oil up the shaft (ha) for reinstall so it has less of a chance of causing issues sliding into the hole (ha) and cutting up the seal.
If you're super duper duper careful like I am with some things and have help - not all but some - you can put tape on the end of the axle and slide the shaft in through there to help avoid cutting up the seal on install. Just wrap it in tape opposite (sticky side out) in just 1 loop, crinkle the end at the end of the axle - have someone hold it at the far end and you slide the crinkled end in a couple mm - then hold it with your hand and pass the axle through, then pull the loop of tape out of the seal and finish passing the axle inwards. DEF a 2 person job but a nearly perfect way to avoid slicing anything up.
 

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If you're super duper duper careful like I am with some things and have help - not all but some - you can put tape on the end of the axle and slide the shaft in through there to help avoid cutting up the seal on install. Just wrap it in tape opposite (sticky side out) in just 1 loop, crinkle the end at the end of the axle - have someone hold it at the far end and you slide the crinkled end in a couple mm - then hold it with your hand and pass the axle through, then pull the loop of tape out of the seal and finish passing the axle inwards. DEF a 2 person job but a nearly perfect way to avoid slicing anything up.
I want you working on my car with best practices like that!
 

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I want you working on my car with best practices like that!
No one cares about your vehicle like you will. Also why I'd be a broke professional mechanic - Only thing I toast the book time on is a tire rotation - everything else I usually double.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Okay, super helpful discussion about protecting the seal. Thanks!

Re: my original query I believe I'm going with the suggestion to get an Autozone branded axle to have on hand if I determine I need to replace the axle. I've ordered a boot kit from FCPEuro (they're on clearance sale) and am going to try and open the inner CV joint and repack it. This is new territory for me. Any thoughts about whether it'll be self-evident that the joint is ok to be repacked or needs to be replaced when I open it up? In other words, will damage be evident?
 

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You'll be able to tell when you take the boot off. If it's dirty, dry, and the joints have markings on them, then it's time for a new tripod joint.
 

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No one cares about your vehicle like you will. Also why I'd be a broke professional mechanic - Only thing I toast the book time on is a tire rotation - everything else I usually double.


I completely agree and hear you on this.
 
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