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Old 06-19-2011, 09:54 PM   #1
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I have a 2002 Bonneville with a straight 3800 (no supercharger) and 138,000 mi. It has a humming noise in the front end starting at 30mph and increasing in loudness up to and over 60mph. It sounded like it was coming from the left side so I checked the CV joints and found the inner joint to be loose. I replaced the entire drive axle including both CV joints. Still had noise. I checked the left front wheel bearing and found it had some play too. Replaced that and still have noise. I checked the right CV joints and their loose also.

My question is, I noticed when I pulled the drive axle out of the transmission on the left side, the splined shaft in the transmission was loose. It fell down and rested on the seal. I reached in and found it was very loose. I didn't know if this was normal or not. I went ahead and put the new drive axle on. There'* about 1/16 inch play at the inner CV joint housing. Is this normal? Doesn't seem to be any transmission oil coming out.

Not sure whether or not I should continue replacing drive line components or if the problem'* in the transmission. I'm not sure if the car'* worth major transmission work and therefore I'd be throwing money away replacing all the driveline components.

Does anyone know if the spline shaft in the transmission should be loose?

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:58 PM   #2
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The output shaft has nothing to hold it up when the axle is removed. It'* the axle that holds it in place. Are you sure the sound is coming from that area? Sometimes it'* hard to tell for sure.
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Old 06-19-2011, 09:59 PM   #3
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What kind of shape are your tires in..Try rotating them and see if the noise seems to move to another corner of the car
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:59 PM   #4
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Does the outside of the axle shaft fit into a bearing in the transmission? The axle shaft has two CV joints (fancy U-joints) on it. The one end is fixed in the wheel bearing. doesn't the other end have to be fixed in the transmission or you'll have 3 joints in line with no support? When installed, the inner CV joint housing has about 1/16" play when installed. Is that acceptable? normal?

I've had issues with tires howling before. These have been rotated regularly. I'm positive it'* not the tires.

It appears the right inner CV joint has splattered a lot of grease out but I cant find a hole in the boot. This joint also has some play in it. I'm hoping that'* the problem????
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:02 PM   #5
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If there is grease splatterd then there is a tear or hole in the boot and over time would cause that joint to howl
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:56 AM   #6
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i have a 03 bonneville with the n/a trans and have had the same prob with the noise it could be ur gears or clucths inside the trans or a bad tourqe converter or as simple as a bad tensionr pulley the easiest way is to get a tethascope and put it on ur trans itll be alot easier to pinpoint where its coming from but i have had the same prob since i had 130000 miles on mine i changed the fuild and the trans filter and put some lucas trans treatment in it and seems to be fine but try that if u are still getting the noise
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:35 AM   #7
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If there'* grease splattered around the axle, then replace it. The U joint is dry and will make noise.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:33 PM   #8
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I just ordered the RH drive axle/CV joint assemble. I hope this takes care of it. Thanks for sharing your experience and knowledge.

Steve
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Old 06-20-2011, 03:50 PM   #9
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No problem. Let us know how it goes. And if you have any problems installing it, just let us know.
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