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"What we have here is a failure to communicate". The axle comes with CV joints on the end. You will be buying the rebuilt assembly. Both axle and CV joints will refer to the same part in a front wheel drive application.
check the boots on the CV joints if they are split you will probable have to replace the CV joint. and sometimes you can tell if it's the CV joint if it only squeaks when the car is moving and you turn left or right.
You could have a bad wheel bearing or a bad CV joint. Inspect your CV joint by turning the wheel all the way to the left and inspect the rubber boot for any signs of damage and see if there is any play by grabbing the CV joint and try to move it.
The other way to check is to drive the van slowly in an empty parking lot turning the wheel to one side and then the other. Listen for any abnormal noise and see if you can feel anything lose through you steering wheel.
If there is any signs of damage to the CV joint like oil leaking or movement. Replace the CV joint as soon as possible, and try not to drive the van till you have the CV joint replaced or the wheel bearing. Total CV joint failure will cause you to have the van towed to have it replaced. Try to drive it to the Garage to save you the tow cost.
Thank you for using fixya and be safe.
'Clunky' noises around the front wheels especially when turning indicates worn Universal 'CV' joints: this can sometimes be minimized by greasing the CV joints. This is a common condition if the CV joints rubber covers or 'boots' are split: if you don't need to replace the CV joints yet, you will need to replace the damaged boots with what are called 'split' boots.
The CV joints are needed to transfer the torque at a constant speed to
steered wheels as well as to accommodate up and down motions of the
You will find CV joints in all front-wheel drive cars. Many rear- and four-wheel drive cars and trucks have CV joints as well.
The CV joint is packed with grease and protected by the rubber or plastic boot.
It does not require any maintenance and supposed to last very long provided that protective boot will not get damaged.
Your best solution Mike is to replace them as a complete halfshaft. Yes, I know the cost is a little higher, but usually not much. Compare the cost of the CV joints, and also the 'Less Than' rubber boots they give you.
You'll find I believe, that a little more money brings peace of mind by less headaches.
(Tip: I would go else where than Ebay, when buying a part that my Life depended on!)
If you are hearing a clanking sound when driving you probably need to replace your CV joint. One thing that you can look at is the CV boot. If you are hearing noises coming from the CV joint, your boot is more than likely cracked or ripped completely. The boot is directly behind the wheel and is easy to see if you turn the wheel all the way to the right or left. Sounds like you need new CV joints though.
Yes you can, If you have taken the front drive shaft off, you can even still drive with the CV joint in place till you want to remove it. You may get some vibration around corners till you replace the CV joint or remove it totally.
But if your going to remove it, might as well wait till you have the replacement so you only do the job once. I had a Bad CV joint on a AWD Chevy van and did the same thing so i could still use it, and then replaced the CV joint when the weather got better.
Good luck and hope this helps.