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Discussion Starter #1
I just recently installed a new half axle and a new tie rod end. There is now an inconsistent vibration that happens at around 60mph. It isn't consistent; sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn't. It doesn't seem to affect the steering wheel, meaning that, when it vibrates, I don't feel it in my hands.

Is it possible I could damage the CV joint putting the axle in? Would a damaged CV joint have these symptoms?
 

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It's very possible it's a bad CV joint. All too many rebuilders just put new boots and new grease on a worn out joint.
 

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hi. theres a few possibilities. maybe your wheels need to be balanced. you could have dented a wheel. could be that a bolt is loose. usually when it happens around 60mph it has something to do with a wheel. you should have them checked out. let us know what you find out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I had it in for an alignment. They did find that the strut bolts were a bit loose. So, with the alignment done, and the strut bolts now tight, the vibration is the same. If anything, It now pulls ever so slightly to the left.

The vibration is the most noticeable at about 15 mph up to about 30 mph. No clunking. Just a slow, very apparent vibration, pulsation. It is not all that noticeable from 30 to 65. At around 70 I notice it again, but now a fast vibration, and there is a low level hum.

On a side note, and a funny story, I wanted to see the axle while it was in motion. I decided to mount a GoPro camera in the wheel well, hoping to video the cv joint. I zip tied the camera a bolt that was out of the way of the wheel (I don't know how to describe what this bolt does without being confusing. Suffice to say it seemed safe). To mount the camera, I had to remove the wheel. I guess there was more space with the weight off the wheel. Once the car was back on the ground, things got a bit tight. I made it about two blocks, when I hit a bump and I heard a clunk. I pulled over to see if I had lost the camera. Turns out the camera got pinched between the lower control arm and the sway bar (I think). It snapped the camera off the mount. Luckily, the camera fell right onto the control arm and stayed there.

Watching the video is kind of neat. Unfortunately, it was late in the afternoon, so there wasn't enough ambient light in the wheel well. Thus, I wasn't able to see anything besides silhouettes. I will probably try again, but will find a way to mount the camera in a better place, once my new camera case comes in the mail ;)
 

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wow sorry to hear about the camera hope it was ok? sounding more like your wheels might have a bend or need to be balanced. you could try to rotate the wheels and see if the vibration changes location and the pulling stops. let us know what you find out
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If a rim was bent/warped, wouldn't the vibration be noticeable through the entire range? Why would it go away when I get above 30, only to come back at 70?

Just to stir the pot a bit, could it be a wheel bearing? It seems to be quite a coincidence for a bearing to fail right after I put a new axle in.
 

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Well I'll be honest, and I'm not trying to be a jerk, that's just how it works when you have a bent rim. I guess it must have something to do with speed, revolutions per min, I don't know the specifics of why it works like that. I guess it could be a bearing but why wouldn't the bearing so it all the time? The easiest thing to do is just swap the front and rear rims and see if it goes away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I'm getting too specific about the vibration. Truth is, it starts at low speed, and gets faster with speed, until, at around 70, it starts to make a humming noise.

I may be hung up on the whole axle thing. It may be possible that there was a break-in period with the new axle where it made some noise. And during that time, something else may have gone wrong, like an imbalanced tire, bent rim, bad bearing...

I am going to start by rotating the tires. I will check their balance as well.

If I was outside looking in, I, too, would think it was a bent rim.

What does a bad bearing do? What are the signs of a bad bearing?
 

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well a bad wheel is the cheapest and easiest to diagnose. it also fits your description of the problem. let us know what you find out and we'll go from there
 

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Usually a CV would be felt in the steering wheel and would change between acceleration and coasting but if it were a bent rim or tire out of balance up front it would likely be noticed in the steering wheel. A bad wheel bearing usually starts off as a grinding noise that worsens or lessens when rounding a curve. If you turn right and it gets worse then it's the left side and vice versa. Possibly a bent or put of balance wheel on the back? Do you feel it mostly in the seat?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, so here is the scoop.

I have not yet rotated or balanced the tires. I have a leak in the rear left tire, preventing me from rotating the tires; no sense putting a leaky tire on the front. That's just going to cause it to pull. I am bringing it in to get patched tonight.

Atc, you ask a good question. I would have to say I feel it more in the seat than the steering wheel. But it's hard to tell for sure. I have been wondering if by chance a tire is out of round. Here is something I was thinking about. There have been a couple times where that leaky rear tire was down to about 5 psi. It would make sense that a bump or pothole may have bent the rim when the tire was that low on air. It is also possible that it happened around when I put in the new axle. When I bring it in tonight I will ask the mechanic to check if the tire is out or round.

Depending on what the mechanic finds, I am tentatively planning on replacing the axle this weekend. I don't want to spend a bunch of time/money chasing this vibration around when I can't be certain the problem isn't the axle. I'm going simply on facts here. Facts: the car didn't vibrate. I put in the axle. The car now vibrates. There is no cost to me changing the axle; Advanced Auto has a warranty that allows me a free replacement. It only costs me time.

I can only pray that the problem lies in either a bent rim or a bad axle. If it's something else, well, crap.

Atc, from what you describe of a bearing, my problem doesn't seem to fit that.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Brought it in to get the tire patched. Mechanic said I have a bent rim. He isn't even sure the seal will work. The bend is right on the bead line. He said he has no doubt that it is what is causing the vibration.

So, I am going to buy a new rim. Once I get that mounted, I will let you know if that solved the problem.
 

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I've got 3 Reno/Forenza steel wheels sitting in the basement. Make it worth my time to package one up and pay for shipping and it's yours.
 
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