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I ask because most of what you are describing is not how a CVT works. It is constantly variable and has no "gears", just an infinate amount of gear ratio that operates with two large pulleys that change diameter and a metal belt. It is normal for it to seem hesitant from a take off and the whining noise that you describe is consistant with the speed of the engine and the cvt until the drive and driven pulleys come closer together in ratio. As for the clunk noise, that could be an issue with the CV axles.