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sprinkles08, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 22821
Experience:  ASE Master and Advanced level certified. Factory trained with 15 years dealership experience
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Pontiac sunfire: 98 sunfire 4 speed automatic. stupidly while

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98 sunfire 4 speed automatic. stupidly while driving at 30mph something caused shift lever to hit reverse for a split second! Clunk! Dont think damage is internal to tranny, cause shifts smoothly in all gears without noises or vibrations . . . but i am getting a real loud rapid bumping noise in close to the center of car whenever the power to the wheels goes slack. speed of rapid thumping seems relative to rpms or speed of vehicle. if gas is applied and power goes back to the wheels the thumping immediatly stops. If when coasting or slowing the throttle is applied along with the brake the car can be slowed to a stop without any thumping. So I am hoping that the problem is the engine side cv joint. Ps another less violent tapping can be heard at the outer right side of the car when making solid left turns --im thinking outer cv joint there. do you think a axel with both new joints will fix me or is there a possibility of tranny damage?

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!


It does sound like you have damage to at least one inner and one outer CV joint. It's possible that you could have done trans damage but your symptoms do point to CV joint issues.


It's not uncommon for a worn inner CV joint to cause a noise or vibration that comes and goes with throttle application. If you have a joint with damaged bearings or the race area that the bearings sit in is damaged then it will cause what you are having. It would have a look at the motor mounts to make sure none are damaged and throwing off powertrain alignment, you may also be able to feel excessive play in one or both of the inner joints.


The noise when turning is almost surely coming from a bad outer CV joint. A bad outer joint will make a cyclic noise when turning but will normally go away when going straight.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the excellent reply. One more thing please - I am a pretty good jack-leg basic mechanical guy, working daily with safes, vaults, locks etc. and have managed to accomplish most new things with decent instructions. However I've never replaced an axxel before. Looking in my basic book I dont see a real hitch on the outer side, but the inside where it goes in the tranny - I see some suggesting a slam-hammer attached to the axxel with an adaptor to overcome the retaining ring. Is that what you would suggest? Also the seals are supposed to be pried out before pulling the axxel, correct? Do they need to be replaced or will they still seal after re-installing them. If there are any other things a newbie can screw up on this operation please let me know as I plan to get a new right side complete axxel and attack it myself. (always broke) Thanks again

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

am i supposed to submit the rating before i get an answer to my follow-up question? it looks like the rating is to be done after all replies are answered, but if not let me know. thanks. (excellent so far)

You can rate my performance at any time and rating my performance doesn't cut off communication.


A slide hammer isn't usually necessary to get an axle out, only in rare cases. What you should be able to do is insert a prybar between the inner joint and transmission and pop the retaining ring loose by sharply prying out on the axle. Sometimes you have to use the prybar as a large chisel and tap the end with a hammer, but you shouldn't have much trouble getting it out.


If the axle seal is leaking then you can replace it once the axle is out.

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