CV Joint Service And ReplacementCV Joint Service And Replacement
Talk about busy work. The humble, hard-working constant velocity universal joint (CVU) has the thankless demanding job of getting power to drive the wheels, plus the extra added responsibility of steering input. It does three jobs - power transfer, suspension travel, and steering. It takes your front-drive transverse engine's rotary motion and applies it to the front wheels to get you where you're going. Because you must also have steering and suspension mobility, the CVU must fully articulate.
The CVU is a full circle flexible universal joint that has to work smoothly in all directions. And if you think constant velocity universal joints are for front-drive only, consider this: Vehicles with full independent suspension need CVUs in back as much as vehicles with rear transaxle engines and powertrains.
There are two basic kinds of CVUs - ball type and tripod. As a rule, ball types are located at the brake/hub on the outside while tripods are positioned inside at the transaxle.
On average, CVUs last about 100,000 miles depending on where you live and how you drive. The greatest reason CVUs fail is torn boots, which allow lubrication to escape, and dirt and moisture to get in causing accelerated wear and tear. If you live in a dry climate with high ozone levels, CVU boots rarely last the life of the joint. Excessively worn CVUs develop a noise in rhythm with wheel rotation, which becomes more pronounced in turns. New and remanufactured CVU axle shaft assemblies are available from any auto parts store. Although a lot of us replace CVU assemblies only as necessary, it is best to replace both sides even though only one of them has failed. It makes more sense to consolidate this job and be done with it. For extra added vehicle reliability, rebuild your front suspension and brakes whenever you replace a CVU assembly, which makes your front end good for at least another 100,000 miles.
Federal-Mogul - (248) 354-7700 - www.federal-mogul.com
Ramon's Automotive - (661) 274-7900
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