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Hello Everyone,

I recently had a front end clunking noise that was rather mysterious. I noticed it several months ago and often went searching the car and the internet for possible problems. In fact, about once a week I would look over the vehicle trying to discover what was causing it. I finally did discover the cause and solve the problem. The only reason I'm writing about it here (1st post) is in case anyone else has a similar noise and perhaps this will save them the time and effort I spent in the process.

Background: I've had the CRV for many years. Bought it used at about 115K miles. Since then I've always done the maintenance work myself and have been very pleased with its reliability. Now I have 370K miles and it's still working well. The things that I've changed I never really blamed Honda for as I would expect them to wear in the miles I've put on it.

Prior, minor fixes have included: Typical fluid changes, front wheel bearings, timing belts (3 by now), water pump, new exhaust valves (burnt #3 towing an aircraft from Washington to Michigan - probably didn't have them adjusted right), new clutch (it's a manual transmission), rear diff fluid changes, new rear springs and mounts (the last straw for them was towing a 50 foot mobile home - not a camper trailer), new engine mounts, new brakes - twice by now, new catalytic converter, new fan blades plug wires and distributor (after an engine compartment fire) and new O2 sensors - about 4 by now.

The Noise: So a few months ago, I was driving and started hearing a rather, solid, and hefty clunking noise coming from the front end. From the drivers seat it sounded like it was coming from under the dash or under the driver's feet. It was certainly not a rattle. It also did not make any more noise going over bumps or a rough road. It also was not cyclic with steering motion nor with drivetrain RPM. I never heard it with the engine running but not driving.

Problem Finding: I went through all of the forums and checked everything I knew or heard other people talking about. I checked the shocks / struts. Hardware fine. I checked the wheel bearings, fine. Checked the ball joints, fine...but one had slight play so I changed the upper control arm and joint. Checked the steering knuckles, rack, bushings, bolts, fine. Went over all of the engine mounts, fine. Accessories, fine. Sway bar and bushings, tight (remember there was no change in clunks when driving a serpentine?). I was stumped - yet didn't like the sound of it. It sounded like a heavy socket was left somewhere in the engine compartment.

Then today, determined to have another look, I jacked the CRV up on stands again - it's probably been on the jack a half dozen times by now for this problem. I checked over everything again...before...almost by accident I discovered what was making the noise...

The Problem: So there is a vibration dampening ring on the half-shafts (front driveshafts) that is a heavy ring of metal encased in a visco-elastic damping rubber. This is quite common on other places of the CRV as well such as the accessory drive pulley. This ring had separated from the shaft and was riding, loosely, on the half-shaft beside the original mount. Basically, it became a loose ring entirely surrounding the shaft. When driving, it would 'clunk' every once in a while but had no correlation with steering or wheel RPM. If you have a clunking noise like this - it's easy enough to grab these by hand and give them a twist - if they turn the half-shaft great. If they are loose...well, that's what caused my problem.

The Fix: Once discovered, the "fix" only took 15 minutes. Using an angle grinder, I ground the ring in two and removed it. I know the damping is there for a reason and if I need to get a new half-shaft in the future - maybe it will come with one. As an aside, some of the rebuilt half-shafts from the typical parts stores in the U.S. do not come with the damping ring anyway. Now I'm as happy as ever with the CRV.

The Quick Version: 1998 Honda CRV 370K miles, 2nd owner, loud clunking noise not associated with steering, or cyclic with drivetrain or suspension. Damping ring separated from original half-shaft mount became a loose 'ring' on the shaft. Removal of ring solved the clunking.
 

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Thanks for sharing this, however, those 'rings' are probably there for dynamic dampening of the shaft while underway. You could be looking at wearing out the CV and/or the input into the trannie if you don't replace it with another one.
Makers of rebuilt shafts don't care if you wear your trannie out, they're just interested in selling you an axle shaft.
Honda put the 'ring' there for a reason.
YMMV.
 
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Thank you for sharing.
This is very easy to do
If the vibration eliminator is on the axle find the spot on the axle where it was attached
Clean the axle to get rid of any dirt and debris and grease. Take a small roll of 1/2 inch electrical tape and wrap the axle with the tape to match the diameter of the space left on the VE. Try to put the Ve over the tape to make sure that the fit is tight. Remove Ve from tape and totally apply superglue or jb weld. Once totally covered replace the Ve over the tape and center
Let the glue dry. Now wrap both sides of the axle around the Ve with more tape. Place a zip tie over the tape as to lock the Ve in position if it ever should come loose again
.
 

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This is very easy to do
If the vibration eliminator is on the axle find the spot on the axle where it was attached
Clean the axle to get rid of any dirt and debris and grease. Take a small roll of 1/2 inch electrical tape and wrap the axle with the tape to match the diameter of the space left on the VE. Try to put the Ve over the tape to make sure that the fit is tight. Remove Ve from tape and totally apply superglue or jb weld. Once totally covered replace the Ve over the tape and center
Let the glue dry. Now wrap both sides of the axle around the Ve with more tape. Place a zip tie over the tape as to lock the Ve in position if it ever should come loose again
.
Thank you so much!
 

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I would prefer they not put dampers on these at all. Our '99 Acura got stranded since the axle rusted out beneath the rubber "donut" damper!! A properly made shaft won't vibrate anyway, and the aftermarket axle shaft performed perfectly without one.
 

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Hello Everyone,

I recently had a front end clunking noise that was rather mysterious. I noticed it several months ago and often went searching the car and the internet for possible problems. In fact, about once a week I would look over the vehicle trying to discover what was causing it. I finally did discover the cause and solve the problem. The only reason I'm writing about it here (1st post) is in case anyone else has a similar noise and perhaps this will save them the time and effort I spent in the process.

Background: I've had the CRV for many years. Bought it used at about 115K miles. Since then I've always done the maintenance work myself and have been very pleased with its reliability. Now I have 370K miles and it's still working well. The things that I've changed I never really blamed Honda for as I would expect them to wear in the miles I've put on it.

Prior, minor fixes have included: Typical fluid changes, front wheel bearings, timing belts (3 by now), water pump, new exhaust valves (burnt #3 towing an aircraft from Washington to Michigan - probably didn't have them adjusted right), new clutch (it's a manual transmission), rear diff fluid changes, new rear springs and mounts (the last straw for them was towing a 50 foot mobile home - not a camper trailer), new engine mounts, new brakes - twice by now, new catalytic converter, new fan blades plug wires and distributor (after an engine compartment fire) and new O2 sensors - about 4 by now.

The Noise: So a few months ago, I was driving and started hearing a rather, solid, and hefty clunking noise coming from the front end. From the drivers seat it sounded like it was coming from under the dash or under the driver's feet. It was certainly not a rattle. It also did not make any more noise going over bumps or a rough road. It also was not cyclic with steering motion nor with drivetrain RPM. I never heard it with the engine running but not driving.

Problem Finding: I went through all of the forums and checked everything I knew or heard other people talking about. I checked the shocks / struts. Hardware fine. I checked the wheel bearings, fine. Checked the ball joints, fine...but one had slight play so I changed the upper control arm and joint. Checked the steering knuckles, rack, bushings, bolts, fine. Went over all of the engine mounts, fine. Accessories, fine. Sway bar and bushings, tight (remember there was no change in clunks when driving a serpentine?). I was stumped - yet didn't like the sound of it. It sounded like a heavy socket was left somewhere in the engine compartment.

Then today, determined to have another look, I jacked the CRV up on stands again - it's probably been on the jack a half dozen times by now for this problem. I checked over everything again...before...almost by accident I discovered what was making the noise...

The Problem: So there is a vibration dampening ring on the half-shafts (front driveshafts) that is a heavy ring of metal encased in a visco-elastic damping rubber. This is quite common on other places of the CRV as well such as the accessory drive pulley. This ring had separated from the shaft and was riding, loosely, on the half-shaft beside the original mount. Basically, it became a loose ring entirely surrounding the shaft. When driving, it would 'clunk' every once in a while but had no correlation with steering or wheel RPM. If you have a clunking noise like this - it's easy enough to grab these by hand and give them a twist - if they turn the half-shaft great. If they are loose...well, that's what caused my problem.

The Fix: Once discovered, the "fix" only took 15 minutes. Using an angle grinder, I ground the ring in two and removed it. I know the damping is there for a reason and if I need to get a new half-shaft in the future - maybe it will come with one. As an aside, some of the rebuilt half-shafts from the typical parts stores in the U.S. do not come with the damping ring anyway. Now I'm as happy as ever with the CRV.

The Quick Version: 1998 Honda CRV 370K miles, 2nd owner, loud clunking noise not associated with steering, or cyclic with drivetrain or suspension. Damping ring separated from original half-shaft mount became a loose 'ring' on the shaft. Removal of ring solved the clunking.
Now that’s how your supposed to reply. Thank you! I’ve had the same sound and can’t find anything so I will definitely take a look at this.
 

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1998 CR-V EX 4spd auto "Big Green" completely stock with roof rack and front mud flaps
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I've got a similar noise, but the noise is still there even after putting in replacement CV shafts that don't have the dynamic dampers. I have yet to replace my sway bar end links, which I think are the source of the problem, but I wanted to point out that broken dynamic dampers are not the sole source of clunking sounds.
 

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OP hasn't been here in over almost 6 years, and the good info here can be found via a SEARCH, so closing the thread.
 
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