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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this on another site and didn't get any response so I'm trying it here. My daughter took off from home the other day and just down the block her 1999 Honda CRV made a loud banging/clunking sound and she came right back to the house. She said it felt like something with the steering. I backed it out of the driveway and thinking it may be a bad axle tried to make slow sharp turns thinking it may bind and make the noise again. I did get it to repeat the loud banging and it felt like it was binding which led me to believe it was an axle.

Ive worked on many cars so I'm very mechanically inclined. My other daughter owns a 1999 CRV also and I replaced the head on it and it's been running like a champ for 3 years. Anyway, I got the car in the air and found that both axles are "loose". Meaning I can grab the cv joint and move it back and forth so I assume one or both could have bound and made this loud noise. I also found two worn motor mounts and a very bad tie rod end with a lot of play.

Swapping all of these parts is an easy task but what concerns me is that while I had the front end in the air and was spinning each wheel checking out the axles, at times I was able to rotate one wheel about a half a turn without the other side moving. I never would have given this a thought being that the axles seemed so worn and were the likely cause of the noise but can anyone confirm that it is normal to be able to spin one wheel some without the other moving?

I just want to make sure that there's not a more serious transmission problem before spending $200-$300 on axels, mounts and other front end parts. Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I can make the noise happen when barely even moving so its not the links. I could actually see the wheel shake when it happens. Besides one inner tie rod being bad, surprisingly all other suspension parts are tight. The bottom left and right motor mount as well as the rear motor mount are shot as well as both axles having a lot of play in the joints. I can grab the axle at the cv joint and move it up, down, back and forth. I got all of the parts from Rock Auto and a local parts store for less than $130 so I am going to replace all the mounts, both axles and the tie rod end and see what happens. I will post my results once I complete the repairs.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, the passenger side axle was trashed. It had a ripped open boot and a lot of play. I changed it as well as the bad inner and outer tie rod and changed the drivers side axle because a boot was cracked and it was cheap so for about $40 and an hours time, why not. The bad part is, this did nothing to fix the loud clunking. Its definitely inside the trans. While rolling slow, you feel and hear a clunking and almost a slip like the axles are not engaged at the same time. I can fix anything on a car but transmissions are where I usually draw the line. I think I'll just be dropping and swapping this one.
 

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I just went thru this... mine was the bushings in the control arms. I noticed the noise as I was accelerating and braking. I also replaced the sway bar bushings at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I wish that were the case but I checked every other bushing, ball joint, tie rod, etc. and they all seem fine. This thing clunks going less than 5 mph in a straight line on a smooth surface. It's something in the transmission. With the front end up in the air sometimes I can spin the wheels and then it locks up and you hear a "clank" in the trans. I was hoping the axle that was so bad was binding and causing this but no such luck. Since the motor has a couple of seal leaks I may just replace the motor and trans. I can get a motor and trans bolted together for $1,050. Trans is $600 by itself. CRV is in good but not great shape overall. No rust, leather interior in decent shape. $1,000 may seem like a lot of money to dump in it but it's nearly worthless the way it is. If I was lucky enough to get $1,000 for it (which I don't think I would because you really can't drive it) I'd need to throw in another $1,500-$2,000 to get something about equal.
 

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Sounds like its something in the transmission.



Just kidding around...you seem to have diagnosed the issue quite well on your own.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
 
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