Broken CV joint at transmission side (inner)
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  1. #1
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    Broken CV joint at transmission side (inner)

    Hi. I have a 2003 Passat B5.5 wagon manual transmission. Had a split outer CV boot passenger side, so tried to replace it with one from O'Reillys- that did not work, so ordered an aftermarket axle with CV joints and boots already installed (from FCP Euro brand was EMPI I think--- $42.00) anyway... installed the axle, made sure to follow the instructions found in the Bentley manual. Upon driving the car out of the garage, clunking sound from passenger side. The axle broke out of the inner CV boot and ripped through the boot. The axle is now lying on the suspension and the car will not move. I engage the gear, release the clutch and no movement. Speedometer is showing speed increases during revs in gear. Can someone explain to me why the driver's side axle appears intact, but is not turning wheel? I fear I have damaged the transmission, but read that the speed sensor is on the driver's side, so perhaps I just ruined the driver's axle splines. Thanks for any suggestions. I have asked a mechanic friend to put a new boot on my OEM axle and I plan to reinstall, and return the one from FCP Euro. Could have been defective. Bummer.

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  3. #2
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    Picture?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sequel95 View Post
    Can someone explain to me why the driver's side axle appears intact, but is not turning wheel?
    "The axle broke out of the inner CV boot and ripped through the boot" sounds like the right inner CV joint on your new axle failed, so that the engine and gearbox is no longer connected to the right front wheel.

    Every car has a differential between its driven wheels, to allow each wheel to turn at a rate different from the other wheel; this enables the car to go around corners without skidding. A standard differential (which your car has) sends power to whichever wheel(s) can turn. In your car's case, when you apply power, the differential (lives in the transmission case) sends the power to the right side - all the diff knows is that the right side turns. It sends no power to the left side, and the car doesn't move.

    Here is an old movie but an accurate presentation of how a differential works.
    Last edited by dbrick; 03-22-2014 at 05:46 PM.

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    Thanks for the replies. I will have pics as soon as I get the car back into my garage. Hopefully tomorrow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sequel95 View Post
    installed the axle, made sure to follow the instructions found in the Bentley manual. Upon driving the car out of the garage, clunking sound from passenger side. The axle broke out of the inner CV boot and ripped through the boot. The axle is now lying on the suspension and the car will not move.
    Was the new axle that went in the same length as the old axle that came out? I wonder if you got the wrong part?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    "The axle broke out of the inner CV boot and ripped through the boot" sounds like the right inner CV joint on your new axle failed, so that the engine and gearbox is no longer connected to the right front wheel.

    Every car has a differential between its driven wheels, to allow each wheel to turn at a rate different from the other wheel; this enables the car to go around corners without skidding. A standard differential (which your car has) sends power to whichever wheel(s) can turn. In your car's case, when you apply power, the differential (lives in the transmission case) sends the power to the right side - all the diff knows is that the right side turns. It sends no power to the left side, and the car doesn't move.

    Here is an old movie but an accurate presentation of how a differential works.

    Great video, funny but explains it really well.

  8. #7
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    And this is Yet Another Example why B5 Friends Don't Let Friends Use Cheap Chinese Axles (or Auto Store re-mans.) Re-boot or Raxles, every time!

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    And this is Yet Another Example why B5 Friends Don't Let Friends Use Cheap Chinese Axles (or Auto Store re-mans.) Re-boot or Raxles, every time!
    I agree 100%, plus if available, junkyard OEM of course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sirwired View Post
    And this is Yet Another Example why B5 Friends Don't Let Friends Use Cheap Chinese Axles (or Auto Store re-mans.) Re-boot or Raxles, every time!
    Exactly! I was trying to be cheap. Having a friend help me push up driveway, and will begin disassembly. Will take pics of damaged CV.

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    I think Steve may be on to the answer. Just driving out of the garage couldn't have snapped that axle. It sounds more like the axle's splines pulled out of the triple rotor, which could happen if you tried to bolt up a shorter drive shaft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ylwagon View Post
    I think Steve may be on to the answer. Just driving out of the garage couldn't have snapped that axle. It sounds more like the axle's splines pulled out of the triple rotor, which could happen if you tried to bolt up a shorter drive shaft.
    Steve and ylwagon ... You guys were right. The axle was too short. I am having a local Indy shop install boots on my original axle and will return the incorrect axle to FCPEuro. Not sure if they sent me wrong part. Here are a few pics. Will let y'all know how it goes later in the week upon reinstall of original axle with new boots. Thanks!

  13. #12
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    Pictures of damaged inner CV joint and ripped boot.

    http://s345.photobucket.com/user/tom.../2003%20Passat
    Last edited by sequel95; 03-23-2014 at 07:10 PM.

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    Well I was almost right; it looks like the rollers actually pulled out of their slots in the CV body. Glad you've got if figured though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbrick View Post
    "The axle broke out of the inner CV boot and ripped through the boot" sounds like the right inner CV joint on your new axle failed, so that the engine and gearbox is no longer connected to the right front wheel.

    Every car has a differential between its driven wheels, to allow each wheel to turn at a rate different from the other wheel; this enables the car to go around corners without skidding. A standard differential (which your car has) sends power to whichever wheel(s) can turn. In your car's case, when you apply power, the differential (lives in the transmission case) sends the power to the right side - all the diff knows is that the right side turns. It sends no power to the left side, and the car doesn't move.

    Here is an old movie but an accurate presentation of how a differential works.
    Great link.

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    So another typical example of misplaced blame and a subsequent bashing of a "brand" most have never tried before because it sounds "Chinese".
    Sometimes when buying parts it helps to look in the "manufacturer's catalog" for proper fitment. Also, it doesn't hurt one bit to measure and visually inspect the part against the one you pull out of the car, before attempting the install.
    Both EMPI cv axles I bought 5 years back (when I wasn't yet familiar with all of the "fancy names" merchants that became staples among VW/Audi part merchants online) off an Ebay merchant are still going strong on the A6 and the boots are still intact.
    -
    It's nice you figured out you got the wrong part.

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    Thanks chefro, for the kind words. I used FCPEuro's control arm kit and everything is working great. I suspect the wrong axle got put in the incorrect box. I am sure FCP will be apologetic and refund my purchase. Also, you are right, I should have measured before installing.

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    I purchased a set of EMPI replacement axles for my car years ago. The inner CV joint on one of them literally fell apart while trying to install it. I took both of them and deposited them in the nearest trash can and ordered a new set from Raxles. I had tried at least two other Chinese brands previously (OP Parts and some brand from a local auto parts store) and they were both crap. EMPI used to be a quality brand for VW parts back when I had a 1970 Beetle. I won't buy from them again.

    Either buy rebuilt axles from Raxles or replace the damaged CV joint with a new one. Chinese axles are not an option, IMHO. They're inexpensive because they're cheap and poorly made. They also tend to come with cheap replacement bolts, some of which use hex socket heads rather than hardened triple-square OEM bolts. The hex socket bolts tend to strip and are mader of softer steel. Getting one of these out once you've stripped the socket is a royal PITA (I know this from experience). They will cost you more in lost time and aggravation than buying a set from Raxles.

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    Hey guys, I am having a similar problem, clicking sound coming from the right side of the car. The outer boot was ripped, so I took the axle out. Now, I have it sitting here, and I am wondering if I should clean the bearing and regrease/reboot it, or if the whole axle needs replaced? Thoughts?

    Also, the inner cv joint cover has no tabs, it is an insert. Does anyone know the best way to remove that without tearing it to hell?

    Thanks guys

  20. #19
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    If it was clicking it needs more than just new grease and boot. You can rebuild this axle yourself or replace the entire axle. It's up to you. Chances are you'll only need to replace the outer joint on that shaft (and grease and boot).

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    Quote Originally Posted by LayneCVan View Post
    Hey guys, I am having a similar problem, clicking sound coming from the right side of the car. The outer boot was ripped, so I took the axle out. Now, I have it sitting here, and I am wondering if I should clean the bearing and regrease/reboot it, or if the whole axle needs replaced? Thoughts?

    Also, the inner cv joint cover has no tabs, it is an insert. Does anyone know the best way to remove that without tearing it to hell?

    Thanks guys
    Once it starts clicking, the joint is bad and must be replaced.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LayneCVan View Post
    Hey guys, I am having a similar problem, clicking sound coming from the right side of the car. The outer boot was ripped, so I took the axle out. Now, I have it sitting here, and I am wondering if I should clean the bearing and regrease/reboot it, or if the whole axle needs replaced? Thoughts?
    You can always take the CV apart, clean everything, then assess the damage. If you find it worn and loose, which wouldn't be surprising, you could try re-greasing and see what happens. I've also heard of people swapping the left and right outer CVs to make the balls drive on the un-worn surfaces of the grooves too.

  23. #22
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    I just replaced the outer boots on both my CV joints. In the process I discovered that the right side joint was worn badly. It wasn't clicking, but the wear was pretty significant so I decided to replace it. AutohausAZ had the best price I could find on a new outer CV joint for my '99 B5. A CV joint kit should come with all of the washers, clip, new boot, clamps, grease and new axle bolt. You may also want to get a new set of bolts to secure the inner CV joint to the transaxle as they recommend changing them when removing the axle. I've reused mine with no problems.

    FYI, if you decide to replace the joint you'll need a couple of things to make the job go smoothly. Get yourself a brass drift for driving off the old joint and a 3-lb maul for doing the hammering. A couple of quick blows and it will pop the joint right off. Just make sure you place the drift in the correct location (i.e., on the back edge of the star wheel spoke with the boot cut off). I watched a lot of YouTube videos from idiots that tried using a 16-oz carpenter's hammer and couldn't budge the joint, causing them to resort to all sorts of creative methods (mostly stupid) for separating it from the axle.

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