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Highly suspect the carrier bearing.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
Sh-t. PZ thought that also. Will need to think about that one. If heat shield fasteners where not disintegrated I would take a look. Thanks
 

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I had a weird clunking at certain speeds and though I know that's not exactly what you are reporting I will mention three things.

1. Tire tread sound. Some tires have tread that may start or wear to a vibrating sound like a pack of bees or something at certain speeds.

2. Gear oil empty. The passat front passenger side axle takes gear oil (not ATF). It's a thick oil. It's supposed to be lifetime but check that level. It's supposed to be right up to the bottom of the threads on the hole, in other words you fill it until it pours out. Wait 5 minutes for oil to sink in since it's so thick (manual says this) then check level again. (Note I don't recall if this applies to AWD, I have FWD.) PZ has a thread on differential fluid change here (link is to the internet archive version so that the pics are visible).

3. Tie rod loose. I know you said you checked them but if you are unfamiliar with that (like I was) there's really very little play to cause a problem. For example as you can see in my thread here the bad one only had an extra 1/16" of play.

The clunking went away for me after I disconnected the tie rod end to pull on it to check that for play on the inner rod and then put everything back together. I definitely need a new tie rod but the way I spun it or something I guess fixed it. Or adding the gear oil did it. I really have no idea. Just hoping it gets me to this summer so I can put in a new tie rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Soon after I got this car I changed all fluids. 3 gear cases, transmission, engine. They should be full, haven’t seen anything leaking. Only “clunk” I get is sometimes just before stopping when slowing down, assume transmission, another issue for another day. After I fix my Suburban, will check front end stuff again. Would rather do anything other than going after carrier bearing. PZ obviously has taken every single part on one of these apart, he makes it sound easy. Wish he wasn’t a couple thousand miles away. I like AWD advantages especially in Maine but just have more potential drivetrain issues to deal with. Will let you know.
 

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The lack of rust helped me quite a bit. I eventually got severe clunking while making hard turns as the U-joint self destructed after the bushing replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Assume axle joint? Are there u-joints at center bearing in driveshaft to rear?
 

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Discussion Starter #47
NM PZ, I found some info on driveshaft and picture. Found a post on this forum that talks about removing it but all the pictures that he refers to are missing. Will keep looking around.
 

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NM PZ, I found some info on driveshaft and picture. Found a post on this forum that talks about removing it but all the pictures that he refers to are missing. Will keep looking around.
maybe PZ still has the pics...

Here is a b5 audi thread:
 

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I only had one pic of the driveshaft when it was out. There is a U-joint in the middle and it has CV joints at each end. The U-joint is pressed in, but the show that replaced mine made it replaceable with circlips cut into the joint. I did not take any pics of that.
98898
 

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Discussion Starter #50
Thanks PZ. Gonna leave for now. If going on highway will take Toyota
 

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I made it 3K miles mostly at 80mph with the bad U-joint. Vibration was minimal at 80mph, but really bad at 40-75mph. It felt like driving a bulldozer.
 

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Discussion Starter #52
This is similar. Get a slow speed minor vibration 40ish. Then much worse 60ish but better at 70. When you say u-joint you mean in driveshaft to rear I assume not a CV joint in one of the axles
 

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Correct, the U-joint is at the center of the prop shaft with a CV at each end. It's a "staked" joint, pressed into place. You could grind down the stakes on each side and press is out, then press in a new one, but it has to be perfectly centered and I did not have the equipment for that.
Best pics are here:
and here:
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Wouldn’t dare try to get new joint in perfect. If I go after it I would have friend of mine look at it, he is a machinist. Nothing to do up here, everything closed, would be good time to remove. Looking around I see several places that sell entire shafts, big $. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Just read link about center bearing. Could probably handle that, would just need to figure out a way to re-attach heat shield, and hope u-joint is OK. Decided that I don’t want to take a chance trying to get a new u-joint in perfect and re-stake. Like that article, but if I do job it will be solo.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Well, driving today and vibration really bad in dash board area so maybe it is front end issue. Goes from bad at 60 to smooth at 62, weird.
 

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My U-joint had rust streaks coming from the inside of one of the caps. I am sure it fell apart internally when I pulled the driveshaft apart to change the bearing. It was vibrating right after that.
I expect you can make a new heat shield from aluminum sheet and stick on reflective material.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
If and when I pull I will invent something, going to check front end again because today dash was vibrating big time but didn’t feel around parking brake
 

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Your vibration sounds a lot like mine. Wobble felt through the steering wheel, worst at 35 and 65 mph. Diagnosed as bad inner cv joints. Replacing the front axles next week with GSP’s from ECS tuning. $138 for the pair and 2 new axle bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
How can I tell if they are bad, don’t feel any play
 
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