What Happens When The Universal Joints For The Driveshaft Go Bad I Have A CLUNK When I Shift Into Gear

Posted in Axles & Driveshaft

When in drive, something is out of balance in the rear of my 1989 Chevy van. It sounds like a worn belt on the tire, but I have new tires. It’s an intermittent sound, mostly at lower speeds or when slowing down. At high speeds, it starts to turn into a whirring sound and then disappears and then the car rides smoothly. I don’t think it’s coming from the wheels. I’m suspecting the drivetrain. It’s a two driveshaft setup w/ 3 Ujoints. It also has a bearing that the 1st, shorter driveshaft rides in. Would replacing the Ujoints make any difference?

There are 4 Answers for "What Happens When The Universal Joints For The Driveshaft Go Bad I Have A CLUNK When I Shift Into Gear"

    1. Kenneth H says:

      The only way to tell is to remove the drive shafts and check the U joints. The problem you describe is likely to be the bearing since this repair costs the most. Get it check soon.

    2. Danno says:

      The clunk could be from a trasmission mount. Does the idle seem to high? If so putting it into gear the van will make a noise and I would address the idle issue. If idle seems fine park on a flat spot put on parking brake and put in nuetral with engine off and wheels blocked crawl underneath and grab the driveshaft on both sides of the ujoint and twist your hands in opposite directions if there is play then its time for ujoints also look for a rust dust up around where the cross piece enters the bearing caps this is a very good indication there is a problem.Most factory ujoints do not have grease fittings so they never get any to lenghten there life span and if they do very few people grease them including Quick lube shops. Most of the time you need a needle tip to get at them which clogs very easy so wipe all dirt from fitting before lubeing them. All grease fittings for that matter. Also check your rear differetial fluid that may be where your noise is coming from. If found to be low pull the rear wheels and check your bearing seals for seepage.

    3. stallion1948_lloyd says:

      it could be your u-joints or you might check your pinion nut,it could have cam loose,you said its a 2 piece drive shaft,then check your carrier bearing in the middle.if its your u-joints then if you keep driving it,they can break the yokes.

    4. mrbadmood says:

      I say yes. bad ujoints can certinaly cause vibrations. With an 89 model, you’re probably due for ujoint replacement no matter what.