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Discussion Starter #1
How do you service these things? I have an 82 280ZX non-turbo with the R200 diff. I took both axles out. One slides back and forth EXTREMELY easily. The other was kinda stuck. I took the boot off of it and used some WD 40 to clean it. I worked it back and forth and it squished out this semi-solid varnish looking stuff. I figured it needed cleaning regreasing. I took the the c clip and the other clip out but I couldn't get the axle to separate. As such, I just squished out as much of the old stuff as would come out and then packed in as much new grease as possible. After that, it moved much easier than it did before, but not as freely as the other side.

Here are the symptoms that led me to the axle:

'Hopping' at low speeds. Feels like the car has a bump on one rear wheel. Checked the tires so that's not it.

Heavy rear end vibration at ~70mph.

Cyclic grinding noise coming from the rear on the stuck axle side. I thought it was brakes, but I've changed and checked them 3 times, rotor, pads and all.

All the U-joints on the axles are fine. When I had the axles out the first time, I regreased them. I replaced one on the free moving axle because the bleed screw was stuck and I boogered it up trying to get it out. I packed it with grease and put it in. Right after (like 5 miles), it didn't make any noise. After that, it made a squeaking noise. That went away in another 15 miles, so I think the grease was just getting to all the places it needed to be. Regardless, it's on the free moving side so it doesn't affect my problem.

Well, I tried to be as detailed as possible. Any thoughts?

Help guys, this is driving me nuts!!!

Thanks,

E
 

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take it to an axle rebuilder.. let them look at it.. 40 bucks to rebuild a cv .. cant be more for those sturdy R200 axles
 

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You said you checked the tires. Did you have the Pros check your tires? Sometimes they can be visually ok, but have a fault that you can't see (like a busted belt inside the tire). I have had a problem before and found that one of the weights had been knocked inside the tire, causing balance problems, and funny sounds.

I have also had issues with sticking brake parts, causing grinding funny noises around corners. If the E-brake does not fully retract, you can have this problem.

If your struts are bad, all bets are off. These can be difficult to identify. I had 4 bad ones once (car was new to me). Because I wasn't real familiar with struts, I tried to use my old shock test to see if they were OK. They all passed (you know, push down on the bumper a few times, count the rebounds...). Only after everything else was replaced did I get around to putting some KYBs in. Everything was beautiful after that.

Not a spring expert, so I have no advice for you other than make sure the springs are seated in their perches, and not broken. Also, make sure the car sits level all the way around. If the rear sags, or one side sags, replace them all.

I mentioned rear bearings earlier. They are very neglected, and rarely get serviced by the shade tree mechanic. Worth a look if nothing else turns up.

Try jacking up the rear of the car, supporting it very well with multiple jackstands, and running it slowly to try to determine where the noise comes from. Please be careful, though. Don't want your scalp being ripped off your head, or the car to fall off the stands, crush you, and then drive into your house! Hope you find it.
 

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i jsut htought of this.. first off please dont run the car while its on jackstands.. just go to your local meineke and let them look at it.. theyll put it on the lift and figure it out.. theyll probably say ujoints right away htough..
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, guys! Now more info . . .

Thanks for all the replies. I really appreciate it. Keep em coming.

1. Yes, I checked the tires by swapping and replacing. I am very familiar with the broken belt phantom. I hate that. I got a brand new tire with a broken belt once. I was not pleased. :)

2. Brakes are semi-functional. I have replaced everything in the brake system (except the Master cyl). They work and stop great. The only thing that makes me say 'semi-functional' is that sometimes they pop like they were stuck open and when I stepped on the brake, they pop closed onto the pads. My E-brake does fully retract. I fought that battle for a year and a half.

3. All four struts have been replaced with Monroes within the last 2 years. Although the front of the car sits higher than the rear. I took the stock air box off and put on a K&N. Is this enough weight reduction to cause an imbalance? I wouldn't think so but it doesn't hurt to ask.

4. To tell you the truth, when I first had this problem, my first thought was bearings because the tires had been replaced and I didn't know that the half axles weren't solid! :) I was talking to my father and he didn't think the bearings would cause the type of problem I have (hopping rear at low speeds, major vibration at highway speeds). Is there any way to check it, short of taking it out? The wheel spins freely without any noise or vibration (I did this when I took the axles out for greasing).

5. Do you think it will be around $40 to get my axle rebuilt? If so, I may go that route anyway because it's easier and, with 253,000 miles on it, I'm sure it could use it! Do you know of anywhere in the Birmingham, Alabama or ATL, GA areas to get one rebuilt reliably and preferably cheaply?

---- I don't think I'm going to run the car on jack stands. I don't like putting the IRS in that kind of position. If it were a straight axle, I might think about it. :)

Thanks for the replies guys! We'll track down this beast yet!

E
 
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