Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby RASTROX4 [OP] » January 1st 2013, 7:42am

2005 AWD - recently van developed a loud "clunk" from the rear end and the van jerks each time it sounds. Feels like the rear end is about ready to drop out fron under the van. Dealer had it for two days and couldn't find a problem. Started doing it at highway speeds but has gotten to where it does it periodically at any speed. Have had the rear end rebuilt and fuel tank removed prior to this problem occurring. Anyone have answer? Help :screaming:
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby Shad0wXCalibur » January 2nd 2013, 4:02am

Its possible the rear end wasnt rebuilt properly. Did you rebuild it or have a shop do it? They have to be assembled and shimmed with precision or they fail. Have you checked u-joints?
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby RASTROX4 [OP] » January 5th 2013, 12:47am

I had a local Chevy dealer rebuild it. I took it back to the same dealer once the problem occurred, they kept it for two days and drove it without finding anything. I'm thinking about taking it to another shop that speciallizes in transmissions and rear ends to see if they can find a problem.
Original Poster [OP]
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby gwd » January 5th 2013, 5:47am

I would also investigate the transfer-case. It might be engaging and disengaging improperly. There is a motor that is mounted on the case that does the engaging.
When the problem occurs the noise and shock might make it travel and sound like it is coming from the back.

Have you looked over the universal joints, they may be worn.

Look at the drum brakes for uneven wear and broken springs, latches, bars or damaged over tighten pads that are sticking.

If it is the differential then see if the pos-traction parts/springs are working properly.
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby redfury » January 6th 2013, 2:50am

my first thought was the transfer case as well. Might be easier to find if you had someone with an ear to the floor behind the drivers seat to see if they could detect the noise under the van.
A temporary fix usually becomes a permanent solution, therefore it does not exist.
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby 96Blastro » January 9th 2013, 5:44pm

Pull off your doghouse and watch your motor as you shift from park to reverse to drive and then reverse and park. If motor leans like a fat chick on back of a street bike then motor mounts could be the problem.
Check your transmisdion mount bolts, ive had a few back out on me after the motor mounts went bad.

Check your rear brake drums for glazing, hit them with a little bit of steel wool, clean them and lube all the moving parts with brake lube. Then if you have the self adjusting drums like mine, mash the gas in reverse and get a lil speed up, then hit the brakes with modetate force bringing you to a stop, do it a couple times.

Did any of that fix it? I had the same problem youre describing in a few different ways and each one of these solved a different clunk at some time. If none of these then check your rear leaves to see if theyre worn out and could be axle wrap or anything these other dudes said.

Hope it helps,
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby DiverNick » February 10th 2013, 8:23pm

Rastrox4
How did you make out with the clunking? My 01 Safari just started the clunking.
Pretty scary eh?
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby 95AstroLT » May 3rd 2017, 7:44pm

Not sure if my "clunk" is similar, but we've had our 97 Safari for about 4 years (91,000 miles when we got it, 147,000 now) and has had a clunk when coming to a stop and then releasing the brake and rolling forward. Used to be very occasional, now it's more often than not.
Sensation is what I would liken to having a watermelon rolling around in the rear compartment. More of a "thump" than a clunk. Goes into gear quietly, smooth and quiet going down the road.
I have not been able to find anything suspicious in the rear suspension. However, if the rear is raised, whether by lifting the axle or by lifting the body, the thump/clunk dissipates for a few days.
One additional clue is it seems to never happen if I shift to neutral when coming to a stop. And nothing unusual when when going back into gear.
So today I took a look at the transmission mount, and it looks suspicious. Could the trans be lifting at the rear when coming to a stop and drop back into place when the stress of stopping is removed?
Here is a pic of the mount. Just looking for guidance on the noise in general and specifically on whether it might be worth taking the mount out to inspect it.
Thanks!
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby nosxjeep » May 3rd 2017, 8:38pm

Bought my 2005 AWD with similar clunk in the rear and vibration at 65+mph.
Transmission and Tcase have been looked over.
Rearend got some lube and it was a little better afterwards, but still present.
I'm looking to regear/rebuild and add locker.

Being that yours was just worked on I'd say that the shop messed something up. I've learned to not assume that a dealer has professionals working in the garage.
Try a different shop for sure!
I'm curious about the fix, keep us updated!
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby 95AstroLT » May 3rd 2017, 11:33pm

I now see my question about transmission mount being bad was kind of stupid - hard to tell with it in the van at rest!
However it did have a telltale sign compared to the new one I bought at Advance. And then once out it was cracked - not bad, not good, but probably worth replacing.
As to the clunk / thump it seems to be about the same. Really does seem to be something loose in the rear, but I have not been able to find it. By comparison, our 95 with twice the miles does nothing of the kind. Maybe a characteristic of metal leaf springs vs. fiberglass? But then, that's an issue for a different section of this site.
Best regards and happy vanning!
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Re: Driveline "clunks" and van jerks periodically

Postby nosxjeep » May 4th 2017, 5:05pm

I do have some transmission mounts for sale if that does turn out to be it.
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