U-joint or rear end - Toyota Tacoma Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 02:18 PM
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U-joint or rear end

I have been having a clank / bang problem with my 04 2.4L 2wd manual transmission Tacoma lately. When going from reverse to 1st and then accelerating, or when down shifting and letting the clutch out to engine brake, I get a loud bang from the rear of the truck, I can feel it as well. I have replaced a defective right rear wheel bearing (curb checked it a while back) , defective lower shock bushings, and tightened an aftermarket exhaust clamp that was loose, but the problem still persists.

If I don't engine brake, or if when driving in reverse I really baby it, I never hear/feel the problem.

Any feelings on if it is most likely a defective u-joint, rear end, or maybe even the slip joint at the transmission sticking?

I have drained the rear end, the oil looks clear. I have jacked up one rear wheel and tried turning the tire while in gear to induce the noise but everything seems tight. Our rear end design sucks in that you can't take off the cover to inspect the gears.

Thanks,
Bryan

Last edited by Bryan 93 ?; 11-21-2012 at 02:21 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 02:46 PM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

Have you tried greasing the u-joints and slip joints? The slip joint clunk is a common problem.

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#3 (permalink) Old 11-21-2012, 03:50 PM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

I believe there are no greasable fittings on the front of rear u-joint for 2wd models, also the slip joint is not greasable either, it just goes directly into the transmission, so no I haven't greased either one. I have a one piece drive shaft as well.

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-03-2012, 05:54 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

Welp, I replaced both of my U-joint. Now they have greaseable fittings. I also lubricated the spline that goes into the transmission really well, it seemed fine when I took it out though. And the noise / clunk feeling still persists. Downshifted pretty hard into third gear getting on the highway today, CLUNK, when I let the clutch out because I didn't rev match or exceed the engine RPM to the vehicle speed. Deer runs out in front of me on my way to work, downshift into second and let the clutch out fast to help brake, CLUNK. Very frustrating.

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#5 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 06:44 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

I just fixed my clunking noise... and guess what is was? my spare tire was loose.. check that out and if you checked everything in the rear and it seemed ok.. your tie rods can be causing that and you thinking the noise is coming from the back
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#6 (permalink) Old 02-14-2013, 10:52 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

I haven't had a spare tire in years. I did just get a recall notice on the spare tire holder rusting out and failing.

I think I might have narrowed it down to a broken spring perch. I'm still not sure, too cold to work on it. I did notice that when I was testing for U-joint movement that the rear pumpkin looks like it moves alot depending on the force direction from the driveshaft.

When I was testing the U-joints I jacked up one of the rear wheels while in first gear, I then rotated that wheel by hand to load the drive shaft. I noticed that depending on the direction I was trying to turn the wheel the front of the pumpkin was either being pushed upwards, or downwards, and it was a significant amount of movement.

For now I have been babying the truck when going in reverse, and not downshifting too much. Once spring time hits I will tear it appart some more. I finally got some impact tools so hopefully removing the U-bolts in the back wont be such a pain in the ass.
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#7 (permalink) Old 02-16-2013, 08:16 PM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

If its a xcab check carrier bearing and trans mount
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#8 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 05:17 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

Not knowing the history of loads, driving practices, or road conditions. It is extremely possible that the rear springs are sprung.. For lack of terminology. Could be, that they are wore out and allowing the "rear" to move causing the clunk. Quick"er" less expensive fix would be some load helper shocks. The type with springs over them to help support the rear. On your truck, I believe a shock from like a 1983 Dodge W series would work. They look like: http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/mon_loadlevel.cfm Or, take it to a spring shop and see about getting a leaf added or replace the old with new.

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#9 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 05:18 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

Quote:
Originally Posted by NVTACO View Post
If its a xcab check carrier bearing and trans mount
He stated one piece drive shaft. May not have a carrier bearing.

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#10 (permalink) Old 02-17-2013, 08:11 AM
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Re: U-joint or rear end

Yes, only a 2.4 liter truck. Single cab, single piece drive shaft. The leafs are almost brand new as the frame was replaced last year, or maybe two years ago now. I believe the leafs were replaced with the frame.

I have the problem even when the rear regular leafs are clamped to the overload leaf. There certainly is almost zero allowed movement when the truck is basically riding on the overloads. With that in mind I don't think it has anything to do with the rear springs.
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