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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
I have read lots of threads on this site but some are very old and I didn't find a real solution for me so here goes:
I have a 2005 5-Speed E with 220,000 kms. There is a noticeable vibration on acceleration in 1st through 3rd gears (most noticeable in first gear at 3/4 to full throttle). More noticable when turning left or right. All motor and transmission mounts are good, as are the ball joints, tie rod ends and struts. Right axle/jack shaft bearing is good with no crack in the housing. No noises such as popping or clicking on turning either way. New tires are balanced on the aluminum OEM 5-spoke rims. Its had this problem since I bought the car in the summer on a private sale. I replaced the right CV axle (which was an old aftermarket unit) with a good OEM Honda Element axle from a scrap yard. Both inboard and outbard joints worked smoothly. No improvement after instaling. I then replaced the left CV axle with a new GSP aftermarket axle since left OEM Element CV axles are much harder to find. No improvement and in fact it seemed to make matters worse so I put my old one back in which is also an OEM Honda CV axle. While I had the old axle out I tested both inboard and outboard joints. The inboard joint seemed good with no slop but the outboard joint had stiff and loose positions.
Questions are: If you had this same problem with your E, what was the real cause of the vibration and what did you do to solve the problem? Do I just have to regrease the outbard CV joint and install a new boot or is the CV axle shot? Thanks!
 

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2007 EX AWD AT (two!)
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Sounds like the axle (similar problem on my Accords). You could regrease it, but if the bearings inside are worn, it probably won't help for long. The left axle is common from 2003 to 2011; still shows as available from Majestic. There is a place called Raxles that rebuilds OEM axles with new parts, including the damper (I bet your aftermarket axle doesn't have one).
 

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Most likely axles. Inner joints wearing out. I have had some cheaper new aftermarket axles also vibrate. In the end it has always been axles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I got a quote from Raxles and converting currency plus shipping to Canada and duty it's still over $600CDN but less than a whole new axle from a Honda dealer. That said I can buy just the inboard or the outboard CV joints and that reduces the cost....somewhat. Has anyone tried a used OEM axle from eBay? I can get one delivered for under $200CDN but it ahas 116k miles (yes, miles) on it.
 

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I don't know that I'd ever put a used one in unless I was in a real pinch - or to use until I got a new one or had the original rebuilt.
 

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Have you taken a peak underneath to see if an axle boot is torn (you'll see/feel grease around the area)? Then you'll know which side to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you taken a peak underneath to see if an axle boot is torn (you'll see/feel grease around the area)? Then you'll know which side to replace.
Hmmm, in all the work I described above I actually left that relevant detail out. All boots intact although the left side pair have some very tiny cracks due to age and not being Honda original but still holding back the grease! Just ordered a new Cardone unit from Amazon plus working with someone local that has an OEM cv axle. Hope that either part brings forth an affordable solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Hmmm, in all the work I described above I actually left that relevant detail out. All boots intact although the left side pair have some very tiny cracks due to age and not being Honda original but still holding back the grease! Just ordered a new Cardone unit from Amazon plus working with someone local that has an OEM cv axle. Hope that either part brings forth an affordable solution.
Cardone unit made vibration worse, just like the GSP unit before. Don't buy aftermarket cv axles for your Element (or CR-V for that matter). Only using OEM axles from a scrapyard/parts cars and eBay and rebuilding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
A fair question. Those are actualy all good. I just updated the thread. I installed two OEM axles from the same car from a scrap yard. The theory being that the parts car had the original two axles therefore it was not a car with axle "issues". Both installed and the vibration was gone! But since I'm in Canada, there's a corrosion issue under the harmonic balancers. Unfortunately, the right axle had rusted down to a dangerous level (see photo below).
207412

The left side is rusted down too but not as bad. I ended up scavenging the best parts from two scrap yard axles to rebuild one good one for the right side; left side remains in service for now. Here's a video from South Main Auto that demonstrates what happens to Honda cv axles if this corrosion remains left unnoticed:
 
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