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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2002 MDX, drove through axel deep water (Harvey - it was contaminated)
Changed my VTM-4 fluid, now rearend making loud shuddering clunking noise when cold and turning right
 

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Was the rear diff fluid visibly contaminated? Diff has a "breather box" on the vent tube to help prevent water entry, but if you ford deep enough you could still manage to get some water in there. MDXs aren't really designed for snorkeling.

Otherwise, agree with skirmich, CV joint contamination seems likely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The fluid looked like bad tomato soup, I drained it very well, and filled it back with most of a gallon of VTM-4 fluid
 

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The fluid looked like bad tomato soup, I drained it very well, and filled it back with most of a gallon of VTM-4 fluid
Yikes. I've never drained VTM4 fluid that didn't look about like what comes out of the bottle. Normally, it's just the friction modifiers that need to be replenished; the base fluid is fine. With visible contamination of the fluid, I would flush several changes through that diff ASAP, with a short drive between changes. VTM4 fluid is a whole lot cheaper than parts and labor to install a rebuilt diff. Might be too late, but worth a try IMO. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just checked both CV joints and there is a little torsional movement maybe 1/8 inch but a fair amount of longitudinal movement 1/2 inch and they replicate the clunking noise.
Can you service them?
 

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VTM-4 fluid comes with the friction modifiers it needs correct?
Yes. The point I was making is that the friction modifiers are the first thing to go, and there is no visible change of the fluid as the friction modifiers degrade. But the only way to replenish is by replacing the VTM4 fluid. Back in the olden days, for limited slip differentials, friction modifiers were sometimes sold as an additive that could be added to gear oil or whatever, but not for this differential. So the service interval is set for replenishment of the friction modifiers, not degradation of the base oil.

IMO visible change to the VTM4 fluid is abnormal. "Tomato soup" is drastically abnormal.

As for CV joints, you may have more than one problem. CV joints can be serviced, but I think it's more common to replace the entire drive shaft. Downtime could be considerable if you try to service the CV joint, and you have to be careful to keep them balanced or you will have a vibration problem.

I'm not sure if longitudinal movement of the axle indicates failure of the CV joint. There is a sliding joint at the differential. But this is way beyond my DIY skills.
 

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I just checked both CV joints and there is a little torsional movement maybe 1/8 inch but a fair amount of longitudinal movement 1/2 inch and they replicate the clunking noise.
Can you service them?
Most auto part stores will offer rebuilt CVs with a core exchange. You can usually buy the new CVs and pay a core charge, then go home, swap the parts, bring the old parts back and they'll refund your core charge.
 

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Most auto part stores will offer rebuilt CVs with a core exchange. You can usually buy the new CVs and pay a core charge, then go home, swap the parts, bring the old parts back and they'll refund your core charge.
Having just replaced both my front axles, I highly recommend rockauto.com. Brand new axles not rebuilt for about 65 shipped a piece.

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I changed the VTM-4 fluid again, it was a little dark but no signs of water, and NO metal on the magnet (magnet was fairly free of metal at first fluid change). test drive showed no unusual noises and I did left and right turn and stomps (just a chirp on the outside rear tires)
I think the CV joint noise was all translational from the diff shuddering (when it does it).
Hopefully the new fluid will do the trick.
 
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