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1991 Corolla clunking caused by differential or transmission

Home Forums Stay Dirty Lounge Service and Repair Questions Answered Here 1991 Corolla clunking caused by differential or transmission

This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Odhran Odhran 10 months, 3 weeks ago.

  • Creator
  • #895655

    Hello all, so I’ve been having some troubles with front end noise on my 1991 Toyota Corolla. There is a bad clunk coming from the front left when driving slowly on roads or car parks that have basically any bumps at all. My first thought was suspension but it all checked out fine, next I checked the engine mounts and again are in good shape.

    My next thought was the CV joint on the left side, the car makes a clunk when moving off, going through gears and quickly letting off the gas up to about 40mph. There was some vertical play and slight grease leakage from the inner joint so I figured it would be worthwhile to change it. I changed the joint without issue however the problem still remains.

    I found the best way to test this is to put the car into 1st gear on flat ground and rock it back and forth, there is noticeable play and off center movement accompanied by the same clunk from the CV joint, so at this point my best guess would be that I have some sort of differential or transmission issue.

    Did a video to help show the problem as best I could (its upside down for some reason):

    So at this point I’m just concerned I might have a bad differential, but then I could be way off the mark.

    Any advice or suggestions would be really appreciated Thanks!

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  • Author
  • #895658
    Nightflyr *
    Richard Kirshy

    Suggest you remove the axle and inspect the receiver spline for excessive wear.
    If it does you’ll most likely need to remove the transmission in order to attempt to replace it.


    Thanks for the reply and yeah, thats what I had feared. From my research it seems like there is very little in the way of parts for this gearbox other than seals and ordering it from toyota directly is extortionate. I think I’ll probably just leave it for now as its only a noise (at this point) until I can find a decent pre owned unit from another car.

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