Hey everyone. Let’s talk about worn inner CV buckets.
If your car has a vibration only on acceleration that gets worse with speed there is a good chance that you have worn inner CV buckets. Let me illustrate this common problem with my old set of worn axles.
Here is an axle from my S2000 club racer . This is the side that connects to the wheel and this is the side that connects to the differential. Each axle has two CV joints or constant velocity joints and their purpose is simply to maintain constant rotational speed as the angle of the joint changes. The inner CV joint has this tripod joint and each leg of the tripod has a bearing. The bearings ride along the inner CV bucket walls. Over time these bearings will start to create a groove in the CV bucket walls. This groove becomes a problem when the ride height changes since the tripod joint will sit at a different depth inside the CV bucket. In this new position, it is possible for the bearings to move in and out of the groove and eventually cause pitting on the CV bucket. This is why people commonly experience this problem after lowering their car. I suspect that this can also happen over time as springs settle and bushings wear.
The good news is that there are several ways to fix this problem.
1. The most common solution is to install half shaft spacers. These spacers sit between the CV bucket and the differential and force the tripod joint deeper inside the bucket so the bearings sit in the groove that they used to sit in.
2. Another common solution is to swap the CV buckets from left to right and vice versa. For whatever reason the pitting first occurs on the driver’s side CV bucket so it is possible that the passenger side CV bucket can still be in good condition when symptoms first arise. Swapping the CV buckets allows the bearings to sit on a fresh surface.
3. The last option is to replace the axles entirely. I only recommend this option for the most severe cases of vibrations. I ended up having to do this on my CR with 140,000 miles after I was unable to fix the vibrations after installing half shaft spacers and performing the CV bucket swap. I swapped in a used set of low mileage axles and the problem went away immediately. To give you an idea of how bad the vibrations were I was unable to drive more than 60mph on the highway, it was terrible (lol).
I hope this video clarifies this issue for s2000 owners out there. If you’ve solved this problem yourself, comment down below with the solution that worked out for you.