View Full Version : Spitfire Spitfire rear end noise

03-20-2007, 12:12 PM
My 78 Spit has developed a noise in the rear end. It's kind of a tunka-tunka sound coincident with wheel speed. Maybe louder on left turns. I've pulled the brake drums and all looks OK. I put the car up on jack stands and ran it, no noise. It almost sounds like the axle is banging on something. What should I check?

Andrew Mace
03-20-2007, 01:19 PM
Check the u-joints...NOW! "Louder on left turns" tells me that the extra strain of that movement causes the bad joint to make noise.

Do NOT wait.


Do NOT wait. Check and replace NOW. You do NOT want one of these to let loose on you (don't ask me how I know).

BTW, there are other possible causes for the noise, but a u-joint is by far the likely candidate!

03-20-2007, 01:36 PM
Like Andy said DON'T WAIT!AND TO ADD;>>>My Spit did the same thing at one time KLUNK KLUNK,Until i found the RIGHT REAR AXEL SHAFT BEARING & CAGE HAD DISINTIGRATED.So i went the common sense route & entirely replaced the whole right rear axel assembly including the axel,bearings,ALL THE u-joints,& while at the same time i replaced the leaf spring.NO MORE NOISE & NOW more piece of mind.I can even hear gas sloushing in the gas tank now at 30mph.OH!ONE OTHER THING while your at it RE-TORQUE ALL the flange nuts on the drive shaft front & back they have a tendency to work loose.Buy HIGH QUALITY U-JOINT's some u-joints are made in India or China which are junk.British are the best(MOSS,or TRF,or Rimmer Bros.
Ken......& WhiteLightning...1500 Spitfire

03-20-2007, 01:38 PM
How do I check? The u-joints were replaced Aug of last year (before I bought the car). The shop that did the work is in Portland so I'd like to know they are bad before I drive up there.

Andrew Mace
03-20-2007, 02:53 PM
How do I check?Here's some very useful information (https://www.rarebits4classics.co.uk/Hints%20and%20Tips/UJ%20Replacement.htm) on the noises, causes, checking for problems, etc. It is possible that the u-joints themselves are still ok, but oversized circlips are required to set them "tighter" as per the information in that link.

03-20-2007, 02:56 PM
- sounds like uj's...I had the same thing end of last summer...that's why my rear axles are in pieces now being re-built. Mine was more of a pronounced squeak/squeak but definitely the same rhythmic noise especially on cornering. Tough, if not impossible to test on the car. Suggest you disconnect half shaft from differential mounting plate and check uj that way....4 bolts to undo but mark both flanges before removing so you get them back the same way.

03-20-2007, 02:56 PM
I would first visually inspect the joints. If one of the retaining snap-rings has popped out it won't be long before the u-joint end-cap will follow it. Check both yokes on each axle carefully for any movement of those rings.

Get a couple of screwdrivers or something into the axle yokes and try to see if there is ANY movement bewteen the joint and either flange. There should be none.

You will probably not be able to detect lateral movement of the joint (that is, sliding up and back and banging against the retaining ring) by moving it with your hands. You could give it a try by moving the joint laterally in each yoke.

If in doubt at all, get it into a garage for a pro to have a look at.

If you hear the 'tuka-tuka-tuka' more on deceleration than acceleration, it is very likely a u-joint. As Andrew says, you do NOT want to lose one of these at speed.

Don't forget to check the prop-shaft u-joint also.

03-20-2007, 03:21 PM
EEJAY;Let us know what you find out.so we can pass it on.

03-20-2007, 07:38 PM
The u-joints can be tricky to install. All the u-joints I have replaced had previously been installed wrong and had pins lodged in the bearing cap. If you've got a distinct "clackity-clack" that goes up and down with speed it's your u-joints. Doesn't matter when they were replaced.

__________________________________________________ __________
1973 Triumph Spitfire.

03-22-2007, 09:29 PM
Has anyone gotten Ujoints from NAPA?

they offer several for the rear, wondering which would be best.