I have an 02 CRV that I purchased for my father-in-law. He uses it to blast around town and pick up my son from school. Needless to say I need it to be safe and reliable. It has 230k on it but it was my uncle’s since new and most of that is highway driving. Over the last year I have replaced all the normal wearable items. I also fitted steel off-road wheels with stock size tires, just more aggressive tread. Over the summer I replaced all four struts with ready mount units and lift spacers. The vehicle always had a vibration but now its very bad. From a dead stop or slow roll if you take off like you’re jumping out into the highway or similar everything shakes and wobbles… violently. It almost feels like its going to change lanes whilst losing the wheels. I have had Ridgeline’s and MDX’s do something similar and it was always the axles, so I decided to change them. First I went with the Autozone “Gold” new units. Immediately after lowering it down and driving, slight vibration which seemed to get worse as suspension settled back down. After a mile or so it was back to violent wobble and shake. After reading on forums about axle quality and using re-manufactured over “Chinese” new, I got two new re-manufactured ones and installed them. Same thing. It starts as a slight vibration but once the suspension settles down from being on the lift it’s back to insanity. If you accelerate like an old lady it’s not AS bad, but still there for sure. At this point I changed the rear diff fluid, it was clean but I tried it anyway. After months of driving it like this, I decided I was going to replace the transmission with a good used one because the fluid was black and I couldn’t rule out a differential issue. I got a trans with 100k on it. Fluid was clean but I changed it anyway. At this time I also changed all four of the mounts. Guess what? Same exact problem. Started off minor but after just a bit it was back to dangerous. Today at work I yanked the driveshaft to the rear and drove it…. what a mistake. It is down right dangerous driving it without the rear engaged. It literally switches lanes and then switches back from a slow roll or dead stop. Driveshaft back it, vibrates like hell but at least its drive-able. I have another set of axles waiting to go in as a last ditch effort, but I just don’t know what else I can do. I can not try $800 axles to find out nothing has changed. It has to be in the front drive line. Anyway, that’s the story. I’ve spent a lot of money and more importantly time chasing my tail.
UPDATE: Changed both axles and while I was at it both lower control arms. They had weak bushings. Still very little change, if any at all. I’ve come up with a plan to lower the sub-frame and engine on its mounts to try to correct the axle geometry, but I don’t think it will have much effect.