B5.5 Passat wagon pulsating vibrations on acceleration

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
I have an 05 Passat wagon with the gmr automatic transmission. It has an Eriksson torque converter and recently it's been having a pulsating vibration on acceleration. To me, it felt like an issue in the transmission, so o checked the fluid level, and then did a transmission flush. The fluid was dark, and I could tell it needed to be flushed but it made no difference in how the acceleration felt. There were no codes in either the ecm or TCM, the cylinder contribution is very close together (less than .50 between the highest and lowest cylinder)
It does the vibration in any gear on heavy lugging type acceleration.
Doing research, I found a lot of threads with similar issues saying that it was the CV axles, but I am not one to want to throw parts at an issue, and so I turn to you guys. What tests can I do to verify it's not the transmission slipping (like it kinda feels like) and is the axles?
Thanks!
Seth
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
cv axles (failing inner joints) will generally cause a steering wheel oscillation under acceleration and then smooth out again when coasting or decelerating - is this what you are feeling?
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
cv axles (failing inner joints) will generally cause a steering wheel oscillation under acceleration and then smooth out again when coasting or decelerating - is this what you are feeling?
It's not in the steering wheel per-se, but it is an oscillation only on acceleration and it smooths out when coasting. I need to put it back up on the lift and check for play.
 

DeliveryValve

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2007
Location
Western US
TDI
Passat GLS Wagon
...What tests can I do to verify it's not the transmission slipping (like it kinda feels like) ...
I don't have any tests, but I do have a question or two. Does it do it in every gear? Does it do it when the trans is cold or at operating temp?
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
I don't have any tests, but I do have a question or two. Does it do it in every gear? Does it do it when the trans is cold or at operating temp?
Every gear and hot or cold.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
Does the shuddering feel like a lack of power? Any chance it could be a bad cam lobe? An easy visual inspection, sub 5 min to rule out.

I'd offer to send you a free axle but I'm pretty sure an auto zone one can be had new for the price of shipping. It's time consuming but you can pull each axle and rotate them to feel for clunking and play like you would a drive shaft.
 

Mozambiquer

Vendor , w/Business number
Joined
Mar 21, 2015
Location
Versailles Missouri
TDI
1998 VW Jetta TDI. 1982 VW Rabbit pickup, 2001 VW Jetta TDI, 2005 VW Passat wagon TDI X3, 2001 VW golf TDI, 1980 VW rabbit pickup,
Does the shuddering feel like a lack of power? Any chance it could be a bad cam lobe? An easy visual inspection, sub 5 min to rule out.

I'd offer to send you a free axle but I'm pretty sure an auto zone one can be had new for the price of shipping. It's time consuming but you can pull each axle and rotate them to feel for clunking and play like you would a drive shaft.
No lack of power, I've checked the cam very recently, and it still has the chamfer on the lobes, even though it's the original cam to the car with 230k miles. It had been serviced well, oilhammer did the balance shaft conversion on it, franko6 or cool air VW did the torque converter (can't remember which one was done by which. I bought two cars from the same guy and he had both replaced and he had one by either guy.)
I'm considering getting a set of raxles for it, as the parts store ones generally tend to be not as high quality.
 

PickleRick

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
Greenville sc
TDI
05 GLS BHW sedan 5 speed conversion. BHW Carver SantaCruz in progress
People keep saying store brand axles suck.

I bought a 99 v6 b5 for my swap trans parts. This was 2017

The v6 has about 90k on it and I was told the cv axles were installed before the timing chain keepers came apart.

I've had oem axles sitting in the shop waiting on a failure so I could send them to raxles.

It's now almost 2022. Still on those same auto store axles.
 

AllenAlic

Active member
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Location
Portage In
TDI
05 Passat TDI Wagon
I had a really bad shudder under load only, changed axels with no change. Shudder got worse overtime and it started to smoke heavily. Turned out the cam was bad and holed a lifter. New cam solved the problem.
 

stefhelm

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2004
Location
Calgary, AB
TDI
2005 Passat Wagon
My experience with shudder under load was also an inner CV. I had a shop do the repair on that occasion. I've only had OEM axles, so can't speak to the quality of other brands.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Sounds like a typical CV joint to me.

A trick you can try:

Find a long tube (copper, steel, whatever...something rigid) that you can thread a grease fitting into one end. Has to be ~2 feet long.

Take the outer joint axle bolt out, with the car at level and the wheels facing straight ahead (so the axles are as close to straight as possible).

Stick the tube in through the outer joint, down the hollow shaft, all the way to the inner joint. Fill a grease gun full of an appropriate CV type grease. Start pumping. You'll fill the shaft from the inside out. Get about half a tube's worth of grease on each side in that inner joint.

Put the axle bolt back in. Raise the car and roll the axle through its lengthened rotations a few times, then take the car for a good drive. It often helps.

The problem is usually the INNER joint gets a dry spot in it. Problem with the B5s is that the inner joint does not easily come off the shaft like the outer ones do. You cannot simply take them off, clean them up, regrease and reboot them and swap sides (like you can with the outer joints).
 
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