Q: Van won't go, Front axle assembly??? on 2004 Dodge Grand Caravan

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My van just stopped going on my way home from work yesterday. On the highway I noticed it pulling to the left so I slowed down to about 60 and it stopped. About 3 miles further I exited the highway and went about 2 miles to turn onto my street. As I was turning left something in the front left made a kind of snapping noise. Then I had no power...When I push the gas the engine revs and seems to be running fine but I get an awful noise in the front left. The noise increases in frequency as you rev the engine higher and stops completely when the engine just idles. Happens in both forward and reverse. I put the van in nuetral and towed it home and the noise occurs anytime the front left wheel turns. Took the wheel off this morning and the sound seems to come from the axle assembly...

Does this assessment make sense??? If not, any other ideas??? Also what can I expect to pay to repair this???

Thanks for the help
(3) Answers
(1) Comments
This problem could be a result of a damaged half shaft inner tripod joint. All half shaft assemblies use the same type of inner and outer joints. The inner joint of both half shaft assemblies is a tripod joint, and the outer joint of both half shaft assemblies is a Rzeppa joint. Both tripod joints and Rzeppa joints are true constant velocity (CV) joint assemblies. The inner tripod joint allows for the changes in half shaft length through the jounce and rebound travel of the front suspension. The inner tripod joint of both half shafts is splined into the transaxle side gears. The inner tripod joints are retained in the side gears of the transaxle using a snap ring located in the stub shaft of the tripod joint. The outer CV joint has a stub shaft that is splined into the wheel hub and retained by a steel hub nut. The half shaft should be removed to verify its condition. A replacement half shaft, remanufactured, is a good option to rebuilding the original, if it is found to have failed. Transaxle differential should also be considered is the halfshaft is ok.
Unfortunatley the same thing happened to my 98 grand caravan. My first thought was its a half shaft. It ended up being the transmision. I found a used one and put it in myself for about $800.00. You cant let these trannys get even a little low on fluid or they tend to fail.