In order to accommodate suspension travel


A clicking or popping noise is indicative of a worn or damaged outer CV joint. One way to confirm this is to drive the vehicle in reverse (in a circle). If the noise is more pronounced, this confirms the need to replace the joint. If you’re driving backwards with the wheel cranked full right and the noise is louder, suspect the right outer joint.

In order to accommodate suspension travel, the inboard joint is designed to allow in/out or “plunging” movement in addition to articulating for suspension travel angles.  This plunging movement allows the shaft assembly to change its length during suspension travel, compensating for control arm up-down/angles and to prevent restricting lower control arm movement.

Several styles of inboard CV joints are in use (although they all accomplish the same task).

If driving backwards with the steering wheel cranked full left, suspect the left outer joint. NOTE: Clicking/popping can also be caused by worn or damaged rack & pinion steering inner tie rod ends.
Typical inboard CV joints provide a plunge movement of about 50mm and a maximum articulation angle of about 22 to 31 degrees (depending on make and model).
Tripod style CV joints use a three-legged design of three equally spaced roller bearings (instead of balls) that glide along track grooves inside a “tulip” style housing.  A DO (double offset) is also a plunging type joint, but features a series of ball bearings.