Well my '93 makes a pretty loud noise (coming from the front somewhere) while driving down the road, it sounds pretty much like tire noise but I'm pretty sure that's not it for two reasons. One, my tires aren't aggressively tread at all, and two, the noise goes away when I turn left. It also gets louder when I turn right, and gets progressively louder as I speed up. After a longer jaunt on the highway it seemingly goes away, or maybe I just get used to it. Any ideas what this might be? I was thinking a wheel bearing or something, considering the turning and it being speed-related, but I'm no expert.
Could be a wheel bearing. My Pontiac does this exact same thing and it's one of the rims. The universal lug holes are wearing out and the wheel isn't staying centered anymore, plus that is making the lug nuts loosen all the time.
Originally Posted by Early Cuyler
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I just swapped out my front hubs for manual locking when i replaced the front rotors two nights ago. Repacked my bearings and noticed it when i went to spin the wheels ... i know the sound because the parts store was closed by the time i got around to putting the bearings back in and so i had to put the bad bearing back in. Sucks, but driving down the road, i notice the sound you are refering to. Now, mine is not too bad.
If you jack up the front end, you should be able to spin the tires and tell if it's a bearing or not that's shot. (you'll hear the rough roll) If your's is extremely bad (loud), you might need to replace them. I know my grease was hardened and crusty as from 14yrs of before it's first service.
oh, and if you decide to DIY, leave a weekend and just do one hub at a time, leave a large box beside you and number from 1 to about 30. getting to the hub out isn't as bad (for me) as everyone says it is, but decifering the parts AND putting back together again, if you've never done it before... as Charles Barkley would say, "It's just Turrible." But i'll guarantee you, take it to a shop, they'll replace the bad side bearings, tell you they replaced both, and bill you out the ****. Unfortunately, this job ain't cheap and you'll never know if they did the job right until it's too late.
Might as well switch to manual locking hubs, check the rotors, and u's. But, this is not an easy DIY. Can save hundreds if you can, but need a lot of time and another vehicle to drive back and forth between the parts store. Parts alone for my jobbie were $200 and i didn't get the bearings. 2 rotors, wagner brake pads, manual lockers, grease, seals, and something else i can't recall right now.
You guys are a lot of help! My wife's 2004 Chevy Aveo does the exact same thing. It wears out the tread as well. Although, the rim on that side was bent. I already replaced the rim and it still seems to make that noise. Of course, when I turn the steering wheel left, its as quiet as a mouse.
Yeah, i suppose this will have to wait until summer since this is my daily driver when I can't ride the motorcycle. And as you said I might as well do the u-joints at the same time, she's a worn down ol' truck.
if you've never done 4x4 and disassembled the hubs, probably. It took me 5-6hrs after work Tuesday. I started out to replace a warped rotor(s). But i had a hub lock up the night before so switched over to manual lockers so that $### wouldn't happen again.
Don't know the cost of front U's, mine were in good shape, bearings = $20-25 plus grease. You'll at least want to get a new hub/axle seal too - $4-8 each. +Grease for packing. Do know, the more you can find & AFFORD to fix when you pull that off, will save you from having to go back and do it again in 6-7 months.
Price$$, depends on whether or not you have access to a commercial account at the local parts store. (know a friend/uncle/client etc. and can save considerable quid) You wind up paying about a 30% premium to deal as a walk-in and that's to go with the shade-tree mechanic sales rep that gets his/her knowledge from watching TNN on Sunday morning and tries to sell you a whole new front end. But, I go exclusively through a chain here where i know who knows what they're talking about. I can almost guarantee you, if you go to buy the rotors, they'll tell you that the rotors are free floating, and you won't have to remove the hubs... but you do. That's how you'll identify one of the Sunday TNN boys. Or is it TNT?
For the hubs, you'll need patience. When you get to where, 'nothing is turning' or 'now what', chances are, you need to grab small pry tools-n-hooks to remove a pin / u-shaped ring locker. (sorry, i'm an accountant by day and don't know the proper mechanical lingo.)
I'd start on a sat morning, when the wife was wanting me to go garage sale-ing, and tell her, i've got to fix this or it's gonna cause a wreck.
Well I'm gonna assume the noise is my wheel bearings, and I'd like to get them changed asap....would it be dumb to do those now, and do the ball joints later? Basically what I'm asking is that you don't have to disassemble the hub to do the ball joints, correct?
Well I went ahead and changed the wheel bearings, both inner and outer, and the seals. Sound is finally GONE! I have the automatic locking hubs, really wasn't too bad after I did one side, only took a few hours. I am also finally in the "16-17 mpg highway club" after the bearings and fan clutch replacement. Was getting 14 at best. Thanks for all the advice!