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ebeaupre

Help diagnose this noise?

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I replaced nearly the entire suspension and driveline on my car a few months ago, I didn't replace wheel bearings. The car had been driving great. Now, suddenly, there is some serious noise coming from below the vehicle.

It's vehicle speed dependent, I can feel it in the steering wheel, I can't feel it in the shifter. Fairly certain it is coming from the front. A visual inspection as well as tugging on all the parts with the car on jack stands shows nothing amiss. It happens at all speeds, magnitude of the noise seems constant, frequency increase with vehicle speed. The sound cycle goes something like this, silence-creak-thunk. If I apply the brakes the sound vanishes. If I apply any steering input, the sounds vanishes. It's quite loud and unsettling though when driving in a straight line.

Any ideas?

This is frustrating.

thanks

eric

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If you are wriggling suspension parts with no load on the wheels Lots of loose parts will be hanging in the air-masking looseness. Top strut bearing? ball joint mounting bolts? suspension arm bolts? anti-roll bar mount or link bolts?tie rod or idler aarm joints? etc., etc., If you have access to a sdet of ramps, drive front wheels on up, chock rear wheels, wriggle under look and listen while you or someone else moves parts with big screw driver/ pry bar.......

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only thing that comes to mind are front wheel bearings, or maybe lower ball joint? i replaced mine, and after putting some mileage on them(<1000) the 3 bolts had loosened up.

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Guest Anonymous

if the noise goes away when the brakes are applied, it may be the brake calipers hanging up. Or something else right at the wheel.

Strap your wife on the hood and have her lean over each side while you are driving. If she gets her ear right down by the wheel she may be able to locate the noise. Or she might prefer to do the driving.....

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Loose caliper? Spin wheels while on jackstands.

Don't sacrifice your wife.

__________________

73 Inka Tii #2762958

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If she's fully insured...I say sacrifice the wife.

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Poked around the front end again tonight and noticed there seemed to be a bit of play in each of the front wheels I hadn't noticed before. I had replaced my rotors probably only 200 or so miles ago. Maybe I didn't preload the bearings enough? This is always such a subjective thing it seems like and I had read to err on the side of loose with 2002s.

I go to pull the wheels and it seems like the lugs could be removed by hand! There's also some alloy filings that are apparently from galling between the seat and the nut. These are new Rota R20 alpina knockoffs I have about 50 miles on. Decide to tighten the lugs back down and check for wheel play again, still there. Pull the wheels, tighten castle nut one more hole, put it all back together, torque lugs with torque wrench. Noise gone!

That was the oddest noise for a wheel bearing. I'm used to the growl that comes with worn out ones. I wonder if the 15 or so miles I put on them making this thunking racket has prematurely worn them...

I'm also concerned now about my wheels. :/ and pissed at myself for not checking the lugs earlier after having a shop mount them.

Thanks for the input guys!

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Don't beat yourself up. We all have stories of mistakes. It's part of the fun.

If you have shortened the life of your wheel bearings, it's an easy fix, and you won't make the same mistake again.

Loose wheels! That's another story. I would at least call the shop and yell at the owner/manager. It might smarten up the guy who mounted your wheels.

It's almost a blessing that the bearing was talking to you. Saved you from losing a wheel maybe.

__________________

73 Inka Tii #2762958

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Guest Anonymous

good catch. I suggest always checking wheel torque 50 miles after re-mounting a wheel. Sometimes the nuts need to be snugged up and sometimes you find them over-torqued by some mechanic who has his air gun set on "high". Hard to get off over-torqued wheels when you get a flat in the rain, at night, in a bad neighborhood, after a long day at work.

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