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Discussion Starter #1
What does a bad wheel bearing sound like? I've got a strange noise that I'm not familiar with that has been getting worse slowly.
 

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They'll usually make a wub-wub-wub thrumming sound at speed long before they turn to full-on grinding failure.
 

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Try swerving back and forth at the speed you hear it pretty well at. This will unload the wheel some. If it goes away or is greatly reduced its a decent chance its a wheel bearing. It could be described as somewhat of a howling noise too.

Good luck,
Sam
 

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When one of mine went bad it scared the crap out of me. I was far from home and I had this terrible sound and vibration all over the car. I thought about it possibly being a bearing but since the vibration felt like it was in the tranny I quickly ruled out the thought and was sure it was a drive train issue. Made it to my local shop confident about it being the tranny and having to pay out the ass for a rebuild. Shop owner tells me he's certain it's a bearing and starts wiggling the front wheels. The pass side made a clank as he shook it like something was loose. He replaced it and problem fixed. Learned a good lesson about how bad a worn out bearing can get.
 

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Not to be Mr. Negativity, but if it's coming from the rear it may also be a carrier or pinion bearing. :(
 

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Can be anything from a grinding noise to a screeching noise. Jack up the front of the car. Grab the tires at the top and bottom. Give it a really good shake. Use some muscle. If it moves at all then the bearings are bad. If you grab the tires on the front and back and it moves, then that is bad ball joints. The rears are harder to tell. Usually just bad noises coming from them. GA
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It was making a deep wub wub sound from the front like mentioned above. Only did it at low speeds and was getting worse slowly. I put the car up on jacks and removed the brakes. The bearings were making slight cricket or tinny marble sounds when I turned them. They were not loose, but did spin a bit easier than they should. I replaced them both with new Timkens.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Noise is still here!

Replaced the front hubs and the sound remains without any difference. So now I guess I have some bad rear axle bearings. Any ideas or advice? The sound is only there at low speeds, like less than 25 mph. It gets worse when I turn right and usually goes away when I turn left. Doesn't matter if I'm braking or on the gas. Only varies with speed and direction of turn.

Thanks.
 

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Could be a drivers side axle bearing, or more likely, the axle itself is getting galled.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
Any advice on changing out the bearings? I ordered a blind bearing puller with a slide hammer. Anything else I'll need besides the bearings, seals, and new diff oil and friction modifier?
 

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Well...it's one of those "while you're in there :idunno: " things. Take your rear calipers off the rotors and measure the axle end-play. If you can pull the axles out more than about 3/16 of an inch, you should consider re-shimming the traction-lok to tighten it back up again and improve its locking action.

You got the right kind of puller, but be forewarned, you'll probably have to hit it so hard with the slide hammer you might think it's going to come off the jackstands.

If the axle is galled you'll have to replace it or use an "axle saver" bearing.
 

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Don't bother with the puller. Just get a piece of metal conduit from the hardware store and bang them out from the other end of the axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks for the advice. I'll hopefully have the parts and be done this weekend before the track day I scheduled next weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I replaced the rear axle bearings and seals and the sound is still here with no change. I did notice the drivers axle has 1/16 (0.060) inch end play and the passengers axle has 1/32 (0.030) inch end play. Maybe the diff needs to be rebuilt and re-shimmed. Oh, and the axles looked perfect, almost new. They were replaced with 31 spline axles at about 100k miles.
 
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