Droning noise coming from front end

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
The family's TB has recently started making a droning noise from the front end which seems to be getting gradually worse. It sounds very much like a hub bearing may be going out, but turning left and right doesn't make the noise either go away or get louder. The noise is probably not the engine as it is constant with vehicle speed. The noise does not change when the tranny upshifts into a higher gear and the revs fall accordingly.

Ironically, the noise started soon after I changed one of the front hub bearings because the ABS wire got severed (not a removable ABS sender; hard-wired into the hub) and I wanted ABS back for my wife with winter on the way..!! Not being a big believer in coincidence, I do not rule out the fact that the noise could be the new hub bearing, but more likely that the other side is just going out at the same time.

Any other components that I could / should check that would make noise in line with vehicle speed..?? I want to replace the half shafts this spring / summer, but I would imagine they would make more of a clicking noise if they truly worn out. They have flung grease but the rubber boots are intact.

T.I.A.

Dave. :smile:
 

fadyasha

Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
davenay67 said:
The family's TB has recently started making a droning noise from the front end which seems to be getting gradually worse. It sounds very much like a hub bearing may be going out, but turning left and right doesn't make the noise either go away or get louder. The noise is probably not the engine as it is constant with vehicle speed. The noise does not change when the tranny upshifts into a higher gear and the revs fall accordingly.

Ironically, the noise started soon after I changed one of the front hub bearings because the ABS wire got severed (not a removable ABS sender; hard-wired into the hub) and I wanted ABS back for my wife with winter on the way..!! Not being a big believer in coincidence, I do not rule out the fact that the noise could be the new hub bearing, but more likely that the other side is just going out at the same time.

Any other components that I could / should check that would make noise in line with vehicle speed..?? I want to replace the half shafts this spring / summer, but I would imagine they would make more of a clicking noise if they truly worn out. They have flung grease but the rubber boots are intact.

T.I.A.

Dave. :smile:

If you have a infrared temperature sensing guns "Originally Quoted by Roadie" use it and check if it's relatively high or not. You may wanna refer to this thread for some ideas.

http://gmtnation.com/f24/help-diagnosing-vibration-front-end-seems-increase-over-time-1329/
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Until more evidence comes in I'd guess bearing as well. How many miles, who made the bearing you put in, and are you current on differential and transfer case fluids?
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Car is an '02 LTZ 4x4 and has 126,500 miles now. Wheel bearings were done at the 100K mark with 'made in the USA bearings' sold by mibearings.com. My wife even complained about the noise last night and she normally doesn't hear things until disaster is about to strike (the car has a hard competing with a loud stereo and a noisy 2 yr old in the back seat). So, I took the TB for a spin and it felt the same to me as it has for the past week. I made a point of carefully feeling around the wheels and the hub area, but both sides felt very cool to the touch. It was a freezing night and my test drive was only for 15 minutes so probably not really enough to tell.

The good news is that I still have the hub bearing that was replaced because of the cut ABS sensor wire, so I may throw that on the driver side (passenger side was just replaced with a new Moog hub bearing 2 weeks ago) and see if the noise changes or dissappears. I'll double check on the diff and TC fluid levels. If none of this helps then maybe the job of replacing the half shafts might have to happen sooner rather than later.

Dave. :smile:
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Issue is fixed....it was indeed the driver side front hub bearing. Went from groaning/humming to a death clank in a very short amount of time.

Replaced the bad hub bearing with a new Moog unit, complete with 3 yr guarantee. Now both sides have new Moog hub bearings, so I should be set for a while. Next up is the upper ball joints, then lower control arms, then shocks. :smile:

BTW....the brake pedal was pulsating when speeds went below 10mph. So many people say warped rotors when this type of issue is posted, but anyone who has it on their car knows it is the ABS kicking in. Anyway, the new bearing also removed this annoying condition (no doubt a busted ABS sensor in my case)....double score.:thumbsup::biggrin:


Dave.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
I think the patina is starting to wear off the "made in USA" label of MIBearings. More and more folks are getting poor lifetime out of them, including me. I'm USED to destroying bearings, but it isn't acceptable to be getting under 100K out of them for normal pavement operation.
 

navigator

Member
Dec 3, 2011
504
I just had to replace mine and even with them off the truck I wasn't sure they were bad until I swapped in the new one.
One felt like it had a little catch in it that I thought might be the ABS sensor and the other just felt like the grease was really thick. It got rid of my mud tire sound that I had though. I bought some cheap ones off of ebay fro $76 a pair. I figure I will try them out and see how they last.
 

fadyasha

Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
Glad you got it all sorted out! Believe it or not I changed my ABS sensor like 10 days before my bearing went out. At least I gotta spare now :rotfl:
 

davenay67

Original poster
Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
the roadie said:
I think the patina is starting to wear off the "made in USA" label of MIBearings. More and more folks are getting poor lifetime out of them, including me. I'm USED to destroying bearings, but it isn't acceptable to be getting under 100K out of them for normal pavement operation.

Have to agree with you on this one. Given the rapid (and quite scary) degradation of the hub bearing I had no choice but to pick up a new one from a local parts store (the pain was eased with a $30 discount at Advance Auto Parts using the RETMENOT123 promo code). But even with the luxury of time to shop, I highly doubt I would have gone back to mibearings for a new one.

'Mud tires' is a good way to describe the bearing noise I had. Makes me wonder how I will ever hear a hub bearing going out in my TJ given the roar generated by the 32" MTR's..!! :undecided::biggrin:
 

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