watch out... its a drone... not that kind of a drone..

budwich

Original poster
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Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
My truck (2008 4.2 TB) has developed a drone. It becomes noticeable at about 40mph and up. It is coming from the front end. Its not dependent on engine rpm and shifting between D and 3rd causes no difference as does removing the gas. There is no detectable difference in cornering in terms of the sound. Hubs were changed out about 1 year ago (with no names). If I were to guess its sounds like the drone of a "honda muffler" that you hear on "some people's cars".... ie. sewing machine... :smile:
Since it doesn't appear to change with engine speed, I was thinking that it can't be an exhaust issue... but maybe as the manifold was replaced last summer... maybe loosened or cracked again... :-(

Not sure what else to consider or how to narrow down what it is at this point. I am planning to pull the shield and check / tighten manifold bolts and check for cracks.

Comments / suggestions?? Thanks
 

Blckshdw

Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,694
Tampa Bay Area, FL
How do your tires look? Is the tread still in good shape? No anomalies, or anything stuck in them?

I had something similar, but happened at a lower speeds, 25-30 it became noticeable. Had some acorns or something wedged in the treads of one of the front tires. :duh:
 

NJTB

Member
Aug 27, 2012
612
Flemington, NJ
Yes, check for cupped tires first. But don't rule out the hub bearings.
About 2 years ago I put a set of Autozone hubs in, and they lasted about a year or so. they were the mid price ones ($105, I think). Replaced them with the pricier ones and the noise went away.
 
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budwich

Original poster
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Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
good point... I haven't look closely at them yet. They are worn with perhaps about 15-20% tread life left (toya all seasons). I will check to see if anything obvious like perhaps a belt seperation or such. Maybe also do a rotation and see if sound moves.

On the hub side, it is quite possible as the "you get what you pay for" might have bit me.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
@budwich , I just replaced a bearing that sounded just like that - link. Get an IR temp gun and check the hub temps after driving more than 5-10 miles with some speed. I thought mine were OK checking after driving home from work, but 3.5 miles wasn't enough to heat them up at 45 and under. The day I was driving around a lot to gather tools for another job, I finally got enough heat to notice a temp difference. Passenger side was over 100F while the driver's side was around ambient.
 

budwich

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Jun 16, 2013
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thanks for the idea on the ir gun.... I always forget to use my plethora of tools besides the "proverbial hammer"... :smile: Will get out the thermal imager to see if it sees a difference across wheels.... once the rain had stopped here.
 

budwich

Original poster
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Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
OK... did a run to the store and back again. Then "snapped" a shot of both sides. Highway speed (50mph) for about 5 minutes... though drone is audible at startup (doesn't need a run period) once 40mph ish and above is reached.

From the pictures, it doesn't appear that there is much difference for either side BUT it does appear that the passenger side sees some heating which maybe the exhaust manifold "showing thru". The passenger hub is a little less blue than the driver side but I would say not significantly. Maybe a longer run might show more. I probably need to try and get the "center point" better located as it isn't on the hub.... tough to see the display cursors in broad daylight.
 

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C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
Pop your center caps off and try to get just the hub. It looks like you are seeing a lot of brake rotor. You can also try from the back side.
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Get closer so just the wheel is in view.

Or, just use the hand method. Take off center caps, go drive for 10 mintues, then put your hand on your wheel hub on each side.

My guess from those shots is your passenger huns is a likely culprit.

At least you have some warning. My factory hub on my passenger side on my Silverado basically half separated with no droning noise at all. Just a sudden grinding noise and the wheel got all wobbly. Oh, and it got hot as a kiln too. Funny enough the driver side was ready to go soon too and spinning by hand you could hear and feel just how rough it was, but it didn't make any discernible noise.
 

budwich

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Jun 16, 2013
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thanks... will remove the caps and go again. The overall range appears to indicate that most of the heating is coming / associated with the rotor(s) although there is significant amount coming from the exhaust manifold on the passenger side. I will certainly do better "aiming" of the center target to get a more appropriate reading of the hub.
 

budwich

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Jun 16, 2013
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did another run with caps off at highway speed (65 mph) for about 10 minutes. No sure I notice much difference... certainly not sizzling... and later at lower speeds and stopped there after at home, could easily touch both spindle nuts / bolts with out issue.

based on the pictures, the driver's side bit warmer than the passenger's... maybe... although "10%" is probably within a marginal of error on this less than scientific process.
 

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JerryIrons

Member
Dec 20, 2011
434
If it were mine, and I thought the noise was coming from the front, I would swap front and back tires just to rule them out.

Lots of times hub noise can be narrowed down when using on or off ramps on expressways. The centrifugal force will make the noise louder or softer, depending on which hub, which direction you are turning, etc. Especially when you "lean" on a turn :smile:
 

budwich

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Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
The "swap" is a possible thing for "non-father's day" (ie. next week).... :smile: As for the "turning on the express ramp" idea... yep that's what I also did, can't say I noticed any difference in sound going one way or the other.

I also did a "touchy feely" around the tires to see if I can feel some "deformity"... things were pretty smooth.... but will confirm more with the swap.
 

C-ya

Member
Aug 24, 2012
1,098
If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, the IR temps guns are usually pretty cheap. Just checked, there is a coupon on their front page for $18. Or if you have Amazon (Prime), Etekcity has one for $16. That is the one I have. You can pinpoint where you are checking the temp with these.
 
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Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
Tires could just be evenly noisy though. The tires that were on my TB when I got it (Kelly Safari Trex) were buzzy noisy sounding.
 

budwich

Original poster
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Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
If you have a Harbor Freight nearby, the IR temps guns are usually pretty cheap. Just checked, there is a coupon on their front page for $18. Or if you have Amazon (Prime), Etekcity has one for $16. That is the one I have. You can pinpoint where you are checking the temp with these.
I think the thermal imager is doing OK. Its not seeing anything out of the ordinary either with the "color indicators" or the ranges.... I think. The temps wouldn't be "minute" in terms of detection as the heating would be over relative areas. Anyway, tomorrow will be a good day to get "dirty".
 

budwich

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Jun 16, 2013
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kanata
did a front to back rotate, didn't notice much change in the drone... maybe not as loud but still starting at about the same speed and coming from the front. The "good" news is during the tire inspection, one of the backs had a small thin piece of metal (about 1/2X1/2 in X 1/16 thick) embedded in the tread.... pulled it out and checked for leaks with soapy water... all was good.

During the rotate, check the hubs for any play, none noticed. The rotate was smooth although the disc on the passenger side seems to have some rub from the brake. Rotors were replaced at the time of the hub replacement. Could be a slightly frozen caliper causing some "low frequency chatter"... maybe.
 

Mooseman

Moderator
Dec 4, 2011
25,506
Ottawa, ON
Just because the hub has no play doesn't mean it's OK. A spin test may detect it if you can hear or feel it's rough or dry but that would require taking it out.
 
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budwich

Original poster
Member
Jun 16, 2013
2,069
kanata
just to close this off. I decided to put some more attention to this as the drone was getting louder. Jacked up each front wheel and spun by hand. Driver's was ok but the passenger's side could detect / hear a slight noise like the roller / pin bearing was running over itself so to speak.
Remove the hub and on the bench, I could feel roughness in the spin. the good or bad depending on how you look at things... I kept one of the old hubs around as spare ( when I did them as only one of the originals was bad). Dropped it in and now things are smooth as glass going down the road.
 

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