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-   -   Noise in rear end, maybe bearing, or gears? (

myvmax1 07-03-2013 10:44 AM

Noise in rear end, maybe bearing, or gears?
I know the title is vague, I'll try to narrow it down. I'll take you through the steps I took in diagnosis.

1. Replaced brake pads/shoes a month or so ago. All looked good in the rear, except wheel cylinders are wet, like the seals are weeping. I think, I will get to this later.

2. Some time (couple weeks?) I notice a tick-tick-tick-tick-tick from the rear of the vehical at 55+ mph speeds. ONLY on coasting deceleration, clutch in. I attribute this to exhaust note drowning it out at other times.

3. The "tick" continues while coasting (couple days passed) is it getting louder or am I "listenting" more for it?

4. I start experimenting. If I barely apply the brakes the noise goes away. Ok, so its the brakes. If I barely apply the emergency brake, it goes away. Ok, so its the rear brakes. I must have done something wrong in there, or a spring broke.

5. I open it back up, cant find a single thing wrong. All still looks good. I change the wheel cylinders this time as well.

6. Triple check everything and close it up. The noise is still there. This has been a couple weeks, the noise is definitly getting louder, and presenting itself at lower speeds.

It seems that it dosent happen right when I leave the driveway, but after several miles of driving. So I think its the gears, and they dont get noisy till the fluid is hot. I pull the fill plug on the rear end, fluid is full and still looks remarkably good from when I changed it some 15k ago.

After all this, the noise still goes away if I apply the brakes, or accelerate hard. It has gotten loud enough now that I can hear during acceleration.

My theory has got to be, at this point. That the gears are going, and accelerating or braking takes the slack out of their "mesh" to the point where the noise subsides. Good news is I have spare parts for times like these. Just looking for some insight and/or theories.


myvmax1 07-03-2013 12:22 PM

I'm also changing the U-joints today, although after I got the shaft just now they have near zero play. Changing them anyway as I already have the new, greasable units and these have 22 years and 140k on them. Anyone know what the typical life expectancy is?

Anyway, did the "make two marks" test to check free play in rear diff. I can rotate it just so I can feel the pinion touching the front and back of the ring teeth and its just over 1/4in. If I really load it (by hand) I can get 3/8in between my marks.

Just putting this up for further info.

Bex 07-03-2013 12:33 PM

One of my u-joints lasted 19 years, 180,000 miles. The rest are still original in the car.
Regarding your ticking, I would raise the rear and spin the wheels to see if you hear the ticking at the wheel. Presumably the tempo is in time with your speed? Sound can travel, particularly at speed, and often appears to come from one place when it's really coming from somewhere else.

myvmax1 07-03-2013 12:46 PM

Yes, its speed variable. The ticking has evolved somewhat into a more sustained sound, almost like a bearing with a rough spot (flat spot on a ball?).

Its applying the emergency brake silencing it making me think brake parts. Its accelerating hard silencing it as well makes me think gears. I cant think either of those would change the percievable rotational load on a bearing.

loosenut 07-04-2013 05:50 PM

Chasing a noise, joy. Sounds like you are going about the diagnostic correctly. Exhaust or a heat shield can sometimes tick and rattle like that. I would check all the dangerous stuff and, if still no dice, turn up the stereo and drive it. I think it very unlikely the rear diff is warn out, they are super tuff and long lived.

aquanaut20 07-04-2013 09:15 PM

I think it will resolve when you re/re the u-joints... Philip

myvmax1 07-05-2013 10:45 AM


Originally Posted by aquanaut20 (Post 455122)
I think it will resolve when you re/re the u-joints... Philip

Actually, I wasnt going to say anything as I haven't had a chance to drive any distance to fully confirm, but in the couple short trips (across town) I have made since changing the u-joints I haven't been able to reproduce the symptom, and it feels like some of the driveline lash is gone too.

I will know today as I'm pulling my little trailer about 30mi, that will tell me for sure if its fixed.

So, oddly enough, even though I coulden't find any play in them while pushing/pulling/twisting on the drive shaft while on the truck, and the yoke's pivoted smooth (in hand) off the truck, there was still something going bad in them causing the noise. Well, lesson learned.

I'll post up after today's extended road test.

Thanks for the input everyone.

myvmax1 07-05-2013 05:05 PM

As usual, relief was short lived.

The noise came back today, just the same as it was. Same conditions as it was. Not sure where to go from here. Hell, it might be something in the transmission for all I know.

I'll probably just change my fluids and drive it. I guess when something lets go I'll know where the problem was.

aquanaut20 07-06-2013 08:17 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Borrow a "ChassisEar"..... Philip

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