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Discussion Starter #1
From around 60 km/h (38 mph) my 1G XL-7 has a whining noise which disappears at 70 km/h. Although my tires (Dunlop GrandTrek AT3) are very noisy - the front ones are cupped, probably caused by the alignment having been incorrect - I still think the "singing" is cogs-related. When doing 60-70 km/h:
  1. the noise is much less when I release the throttle;
  2. the noise disappears when I shift the (auto) gearbox into "N";
  3. the noise becomes louder for a fraction of a second when I release the throttle and switch off the overdrive immediately after that.
This would suggest that the noise occurs only when the cogs are under load.

I had the vehicle checked in 2 shops which specialize in transmissions. Mainly because of the tire noises neither of the mechanics could draw a conclusion following the test drive. In both shops they "drove" the vehicle on a car lift at 60 km/h and checked both diffs, transfercase, drive shafts and wheel bearings with a stethoscope - no result ! Neither of them heard any unusual noises. In both shops the wheels were spinning in the air with no resistance, which may be why they didn't find anything.

Immediately after I bought the vehicle I had all fluids replaced, including the oil in both diffs, the transfer case and the gearbox. Although some of the fluids were quite black, no metal fragments were found in the old oil.

I'm considering to have it checked again on a lift, but this time perhaps using the breaks to put some load on all the gear wheels.

Are there any other ways to find the cause of the whining? Elsewhere on the forum I read something about a diagnostic tool named ChassisEAR. Can this be used when driving on the road? If not, I guess a stethoscope will work just as well(?).
 

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Find some one that knows how to diagnose and has a ChassisEar so that they can isolate the issue while driving under load.. The other option would be to use a dyno machine..
 

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From around 60 km/h (38 mph) my 1G XL-7 has a whining noise which disappears at 70 km/h. Although my tires (Dunlop GrandTrek AT3) are very noisy - the front ones are cupped, probably caused by the alignment having been incorrect - I still think the "singing" is cogs-related. When doing 60-70 km/h:
  1. the noise is much less when I release the throttle;
  2. the noise disappears when I shift the (auto) gearbox into "N";
  3. the noise becomes louder for a fraction of a second when I release the throttle and switch off the overdrive immediately after that.
This would suggest that the noise occurs only when the cogs are under load.

I had the vehicle checked in 2 shops which specialize in transmissions. Mainly because of the tire noises neither of the mechanics could draw a conclusion following the test drive. In both shops they "drove" the vehicle on a car lift at 60 km/h and checked both diffs, transfercase, drive shafts and wheel bearings with a stethoscope - no result ! Neither of them heard any unusual noises. In both shops the wheels were spinning in the air with no resistance, which may be why they didn't find anything.

Immediately after I bought the vehicle I had all fluids replaced, including the oil in both diffs, the transfer case and the gearbox. Although some of the fluids were quite black, no metal fragments were found in the old oil.

I'm considering to have it checked again on a lift, but this time perhaps using the breaks to put some load on all the gear wheels.

Are there any other ways to find the cause of the whining? Elsewhere on the forum I read something about a diagnostic tool named ChassisEAR. Can this be used when driving on the road? If not, I guess a stethoscope will work just as well(?).
Hi there:)

I own a 06 GV XL7 with auto trans. I have the same issue or at least it kinda sound like it! In my case I located the whistling/ whining noise to the transfer case/gear box. At first I replaced al the fluids which sadly did nothing to stop the sound! Then I started to investigate further and noticed that when I placed my hand on the gear lever on the trans gear(H2, H4 and L4) I felt the vibrations that followed the frequency of the sound and the sound even changed the noise just a little.

After the revelation I took an oil sample witch I had tested and It came back all right with just a slightly higher amount of chrome! My theory is that I have a worn out bearing in the trans case. So this winter I will disable the case and see what I find. Up un till then I would just have to listen to the noise :)

Hope it was any help otherwise I’ll wish you look finding the reason for your issue:)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Aquanaut and Dane.

2 out of 3 experts have now said that it is probably a bearing, most likely in the rear differential. One of them told me that if the noise starts if you take the load off - i.e. release the throttle or shift into "N"- it is usually a bearing. To me it sounds more like a gear wheel, but then again I'm not a pro.

I guess I'll need to have someone take a good look at it, apparently if you keep driving with a bad bearing this may cause damage to the gear wheels.
 

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That is a typical indication of bearing and / or ring and pinion gear issues. A close examination of the existing gear oil for particulate matter and an external manual check / feel for gear contact slop will disclose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That is a typical indication of bearing and / or ring and pinion gear issues. A close examination of the existing gear oil for particulate matter and an external manual check / feel for gear contact slop will disclose.
The external checks didn't reveal any problems, so I fear some dismantling will have to take place. Will they have to take the entire axle down, or can diff parts be examined and/or replaced with just disconnecting the propeller shaft and drive shafts, and removing the diff covers?
 

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The housing stays in place. The the axles are pulled and the diff internals then accessed / removed, even the pinion (input) shaft, assuming the worse.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks Aquanaut and Dane.

2 out of 3 experts have now said that it is probably a bearing, most likely in the rear differential. One of them told me that if the noise starts if you take the load off - i.e. release the throttle or shift into "N"- it is usually a bearing. To me it sounds more like a gear wheel, but then again I'm not a pro.

I guess I'll need to have someone take a good look at it, apparently if you keep driving with a bad bearing this may cause damage to the gear wheels.
Just discovered a slip of the pen; I meant to write "... if the noise becomes less loud if you take the load off ...".

@ Max: does that change your verdict as to what, in all likelihood, causes the noise?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Also, does what I wrote "the noise becomes louder for a fraction of a second when I release the throttle and switch off the overdrive immediately after that." point in the same direction, i.e. bearing and/or ring and pinion gear issues?
 

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The only option is open and inspect. :(
 

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One could also employ a CHASSISEAR to locate the source of the noise.. once isolated, then get to the fix...
97618
 

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Here is a chap I can recommend, dont know how far away he is from you..

Constructieweg 2 (4,775.87 mi)
Mijdrecht, Netherlands 3641

 

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Discussion Starter #15
After replacing the noisy (cupped) tires with quieter ones, I visited both the transmission shops I went to before to get a more accurate diagnosis. Independently from each other both concluded that the whining is caused by wear in the pinion and crown gears.

Both advised to leave things as they are, because:
  • the issue is unlikely to get me stranded;
  • at this mileage it is not unusual for a 4x4 that some cogs noise is audible;
  • fixing it will be very expensive;
  • there is no guarantee that replacing crown and pinion wheels will make the noise disappear (limited sound insulation and bodywork being a resonance box were mentioned)

What would interest me is whether some cogs noise can be regarded as normal for a GV with 115.000 miles. Knowing that some of you have higher mileages than that, what are your experiences?
 

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Both advised to leave things as they are, because:
  • the issue is unlikely to get me stranded; Depends! Do you feel lucky? Tow? Go great distances? Have hilly terrain to navigate? Do serious off-roading?
  • at this mileage it is not unusual for a 4x4 that some cogs noise is audible; I have 340,000 miles on mine and NO noise what so ever.
  • fixing it will be very expensive; unless swapped out for a good / used donor rear axle assembly.
  • there is no guarantee that replacing crown and pinion wheels will make the noise disappear (limited sound insulation and bodywork being a resonance box were mentioned) BS. That is just an excuse for an improper or marginally acceptable repair effort. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks a bundle Max :cool:.

I would expect that used rear axle assemblies are extremely rare in The Netherlands, the XL-7 wasn’t sold in large numbers around here. Even if I find one, how do I determine that it doesn’t whine just as bad?

Perhaps I should ask yet another specialist to have a look at it :cautious: But then again, the 2 shops I visited are quite well known. Having said that, they probably don’t get to work on Suzuki’s much, I saw mainly Land Rovers there.

There are shops that specialize in Suzuki, but on general maintenance and modifications, not specifically on drive line components. And I believe work on differentials requires specific knowledge and experience.
 
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