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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys:

I have a noise from the front end that came out of no where. Heres my situation and I cannot get it solved. After I got home of a problem free day of mudding in my samurai I went to drive her after a month of sitting. Took it down the road and had a loud and scary metal on metal sound coming from the front end. I checked all the fluids and replaced the front diff fluid and went for another drive. Same metal on metal screeching noise. I do not think that this type of noise could be caused by a wheel bearing? Any insight or ideas to solving this would be great. This is definitely not coming from my engine by the way. And the noise only happens when driving forwards.

Please help. Thanks in advance,

Ryan
 

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Sounds like you got small rocks and sand caught between the front brake pads and rotor......this happens to me all the time on another disc brake vehicle i have ( i don't rough play with my zuk) simple cure is to take a hose and wash both sides of the calipers real good (No need to take apart) this dries the mud and stuff that is caught back there right now and won't go away..... It has to be cleaned by washing and pulling forward and back a few feet...... I keep a can of Brake-Kleen with me for a quick fix on the road..... it does screech real loud until you clean it out.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thats the thing, I do not have break calipers just the rotors and dust shield. It isn't dust shield rub either.
 

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You don't have any brake pads on your front rotors? (no brakes in the front?)you had no noise when you parked it and now you do...... somehow,somewhere the mud dried up and is causing this..... if it was a wheel bearing or something gear type it would have happened before you stopped and parked it....
you probably did this already but if not try locking the hubs move few feet then unlock them..... do the same with the transfer case.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I have narrowed it down with a few tests. The terrible metal on metal sound only happens when the wheels are locked. If they're unlocked it drives just fine. Does anyone know what it could be?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Using this diagram: What bearings are engaged when the hubs are unlocked and what doesn't move? An explanation of this would greatly help me rule out certain parts since the noise is only there when the hubs are LOCKED.

Suzuki Samurai front 4WD axle
 

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That's great you got it down to that..... now do one more test and lock just one wheel and try it. then unlock it and lock the other side and try it..... If it only does it on one side and not the other then you can be sure it's the outer spindle bearings on the side that made the noise (part 2 and 3 on the spindle diagram) if it does it independently on both sides then chances are it's in the main differential. my hunch and hopefully i'm right is when you lock the hubs those hub bearings are under more of a load and hence the noise and this test will give you a side to look at.
Joe
 

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Gut feeling is it's those spindle bearings but without me being there it's hard to diagnose via posts as pressure on those bearings would be greater from the tire side when locked as opposed to from the inside going out in the unlocked position..... just guesses here but i'm really interested to hear what you get from the different wheels locked while the other is open..... another thought is maybe the locking hub has some kind of interference in there where it meets the axle.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yup, I will give it a test tomorrow afternoon. But in the meantime I have been trying to locate the possible bearings on the internet so I can order them ASAP. Do you know a good site for them or whats the part numbers ect....?

Thanks
 

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Don't buy the part til your sure that's the problem..... It could be something as simple as something caught under the locking hub stuff. I am a long time mechanic of 4x4's and anything else with a motor but i've only had my zuk a few months and not familiar with the parts dept yet.... I've been going down to O'reillys auto parts here locally and they have everything i've needed so far. check out their website.... a google search brings up tons of places but im not sure which is best
 

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Discussion Starter #13
So, the sound did not happen when either of the wheels were individually locked. ONLY when both are locked and in 4x4. So do you have any idea what the problem is?!?
 

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Leaning toward the front pinion bearing where it hooks to the driveshaft..... crawl under the vehicle while it's not running. emergency brake on or wheels chocked put transmission in neutral and transfer case in neutral now push up and down and left and right with your hand on the driveshaft where it goes into the front differential then do the same where it goes into the transfer case.... hopefully, hopefully it's only a universal joint in the front driveshaft......
next test would be take the front drivehaft out and drive it with the transfer case in 4x4 and hubs unlocked.....if no noise then leave the driveshaft out and lock the front hubs and go for a ride....if it makes the noise it the front differential..... i'm really hoping it's just a universal joint be sure to mark how the driveshaft position it came out with white out so you can put it back the same way and not cause any undo vibrations.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much for the advice. But my question is...since in 4x4 when wheels are unlocked the sound is not there but the front driveshaft still spins. Then when I lock the wheels the driveshaft does nothing different (still spins) but then the noise comes up. So why would this lead you to think a u-joint? To the best of my knowledge wouldn't this lead you to think its something in the differential? If not could you explain why you still think it could be a u-joint. Thanks again
 

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I'm only hoping it's the universals because there is no pressure from the outside source of the locked hubs and wheels and that little bit of a variance might be enough but if you even just put everything in neutral hubs unlocked and spin the driveshaft it should turn nice and smooth with no up or down motion on the universals..... but now that your saying it doesn't do it while in 4x4 with hubs unlocked and only does it when hubs locked i lean again towards spindle bearings just below the locks ( the pinion bearing would give you a tell tale sign when under there pushing up and dowm) it could be the spider gears too..... with the driveshaft out you can spin all by hand and see which feels a little crunchy..... It's so hard to diagnose without being there and i'm just trying to give you variables to help you along. If your anywhere near new river arizona i would take a look at it for you.
Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Yup, again thanks. I was really just looking for an excuse not to tear apart the diff and pull the axles and so on. Guess I may have to. Oh well. Thanks Joe
 

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well the one good thing is it doesn't make the noise when i 4x4 with hubs unlocked so it sounds like the transfer case is okay..... after the test take the hub locks off both sides and work in on the spindles before going into the main part of the differential
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Joe one last thing, when you say this:

"the front pinion bearing where it hooks to the driveshaft"..."i lean again towards spindle bearings just below the locks ( the pinion bearing would give you a tell tale sign when under there pushing up and down)"

Could you please tell me the numbers of the bearings you are referring to on this diagram: http://www.zukioffroad.com/Tech_Library/images/diagrams/samurai_axles_exploded_view.JPG

thanks
 

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To point you to one particular bearing would be unfair on my part..... look at the diagram and it could be any one of those marked bearing (starting with #2) on the differential chart.... back in your sixth post you had a link with a picture of the side spindles where the tire bolts on #2 and 3 look there.
http://www.zukioffroad.com/Tech_Library/front_axle_samurai.shtml

taking a differential apart is a little complicated and has to be set up with the right tolerances to work properly.... if it's not one of those steering spindle bearings which you should be able to do if that's the problem then going inside the differential might be left to someone with the correct tools and ability to set it for proper tolerance or you could spend a lot of money doing it yourself and not work properly..... if your good at that stuff then please accept my apology....
pull the front driveshaft then lock the hubs and take it for a ride and see if it does it then.... taking it apart from the steering spindles in may be your only option
 
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