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noise coming from rear end of car, confuses me

This is a discussion on noise coming from rear end of car, confuses me within the Drivetrain forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; A few days ago I started noticing this noise coming from the rear end of the car. It sounds like ...

  1. #1
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    noise coming from rear end of car, confuses me

    A few days ago I started noticing this noise coming from the rear end of the car. It sounds like tire noise basically. But it just started. I figure if it were tire noise, it would have been there all along. The tires are Cooper Zeon 2XS's, if that makes a difference. I can mostly here it on decel, it stops at around 10mph. On accel I can hear it, but barely due to my exhaust. I can't tell what side its coming from, or if its from the center. The differential makes no other noises, besides the occasional 2 or 3 clicks when in reverse, which i was told was normal for Torsens.

    So, any idea on what it could be? Bearings in the differential? Wheel bearings? Later tonite I'm gonna have a buddy follow close behind me to see if he can hear where its comeing from. The noise doesn't sound metallic in anyway.

    Also, almost forgot this, its probably time for a rearend fluid change too. The car has 65k on it, i just got it in December, and I dont know if its been done before. Could bad fluid cause the noise?

    Any ideas?

    Thanks,

    Matt
    Last edited by Matto4785; 09-16-2005 at 03:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Junior Member 01CalgarySS's Avatar
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    I would check your diff. Sounds like a Pinion
    Torsten

  3. #3
    51ChevyPanel
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    I had the same problem. It was the wheel bearings. I thought it was tire noise also. The bearings wore the bearing land down on the axle.

  4. #4
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    Well, as far as we can tell, it seems to be coming from the passenger side. So it seems like the wheel bearing. Anyone know how to swap it out? I have a Chiltons manual, but it says nothing about rear wheel bearings, only fronts, and then the axle bearings. Is it the same as the front wheel bearings? The bearings are like 12 bucks which is a lot better than paying hundreds for a bad diff.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  5. #5
    51ChevyPanel
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    Smile

    I replaced mine this weekend. Put your car on jackstands as high as you can safely get it. Remove the rearend cover, brake calipers, and brake rotors (a good time to rebuild the brakes). You do not have to disconnect any brake lines. Look at the differental and you will see a pin about 3/4 inch in diameter. This pin is held in place by a small threaded pin (about a 1/4 inch in diameter) with a 5/16 head. Remove threaded pin and tap out the 3/4" pin. Tap in about an inch and rotate the differental to allow you to pull the pin the rest of the way out. Now go to the wheel end of one axle and push it in about an inch. Rotate the differential around to where you can see one of the large holes. One of the holes will have springs in it. Rotate the differental around to the hole without the springs (I think it is the round one. Use a small pencil magnet to remove the retaining 'C' clip from the axle you pushed in. The axle in now ready to pull out. It should slide out easily. Repeat the steps for the opposite axle. Examine the axle. The bearing runs directly on the axle. One of mine had a 1/2 inch groove cut into it a couple of thousandths deep. If you a groove find a good machine shop to weld it up and turn it back to the right diameter. Remove the seal from the rearend housing ends. I used a pair of visegrips and deformed it and twisted them out. Now for the only hard part of the job. The bearing are a real pain in the as_ to get out. Save yourself some trouble and rent, borrow, or beg a puller to get the bearings out. I have several universal type pullers and was able to rig something up (after breaking a couple of my rigs). These bearings are really in there. Once you have the bearing out put every thing back together the way they came apart. With the exception of pulling the bearings it really is not that bad of a job. You will need to get a pair of bearings and seals, a differental gasket, and little less then 2 quarts of good gear grease/oil. Depending on what year you have you may have to use a different gear lube and if you have positraction you may also need the GM positraction additive.

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 51ChevyPanel
    I replaced mine this weekend. Put your car on jackstands as high as you can safely get it. Remove the rearend cover, brake calipers, and brake rotors (a good time to rebuild the brakes). You do not have to disconnect any brake lines. Look at the differental and you will see a pin about 3/4 inch in diameter. This pin is held in place by a small threaded pin (about a 1/4 inch in diameter) with a 5/16 head. Remove threaded pin and tap out the 3/4" pin. Tap in about an inch and rotate the differental to allow you to pull the pin the rest of the way out. Now go to the wheel end of one axle and push it in about an inch. Rotate the differential around to where you can see one of the large holes. One of the holes will have springs in it. Rotate the differental around to the hole without the springs (I think it is the round one. Use a small pencil magnet to remove the retaining 'C' clip from the axle you pushed in. The axle in now ready to pull out. It should slide out easily. Repeat the steps for the opposite axle. Examine the axle. The bearing runs directly on the axle. One of mine had a 1/2 inch groove cut into it a couple of thousandths deep. If you a groove find a good machine shop to weld it up and turn it back to the right diameter. Remove the seal from the rearend housing ends. I used a pair of visegrips and deformed it and twisted them out. Now for the only hard part of the job. The bearing are a real pain in the as_ to get out. Save yourself some trouble and rent, borrow, or beg a puller to get the bearings out. I have several universal type pullers and was able to rig something up (after breaking a couple of my rigs). These bearings are really in there. Once you have the bearing out put every thing back together the way they came apart. With the exception of pulling the bearings it really is not that bad of a job. You will need to get a pair of bearings and seals, a differental gasket, and little less then 2 quarts of good gear grease/oil. Depending on what year you have you may have to use a different gear lube and if you have positraction you may also need the GM positraction additive.

    Good luck
    Thanks a lot! I got a couple quick questions for you though.

    The bearings, are they wheel bearings, located near the wheel, or axle bearings located near the differential? Same with the seals?

    I have one bearing right now, Federal Mogul #5707, which looks like a circle with rollers in the inside diameter, its about 2" or so in diameter. Does this sound like the correct bearing? Cost me about 12 bucks.

    While I have the differential open, are there any other bearings that I could replace while I am there?

    Thanks a lot for the help!

    Matt

  7. #7
    51ChevyPanel
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    The wheel bearing is actually an axle bearing. It supports the axle at the ends of the rearend housing. You will see the seal when you remove the disc brake rotor. The bearing is right behind the seal. The other end of the axle is supported by the differental.

    It sounds like you have the right bearing. I would do both sides while you have it apart. I would leave the differental bearings alone. The receive oil all the time. The bearings at the ends of the tube receive less oil and usually wear out faster.

    Good luck

  8. #8
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    Thanks a lot! That clears up a ton for me!

    Matt

  9. #9
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    Well I replaced both bearings today. Simple job if you have the right tools. Unfortunatly I didnt, and had to drive all over to get them.

    The driver side bearing was good. No problems. I replaced it anyway. Passenger side, well the thin piece of metal that is around the bearings was bent. Also did some damage to where the bearing sits in the axle housing. A bit torn up. The axle shaft itself was pitted a bit. I replaced the bearing, and put it back togather cause I need the car running. There was no way around it.

    The noise is still there though. So unless the bearings need time to "break in", I basically have the same problem. The pits and the slightly chewed up axle housing is the cause most likely. So how can I fix them? The axle I can just replace. The housing damage is the thing that scares me. Is there any way to fix it? Its not horribly chewed up, just some slight damage, enough to make it rough.

    Thanks,

    Matt

  10. #10
    Awaiting Activation Liquifire's Avatar
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    sorry to joke, but.......fix it with a twelve bolt Moser.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Liquifire
    sorry to joke, but.......fix it with a twelve bolt Moser.

    Believe me I would if I could. But I just don't have the cash for one now.

  12. #12
    51ChevyPanel
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    If the housing is just a little scared and it still holds the bearing securely you are probably all right. The 'C' clip is what really holds you axle in. With everything installed the axle will actually slide in and out a bit.

    About the axle you said was pitted. If you can catch an edge with you finger nail it will be noisey. It will really be noisey when you are in turns and the axle bearings runs into the edge. I found an axle on EBay for $50 ($20) for shipping.

    Good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by 51ChevyPanel
    If the housing is just a little scared and it still holds the bearing securely you are probably all right. The 'C' clip is what really holds you axle in. With everything installed the axle will actually slide in and out a bit.

    About the axle you said was pitted. If you can catch an edge with you finger nail it will be noisey. It will really be noisey when you are in turns and the axle bearings runs into the edge. I found an axle on EBay for $50 ($20) for shipping.

    Good luck

    Yea, the bearing is in there nice and tight. Now that I think of it, the housing scaring cant be the source of the noise. There is no way the entire bearing would spin in the housing under normal circumstances. Its just way to toght of a fit.

    Now as far as the pitting goes. I didn't drag my fingernail on it, but i did run my fingers over it and it was enough to feel. I work in metal restoration(antique swords/shields/etc) and I see a pitting a lot at my job, and in comparision it didnt look bad. But being as it was on surface thats supposed to be nice and smooth and its where the bearing runs, the little bit that was there is probably enough to cause the noise. And since a new, unworn, and undamaged bearing is running on the pitted surface, the noise is just as bad if not worse at highway speed.

    This weekend I'm going to see about finding a another axle. Do you happen to know off-hand how many splines is on the axle?

    Thanks for all your help, I really appreciate it!

    Matt

  14. #14
    51ChevyPanel
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    If I remember correctly 97 and prior have 28 and the later ones have 30. I checked out the salvage yards here (Charleston, SC) and no one had an axle. I am sure GM is real proud of theirs and want a fortune for one.

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    I thought it was 30 spline. I remember hearing it somewhere.

    And as far as GM, I really don't want to know how much they would ask for one. My cousin works for a pontiac dealer so I could get her discount, but I doubt it would help much. Hopefully I can find one in the boneyard or something.

    What should I look for? Any '93 up V8 F-body with ABS of course, but any others? S10/Sonoma maybe? Impala/Caprice?

    Thanks for your help,

    Matt
    Last edited by Matto4785; 09-23-2005 at 03:46 PM.

  16. #16
    Marc '99T/A
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    Matt,
    Your problem and what you are going through is EXACTLY what is happening with me. First off, I changed the axle bearing that I thought was causing the noise. When I did that, I saw the scarring that it left in the axle. Well I decided to buy a set of Moser replacement axles instead of stock. The only thing is that I went to change the axle about 8,000 miles after I changed the bearing. (I was in Cali in the Marines and didn't have much time to work on the car. Then, I got out and drove back to Louisiana.) Well, when I was putting the new driver's side axle in, it wouldn't go far enough in to allow the c-clip to hook up. So now, I've been driving around with that new bearing getting worn down by the bad axle, and I have yet to figure out how to get the damn thing in far enough for the c-clip. I'm worse off now than when I started. I have bad bearings again, one new axle and one stock axle, andhe sound is still there, and probably will always be. One day, I'll grind down the area of the axle that needs it, and get a new set of bearings and seals and a case of beer and get it done one afternoon. Right now I'm kinda just waiting for these hurricanes to stop for a minute.
    Basically, don't get too discouraged. There is someone, somewhere who is basically in the same boat you are in, just maybe a little worse.
    Anyways... good luck. I just had to tell a short version of my story. (Honestly, it was the short version.)
    -Marc

  17. #17
    51ChevyPanel
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    I believe you are going to need to look for f-bodies, 98 and later, without traction control. The traction control axles have 3 reluctor rings in them. One at the ring gear and one at each of the wheel flanges.

    Good luck

  18. #18
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    marc '99T/A- Yea the noise is annoying the crap outta me. Hopefully I'll get it fixed up soon. I also had a problem with getting the C-clip on when I had it apart. Took me 2 and a buddy 2 hours to get it in. The axle needed to be pushed in just 2mm more for the clip to go on. After checking for every little thing of what could be holding it we got pissed and started shaking it and twisting it and the damn thing popped right in. That pissed us off even more. But it got it. I guess it was getting binded up where the axle splines meets the gears or something. Good luck with yours.

    51chevypanel- My car has traction control and has the notched ring at the end of each axle near the studs. So I can only use '98+ f-body axles with the ring, correct? I thought any 4th gen axle would work, cause I thought the rearend on the cars didnt change much at all.

    Thanks for your help,

    Matt

  19. #19
    Marc '99T/A
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    Whoa - you got it in? Mine was doing the SAME thing!!! The damn thing needed about that same amount to go in also. Must be the same thing holding it back. I gave up and figured it wasn't built to exact specs, and would have to have some areas milled down. Well, I know what I'm doing next weekend! I'm gonna shake the dog piss out of that thing until it goes in. If it doesn't, I won't be surprised, though. Sometimes I think I was destined to have that noise. Hopefully I can get it all squared away.

  20. #20
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    yea, the only thing though, I still have the stock axles, so I knew it fit in before, something was just holding it up. Good luck with yours.

    Matt

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