Question for those that have had bad hub-bearings: - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 33 Old 01-20-2015, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question for those that have had bad hub-bearings:

I've got a slight/ faint rattling noise that seems to be coming from the pass side wheel. I've pulled and inspected the brakes/ calipers/ pads/ rotors/ axle shafts/ stub shafts/ etc... on both sides and no sign of anything causing the noise.

It's not a heat-shield type rattle. Seems to be related to rotation of wheels... slow speed/ windows open you can hear it... higher speed not so much. Doesn't seem to be related to suspension/ components... I've thoroughly inspected the suspension as well. Going over bumps/ rocks/ potholes doesn't seem to cause the noise either.

When I had the front end jacked up, I did the obligatory wheel-shake test to see if I could feel any play in the hub bearings but I couldn't feel anything loose. It is possible that I wasn't able to replicate any shake since the 37's were a little hard to handle and because I didn't use a 2x4 or pipe underneath as a fulcrum.

So... if the hub bearings are going bad, can they make noise even though there may not be any play?

Anyone hear any faint [rotational] rattling-type noise occurring along with a bad hub bearing?

Thanks.

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post #2 of 33 Old 01-20-2015, 06:04 PM
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I head similar noises and replaced my unit bearings even though they had no play. Turns out in my case it was the front driveshaft making the noise.
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post #3 of 33 Old 01-20-2015, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I don't think it's a drive-shaft... mainly b/c I keep my shafts maintained pretty well, noise coming from front wheel area ( seemingly), and not that type of noise. I may dbl-check 'em but I'm really curious to hear from those that have had bad bearings and if they made any noise. Thank you again... reply much appreciated.

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post #4 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 02:27 AM
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In my case it was the centering ball on the DC joint of the front driveshaft. The flat needle Zerk you can't get to with the shaft installed. I was lubing all the zerks but didn't know that one was even there you have to pull the shaft to grease that one. There is a thread I started about it in modified.

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post #5 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 05:11 AM
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X2 on the centering ball.

I had a similiar squeak when on the road. A rotational thump in 4 low.

pulled the axle end of the front DS and strapped it up and drove it...squeak gone. Rebuilt the centering ball, all good.

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post #6 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 06:45 AM
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I've had a brake pad retaining clip fail that made similar noises as the loose pads wiggled and rattled around a bit.

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post #7 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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I genuinely appreciate the feedback. All brake parts check out fine... completely pulled apart and inspected thoroughly. Really don't think it's drive-shaft related either.

The type of noise is I guess comparable to having a handful of very very small gravel trapped inside a center cap on the wheel. I don't run center caps so that's not it... but again... seems to be a sound that coincides with the rotation of the wheels and again... hearing it coming from passenger side front wheel area ( I think).

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post #8 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
I genuinely appreciate the feedback. All brake parts check out fine... completely pulled apart and inspected thoroughly. Really don't think it's drive-shaft related either.

The type of noise is I guess comparable to having a handful of very very small gravel trapped inside a center cap on the wheel. I don't run center caps so that's not it... but again... seems to be a sound that coincides with the rotation of the wheels and again... hearing it coming from passenger side front wheel area ( I think).
Does the sound change when turning right and left?

To answer your original question, yes, the bearing cam make noise and still feel OK when trying to wiggle the wheel/tire.

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post #9 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 01:43 PM Thread Starter
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Does the sound change when turning right and left?

To answer your original question, yes, the bearing cam make noise and still feel OK when trying to wiggle the wheel/tire.
Nothing about the noise changes. It is intermittent and turning drive or pass side does not seem to effect the frequency, pitch, tone, sound, etc. I do hear it mainly at slower speeds but that could certainly be related to other variables... mainly the sound of the tires drowning out any other faint noises.

I really appreciate your input here.

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post #10 of 33 Old 01-21-2015, 01:44 PM
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generally a bad wheel bearing will make a low tone "howling" noise. with aggressive tread tires sometimes they can be hard to hear in the early stages of failure, until they develop full on play. with a set of 37"s any play would be magnified when pulling/pushing the tire at the 12 and 6 oclock position (larger tire diameter=more leverage.) could also double check your axle u joints for play, as they turn with the tire unless your running an aftermarket spindle set up with lock out/in hubs.
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post #11 of 33 Old 01-23-2015, 08:26 AM
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I have had a couple bearing assemblies make noise without having any play. Once i removed them, i could feel the roughness in the bearings.

I originally thought it was my tires, but the noise still persisted with new tires.

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post #12 of 33 Old 01-23-2015, 09:01 AM
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I had a hub assembly start to go , before it growls, if you have a flat spot on one or two of the bearings inside the track you may here a metal on metal clicking.
Easy way to check this, pull the tire, rotor, and calipers , and spin the hub by hand. If its insanely easy to spin, or you have a slight click on occasion, you probably caught it ahead of it actually going bad.

Good luck
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post #13 of 33 Old 01-23-2015, 11:42 AM
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Bust out the mechanics stethoscope to diagnose the bearing. That is the best tool for that job.
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post #14 of 33 Old 01-23-2015, 03:48 PM
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jack stands and run it in gear. much easier to diagnose as you are not dealing with road/wind/tire noise.
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post #15 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 04:23 AM
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I think I understand the sound that you're hearing....mine does something similar, but only when it's cold, and ONLY under load.... if I coast, noise isn't there, but if I'm on the gas, there's a heat shield like rattle coming from underneath, seemingly drivers side. Everything checks out ok. But, I haven't checked the driveshaft... so this thread has helped someone. .

I'll have to crawl under there and check that shaft, probably when it's not so damn cold.

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post #16 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 05:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Door View Post
I think I understand the sound that you're hearing....mine does something similar, but only when it's cold, and ONLY under load.... if I coast, noise isn't there, but if I'm on the gas, there's a heat shield like rattle coming from underneath, seemingly drivers side. Everything checks out ok. But, I haven't checked the driveshaft... so this thread has helped someone. .

I'll have to crawl under there and check that shaft, probably when it's not so damn cold.

Sounds like pre detonation or knock. Mine does it when cold if hard on the Throttle. Techron helps every few fill ups.

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post #17 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 06:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StubEXrube View Post
Nothing about the noise changes. It is intermittent and turning drive or pass side does not seem to effect the frequency, pitch, tone, sound, etc. I do hear it mainly at slower speeds but that could certainly be related to other variables... mainly the sound of the tires drowning out any other faint noises.

I really appreciate your input here.
My passenger side wheel bearing made this noise. swapped it. no noise.
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post #18 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 12:00 PM
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Sounds like pre detonation or knock. Mine does it when cold if hard on the Throttle. Techron helps every few fill ups.
Which is strange because I use supreme (91 octane) fuel religiously. Although winter fuel might not help. It sounds like a hamster ball half full of marbles. And mine seems to be when it's cold and I'm on the fuel at all. It's odd.

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post #19 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 01:10 PM
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I recently had a bad unit bearing and a bad centering ball.

Shaking the wheel didn't reveal the unit bearing was bad. Then the speed sensor went wacko in that position. When I pulled the wheel to replace the speed sensor I could see play in the hub. So now I've got a new hub installed and a spare speed sensor.

Then heading up the driveway in the morning I heard a squeak from the other front tire. Only low speed. Figured the other unit bearing needed to be replaced, but after getting the bearing and pulling the tire, the existing one was fine. Jacked both front wheels off the ground and starting spinning things, discovered it was coming from the double cardan joint. Dropped the front drive shaft and no more squeak.

Now I have a spare unit bearing complete with speed sensor plus another spare speed sensor, and a 1310 rebuild kit that will hopefully get done tomorrow.

BTW, Adams Driveshaft had the best price on rebuild kits. I never trust u-joints for use on highway after taking them out. New ones aren't that expensive and the old ones are good for trail spares if they aren't too beat.

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post #20 of 33 Old 01-24-2015, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Door View Post
Which is strange because I use supreme (91 octane) fuel religiously. Although winter fuel might not help. It sounds like a hamster ball half full of marbles. And mine seems to be when it's cold and I'm on the fuel at all. It's odd.

Yep. Every day for the first few miles. Even if I warm the jeep up for 10-15 minutes.
I'm running 93 but tuned.

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post #21 of 33 Old 01-25-2015, 11:05 AM
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Yep. Every day for the first few miles. Even if I warm the jeep up for 10-15 minutes.
I'm running 93 but tuned.
But it's only when it's cold... today it was a degree above freezing and I noticed that even after sitting for a couple hours it didn't make the noise... that's so strange. I'm not tuned, I feel like I should be now, haha.

Also, I think I do have a heatshield rattle from somewhere. My initial guess (meaning sitting in the drivethru listening to it while waiting for coffee) is the exhaust crossover pipe infront of the crossmember.

Stub, any luck ?

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post #22 of 33 Old 01-25-2015, 09:59 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ledzep_06 View Post
generally a bad wheel bearing will make a low tone "howling" noise. with aggressive tread tires sometimes they can be hard to hear in the early stages of failure, until they develop full on play. with a set of 37"s any play would be magnified when pulling/pushing the tire at the 12 and 6 oclock position (larger tire diameter=more leverage.) could also double check your axle u joints for play, as they turn with the tire unless your running an aftermarket spindle set up with lock out/in hubs.
yeah... nope. No play doing the wheel-wiggle thing. Def not a howling noise at all. Kinda sounds like swirling around a tin-can with a few BB's or small bearings inside... or gravel. Running u-joints. I may change them out just for the hell of it when I do my hubs. Thanks, man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tjkoen01 View Post
I have had a couple bearing assemblies make noise without having any play. Once i removed them, i could feel the roughness in the bearings.
Noted. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jlagross View Post
I had a hub assembly start to go , before it growls, if you have a flat spot on one or two of the bearings inside the track you may here a metal on metal clicking.
Easy way to check this, pull the tire, rotor, and calipers , and spin the hub by hand. If its insanely easy to spin, or you have a slight click on occasion, you probably caught it ahead of it actually going bad.
It does kind of sound like metal on metal. I appreciate the advice. I can't remember at the moment if I ever tried spinning the hub assemble by hand. Damn it's hell getting old lol. I'll try that for sure next time I pull the wheels and brakes. Thank you.

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Originally Posted by White13JKUR View Post
Bust out the mechanics stethoscope to diagnose the bearing. That is the best tool for that job.
I may pick one of those up. I was actually going to get one a while back... just to have, but I never got one. Most of 'em are fairly cheap but I'm guessing that I don't need "the best" for this particular diagnosis. Much appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjacobs View Post
jack stands and run it in gear. much easier to diagnose as you are not dealing with road/wind/tire noise.
I may go this route as well. I was considering doing this. The main reason I didn't hassle with it was b/c I started thinking that it may not yield any conclusive diagnosis with no weight/ load on the actual wheels ( bearings). Thanks for the recommendation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Door View Post
I think I understand the sound that you're hearing....mine does something similar, but only when it's cold, and ONLY under load.... if I coast, noise isn't there, but if I'm on the gas, there's a heat shield like rattle coming from underneath, seemingly drivers side. Everything checks out ok. But, I haven't checked the driveshaft... so this thread has helped someone. .

I'll have to crawl under there and check that shaft, probably when it's not so damn cold.
This definitely isn't engine related and not a warm/ cold difference. I too have a very slight heat shield vibration/ rattle when cold but not concerned about that one right now... One irritating noise at a time lol.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Apt View Post
My passenger side wheel bearing made this noise. swapped it. no noise.
Very good to know. Thank you for chiming in on this one. I'm really starting to lean towards a bad unit bearing atm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BumpInTheRoad View Post
I recently had a bad unit bearing and a bad centering ball.

Shaking the wheel didn't reveal the unit bearing was bad. Then the speed sensor went wacko in that position. When I pulled the wheel to replace the speed sensor I could see play in the hub. So now I've got a new hub installed and a spare speed sensor.

Then heading up the driveway in the morning I heard a squeak from the other front tire. Only low speed. Figured the other unit bearing needed to be replaced, but after getting the bearing and pulling the tire, the existing one was fine. Jacked both front wheels off the ground and starting spinning things, discovered it was coming from the double cardan joint. Dropped the front drive shaft and no more squeak.

Now I have a spare unit bearing complete with speed sensor plus another spare speed sensor, and a 1310 rebuild kit that will hopefully get done tomorrow.

BTW, Adams Driveshaft had the best price on rebuild kits. I never trust u-joints for use on highway after taking them out. New ones aren't that expensive and the old ones are good for trail spares if they aren't too beat.
I'm going to really get into my front drive-shaft just for piece of mind next time I get the chance to check things again. I may go ahead and pull it while I'm under there. I still don't think that's what the noise is... especially after reading thru all of y'alls replies, but doesn't hurt to pull things apart and give all suspect parts the once-over. Thanks for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Door View Post

Stub, any luck ?
Haven't had time over the last week or so... plus been too cold. I've got a few days off starting tuesday so hopefully if the weather cooperates and that girl...um... Chelsea... yeah.. that's her... hopefully if she doesn't decide that she wants to go somewhere that will eat up my time, then I will get a chance to start looking into this again. I swear I need to get her a puppy or something... sigh.

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post #23 of 33 Old 01-26-2015, 09:28 AM
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I had/have a similar rattle and occasional moan at idle. Worse on cold starts. Looking underneath noticed a new big scrape/dent on the exhaust pipe under the back door. just forward of there but behind the dual pipe the squeeze connector/hangar was loose and the exhaust fitting leaking condensate, slipping and hanging low. I tightened it up and no more rattle although it still hangs and clunks on the tcase skid at the crossover like mentioned above. Now for the rotational click..........and cylindar 5 misfire

mehbe not what you chasing now but, as you said, one rattle at a time!
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post #24 of 33 Old 01-26-2015, 02:46 PM
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Haven't had time over the last week or so... plus been too cold. I've got a few days off starting tuesday so hopefully if the weather cooperates and that girl...um... Chelsea... yeah.. that's her... hopefully if she doesn't decide that she wants to go somewhere that will eat up my time, then I will get a chance to start looking into this again. I swear I need to get her a puppy or something... sigh.
Fuck you too eh... the last couple of weeks my girlfriend and I have had well matching schedules (we both work shift work) and holy mother of god, I've gotten nothing accomplished. I wanted to strip my winch down, crawl around underneath my Jeep and get some stuff done, paint some other stuff...so far? nothing. Fuck. Puppy would be ideal I think.

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post #25 of 33 Old 01-26-2015, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 2Door View Post
I think I understand the sound that you're hearing....mine does something similar, but only when it's cold, and ONLY under load.... if I coast, noise isn't there, but if I'm on the gas, there's a heat shield like rattle coming from underneath, seemingly drivers side. Everything checks out ok. But, I haven't checked the driveshaft... so this thread has helped someone. .

I'll have to crawl under there and check that shaft, probably when it's not so damn cold.
I had the same issue. It turned out to be the heatshield on the exhaust. A couple tack welds and the noise is gone..
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