Got a problem now that it's cold out

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Mar 27, 2003
Groveland MA
Last year when it was very cold out my truck would make this horendous noise but only occationally and in short bursts.

Well this year it has started already and the bursts are more frequent and last longer. I've held of posting a question because I was having a hard time coming up with any kind of description of the noise. The best that I've come up with is that of a zipper on a camping tent only deeper in tone and a lot louder. When it happens I can feel the vibrations on my left foot but not in the steering wheel. Last episode was almost half a minute in duration and I was able to shift into Neutral and rev the engine to rule anything there out. Speeding up has seemed to help stop it and it only manifests itself when driving down a flat road under constant speed and and little power, almost coasting along.

Thanks for any help
This doesn't sound like your problem, but cold belts can make a really bad sound - usually only until they warm up - it sounds like your problem can happen at any time?

Cheers, Hugh
Transmission related?
How about the front driveshaft?
Mine did something similar , in terms of speed-affected etc , and it was my hubs ? Something needed a ton of grease .. drove it to Toyota and they fixed 'er up .

The frequency of bursts increased with time , and was somewhat abated by speeding up .. more of a screech though , shortly off the line .

Good luck Rick ,

How long since you repacked the wheel bearings? Had a similar noise at the start of last winter. Repacked the front wheel bearings and it went away.

yes ! Thats what the hell I was tryin to remember ... bearings ... couldn't remember ; only the general location . *out*
they should have been repacked 30k ago. Got time this weekend so I'll do it and see what happens. Since I don't have the hub gaskets, what do you guys think of reusing them even if they are torn.

If you are refering to the drive flange gaskets you should be ok at least for a short time. When you pull the flanges, do it gently and if the gasket hangs up half-and-half use a razor blade to separate it from one piece or the other. When you have time in the near future you can take a few minutes and pop the flanges and swith out the gaskets. If they come off whole and easily in the first place you could most likely get away with them til the next time you do a service.

I prefer new ones but it is the least important gasket in the job and the nearest to the surface.


Grasping here, but did you discuss that you have different size tires in another thread recently? I ask because this sounds suspiciously like the ABS pump engaging - a low frequency "zipper" sound that might vibrate the floor pan a bit. Obviously, the tires would cause the ABS system to be on the threshold of activating and environmental issues could push it over the edge. One way to know if this is it would be at night your headlights will instantly dim a bit due to the load, then brighten when it stops.

I have all the same tires, however one has been run low for a while and slightly larger. It has happened everyday for the last 3 days. What do you think about pulling a relay or fuse to that pump. I understand what the ABS does but not the actual workings of the parts.

I didn't know it was happening so much. That will make it easier to diagnose. To rule out the ABS, you could pull the ABS fuse. I've pulled them on many other SUV's to wheel with them, but never on the 80 as its ABS is correctly setup for offroading by shutting off in low range. Shouldn't be difficult as it is going to be a large (30 amp+) one.

ABS is pretty simple, but the beef behind the system is a powerful hydraulic pump that is the instant electrical load you can see in the headlamps.

So, pull the fuse if it's happening daily and see if it goes away until reconnected.

I've got the CDL switch so being T-Day an all, I thought a quick ride in high centered lock might help. Another thought I had last night, isn't there a brass bushing located on the outboard side of the birf? I've seen bushings get a real hard nasty gunk on them and cause shafts to vibrate under similar low load turning.

Yeah, I know what you mean about long bushings doing that bind/vibration thing, but the sympathetic frequency of parts as large as the axle shaft and that bushing precludes them making a noise. They have a bit of clearance, also.

If this part is something siezing/dry, then it's fairly small to have the ability to vibrate and make the noise you describe (sound is merely the part flexing and pumping out sound waves). So, I'm suspecting it's NOT something siezing/dry, but more along the lines of the ABS pump activating, the charcoal filter honking, an accessory bearing going south, etc. The reason I'm zooming in on the ABS pump is that something siezing would not "recover" by going faster as you note in your original post - it would generate MORE heat and sieze.

Stick with the ABS pump. Let me know if you need help finding the fuse.

Cool. Keep us posted. I'm thinking it'll be the ABS pump, and that the OBDII system will tell you which sensor is activating it. Then you'll be able to pull it (or all), wipe off some accumulated metal filings and finish before a cup of coffee cools (one bolt per).


2 months ago, the morning after returning from a 900 mile freeway trip, I got a noise from the right front side. It happened at slow speeds only. Started out somewhat as you describe - a low pitched, loud zipperring noise that quickly became more like a long goose honk. It only did it at low speeds - about 5 mph - and seemed to do it when I hit a bump. It would usually stop as soon as I hit the brake pedal.

Took it to the Toyota dealer and a mechanic rode with me. He said it had to be a wheel bearing. It sounded nothing at all to me like a wheel bearing. Not even close to any sound bad wheel bearings have made in my many years of driving.

He tore into it and sure enough, he showed me a bad inner wheel bearing.

Hope this helps.


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