Growling Howling bearing sound after front end rebuild!! (1 Viewer)

Joined
Jul 17, 2018
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LUGOFF, SC
HO LI FK! I thought for sure I had cocked up my front end rebuild.
Recently I regeared my baby and added ARB's to the rear and front axels. While in the front end I changed EVERYTHING. Took me three weeks of on and off work, waiting for new parts etc. etc.

About a hundred miles into the gear break-in a funny vibration started when I was floating between active acceleration and engine breaking, in that odd place where the drive train has no load on it, then it turned into a growl and when I hooked up the trailer it turned into a howl and was getting worse and I was terrified I had screwed something up.
Did I mess up the pinion bearing preload? No, couldn't have, bought the special torque wrench, followed the FSM and everything.
I greased the outer axel shafts right... of course you did, you packed the new spindles with grease, had to drive the grease into the needle bearings.
Did I forget to torque the wheel bearings?
I went back over everything in my head, could find nothing that I forgot, but damn, something horrible is going on!
Was damn near having a panic attack trying to think of ways to explain to my wife how I had managed to F-up near on 4 grand in parts and three weeks of shlepping my ass to work an hour before her shift and bumming rides home with coworkers. It wasn't pretty.

I checked the drive shafts, looking for loose u-joints. Couldn't find anything.
I finally pulled the front drive shaft and took it for a quick run... nothing, perfectly smooth.
Re-examined the U-joints and lo and behold one axis of the pinion end had a clicking, sticking bearing. No play, just a ratcheting feel in one spot.
#1 daughter picked up new u-joints at the stealership this afternoon and my boy helped me install them tonight after work....
Peace and quiet, smooooooth running. Ahhh crisis averted.

All that soul searching and panic over a damned U-joint that happened to die at the most inopportune time.

I guess the moral of this story, this tale of woe, have faith your abilities; sometimes there's just more s*** that needs fixing.

Ah well, my minor momentary panic is now over.
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2015
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733
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SF Bay Area, CA
Haha. I have mine on jackstands replacing the sway bar mounts on the axle. It has been that way for about a week as I’m getting other stuff done while I’m under there. Just yesterday I happened to see cracks in my brake lines, the soft ones from axle to caliper. It is bad. Checked the other 3 and they are all cracked. Glad I caught it now and not while driving. More s*** to fix always.
 
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
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South west utah
I don't believe in coincidences, maybe you did something wrong in the front axle that caused the U-Joint to fail. Only time will tell......


Haha, now you will not be able to sleep right for a month wondering if I am right or wrong.

nelson-munz-ha-ha.gif
 
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Joined
Jul 26, 2020
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Juneau, Alaska
I keep an eye on my shafts and joints regularly, and had something similar happened recently. Like you, luckily it was just a ujoint, despite the sounds and some other behaviors.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
1,855
Location
LUGOFF, SC
I don't believe in coincidences, maybe you did something wrong in the front axle that caused the U-Joint to fail. Only time will tell......


Haha, now you will not be able to sleep right for a month wondering if I am right or wrong.
That s*** ain't funny, man! 🤣
I'm confident it was just old age. The cups still had black paint on them, so probably original equipment. At 262k miles, they don't owe me a thing, almost gave me a stroke, but I'm going to chalk it up to old age.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2018
Messages
1,855
Location
LUGOFF, SC
I keep an eye on my shafts and joints regularly, and had something similar happened recently. Like you, luckily it was just a ujoint, despite the sounds and some other behaviors.
They get greased and inspected every oil change, 7500 miles. There is grease in that cross, but it's is burnt smelling. So it was just it's time.
 

clx16

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Oct 26, 2017
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Alpharetta GA
Man... I am pulling my front drive shaft and hoping my issue is there. Like you, mine had been out of commission for a while...but much longer than yours... Wasn't working on front axle but some of the work that got done in a batch was i put new delta arms on. I was pumped last weekend all packed up with get and heading to the mountains when a very rapid thumping noise on my right foot and loud happened as i pulled the hill in front of my house. Only did it under load but seemed to need less load to do it In a very short period of time.

I guess depressed is the right word for me now haha. Glad you figured it out and hope you can go enjoy it!
 

bajaphile

Boojum Hugger
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Apr 6, 2008
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Solana Beach, CA
The deeper gears probably amplified an existing issue on the driveshaft. I've been down that road 2 times now re-gearing vehicles to 4.88s.
 

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