LX 450 Axle squeal (1 Viewer)

Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
Truck has 235000 on the clock. PO/PM unknown. Yesterday for the first time I heard a 1 second low pitch squeal at about 30mph that that seemed to come from in front near the left side axle. I recently repacked the right front bearing ( obvious play ) everything looked ok. Havn't gotten to the left. Since the yesterday, each trip has had 1 or 2 squeals and the duration is longer and louder. Doesnt seem to be associated with braking or turning or associated with engine rpm. Always at 20 to 30 mph but I know I shouldnt drive it now till I fix it.
Thanks to you smart Mudders I am getting to be a better mechanic but this over my head. I suspect it's a left side axle spindle or inner axle bearing that momentarily locks up and spins the race. does that sound like a possibility? With it being intermittent for 1 or 2 seconds, how do I diagnose it without a full teardown? Could it actually be in the diff? It sound too far forward to be in the tranny or TC
I would appreciate some advice.
 
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
7,013
If the sound is like driving on the rumble strips on the side of the hiway, it's almost guaranteed to be a dry spindle bushing.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
There is no vibration at all. I cant hear any bearing clicks. I jacked it up and there is maybe 1/8 inch play when wiggling the wheel at 12 and 6. With the TC in nuetral I rotated both front tires to listen for bearing clicks/feel resistance and there was no significant clicking or difference on resistance to spinning.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
If the sound is like driving on the rumble strips on the side of the hiway, it's almost guaranteed to be a dry spindle bushing.
I have been reading the threads on the dry bushing thing. If that proves out am I cooked, or might I get some releaf filling the birfs with grease if they prove to be low? ( good reason for me to take over the lubrication work instead of geewizzy lube )
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2012
Messages
10,221
Location
Olathe, KS, USA
If you have 1/8" at 12 & 6 then it is wheel bearings misaligned and one is starting to drag or spin on the spindle. Pull your hub and clean, inspect, repack wheel bearings.

The left side got jealous of all the attention you gave the right side.....
 
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
7,013
I have been reading the threads on the dry bushing thing. If that proves out am I cooked, or might I get some releaf filling the birfs with grease if they prove to be low? ( good reason for me to take over the lubrication work instead of geewizzy lube )
Absolutely make sure the knuckle has enough grease.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
Spot on advice guys ! LX is on the rack as we speak and it looks like it is the DS bearings... Pitting and a couple of small flat spots. I am replacing innner and outer. when I repacked the passenger side, bearings looked great. Not on the left. I wonder if the PO had replaced passenger but not the driver side. The thing that led me to just do the passenger a couple of months ago was that there had developed some slop 12 and 6 along with a little growl in turns leading me to thingk the PO had worked on that right side and had the pre load way soft. Spindle bushing looks good.
Thanks for your help.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
Quick update. After thourough cleaning, outer bearing did need replacement. No flat spots but quite a bit of pitting a little gauling on inside surface of race. Hand squeazing bearings into race to simulate a llittle pre-load produces rotation with a lot of little catches...click cklick cklick. but not enough to spin the race. Races showed no sign of having been spun. I went ahead and replaced both bearings. Spindle bushing looked great and birf cavity was well loaded with grease with no gear oil mixed in.

Two blocks from shop the squeal happened again. It was time for bearings anyway.

I am Starting over. It did it one more time on the way home. Earlier comment about rumble strip noise caused me to listen more carefully to the squeal. On some older threads on squealing mentioned possible ABS sensor issues. Two things jumped out at me. possibly, it is something contacting the ABS sensor teeth ( not sure what to call them) Second thing, I noticed that both those events were right when I hit a small bump on road. I guess it my turn to wrench. I am headed out in 20 degree weather to get started. I will pull each wheel and power wash everything up front. ( horrible oil pump gasket, front crank seel, possibly dizzy seel leaks, so everything is up front is really filthy. I have all the parts and new 3/4 drive torque wrench on the shelf waiting for that rare day when my wife will let me spend a whole day wrenching. ) Cleaning and inspection hopefully I will find culpret. Additional clue... Several months ago I started having intermittent ABS light and two month ago it is constant. I hadnt worried a lot because I live in snow country and these primitive versions of ABS have no clue how to handle ice on roads and I got tired of blowing through stop signs with my brakes locked out by confused ABS, so I just pull the fuse for the winter anyway.

The older threads also mentioned bad u joints on propeller shaft. I dont see how that would do it but I'll check them out. Did all u-joints this summer on by 97 LC and have bearings on the shelf for my LX if needed.
I'll update after I look at things.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
Update. ABS sensors look good. While closing things up I noticed that Idler below alternator which had been siezed and waiting for me to do oil pump gasket, show signs of having rotated recently. Since I had the part on the shelf I went ahead and switched them out. Several trips later no squeal I think it did it. I figure that when the outside temps here dropped 40 deg. it tightened the belts enough to put enough friction on the seized idler and force it to turn for a second or two while is squealed like a pig. Looks like I lucked out with a cheap to fix problem.
 
Joined
May 31, 2005
Messages
7,013
All this/that for a sqealing belt??

You knucklehead. :flipoff2:



Kidding; glad you got it taken care of.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2012
Messages
77
Location
Woodland Hills, Utah
Guilty as charged. Actually belts never squealed. (I am sure I knew how to diagnose squeeky belts before you were born. Just kidding. I am an older geezer ) the thing that threw me was that the belts werent making the noise, but the bearing in the idler was the noise maker. I have never had a bad bearing squeal before so, this morning for geewhizes I put the Idlder in a vice, tightened a bolt in to the inner idler and turned the bearing with a 1/2 drill just to see what breakout forces were and if it make a noise. sure enough It turned a few revolutions with the same loud low pitch squeal. I did this because I was curious to verify that this was the problem. best news was that this whole event forced me to overcome my procrastination and discover/change out the DS wheel bearings before it became a problem.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom