RTH: squeaky front axle

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So, on a trip from CA to MT. Drove 600 miles yesterday. When I arrived at my day-1 destination, I hear a distinct squeak emanating from the front axle. It’s a constant squeak that’s only apparent when I’m applying acceleration. A tiny bit of skinny pedal equals a tiny bit of squeak. More pedal, more squeak. Thought perhaps I missed a brake pad service as it sounds almost exactly like the low pad scraper/squealer warning tab. Just checked my pads, and replaced them anyway, but squeal is still there.

I did repack the knuckles two weeks back, but pretty damn sure I torqued all the bearings according to great poster or torque values. That said, I’m open to suggestions. This is definitely coming from the front axle. And it’s only when the vehicle of moving, with accel applied.

Any ideas where to start looking?
 
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Dry bushings?
I’ll double check. If I didn’t know my alternator belts were tight, I’d swear it was that, but again, it won’t do it unless the car is in gear and under applied power. It’s part squeal, part squeak. Loud enough I can hear it at freeway speed. I just greased my center slip yoke a few weeks back. I do run a DC drive shaft. I’ll take a second look there to see if anything looks or feels out of place.
 
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Does this mean another 250 miles til you reach my shop? 🤔
You laugh. That thought has crossed my mind. Were it not for my buddy who rolled his 4Runner yesterday, twice, into a 30ft deep ravine in front of me, I’d do that. But instead, I’m working on getting him back to Phoenix with his truck.

So this morning, the squeaking stopped and was replaced with a low rumble. Got out and rocked the front left to discover the wheel bearing had play. Pulled the drive spline and indeed, the bearing was loose. Tightened everything back up to the best of my parking lot torque estimates, and closed it back up. Took it out for a spin and squeak returned, but no bearing play. Sounds like it’s coming from the left birf, but there’s no clicking at full turn. Spindle?

I really don’t want to tear the hub apart in a parking lot…
 
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Either dry bushings or U-Joints.
Ding ding ding. Winner winner chicken dinner. It was the ujoint nearest to the transfer case on the DC front driveshaft. It let loose at about 80mph on the freeway. Yanked the driveshaft, locked the center diff and motored on in smooth, quiet bliss. Will have new ujoints installed tomorrow.

4AD58703-107C-486B-B32F-4767B894B530.jpeg
 
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Ding ding ding. Winner winner chicken dinner. It was the ujoint nearest to the transfer case on the DC front driveshaft. It let loose at about 80mph on the freeway. Yanked the driveshaft, locked the center diff and motored on in smooth, quiet bliss. Will have new ujoints installed tomorrow.

View attachment 2785881
Did it actually come apart?
Did it bust your bell housing or underneath?
 
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Yeah. Definitely see some flange damage inside the DC now that I’m looking at it in the light.
View attachment 2786175
So, it didn't blow apart on the highway and beat the underside of the truck?

There was another member here that the DC shaft on his grenaded at 70 MPH on the interstate while passing a truck and it took out the bell housing, transmission housing, wiring harness, and poked a hole in the floor.

That was a mess.
 
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So, it didn't blow apart on the highway and beat the underside of the truck?

There was another member here that the DC shaft on his grenaded at 70 MPH on the interstate while passing a truck and it took out the bell housing, transmission housing, wiring harness, and poked a hole in the floor.

That was a mess.
Holy crap. That’s a mess I’m glad I avoided. No, the joint held together, thank goodness. Was a 10 min job unbolting it, sliding it out and motoring on with the center diff locked. I see no signs of any damage underneath the truck. Drove about 400 miles yesterday trouble free - and achieved 13.9 MPH in 2WD!
 
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Holy crap. That’s a mess I’m glad I avoided. No, the joint held together, thank goodness. Was a 10 min job unbolting it, sliding it out and motoring on with the center diff locked. I see no signs of any damage underneath the truck. Drove about 400 miles yesterday trouble free - and achieved 13.9 MPH in 2WD!
Yeah, here's some of that carnage......

In the last pic. you can see where it hit the side of the body of the trans and cracked the case.

You can see where the center pin of the DC joint melted.

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IMG_20180325_131123361 (Medium).jpg
IMG_20180325_163347848 (Medium).jpg
IMG_20180325_170316199_BURST001 (Medium).jpg
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Yeah, here's some of that carnage......

In the last pic. you can see where it hit the side of the body of the trans and cracked the case.

You can see where the center pin of the DC joint melted.

View attachment 2786213View attachment 2786213View attachment 2786221View attachment 2786222View attachment 2786223View attachment 2786224
So it looks like I got even luckier than I thought. Crawled under to install the new driveshaft and I did suffer some damage. It did impact the transmission case right along the pan seal, as well as the pan. All looks to be holding together. I’ve put about 600 miles on the truck since the shaft was removed, so no leaks is a good sign. Will attend to this when I get home.

AB00AF9E-414E-4D68-B672-29B3CC8626F8.jpeg
 
Joined
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So it looks like I got even luckier than I thought. Crawled under to install the new driveshaft and I did suffer some damage. It did impact the transmission case right along the pan seal, as well as the pan. All looks to be holding together. I’ve put about 600 miles on the truck since the shaft was removed, so no leaks is a good sign. Will attend to this when I get home.

View attachment 2787907
Yep! Same type of impact except it looks like you got stopped before the shaft became completely disconnected.

The one we helped with broke and the shaft went around under that truck a LOT. It hit the trans in the same place, but caught it hard enough to break the case and shatter the bell housing.
 

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