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Unread 07-30-2009, 01:19 PM   #1
ScrnE011
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Front Tires Squeeking/Squealing when braking and when going low speeds

The other day I noticed that my front wheels were squeeking when braking. I had gone through a muddy area 2 days before so I assumed that it was dried mud or something since I hadn't gotten a car wash.

I hosed down the wheels and under the car to try to get rid of any mud that might be in the brakes. It worked for a little, but the sound soon came back. Now it's making the noise when I'm in a low gear, like 1st or 2nd; then stops when I start to go faster.

I have a manual 1998 Cherokee Sport

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Unread 07-30-2009, 02:25 PM   #2
1974Renegade
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Here is some thoughts:

A high pitch squeal from the brakes is not a cause for panic. You can get anti squeak lubricate for disk breaks that helps sometimes, but generally not a necessity.

If its more of a chirp than a squeal you may be into the wear indicators on your break pads and they need to be replaced.

If the sound happens when not breaking and at low speeds it could be a wheel bearing (they usually grind, but I have had them squeek) Its not that is only happens at low speeds, its just that you can only hear it at low speeds. You can usually tell which wheel bearing the culprit is if you get in a empty parking lot: roll down the window so you can hear better, then at a very low speed turn the jeep really hard one direction, then the other. If for instance you turn right really hard and the sound is louder it is probably the left side. (the left side gets the load on a hard right turn.) Note: Dont turn the vehicle so hard that you risk turning it over or anything, just a good swing of the wheel is sufficent.

If you breaks were hot when you went through the mud, you may have warped a rotor a little and its touching the caliper just a little sooner than normal on one side causing a squeak before you clamp down on them. You will usually feel a vibration in the pedal when you first touch the brakes if this is the case.

Maybe this helps some. If none of the above sounds like your culprit, repost with more info.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 08:03 PM   #3
ScrnE011
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Ok, so it seems to be getting worse. It happens whenever I drive, not just sometimes anymore. I can hear it when I'm going up to 45mph as well.

I tried what you suggested and went into an empty parking lot. Turning left, I didn't hear anything, but turning right I definitely could hear the squeaking louder. So that means that it might be the left wheel bearing? Should I try and replace it myself or bring it to a mechanic?

And it's not a chirping noise, its a high pitch squeal or squeaking.
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Unread 07-31-2009, 11:02 PM   #4
ScrnE011
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I went to AutoZone today to see about getting a new wheel bearing. The employee who I talked to said that the factory didn't make individual bearings and that I would have to get some the whole assembly. It costs $100 - $140 depending on the warranty I want.

So at this point before I go spending my hundred I want to make sure that nothing else is going to fix the issue? Should I put some WD40 or grease on the bearings to fix the noise?
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Unread 08-01-2009, 09:14 AM   #5
CJ7-Tim
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Before you just put the Jeep on jack-stands and start flinging money at it, you should determine the actaul source/cause of your nosies. Disassemble and clean your front brakes. Inspect them for damage or unusual wear. Inspect your u-joints for wear or damage. Inspect your unit hub. The XJ Dana 30 front axle has a unitized hub and bearing assembly, commonly called a unit hub. The actual bearings are not greaseable or replaceable, the unit hub assembly is replaced when worn out or damaged. Only purchase and install Timken brand unit hubs. Cheap unit hubs from AutoZone and Advanced are known to fail withing 12-18 months and thus requiring you to replace them again.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 02:18 PM   #6
ScrnE011
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What do I use to clean my front breaks? Just a wet rag?
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Unread 08-02-2009, 05:41 PM   #7
CJ7-Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScrnE011 View Post
What do I use to clean my front breaks? Just a wet rag?
Water and a scrub brush for dirt and mud. A can of brake cleaner spray for any oil, grease or brake fluid. Wear safety glasses, brake cleaner burns and burns, if you get it in your eyes.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 06:58 PM   #8
ScrnE011
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I took off both my wheels and sprayed/whipped them down. Then I used brake cleaner to make sure nothing was left to make the brakes squeak. After putting the wheels back on, I took a drive and THE SQUEAK IS STILL THERE ((((((.

So, I'm lost now. Should I replace the rotors? Replace the brake pads? It's going to drive me crazy hearing this noise whenever I drive.

Just a little more detail, the squeaking occurs only when I'm driving but is most pro-dominant when braking. The squeaking sounds like a squeaky see-saw.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 07:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ7-Tim View Post
Only purchase and install Timken brand unit hubs. Cheap unit hubs from AutoZone and Advanced are known to fail withing 12-18 months and thus requiring you to replace them again.
Autozone sells the Timken assembly for 121.99 and the Valucraft assembly for 70.99.

When your wheels were off did you try and check the pads to see if they are worn down? Another way to test for a bad wheel bearing is to have the wheel off the ground before you dismount it and push on the top of the tire. If the top of the wheel/tire moves in and the bottom of the wheel/tire moves out then it may be a bad bearing.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 08:00 AM   #10
CJ7-Tim
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Did the brake pads appear to be thin, unevenly worn, or have stones stuck in it ? Did the rotors appear to be thin, have unusual coloring, or have excessive grooves and ridges ?

Did you spin the axle shafts and look, listen, and feel for strange behavior from the unit hub or u-joints ? Did you check the level of gear oil in the front differential ?
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Unread 08-03-2009, 08:44 AM   #11
ScrnE011
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The rotors seemed to be ok. Some slight worn on them, but what I assume to be usual wear. The left rotor actually looked better then the right one did, but I'm 95% sure the noise is coming from the left side.

I checked the break pads to. Neither of them seemed worn out (I was checking their width) but I didn't check to see if anything was stuck underneath. I tried to recreate the noise by spinning the wheel while I had my Jeep jacked up, but couldn't recreate it.

Someone told me to take off the brake pads and sand them down a little, I think I'll try that next.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:21 PM   #12
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I have the same thing happening to my jeep. However the top of my rotor on the driver side is worn with grooves on the top 2 inches. The wear is only on the inside on the piston side of the caliper. I replaced the break line and caliper. I have not replaced the rotors and pads again because I am trying to figure out what is causing this. Did you ever solve the issue.
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Unread 08-18-2012, 10:20 AM   #13
deitzberg
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After a couple of months I finally found the problem. The brake dust cover was touching just slightly and not all the time. I am not sure why it wasnt touching all the time but I bent it out some and have never had the issue again.
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