Wheel Bearing whine, or something else? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-22-2020, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
Billbo1970
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Wheel Bearing whine, or something else?

Is there anything else (like a differential bearing or something) that can sound like a wheel bearing?

I ask because it sounds just like a wheel bearing whine, but behaves a little differently than what I've experienced in the past w/ other vehicles...

Mainly, the sound comes in around 60 mph, increases till you hit 65, stays steady until around 72 and then disappears. That all sounds like a wheel bearing to me... BUT...

While in that sweet spot to hear it loudly, if you take your foot off the gas the sound INSTANTLY goes away, and then instantly comes back when you're on the gas again. So if you keep the Jeep in the 60-70 range and keep taking your foot on & off the gas you'll hear whiiiiine... quiet .... whiiiiiine ... quiet... whiiiiine

I don't recall wheel bearings behaving like that, but I'm no expert. Any thoughts on this behavior? Thanks in advance!


Regards,
Bill

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post #2 of 30 Old 07-22-2020, 03:18 PM
toxic0n
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Sounds like diff whine under load. My front diff has been doing it since I got it two years ago and hasn't gotten worse. I had it recently serviced and the shop said it looked fine inside but I fully expect it to grenade itself in a couple of years.
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-22-2020, 03:23 PM
Windexer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Billbo1970 View Post
Is there anything else (like a differential bearing or something) that can sound like a wheel bearing?

I ask because it sounds just like a wheel bearing whine, but behaves a little differently than what I've experienced in the past w/ other vehicles...

Mainly, the sound comes in around 60 mph, increases till you hit 65, stays steady until around 72 and then disappears. That all sounds like a wheel bearing to me... BUT...

While in that sweet spot to hear it loudly, if you take your foot off the gas the sound INSTANTLY goes away, and then instantly comes back when you're on the gas again. So if you keep the Jeep in the 60-70 range and keep taking your foot on & off the gas you'll hear whiiiiine... quiet .... whiiiiiine ... quiet... whiiiiine

I don't recall wheel bearings behaving like that, but I'm no expert. Any thoughts on this behavior? Thanks in advance!
I'll preface this with the disclaimer that I'm not a expert, I throw spanners at my Jeep for 'fun' but the fact that it disappears when you get off the power leads me to believe its *not* wheel bearings. More likely something bad in the front propshaft (CV or Uni), rear driveshaft (unis) or the pinion. I've been chasing a similar noise in mine, it builds while under power and once off the power and coasting it disappears, I done both propshaft and driveshaft as there was slop in both and the CV boot had failed on the propshaft, but I've still got my noise as I've not wanted to leap into the differentials just yet.

2005 WK Limited Hemi, 2" OME lift, header back exhaust, 245/75/R17 MT, Superchips tuned, Roof rack
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-22-2020, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
Billbo1970
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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I think toxic0n is likely correct...

1) My front diff bushings have needed replacing for a while now, and I'm going to get that done next week finally.
2) I have 148k on it so it probably had some wear to begin with?
3) It's my 1st Jeep and my first ever 4x4 so not knowing anything, the diff fluid went WAY beyond the change interval before I did it... nothing in the owners manual stating how often to change it, so I just did it with the tranny/transfer case fluid change at 120k... .which apparently is too long!

So I guess maybe a combination of all these things caused wear to one of the bearings in the diff? Is it something serviceable, or is the mechanic (he's honest) going to tell me I need a whole new diff?

Thanks!
Bill

Regards,
Bill

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post #5 of 30 Old 07-23-2020, 08:56 AM
toxic0n
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The bearings are serviceable but depending on the labour costs, you may make sense to put in a used diff if you can find one. I would just have them open it up and take a look.

This site has the maintenance intervals, bookmark it:

http://www.wkjeeps.com/wk_maintenance.htm
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-23-2020, 01:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by toxic0n View Post
This site has the maintenance intervals, bookmark it:

http://www.wkjeeps.com/wk_maintenance.htm
Thanks! There seems to be some discrepancy between that site & the PDF schedule they link to...

Site says change ATF every 60k, but the pdf (and my own manual) state to check & change if necessary: "Change the automatic transmission fluid and filter(s) if using your vehicle for any of the following: police, taxi, fleet, or frequent trailer towing". I don't do any of those things, just normal road driving. Otherwise, it doesn't say to change it until 120k..

Says the same thing for transfer case, but that site says to change it every 30k.

Site says to change the axle fluid every 15k and PDF says to check it every 16k with no guideline on when it NEEDS changing at all (which is why I went too far on mine).

Who's right? I've been going by the manual thus far, and fluid looks old but not burnt by the time I change it.

Regards,
Bill

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post #7 of 30 Old 07-23-2020, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
Billbo1970
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Toxic0n,

I'm having the front diff bushings changed next week. They have to drop the diff to get at one of them right? Shouldn't cost me much to have him take a look in there while there at it, should it? Also, what happens when the diff "grenades itself" lol, what exactly happens? I imagine the noise will get much louder as that approaches?

Regards,
Bill

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post #8 of 30 Old 07-23-2020, 03:03 PM
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The dif can totally grenade as well. Like all things it cost less to fix right away then after its parts on the ground. Bushing<>bearings what is more important?

Bad news is Dif work can get costly. replacing any bearing in it is job that takes a bit of OCD to get right.

what you can do check pinion for lateral movement. they will rotate but should not move side to side at all. Pull the Dif cover, look for issues in he oil excessive metal pats broken etc. Does it have oil? most issues tend to be from the lack of oil.

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post #9 of 30 Old 07-23-2020, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
Billbo1970
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Originally Posted by 222Doc View Post
what you can do check pinion for lateral movement. they will rotate but should not move side to side at all. Pull the Dif cover, look for issues in he oil excessive metal pats broken etc. Does it have oil? most issues tend to be from the lack of oil.
Thanks for the response! Diff fluid only has about 10k on it, did it myself last year. What does the pinion look like that I'll be checking for movement? I'm a bit of a noob with some of this stuff LOL

Regards,
Bill

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post #10 of 30 Old 08-07-2020, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Well, this is strange. I needed to replace the front diff bushings. I did the far forward center one myself with OE rubber. I ordered Super Pro poly bushings for the other 2 and had them installed. That whine is DRAMATICALLY quieter now?! Could really worn bushings cause a whine that sounds like a wheel bearing is going???? It's still there but so much quieter that I'm wondering if it's just NVH from those poly bushings?

Regards,
Bill

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post #11 of 30 Old 08-11-2020, 12:04 PM
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It could be both..

Wheel bearing noise should change when turning left or right.

Get the noise going and crank the wheel side to side (maybe not in traffic) and see if it changes.

A mechanic stethoscope can be helpful too, get all 4 wheels off the ground, put it in neutral, remove wheel from suspected bearing and rotate while listening. Any sandy gravel type noise replace it.

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post #12 of 30 Old 08-11-2020, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Raffish View Post
A mechanic stethoscope can be helpful too, get all 4 wheels off the ground, put it in neutral, remove wheel from suspected bearing and rotate while listening. Any sandy gravel type noise replace it.
Can you hear this without a stethoscope, or does that depend upon how far gone it is? I tried the turn thing in the parking lot, but didn't hear anything... of course I can't go 65mph in the parking lot

I was thinking on this.... could it be a bad pinion or carrier bearing in the diff? Say, replacing the really shot bushings took enough strain off it that it's not whining as much now, but still has issues?

Regards,
Bill

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post #13 of 30 Old 08-12-2020, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Billbo1970 View Post
Can you hear this without a stethoscope, or does that depend upon how far gone it is? I tried the turn thing in the parking lot, but didn't hear anything... of course I can't go 65mph in the parking lot

I was thinking on this.... could it be a bad pinion or carrier bearing in the diff? Say, replacing the really shot bushings took enough strain off it that it's not whining as much now, but still has issues?
Maybe, sometimes, but they're like $5... Great for all sorts of things, can listen to each accessory easily, can hear injectors firing etc.

I've noticed bearing noise at speed on off and on ramps, noise only turning one way only is prob bearing...

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post #14 of 30 Old 08-12-2020, 01:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raffish View Post
Maybe, sometimes, but they're like $5... Great for all sorts of things, can listen to each accessory easily, can hear injectors firing etc.

I've noticed bearing noise at speed on off and on ramps, noise only turning one way only is prob bearing...
Turns seem to have no effect. Sounds like it's coming from front-left... which is also where the front diff is.

Turns out bearings are bolt-ons for these Jeeps, so I'm just gonna get one from RA and replace it. If that's not it then I have bigger probs

Regards,
Bill

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post #15 of 30 Old 08-13-2020, 09:51 AM
toxic0n
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To me, it sounds like it's not the bearings, especially since there is no difference when turning. Noise that only comes on under throttle is most likely drive train related. The fact that new diff bushings reduced the noise tells me you're on the right track.

Is there a reputable diff/gear shop near you? It should not cost more than 1-2 hours of labour just to open the front diff up and inspect the condition inside.
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