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Wheel Bearings?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by mayhem, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Front end is making a squealing sound. Doesn't sound like the wear indicators on my brakes, but I also haven't taken off a tire yet to see. I suspect one or both front wheel bearings...couple questions:

    - If it is the wheel bearings, is it a DIY type project where I jsut pull a dustcover and pop em out or is it a more complex process thats a bit deeper inside the axle?
    - Is there a temporary solution if its an expensive fix? Can i get a shot of axle grease in there for example to keep them from getting worse?

    Money is a factor of course, hard to find someone it isn't a factor for right now. I just had to dip into savings to cover my bad fuel pump so the coffers are dry right now and the truck is my daily driver.
     
  2. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    You can check the bearings rather simply. Jack up the truck on one side by placing a jack under the lower control arm, then jack the tire off the ground. Try moving the tire in different directions. If you have play in the wheel, up and down or side to side, then its probably a bearing. The bearings on this truck aren't just the old school "bearings." Its the entire hub unit and it includes an ABS sensor. It's about a $300 part and theres nothing you can do for them once they go, other than replacing them. We have the same truck and I just had a front bearing replaced a few months ago
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2009
  3. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    So if I have no play but the squaling persists, is it likely something besides a wheel bearing? I'm equipped to do simple thigns like brake jobs and will check the obvious first.

    Thanks.
     
  4. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    When my bearing was gone, it was more of a steadt squeak than a squeal. If the paly is within about 1/8 of an inch, I would say its not the bearing
     
  5. Newdude

    Newdude Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Does the front produce any type of howling or growling sound that intesifies with speed?? Also, does the sqeak happen in a straight line or when turning??
     
  6. JCI Trans

    JCI Trans Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    Sounds like a front hub assembly, mine went this winter and would squeal while making a turn. I was able to catch it early and replace it, unlike my brothers 1500, his went and he heard a loud grinding noise, barely made it to the shop. I would change it sooner rather than later to avoid further expenses.
     
  7. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    ^^ Did your truck make noise while going straight or just in turns?

    Have to check on wether it occurs during turns or not. I can tell you for sure that is doesn't happen 100% of the time, but when it does, it definitely hapens while going in a straight line, not sure if it lessens or diappears altogether when turning right or left.

    I do have a growling noise that is speed variable, but I attribute that to the knobby MT tires I just put on there.
     
  8. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    I think the bearings make more noise when you turn if they are bad. correct me if im wrong
     
  9. JCI Trans

    JCI Trans Senior Member
    Messages: 313

    Mine only squealed when making turns...a good warning sign to swap them out
     
  10. Newdude

    Newdude Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Sounds right. Our 2001 Venture we had, was quiet in a straight line, but on right hand turns (more so than left) the front would growl and howl like crazy.
     
  11. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Evaluated last night. Squaks during basically all forward motion. Straight, turning left or right...doesn't matter.

    Is that info useful or does it jsut mean I'm alot closer to my front axle locking up on me?
     
  12. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    My limited experience with bad wheel bearings is that it was very much a growling sound, most noticeable in a corner/curve when I transferred more weight to the wheel. Have you pulled the wheels and looked around? Could be a wear indicator on your brake pads, bent dust shield, or even a piece of debris stuck in/under the pad. And have you checked your front diff fluid?
     
  13. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    what happens when you put it in 4WD?
     
  14. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    It goes into 4wd. No new noises, no drama, no clunking.

    I have to pull the wheels off to rotate the tires soon anyways so I was planning on that this weekend...provided it doesn't rain. I'll get a good look at that point and maybe I'll get lucky.
     
  15. 06Sierra

    06Sierra PlowSite.com Addict
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,329

    I'd try not to drive it too much until you can at least jack it up and give the wheels a wiggle. I had a bearring go on my truck last winter. It was an occasional squeal, mostly when I hit a dip in the road. I thought it was just the brakes. When I jacked it up there was huge amounts of play in the wheel. Probably wouldn't have lasted much longer and it happened as I was driving 2 and a half hours down Rt. 1 in a snow storm with the plow on.
     
  16. Clint S

    Clint S Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    All chevy vehicles eat wheelbearings, especially the cheap ones so when you replace buy the better ones. There may NOT be play in the wheel and it still could be noisy and going bad. I have had them have play and be quiet and have had them make a heck of a racket and be tight. As far as turning when you turn to the right it pushes the body to the left unloading the right side and loading the left. If you turn to the right and it gets worse it is the left bearing and vise versa. The squeaking is that there is no grease left in the hub. The hub is just held on by 3 bolts break the cv shaft splines from the hub and pull it off. I have had some cases where I needed an air chisel to break the bearing free from the knuckle and the splines from the hub. A 2 or 3 on a 1 to 10 difficulty scale and pretty easily done at home with basic tools. I have probably changed 20 to 30 of these throughout the years on my families various cars and trucks. Again, do not count it out as a bad bearing if the hub is tight. It really is a common thing to go bad
     
  17. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    Sounds reasonably straightforward. Anyone recommend a specific technical manual for a complete R&R procedure, torque specs and materials list?
     
  18. chcav1218

    chcav1218 Senior Member
    Messages: 954

    grab a Haynes repair book, i have one for my truck and the directions and pictures in the book ar pretty good.
     
  19. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    I have had good luck with the Haynes manuals. My father always used Chiltons, but I like the Haynes better. Wiring diagrams too.

    For a few bucks more, you can get a subscription to AllData. Get all the TSBs and other good info. Good pics too.
     
  20. PDQ Pete

    PDQ Pete Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    Had a noise coming from one of my front wheels and it was a piece of metal that was coming out between the ribs on the brake rotor. They looked like a snake's tounge.