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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I ran the Rex through the car wash yesterday and shortly after that I started hearing a grinding noise from the front end. It sounded like it was right in front of me. So I thought it might be my speedo cable so I removed the cluster cover and drove with it off. No change in sound so I don't think that was it. Removed both wheels didn't find and thing rubbing including brakes. Got her up on the ramps to change the oil, so took a look around found nothing wrong. Then it just came to me wheel bearing! How can I tell if thats what the problem really is? I spun the wheel when I had it off the ground, sounded ok. If it is a wheel bearing how hard is it to change? I've got a Helm's manual, tools and plenty of time (unemployed) :cry:.
 

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Does this noise only happen when the car is moving? Or is the sound there when the engine is running and the car is parked?

When my bearings went, it sounded like a whirring sound from one side of the car. It was pretty easy to tell the general area where it was coming from.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep. I only hear it when the car is moving. So I don't think its motor related. It's not a constant grinding or rubbing, it's kind of like rub rub rub rub noise. It sounds like it is coming from the left front.
 

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If it's a whirring sound that gets louder the faster you drive, then I'd say it's a wheel bearing.

If it's a rubbing or grinding sound, I would check your rotor and caliper on that side too. The rotor could be warped, or you may have a seizing caliper.
 

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What you can do to confirm if it's a wheel bearing or not is:

...while going about 20-25 down a road of course with no one else around, snake sort of hard left then right and repeat. If the noise goes away on either snake, the problem is your wheel bearing. What's happening is that during the snaking, the load will transfer to another section of the wheel bearing. When this happens, the noise will usually go away for the length of the snake. Then to determine left or right bearing, you have to just put the car up on jackstands and run the car in gear and listen carefully. A stethescope is best, next is your better ear.

Replacing the bearing will be a biaaa if you don't have a press. I've done them with a sledge hammer and the right sized driver but you've gotta be careful. First you must drive and separate the spindle from the knuckle. Next you have to remove the dust shield. Careful, those phillips will stip easy, you may need a torque/impact driver in addition to heat. [EDIT - forgot a step] Then you will have to remove the big 3" diameter c-clip with large snap ring pliers. Heat once again is the trick. Heat then spray with PB blaster. It will get sucked into the bearing housing as well as where the clip goes and help free things up. Tapping the c-clip with a hammer and flat screwdriver also helps break the corrosion for removal. Finally you have to drive the bearing out of the knuckle.

I've found that impact sockets of the right size will usually work well as drivers. Just remember to hit the socket squarely. Oh, place the assembly on a flat surface on wooden boards. "FLAT" is the key. You don't want a wobble when you're driving the pieces apart and especially together.
 

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have you done any brake work lately? I forgot a washer for a bolt that holds the caliper braket on once and the bolt stuck out enough to grind against the rotor. Check out my How To: Do the Front Brakes in the how to section for a pic of the damage.

I also had the wheel bearing problem. I removed the knuckles myself and found a guy to do them on his break at a spring shop. He did lower balljoint and wheel bearing for $30 per side, took all of 10 minutes.

I got an awesome deal on wheel bearings from instockauto.com, in the $30ish range per bearing.
 

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May want to also look at your plastic very well... car washes that clean the underside of cars sometimes have a tendency to dislodge some of the splash shielding and such from under the car. Could be a piece of plastic rubbing an axle or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well got all done with the oil change and took it for a test drive to check the bearings like Heu said. Now the noise is completly gone :shock:! I drove it a couple of miles and nothing! I didn't fix anything all I did was an oil change and remove both front wheels and inspected everything. Guess I'll have to watch it and see if it comes back again.
And ComposiMo I probally should'nt have but I removed all the splash guards under the cara long time ago.
 

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I know there was some play in my front hub set up when my bearing went bad. the camber of the wheel was off because of the play. i jacked up the car and could rock the wheel back and forth a little bit.

you could have possibly gotten a small rock or something stuck in your brake pad too. all sorts of different things. maybe a rock in the tread of your tire. but from what you said, it sounds just like a bad wheel bearing.
 
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