This noise actually started when the truck's transfer case was rebuilt
(but only a needle bearing replaced), the front drive shaft replaced,
and the lower (I think) ball bearings replaced. Tires rotated, oil change.
I blew it off as new noise due to new parts, but since it's gotten
worse, I no longer think that's the case.
It's definitely something going with whatever parts turn with the
wheels. Most pronounced when turning right, it's a
whumpa-whumpa-whumpa, same rhythm as a rock in the tread might make, and
similar to the sound I've heard large-tread 4x4 truck tires make -
except I've had these tires for a couple of years and they never made
the noise until now.
When truck is first moving forward from a cold start, can hear the noise
on the straight, gradually fades, but I think there's a high whine that
wasn't there before.
Has made the noise turning left too, but definitely more pronounced
turning right, even if it's a gradual turn.
So, what are we looking at this time?
Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (5/11/2010 3:51 PM):
He's whinin' 'cause the cookies I send him keep getting lost in the
mail. Or, at least, that's what he says....
I'm more worried about the wonkawonkawonka noise, as it's quite
pronounced on the right turns.
Did some research:
1. Boss (car guy) says perhaps there's some cupping in a tire, now that
it's moved to the front from the back, it's making noise. This seems
consistent. Can cupping be on the sidewall though? It's wet so I
haven't checked yet, but I did note a slight dent in the sidewall up
near the tread, on the front right tire.
2. Wheel bearings? Is this right? If I jack it up and can wiggle the
wheel, it's the bearings... but is that move the wheel with a small
woman's strength, or does it take a strong person to check this?
4. Wheel balance?
I can't quite figure out where the sound is coming from though, it seems
more center forward than right or left, which would tend to lend
credence to your suggestion.
Ya gotta tell the whole story!
Put the tires back where they were and see if the noise goes away.
Cupping in bad cases can kinda creep off the edge of the thread so it looks
like it's the sidewall, sorta.
The rabbit whine will never go away. Trust me on that.
Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (5/11/2010 6:09 PM):
I had a few minutes this morning so at least got the post out there -
then found some time to research lately.
Swapping the tires back is certainly an option, but then what, if it
works? I don't rotate any more? I can't afford new tires - these have
only a few thousand miles on them.
It's been a hellacious week, the stupid truck noise is just the pudding
on the cake (or something like that).
The tires shouldn't be cupped at a few thousand miles. Imo that's a tire
alignment/balance issue. If you get that one off the right front and the
noise stops then replace the cupped tire, but first fix what caused the
Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (5/11/2010 7:53 PM):
I must be getting old (no comments please, it's not polite <g>). I
checked, they were replaced back in 2005! (egads, that long ago?) So
they've got about 35,000 miles - Michelin LTX M&S so they hardly show
any wear at all. Sorry about that. They did go about 10k without a
rotation, I generally rotate every 5k but missed the one before this one.
If they are cupped to the point of being that noisy, you can usually "feel"
the cupping with your hand. Run your hand around the outer edge of the
tire. It should be smooth. If the trailing edge of the sipes seem
noticeably higher than the leading edge or scalloping is visible in the
tread, you have cupping. Rotating will confirm this if the noise changes
Hope this helps!
Suddenly, without warning, Mike Simmons exclaimed (5/12/2010 4:43 AM):
Yea, my boss recommended I feel up my tires - I did kinda last night and
couldn't feel anything obvious at the tread edges on the outside, or the
bit of the inside I tried. Been wet here, and I was at work, so I
didn't want to get too messy :).
If it is the tires, I think it's the left front. Given that the noise
is only when turning right, should I concentrate on the outside edge of
the tire, or inside edge? Guessing inside.
Rotating would definitely give me a clue. Sometimes I'm sure it's road
noise, and sometimes I'm sure it sounds like something metal whirring
off-center, or with a defect (if that makes sense)
I'm getting real tired of fixing my beloved old truck though. I've
actually been considering an upgrade to a Ram 1500 or defecting totally
and getting a Ford F150.
When my front axle u-joints failed (totally) they only made noise when
in 4x4 until they were almost falling apart, then they'd get noisy
If they are terribly bad (you should be able to see it, I could: rust,
and later clear gaps and play visible even with a quick visual
inspection) a turn will give noise. But IIRC, it was two thunka's per
revolution in my case.
Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (5/11/2010 10:06 AM):
Grrr, and now it's juddering when I apply the brakes hard. I mean, like
I've suddenly hit a patch of washboard road or bad gravel - not pulsing.
I assume the drums have warped (they only turned, didn't replace,
after my brakes fried), but can warping happen so suddenly?
I'm looking for a new auto shop.
New shop is good... What they probably didn't do was to radius the
shoes. Now the shoes have worn into the same (approximate) radius that
the machined drum has, they are creating the shudder.
I doubt they are warped (but they could be, you'd have to measure
them), but you probably should re-do the entire job, new drums, new
shoes, with someone who knows how to do drum brakes (some shopes don't
understand them anymore!)
It is also possible that they machined them too much, and that would
allow them to warp more quickly. Also possible is a cracked brake
drum, that will cause similar symptoms as the crack opens and closes
with brake application.
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