I have a 1999 Suburban K1500 with 130,000 miles that has developed a
loud noise coming from the front end that is speed dependent. It
sounds like bad tire noise but rotating the tires has no effect.
Traveling at highway speeds and dropping the truck into neutral has no
effect on the noise nor does engaging the brakes. I have jacked up the
front end and removed the calipers and rotors and turning both front
hubs is difficult and they do not seem as smooth as I expected them to
be. Not irregular or catching but not completely smooth either. If I
give either front tire a good hard spin they rotate less than one-half
revolution (this is with everything in place). All 4 front CV boots
are intact and the front differential is full of lube (synthetic for
several years and never needed topping up). Both front wheels spin
independently of each other so I don't believe it is the transfer
case(?). How do I tell if it is the bearings/hubs or the CVs or the
differential? Is there anything else that it may be or should I just
replace both front hubs?
Probably a bad hub bearing. They kind of rumble if the bearings are
starting to fail. Does the sound change when your going through a curve
in the road? If yes then it will also point you to which side is bad. If
your going through a left hand curve and it gets worse then look at the
right side and the opposite for a right curve. What your listening for
is the difference the load on the bearing makes in the sound.
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