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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question about how to diagnose this issue. I’m knocking on 200,000 miles but this X is new to me, so I’m not sure the rear bearings have ever been done?

I’m hearing a whom, whoom, whoom sound at interstate speeds. It’s not super loud, but noticeable, it almost sounds like there should be surging in the vehicle, but there isn’t any that I can feel.

I don’t see any oil around either rear tire or brakes with the tires on, I haven’t pulled them yet.

I did lift it this morning to feel for play, but I couldn’t really get it to move with the 12-6 or 3-9 pull on either tire, but if I push and pull the whole tire in and out, there is some play back and forth. Maybe 1/2” or less?? More on the driver side than the passenger side.

I’m trying to track down this sound and the wheel bearings seemed to be a good place to start. I replaced the front passenger side last week thinking the noise was possibly coming from there, I did have a small amount of play in that bearing, but it wasn’t to bad really, probably could’ve gone a while longer.

So how do I diagnose a possible rear wheel bearing or axle seal problem?

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the noise you're hearing at all speeds or only during acceleration or deceleration? Is it there when coasting?
I’ll double check when I’m driving later today, but I’m pretty confident it’s at all speeds. Yeah, it’s there when coasting. It’s a rhythmic sound.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The noise I'm hearing is at all speeds, during acceleration, deceleration, and coasting, it's present. It seems that at times it's louder or more noticiable, but I'm not sure if that due to road and wind noise? Radio on driving? you probably wouldn't even notice it.

I poked around under the rear end last night and the rear diff is definitely leaking, seepage all around the cover. I didn't have time to redo the gasket right away, so I drained it, not knowing when or if it's ever been changed (it was on my list to change this coming weekend anyway), and added new gear oil until I can redo the gasket this weekend. I wanted to see how much fluid was in it.

When I drained the old out, there was only a little over a quart of gear oil in it, so that's not good.

I changed the oil on my break today, so I'll see what it sounds like on the way home tonight.
 

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2006 Off-road, ADO 2" HD lift, Grabbers
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Is the noise at all speed? As in, speeds from 10-15 mph and up?

How are your tires? Cupped, wearing unevenly?

To test wheel bearings, drive at the slowest speed at which you hear the noise. Then, safely, swerve left to right. This loads the wheelbearing and will change the the sounds. When you swerve left, it loads the right side. When you swerve right, it loads the left. And you should already be able to tell on normal driving, front or rear.

Low gear oil can cause a humming noise, but useually will be a constant "whine" vs a fluctuating noise. Not always though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is the noise at all speed? As in, speeds from 10-15 mph and up?

How are your tires? Cupped, wearing unevenly?

To test wheel bearings, drive at the slowest speed at which you hear the noise. Then, safely, swerve left to right. This loads the wheelbearing and will change the the sounds. When you swerve left, it loads the right side. When you swerve right, it loads the left. And you should already be able to tell on normal driving, front or rear.

Low gear oil can cause a humming noise, but useually will be a constant "whine" vs a fluctuating noise. Not always though.
Good call on checking the speed, I didn’t think about that much, I spend most of the time on the interstate, traveling at the speed I hear the noise at.

Tonight I paid more attention to the speed. The sound starts at 60mph and goes through 80mph. I didn’t notice it before 60. I took it up to 90mph tonight and I couldn’t hear the noise any longer.

That makes me suspect the tires?? I haven’t checked them yet.
 

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Usually about 45 mph ish is when you can start to hear bearing noise. Swerve to load the bearing and if it changes pitch, that is a really good indication of bearing.

Tires, not always, usually make noise throughout the speed of the vehicle, could be 15mph if tires are really bad. But their noise will increase in frequency.
Whomp, 1 sec, whomp, 1 sec, whomp. At like 15 miles per hour.
Whomp whomp whomp whomp at 60 mph. So more frequently.

Also, you should be able to hear the noise from tires with the windosws down.

It does sound more like tires, but bearings should still be checked, because they can transmit their noise vs tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The “whomp” sound does increase with speed, but It’s really only noticeable between 60-80, although I can begin to hear it around 55.

I couldn’t get any pitch change by swerving.

I’ve never looked for cupped tires before, but to me it does feel like that the two front are cupped on the outer edge of both tires. When I run my hand along the tire the wear pattern is uneven, almost up and down, though slightly.

Running my hands on the inner portion of the tire it feels smooth and even, same on the rear tires.

I’ve read shocks can cause tire cupping, these shocks have 200,000 miles on them, maybe shocks are causing it??
 

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Shocks can contribute to uneven wear.
Once your tires start to wear and cup, you can not actually fix the cupping with out replacing the tire.

However, if the are not too badly worn and cupped, and they are nor directional treads, swap the tires. Left to right. This causes the cupping to spin in reverse and the noise should almost disappear.

It sounds like you need to refresh your suspension. Even just struts/shocks will make a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Shocks can contribute to uneven wear.
Once your tires start to wear and cup, you can not actually fix the cupping with out replacing the tire.

However, if the are not too badly worn and cupped, and they are nor directional treads, swap the tires. Left to right. This causes the cupping to spin in reverse and the noise should almost disappear.

It sounds like you need to refresh your suspension. Even just struts/shocks will make a big difference.
Okay, thanks! I’ll try that, swapping the tires and I’ll see if the noise goes away. They don’t appear to be too badly worn to me.

I think you’re right on the suspension, with the amount of miles I have. I’ve been reading up on shocks and trying to decide the best course. I’m having to educate myself on suspension options. I’m leaning towards the Bilstein 5100’s for now. The next set of tires I plan on buying will be 285’s.
 
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