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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So within the last few days I've picked up some wheel grinding noises. Sounds like something being sharpened on a whetstone. Haven't had time to really get under and look, but I know it's in the back for sure. It's loud enough that the noise reflects off of everything I drive past so I can't tell which side it is (if that is in fact the case). Noise occurs whenever the wheels are in motion especially at low speeds and gets slightly louder when brakes are applied, and goes away somewhat at higher speeds/longer operation (or I'm going fast enough that I can't hear it). Very quick visual inspection through the wheel spokes showed the rotors seem to be okay but again, I haven't had an opportunity to look very hard. I'm going to be taking my wheels off to de-Plastidip them this weekend anyway so I'll have a chance to examine the rotors better, but does anyone have any thoughts as to what I should be looking for? Or am I completely off the mark and my u-joints have gone or something?
 

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From the way you describe this noise. It sounds like the same thing I've had for a few months now. But, just like you I haven't looked all that close as to what could be causing this. If you find something keep on posting about your findings:rockin:
 

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Check the thin sheet metal plate behind the brake rotors. When I replaced my wheel hubs I bent the plate a little... ok, I bent it a lot. It didn't look like it was rubbing but I gave it a good wack and my noise went away.

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Check both sides of rotor and all pads. This is also what it sounds like when a caliper slide freezes and one pad is chewing one side of the rotor and youre pretty much grinding metal.

Ask me how i know :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
So, once again, didn't have too much time today to do a really thorough examination (taking everything apart), but I noted the following:

  • Rear passenger splash shield was lightly bent on top; bent it back. No change in sound when I rotated the wheel. Did not appear to be anything trapped behind rotor other than dried mud.
  • Rear passenger brake pad was significantly more worn than driver side, might even be down to wear indicator. I already suspected that rotor was a little warped so this might just be confirmation. Caliper moves freely.
  • Light gouge in rear passenger rotor with corresponding gouge (lighter) on driver side, probably from a really hard brake (city livin'). Don't think it's enough to cause the noise but definitely showing that the passenger brake seems to be doing more work.
Everything on the driver side seems to be okay.
I blasted everything with brake cleaner. Haven't driven the X yet but I'm heading out soon for coffee and work.

If I get some time tomorrow I'll put in some new brake pads. If that doesn't eliminate the noise then I'll do the rotors later this week.
 

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Check both sides of rotor and all pads. This is also what it sounds like when a caliper slide freezes and one pad is chewing one side of the rotor and youre pretty much grinding metal.

Ask me how i know :)
X2, happened to me as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So, replaced all my rear brake pads this afternoon, took a spin around the block...


Squeeeeaaaalllllll

Dammit! So I jacked up the front and started spinning tires. Got the noise from my front passenger, seemed to be the CV (dammit again!). Popped the tire off and pressed my ear right up to everything I could to be totally sure.

Verdict:

The stupid bottom clip of the back brake pad was bent and pressing up against the rotor, resulting in that horrid metal-on-metal squeal.

Case closed. At least my rear brakes needed to be done anyway.
 

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I know, resurection, my bad

But I am getting a similar squeal - kinda sounds like sheet metal hitting thicker metal and is rotational. I jacked up all four sides, rotors seemed smooth and for safe measure did a wheel bearing check.

I did not check the clips though, figured no gouges meant I was good.

Off to go check!
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Jack up the rear end from the pumpkin and rotate the wheels by hand - you might be able to hear it that way. Otherwise, wheels off and do the same with just the rotors. I would say break the lugs before you jack up, that way if rotating the wheels doesn't do it you can just pull them right off while it's up there.

Alternatively, park on a hill with nose up, put it neutral, and run fast while listening as closely as you can! (No, don't do that, you'll get doored)
 
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