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Discussion Starter #1
I am getting a pretty consistent rumbling sound while driving. Sounds like it may be wheel related as it changes frequency with speed. I know I have a bolt in my front passenger tire, but haven't had it fixed yet. I had the bolt before the rumbling sound. Any ideas on possible causes. Hard to pinpoint which wheel(s) the noise is coming from.
 

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I am getting a pretty consistent rumbling sound while driving. Sounds like it may be wheel related as it changes frequency with speed. I know I have a bolt in my front passenger tire, but haven't had it fixed yet. I had the bolt before the rumbling sound. Any ideas on possible causes. Hard to pinpoint which wheel(s) the noise is coming from.
What speed is this going on?
 

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Its consistent throughout the speed range, just faster or slower rumble.
Tires, axle bearings, ujoints, diff gears, cv joints.... all could be possible...

You need to narrow it down, one by one. Start with the tires - have a shop look at them.
 

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I just had a warranty front diff replaced for a similar sound. drain the front diff and strain the fluid with a paint strainer. if its clean, just reuse the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
that was the transmission, it does that when its really cold out, common
I have another thread on this, no one mentioned it. Sounded like it was coming from the axle or wheel. This was a really load clunk that would speed up with vehicle speed and become less noticeable.
 

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I have another thread on this, no one mentioned it. Sounded like it was coming from the axle or wheel. This was a really load clunk that would speed up with vehicle speed and become less noticeable.
Yup it could be your differential.. mine made that sound when there were chunks broken inside of it. Tried changing it to 4WD and see if it clicks and doesn't engage. If it does that, then it's definitely your differential.

Mine would rumble more on slow speeds and kind of goes away when going faster. It also clicks very loudly when I tried 4WD and wouldn't engage.

Good luck!
 

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Yup it could be your differential.. mine made that sound when there were chunks broken inside of it. Tried changing it to 4WD and see if it clicks and doesn't engage. If it does that, then it's definitely your differential.

Mine would rumble more on slow speeds and kind of goes away when going faster. It also clicks very loudly when I tried 4WD and wouldn't engage.

Good luck!
What failed in the diff?
 

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My gut reaction is that this sounds like bearing noise ... could be wheel bearings, CV bearings (the joint balls are bearings of a slightly different sort ... they could be rumbling, but would more likely be clicking), diff bearings or driveshaft u-joints (they're needle bearings, after all).

rocknhd is right, at this point it's a process of elimination. He gave you a good list of things to work through ... I wouldn't just immediately jump to a failed diff, simply because someone else had a similar symptom.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yup it could be your differential.. mine made that sound when there were chunks broken inside of it. Tried changing it to 4WD and see if it clicks and doesn't engage. If it does that, then it's definitely your differential.

Mine would rumble more on slow speeds and kind of goes away when going faster. It also clicks very loudly when I tried 4WD and wouldn't engage.

Good luck!
The rumble is most pronounced between 40mph-60mph...maybe more. I not its noticeable as soon as I start driving, but I remember it not being so noticeable at like 80.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My gut reaction is that this sounds like bearing noise ... could be wheel bearings, CV bearings (the joint balls are bearings of a slightly different sort ... they could be rumbling, but would more likely be clicking), diff bearings or driveshaft u-joints (they're needle bearings, after all).

rocknhd is right, at this point it's a process of elimination. He gave you a good list of things to work through ... I wouldn't just immediately jump to a failed diff, simply because someone else had a similar symptom.
My gut was either the wheel or something bearings/wheel related when I first started experiencing it. I just have no idea how to pinpoint these noises.

Couple of other notes...

My LCA ball joints are shot, and possibly my tie rod end ball joints as well. Pretty much all my ball joints are shot. I replaced the UCA's earlier this year. I've had the LCA's, Tie Rod Ends, and new OME coil overs to replace my Radflows sitting in my garage since April. I blew my knee out at the end of April and haven't been able to crawl around on the garage floor to fix everything. Could driving with bad ball joints for a prolonged period cause excessive wear on any of the bearings mentioned? I have developed a loud shrieking squeal when turning the wheel to the right. So I know things have gotten worse.

For a little while, I've had this rattling sound coming from the front like something bouncing around loose bolt or something. One day I hear a clunk, like something shot off my X, and the rattling stopped. I looked in my rearview mirror and didn't see anything, so I don't think it had to be something small. Could have been a bolt...I've lost front swar bar end link bolts before. I guess it could have been something like one of the ujoint caps in front. When I replaced them the first time, the rear front shaft ujoint was in the worse condition. Looked back and that was in 2011. So it is possible those are toast again and it wouldn't hurt just to replace them.

the rattling I mentioned...I can't recall if the rumbling started when whatever fell off or not. It may have, but I honestly don't remember.

A last item to note, my driver side rear shock is shot. All my shocks may be shot, but that one has had little puddles of fluid under it at times for a few months now. Was going to completely swap out the rear suspension, but apparently OME leaf packs are on national back order and I didn't want to pay any more for Alcans or deavers. Have the shocks coming by the weekend though. Hoping to get the entire suspension problem resolved to eliminate that as a culprit.


I appreciate all the insight guys. It helps me process and narrow things down in my mind. I don't want to start shelling out huge bits of cash at wheel bearings and what not unless I am 100% positive that is the culprit.
 

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You're throwing around a lot of symptoms here, if I had to guess they're not necessarily all related ... generally speaking, variational rattles and rumbles that don't follow bumps and suspension inputs will either be tied to engine RPM or wheel RPM. If it's tied to engine RPM you need to look upstream of the trans, in the drivetrain (related to engine speed) ... if it's wheel RPM you need to look downstream (related to road speed).

For your rumble that seems tied to wheel speed: remove the front driveshaft, if the noise is still there, it's not the front DS u-joints. If you rotate the tires and the symptom moves or changes, then it was likely wheel or tire related. Front wheel play at 3 & 9 o'clock (locations on the wheel) is either hubs or steering components, play at 12 & 6 o'clock is hubs (or possibly other suspension components). Hubs can be bad (rumbling bearings) and still feel tight to the test I just described ... that's harder to pinpoint, but sometimes you can still feel it if you jack up the front end and carefully spin a tire. If you leave your front DS installed, but remove the half-shafts, and the noise goes away, it was either in one of the CVs or in your diff ... if you engage 4wd with the half-shafts removed and the noise comes back, it was from your diff.

I think the only thing required for the tests I've described, is time ... assuming you already have the tools for any of the R&Rs needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I didn't think they were all related. But wondering could ball joints blown for a while have a negative impact on wheel bearings. My issue is definitely wheel related as its not dependent upon anything but vehicle momentum.

I won't take the driveshaft off without new ujoints in hand. Last time I changed them, the bearings were dust. Rather have new ones ready to go. I figured I would have to whittle this down test by test. Figured fixing everything I have parts for an know needs replacing will be step one. With tire rotation, I will give it a try but don't see how it will help if I can't tell whether its front or left. left or right right now. Getting a bolt removed and tire patched will help eliminate that as a potential issue though.
 

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I didn't think they were all related. But wondering could ball joints blown for a while have a negative impact on wheel bearings. My issue is definitely wheel related as its not dependent upon anything but vehicle momentum.

I won't take the driveshaft off without new ujoints in hand. Last time I changed them, the bearings were dust. Rather have new ones ready to go. I figured I would have to whittle this down test by test. Figured fixing everything I have parts for an know needs replacing will be step one. With tire rotation, I will give it a try but don't see how it will help if I can't tell whether its front or left. left or right right now. Getting a bolt removed and tire patched will help eliminate that as a potential issue though.
You mentioned first that the rumble was at all speeds and now you say it's at 40-60 mph and goes away by 80. From what I've read, that sounds like u-joints. I actually just starting developing similar symptoms - rumble at 60-70 mph. It may have been there for a while, but now that it's summer and I'm driving with the windows up, I hear it. Windows open - can't hear it.

Tow company towed my X with the two front wheels on the ground causing the gears in the differential to grind and ultimately shatter.
Ouch. I've run into a few TT drivers that weren't exactly Einsteins.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
You mentioned first that the rumble was at all speeds and now you say it's at 40-60 mph and goes away by 80. From what I've read, that sounds like u-joints. I actually just starting developing similar symptoms - rumble at 60-70 mph. It may have been there for a while, but now that it's summer and I'm driving with the windows up, I hear it. Windows open - can't hear it.
The rumble is most pronounced and loudest between those speeds. I hear it at most speeds coasting, but accelerating it take a bit before I can hear it over the exhaust.
 

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The rumble is most pronounced and loudest between those speeds. I hear it at most speeds coasting, but accelerating it take a bit before I can hear it over the exhaust.
I have a similar rumble problem. Is the rumble louder while turning and can you feel the rumble at your heels?
 
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