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Bearing Noise

wrc3

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
228
Location
Arlington, VA
Corvette
1976 L-48
Could someone describe bearing noise in these vehicles to me? Is it a rumble, a whine, a high pitched ringing? I have so many funky sounds coming from this car that it is often difficult to pinpoint where a noise is coming from and what it is.
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2001
Messages
2,231
Location
Northern Virginia
Corvette
71 Conv. (Sold) / 98 Pewter Coupe (Sold)
Bill,

To be perfectly honest, you could get any number of noises but the key, I suppose, is the pinpoint the source and the driving conditions under which the noise(s) occur.

Case in point: I thought I was on the verge of having to ship my rear off to Texas for Stingray6974 to rebuild since all indication where that my pinion was going. I had the trademark dull vibration and sound when I let up at cruising speed. Turns out that it was the resonance in my exhaust which had a leak near the differential. The only way I found out, fortunately, was when I replaced the exhaust for an unrelated reason. Now the vibration is no more and I noticed the leak spot when I took the old exhaust out.

I know I didn't really help you at all and I apologize for that, but tell us what it's doing and I'm sure we can figure it out. As for normal noises, you shouldn't really hear anything if all is working as it should. My rear and bearings are unheard save for some brake squawk.
 

cntrhub

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Messages
390
Location
North Hollywood, Ca.
Corvette
Miss my '62 & '80 4- Sp. Vettes
Want a wheel bearing noise to be pinpointed? Drive the car in a straight line and then steer the car to one side and/or the other side... kind of like a body roll. If the noise goes away, it's probably a wheel bearing. What happens is, you load the bearing to one side and theoretically, it quiets down. It would be a good idea to change the wheel bearings as a set. Meaning, change both left and right wheel bearings. The other bearing is probably heading south as well.
Have the windows down for this test. Find a paved, smooth street with a long, high solid wall next to it. Drive close to the wall and listen for noises on the side of the car that is closest to the wall. Drive the opposite way and notice if the noise is louder? If the sound is louder going in one of the directions, (closest to the wall), it's a good chance that you've pinpointed the area... i.e. , dirver's side/passenger side. Find a buddy for a second set of ears to help diagnose.
 
G

GW74

Guest
cntrhub,
The wall test is a great idea. I had a clicking noise coming from what I thought was the passenger side rear.
After inspecting eveything I could think of I took the wife for a ride and using the wall method she pin pointed the noise to the passenger side front wheel.
I pulled the dust cover on the bearing and found an old cotterpin being chewed up by the castle nut and existing cotter pin.
Some meathead must have put the dust cover back on with the cotter pin stuck in the grease. The noise started recently so it must have finally worked it's way into a posistion that started it clicking.
Man, do I love her, the wife is a keeper too.
 
7

78SilvAnniv

Guest
wheel bearings and side yokes

Glad you pin-pointed your problem! Aren't you amazed at some of the "fixes" you'll find? :eek

I had a combination of wheel bearing problem and worn side yokes as a cause. That noise is a groaning squealing sort of noise when starting from a stop or especially going around a corner. Low speeds. With those noises I wasn't trying ANYTHING fast!
Silver

I also think the wall test is a good idea to help isolate sounds!
 

wrc3

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
228
Location
Arlington, VA
Corvette
1976 L-48
Haven't had time or been able to use the wall test. But, the noise appears to be coming from the right rear and is a very high pitched ringing noise. It is constant, but it stops abruptly under about 15 miles and hour, and starts again above that. It doesn't seem to change when loaded or unloaded, AKA cornering, turning or when braking or not braking, except when under that 15mph number. The bearings need doing anyway, but I am just wondering if this is noise is indication of imminent bearing failure.

B
 

cntrhub

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 17, 2002
Messages
390
Location
North Hollywood, Ca.
Corvette
Miss my '62 & '80 4- Sp. Vettes
My guess would be... if a bearing is going out, it would still make some kind of noise at 15mph. The wheel is spinning pretty fast at that speed and I would think, it would still grind away with just a few revolutions. On the other hand, I could be wrong.
I am almost hesitant to say it's the ring and pinion. Think of it this way. When the pinion rides high (outer edge) on the ring, it has this high pitch ringing noise. The harmonics start in at higher speeds and pitch of the sound goes higher with speed.
Think of it this way. Say you have this nice thin crystal wine glass. You wet your finger, and slowly run the tip of your index finger around the top edge. It begins to ring like a sustained musical note. This harmonic sound acts the same way around the ring, inside the pumkin housing of the rear end. That's basically what you are hearing. When you hear this ringing noise coming from the rear end, it's usually the pinion harmoically chiming the ring (riding up)....thus the high pitch noise. Let's hope it's something as simple as a bearing.
As far as damage goes. If it is a wheel bearing and you do procrastinate, the inner bearing could seize (weld together) on the outer bearing housing. This causes the outer bearing to spin on the spindle shaft and render what was a reuseable expensive part... useless.
 

wrc3

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 18, 2002
Messages
228
Location
Arlington, VA
Corvette
1976 L-48
Ya she is getting parked tomorrow and I will tackle the rear bearings along with several other problems when I get back from vacation. The only reason I am even driving her now is because my Land Rover is up on blocks waiting for some parts.

Well I am the one who wanted toys instead of cars.

B
 

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