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Toyota Collector
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1993 Camry LE 5SFE, since I bought the car there has been a front end knock. It happens over larger bumps and rough roads. Sounds like it's coming from the right front of the car. I've replaced the following since I've had the car: Struts, springs, mounts (all 4), front and rear sway bar bushings, rear end links. The ball joints appear to be fine I can't find any movement. Same with the control arm bushings. The wheel bearings are good, and I can't get any movement out of the wheel back and forth, either when the car is jacked up or on the ground.

So that leaves me with what? Engine mount(s)? I've ruled out anything to do with the exhaust it's solid I can't get it to rattle or make noise by grabbing it and trying to move it about. I'm wondering if the axle bearing is bad, but I don't know what to look for. I can get it to move back and forth and slightly up and down, shown in the pic. Movement could be more I'm just guessing.



Is this movement normal? I grabbed a rear bearing/engine bracket from the wreckers, the car I got it from also had movement only worse, but the car had about 450,000 km so it's understandable. The bearing on the axle from the wreckers is pretty much shot. I got the bracket so I could practice on it and to see how hard it would be to remove the bearing. I soaked it with Seafoam overnight, and it came out fairly easily actually. So I have the unit ready if I decide to get a complete axle.

So what should I order here? I don't want to start throwing parts at the problem. Is it possible my control arm bushings are going, but trying to move things by hand doesn't show the problem? BTW, car has 180,000 km (108,000 miles)

I cleaned up and painted the bracket.

 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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71, It seems like you may be on to it there. Its a ball bearing and and all though many have a small amount of play, the in-out play in the direction of the shaft may be what you hear as the suspension pushes/pulls it in and out. Even at that, the inner CV joint shouldn't be transferring a bunch of end to end thrust.

If the inner race moves a whole 1/8" of inch, I can't imagine that bearing sounds real quiet. Can you confirm the shaft is not sliding in the inner race or are they fused together as many have shown us? That bearing has pretty easy life compared to say a wheel bearing and should last a long time, but if it has a 1/16" of an inch of radial free play I'd replace it.


Can you see where the seal went bad and let the grease out?

Edit: you folks with these rusted up cars underneath, I feel for you but am thankful mine looks nothing like that underneath!
 

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Toyota Collector
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I don't see any grease escaping at all. The shaft is indeed fused to the inner race, I looked for that. The outer race also does not move in the mount, at least not back and forth. Up and down I can't be sure because the movement is slight. The bearing doesn't make any noise, well except I have a "whistling" noise at certain speeds which is very annoying, but I always thought on these cars that was the transaxle. It could be the bearing I don't know.

I don't know if the wheel bearing is a different type or not, but that bearing is very smooth and tight, zero movement. I've always found high quality bearing to have no slack or freeplay at all. Even when they are shot and making horrific noises, like a release bearing or pilot bearing, when I tested them they were still tight, just very noisy. But this bearing might be different? The only car in the my local Pick n Pull that had this unit was super high mileage so I can't use it as an indicator. All the other ones were V6 models, I didn't check those for play but I should have.

One thing to note on this car is, the previous owner decided to drive around with struts that were completely gone. I mean zero life left, the car was basically dangerous to drive. It was so bad it broke both front coils from the impact, absolutely nothing to control the movement. So I'm wonder if that shock traveled into the bearing and damaged it? I'm reaching here I don't know, I find this problem very frustrating. But if I do replace the axle, I may as well do the rear mount because I have to lift the engine off of it anyway to do the job.

BTW, the bolt that supposedly holds the bearing from moving actually contacts a rubber plug, which then presses against the bearing. I didn't know that, I just thought the bolt pressed directly against the bearing itself.
 

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V8'sRGone
95 Cam
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Until you put your ear to it, you wouldn't know if it was noisy and because its not really a load carrying bearing, it may infact be the whistle. Didn't you say in another post the whistle didn't change with load *gas on/gas off". Well that may again point to this!

I've had many trany's apart and larger ball bearing tend to have some movement. Wheel bearings having two bearings siamese'd together makes it tuff to feel radial movement. I'd replace it for the movement.

I had this in the last post and deleted it; Any chance you can get it in the air sitting on the control arms so the suspension is at least partially loaded and let it run in gear? ((Safety is of utt most concern)) Don't do anything that'll cost your life at home! With it up, listen to it with a stethoscope or something. 25mph you'll hear it if its bad.

FWIW: my V6 1/2 shaft support bearing has ZERO play in it. I checked it when I pulled the rack a few weeks back. Now the other shaft on the drivers side, that thing is scary how far it moves in the differential housing. Why the seal isn't :barf: is beyond me, but I've seen many like that and they run forever just fine. . . :ugh3:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Didn't you say in another post the whistle didn't change with load *gas on/gas off". Well that may again point to this!
It only whistles under throttle. Lift the throttle and it stops.
I had this in the last post and deleted it; Any chance you can get it in the air sitting on the control arms so the suspension is at least partially loaded and let it run in gear? ((Safety is of utt most concern)) Don't do anything that'll cost your life at home! With it up, listen to it with a stethoscope or something. 25mph you'll hear it if its bad.
I could do this, but I've already pulled the hub free of the axle. I'll consider putting it back together and trying this, although this type of procedure makes me very nervous for obvious reasons.

I asked this before, but these replacements contain the bearing right? (see pic). Also, what is a better unit, Cardone or EMPI? The Cardone is quite a bit more.

 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
A follow up. It turns out the right side sway bar end link was indeed bad. Grabbing and trying to move it about did not show anything, the reason being is the lower portion was completely shot, and would get stuck and not move. Using a pry bar I was able to move it, it jumped and then wedged itself tight again.

I replaced both sides, no more noises at all. I would like to know why the heck Toyota used a hex keyed design, with the road salt and winters here these things seize up solid they are impossible to remove without cutting them with a hack saw, then using a torch to remove the remaining pieces. All Toyota had to do was key the end portion of the link, so it would not turn in the sway bar and also on the strut. Just dumb. (many cars use the same design BTW)

Also see my thread about transaxle whistling noise at freeway speeds. I may never know if the axle bearing is the cause because very likely this car has been sold. I'll be sad to see it go I love this car.

edit - anyone want to buy a nicely painted rear engine mount bracket? Save you time trying to get the bearing out, that sucker is a bitch sometimes.
 
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