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Wheel bearing problem?

1535 Views 7 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Donald

Ive got a 91 Tercel with 100,000 miles. I just replaced the axleshafts on both sides and ball joints, but recently Ive been hearing a knocking, grinding noise when driving (I can slightly notice it in the steering). It sounded like it was coming from the passenger side, so today I jacked it up and took the tire and rotor off, and I started the car and let it run. Only the passenger side axleshaft turned, and it was quite noisey. Although I havent noticed any excess heat I beleive the wheel bearing is bad. Is this what you guys think? If so, has anyone replaced the whole hub assembly with a new one? Or do you guys just have the bearings pressed out?
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Just replaced the hub on a 92 last week. I got one from a junkyard, since it was cheaper than getting new bearings pressed in. But I am not sure if yours is a bearing noise. Bearing noise usually develops slowly, over time, in my experience, and sounds like a hum.

To test if it your passenger side bearing: check to see if the noise gets louder when you take a left turn, and quieter when you take a right turn.

Thanks for the quick reply. Driving 55 mph today, turning left, it sounded like a woodpecker knocking on wood but turning right it was quiet. Deffinatly not a humm but a knock. Doesnt sound like a ball joint is bad though? Both ball joints I just replaced though, they have less than 1000 miles on them.
If it gets worse on left turns, and better on right turns, that does seem like your passenger side wheel bearing. Maybe it's just by chance that all my bad wheel bearings have hummed, rather than knocked.

I don't see how it can possibly be a bad balljoint. You heard the noise with you car jacked up, so there was no weight on the balljoint, in any case.

The only other possibility I can think of is a bad CV joint. (Try grabbing the passenger side axle, and seeing if you can feel any up/down or back/front movement).

But wheel bearing is most likely, I think. Anyone else?
When you replaced the axle shafts did you torque the end nuts to spec?

I neglected that when I did my eng swap (too much hurry) and had a similar noise. I even bought two sets of bearings, but when I started the job I realised that the nuts were loose. Torqueing them to specs killed the noise.

No I didnt torque them to specs, but I will try it out today and let you guys know, thanks for the replys

Now I feel dumb lol, you were right Donald. The axle nut just needed to be tightened but for the record it didn't seem loose when I did tighten it. Thanks for the replys.
Yeah, just goes to show that we all screw up now and again. :)
I had tightened mine up just enough so I could move the car and give my wife some space in the garage, but then forgot to torque them when I was done. I drove the car for several days like that and had a cold rush when I realised what I had done.
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