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  #1  
Old July 6th, 2006, 22:30
lilredwagn lilredwagn is offline
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If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

My main concern is a woowoowoo howling noise that seems to be coming from everywhere. I guess I'll have to get someone else to drive while I hang of the bottom like Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear.

I verified, by slapping some packing tape on the driver's front tire, that the "woos" occur at the same rate as tire rotation (which means the hours I spent cursing over the u-joints in the rear CV driveshaft were wasted).

The noise happens at all speeds above 15mph or so, and doesn't change pitch. It does come and go somewhat and seems like it might get louder when braking, but it doesn't ever really go away. From all I have read, this means that it is either a wheel bearing or the carrier bearing. If there is anything else that would account for constant wheel speed noise, please let me know.

I'm in the process of eliminating the front wheel bearings from the equation, which leaves the rear axle shaft bearings or the carrier bearing. From my searching, the only way to check the axle shaft bearings is to pull the shafts and visually inspect the shafts and bearings. Is there any other way to find out? (I've got synth in there I'd rather not dump unless I have to). One thing I did notice, is that I couldn't hear the howl from the outside when driving by a wall with windows open (which, unfortunately makes me think it may be the diff)

Also, I've read that the carrier bearing will sound worse in reverse .. How about if the rear is on jackstands though? Will it still make noise, or does it need to be under load?
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Old July 6th, 2006, 22:33
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CanMan CanMan is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

A whine from a rear or front can be caused by worn pinion or carrier berrings. Also, if the gears are not set up correctly, they can do it also. From what I have replaced on lots of GM trucks and vans, I threw all new berrings in them(pinion mostly, but carrier too), and it has cured the problems.
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Old July 7th, 2006, 02:33
JEEPTUBE JEEPTUBE is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

Yah i get the same wooowooowoooowoooooowoooooooooo
But mine gets louder and louder. When im first driving around i can hear it to start around 35-40. The faster i go the more it will stretch out the noise and will dissapate at around 65 for the most part but i still know its there. ****in loud in my XJ on the freeway.
5.5 RE XD with drop brackets, 33x12.50 SYE, CV driveshaft,4.56.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 19:20
windellmc windellmc is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

I have the same woowoowoo sound. My Subaru had the same noise that was cured by new tires. I just put new tires on the XJ (98 with 120k on it) tonight and it did not change the sound at all. I did notice that putting it in 4wd (Command-Trac) makes it not quite as loud. The sound seems to be coming from the left front and will get quieter on right turns. It is loudest at around 60mph.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 19:36
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Chero-King Chero-King is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

Quote:
Originally Posted by windellmc
I have the same woowoowoo sound. My Subaru had the same noise that was cured by new tires. I just put new tires on the XJ (98 with 120k on it) tonight and it did not change the sound at all. I did notice that putting it in 4wd (Command-Trac) makes it not quite as loud. The sound seems to be coming from the left front and will get quieter on right turns. It is loudest at around 60mph.

Exactly the same with mine except mines the same volume at any speed. It's the pinion bearrings, I havent replaced mine yet but thats what a couple shops told me.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 19:45
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90xj06 90xj06 is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

mine make a kind of wining when the 4wd is on but its not loud enough for me to be concerned it seems to be when the front hubs are locked that it happens. i filled with oil. i think something is just rubbing.
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  #7  
Old August 17th, 2006, 19:47
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87manche 87manche is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

have you checked the u-joints? That's the first thing to check if the noise is coming from up front.
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Old August 17th, 2006, 21:07
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norcalsnow norcalsnow is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

i vote carrier bearing, thats what mine was. i just said f it and did an axle swap and upgraded..bye bye woowoowoo
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  #9  
Old August 24th, 2006, 20:18
windellmc windellmc is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

I changed the left front hub and the noise is totally gone. Once we jacked up the front wheels and turned them by hand it was obvious the left side was not good.
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Old August 24th, 2006, 20:50
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8Mud 8Mud is offline
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Re: If the carrier bearing is bad, will it still make noise with wheels in air?

Just a generality, but 0.003 is a number that sticks in the old brain. Which is the stock clearance on most any bearing. Which is almost to tight to feel.
Excessive carrier bearing wear will cause the carrier to change positition, which changes the patch on the ring gear and pinion. The sound often changes pitch, diring acceleration and coast, forward and reverse. I Check mine with the diff cover off and a pry bar under the ring gear, I try and lift the carrier. The carrier bearings actually come with a pre load (or near zero clearance), but most any clearance (play) that can be felt is way out of spec. I've seen carrier bearings with which seemed like 0.030 of play, which is pretty close to a sparkplug gap (they were pretty loud ).
Take a brake drum off and try moving the axle up and down, by the time you get any play, the seals are usually seeping anyway so you know the bearings are likely toast. If there is noise and no play, there will soon be play.
Same with the pinion, try and move it sideways. If there is any play, the outer bearings are likely toast. The inner bearings on the pinion are a little harder to diagnose, but they often really change pitch from acceleration to coast.
I grab whatever bearing is suspect and shake it with some muscle or even slap it with your palm. More times than not, you can feel the play.
A visual inspection will tell you even more. Dark spots on the bearing or race. A grainy look on the rollers or the race.
Drive train noise will really screw you up. The sound travels, I've been fooled to many times to count. I have a tendancy to make absolutly sure, before tearing something down only to find out later I rebuilt the wrong part.
One of these days I'm going to build myself a sensitive microphone and amp setup, to use as a stethiscope when I'm driving. Tape the mic to the suspected component and cover it with putty. I imagine somebody sells a kit. A mic and a amplifier shouldn't be very expensive.
I almost rebuilt my transfer, because of a fairly constant gear noise, turned out to be the right front hub. A buddy of mine just replaced his rear axle bearings and we finally found the problem, was the rear tranny bearing.
My 87 had excessively worn spider gears (really noisey around corners, but sang a little most all the time). I'm thinking it was a bad batch of gears (temper) the bearings were cooked and the edges of the teeth were almost rounded, all the rest of the parts in the diff were OK. Thrust washers is something that is often forgotten about. One of those parts that is often overlooked. The test for clearance is pretty easy, you just need two sets of feeler gauges.
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