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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On my way back to school from spring break, I picked up a vibration that you can hear more than anything. It can be felt through the floor boards, but only very slightly. It sounds like the noise is coming from the front of the truck, but it is hard to be positive. The noise starts at around 25-30mph and continues to 70mph+. As you go faster, the noise changes in pitch and gets a little louder. The noise is there when I accelerate (although not as loud), when the speed is constant, and when I'm slowing down it seems to get louder, but that is hard to tell since the exhuast noise quiets down then. The noise also changes if the truck hasn't been driven in a while. Like if it sits for a couple days and then I take it for a drive, for the first mile or two you can't hear a thing, but once it has been driven farther, the noise gets progressively louder until it reaches it's normal level.

I checked the driveshaft and everything looks tight, but the slip-joint has a very small amount of play up and down, but it has had that before the vibration started. I lifted each tire off the ground and spun them, but they all turned fine with no noises or hang ups. There was no play in any tire either up and down or left and right, but I found that the ball joints are starting to show some wear. While I was looking around under the truck, I found that the drivers side wheel bearing seal was leaking gear fluid. I pulled the drum and pulled around on the axle, but I couldn't get any noticable play. Three days before I left, I re-did the the rear brakes and there was no leak then.

Any ideas? I never heard a wheel bearing going bad, but could that be the cause of the noise even though I couldn't see any play in the axle? Could the slip-joint do something like this? As far as I have read, the slip-joint really only makes noise when accelerating or slowing down. I've been searching through a lot of posts, but no one really had the same situation as me, and most were driveshaft issues. Sorry for such a long post.
 

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well is it coming from the front or the rear....seems you have checked everything in the rear...but have you check the front wheel bearings yet?
pull the front apart and check them...even if you don't think its the problem it cant hurt to clean and repack them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It is hard to pin point where the noise is coming from, but it sounds more like the front. As for the front wheel bearings, since I am currently at school, I don't have the tools with me to pull the front apart, otherwise I would do that. I've tried to check them by lifting the front tires off the ground and spinning them and pulling on them. There was no noise when I spun either side and no visible play when I pulled on them (other than in the ball joints). Is there another way to check the bearings without pulling the front end apart?

I forgot to mention in my first post, that the noise cannot be heard outside of the truck. By that I mean when I drove with my head out of the window, I couldn't hear anything. Also, the noise remains even when applying the brakes.
 

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So is this a noise or a vibration? If its a vibration, do you feel it more in the steering wheel or in the seat of your pants?

Since you said you could drive "into and out of" it, I think I would take it to the local tire joint, and have them balance all four, and see if that helps or not. Even if it dont cure your vibration/noise, you will know your wheels are balanced!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Streetgang said:
So is this a noise or a vibration? If its a vibration, do you feel it more in the steering wheel or in the seat of your pants?
Well, it is both, but you can mostly only hear it. I didn't even feel it until after I heard it and realized something wasn't right, so then I started to pay attention to it and I could only slightly feel something (if that made any sense). I can feel it in the seat of my pants and only lightly every once in a while in the steering wheel.

Like you suggested, I'm working on getting the tires balanced to make sure that isn't the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Problem Found

Well, thanks for eveyones help. Redwagon was right on the money, the passenger side wheel bearing is shot. I took both front tires off to try and find the vibration, and when I tried to spin the passenger side, it was really hard to move. I found that the caliper was sticking a little (the slides need a little grease). Once I had the caliper off, I spun the hub and it felt like I was operating a ratchet, it wouldn't turn smooth :doh0715: . If you would spin it fast enough, it began to sound like it was low on grease, with a slight metal on metal sound. I just hope the spindle is ok.
 
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