Wheel Bearing???

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  #1  
Old 10-19-05, 05:04 AM
MJE49
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Wheel Bearing???

I have a 1987 Jeep Cherokee, 4 cyl, 4WD, 190,000. I have noticed it making a noise as I'm driving down the road. It is sort of a thumping noise with a regular rythm, I'm guesing associated to the drive train. At first I thought it was more noticeable going around curves, but now I'm not so sure. It is more noticeable at times, but I'm not sure there is a pattern. My first thought was a wheel bearing. Is there an easy way to determine if it is a wheel bearing? Are they difficult to change on a 4WD Jeep? Any other thoughts? Thanks.

Jay
 
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  #2  
Old 10-19-05, 07:54 AM
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Wheel bearings don't really thump. They usually sound like gravel rolling around in a coffee can. You might jack up each wheel and spin them to see if there is any obvious noise.

What are the condition of your tires? Thumping noises are often a tire tread starting to separate. Would usually be more noticeable at higher speeds. Could also have a wheel out of balance. Check to make sure there are balance weights on the all the rims.
 
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Old 10-19-05, 10:24 AM
MJE49
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Two Guy, thanks I'll try that. There is a definite thumping, but also seems to be other noise associated. What about universal joints could they make a thumping noise? I only drive the vehicle locally, so I am hearing the noise at maybe 20 to 40 miles per hour.
 
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Old 10-20-05, 10:15 AM
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For a u-joint to thump I think it would be worn to the point of imminent failure
and you would hear it as soon as the vehicle began to move. Wouldn't hurt, of course, to crawl under and give the drive shaft a good shake near both u-joints just to check. I'm more inclined to think tire or balance. Is there any noticeable vibration in the vehicle generally or in the steering wheel?
 
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Old 10-20-05, 12:10 PM
MJE49
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ttg

No there is no noticeable shaking. I usually on drive the car locally and I noticed yesterday that noise seemed to be the worst at about 20 - 25 mph driving straight. The noise is not constant, but it does make the noise most of the time at varying levels of noise. Someone mentioned adding about 40 # to the tires and see if that effect the thumping. Does this make since? Thanks for your help.
Jay
 
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Old 10-20-05, 05:12 PM
MJE49
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Solved the problem tonight. Jacked up the car and checked each front wheel. The left front wheel had a great deal of play. On closer inspection, all five lug nuts were loose. I have no idea how long it has been since I had that wheel off. Anyway, I tightened up the luggs and all of the noise is gone. Thanks for the help.
 
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Old 10-21-05, 06:16 AM
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[Just slapped myself on the forehead and went "Duh! ]

Should have thought of that as a possible cause, too (although I WAS in the ballpark), especially since we periodically have to tow a vehicle that has actually had one come off while being driven. Fortunately they have all been low speed events.
 
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