Whirring noise - 96 Ram 1500


Superglider
12-14-2006, 10:00 AM
I'm stumped. '96 Ram 1500 - 2WD Automatic. I had oversize tires on it - 285/75-16. Tread was getting worn and I started hearing what sounded like tire noise. Changed tire back to stock size (245/70-16) and a known "quiet" tire - and the noise is still there! It's not a grinding sound, but a whirring. Sounds just like tread on the road, kinda like aggressive snow tires.
The sound varys in pitch with vehicle speed. Stays the same when moving at speed and shift into neutral. Doesn't change with gear changes. From the interior of the vehicle, it's tough to figure out which direction it's coming from. After a 40 mile highway trip, I felt the bearing caps in the front and the center hubs on the rear wheels. Both front cups feel warm to the touch with the right one feeling almost hot. I've had it off the gound to check for play, and couldn't detect any. I've also touched the differential housing - normal warmth - not hot. Like I say...I'm stumped. Any chance it might be one of the U-joints? Any other ideas?

Thanks.

indyram
12-14-2006, 08:15 PM
Sounds like bearings to me.

BleedDodge
12-14-2006, 10:58 PM
I think bearings too.

Superglider
12-15-2006, 10:48 AM
I think bearings too.

I think you guys are right. This morning I jacked the rear axle off the ground and spun the wheels - smooth like butter. Started it, dropped her into gear and slowly brought the rpm's up. Felt the tranny shift through the gears. Got 'er all the way up to 70 mph - not a sound. Quiet as a mouse.

I then picked up the front end to check again for bearing play. Front left seems okay. Front right, I can hearing the rollers ticking as I rotate the wheel. There's still no discernable play, but I can definately hear the bearings. I'll replace them and I bet the noise disappears. I've just got to squeeze 200 more miles out of 'em before I can do it.

Superglider
12-18-2006, 11:39 AM
It was definately the wheel bearings. Right-front bearings were bad. I replaced the bearings on both front wheels, as well as both rotor/hub assemblies. (They were due) As soon as I finished the right wheel, I took her for a test ride - noise was gone! All is well with the world.

HOWEVER...while I was bolting my left caliper back in place, I noticed the lower ball joint on that side had quite a bit of play in it. I figured, "well - I'll have to get that done soon". After bolting on the left wheel, I took her out for a spin. Rides perfect...feels like a new truck...until you push on the brake pedal. Now I get a "bump-bump-bump-bump..." from the left front wheel when applying the brakes. The noise slows as the truck comes to a stop. I'm thinking it's probably that ball-joint acting up, but I'm not sure. I rechecked the adjustment on the bearing for that wheel, and it's adjusted correctly. No damage on the rotor. Any ideas?

Thanks.

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