Rattling/Grinding noise coming from front end, 97 SE 5spd

10-02-2007, 08:52 PM
Hey all,

I have a strange noise that no one seems to be able to pinpoint. I first noticed this after I had my transmission rebuilt. Initially it would only make a faint rattling noise when I would turn hard right and accelerate.

Unfortunately about a month ago I ran over a rather large chunk of road debris (tire re-tread) and then noise has gotten even worse. It now makes a loud rattling/grinding type noise when simply turning right and also accelerating in a straight line, but does not make a sound when turning left. From inside of the car it sounds like it is really close, like the middle near the firewall, maybe even closer. At times I can actually feel the vibration through the floor, but not through the shifter. I have had both left & right CV joints replaced, clutch was replaced when the transmission was rebuilt about a year and a half ago. Unfortunately I have not had a chance to get under the car to really look at it, but if anyone can point me in the right direction on where to look or what it possibly might be, id really appreciate it!!


10-03-2007, 01:26 AM
.... the middle near the firewall, maybe even closer. At times I can actually feel the vibration through the floor, but not through the shifter. ...

Bad wheel bearing can behave as described. Try replacing... adding lube may help for a while. (The bearing noise will become un-bear-able before theres a real danger.) Bearing is seen here on boot swap:


10-03-2007, 08:15 AM
Thanks for the info!

10-03-2007, 09:17 AM
The pass side axle support [3.] bearing may also be the sound source (new bearings may also be faulty), but in turns its not stressed alike wheel bearing.

I suggest replacing that wheel bearing... You may save by dissassembling the wheel assy, buing the bearing, and walkin it into a shop for 5min bearing job. (Getting the ol bearing out, new in, needs real tools.) Ask shops for quotations and be present while its done = quality assurance /life insurance. My guess is 2hrs for whole job (in a shop) plus bearing ? 60$, for me it would be like 5hrs :(

10-04-2007, 07:33 AM
I was able to get the car lifted yesterday to see if I might be able to pinpoint exactly where the noise is coming from. I started it up and put it in gear, but nothing... turned it hard right and gave it gas... nothing. I'll definitely have the bearing checked out... again thanks for the info.

10-04-2007, 09:07 AM
On the road the whole chassis flexes ... engine & wheel assemblies are stressed with various forces and all the assemblys with all supports move related to each other. Its next to impossible to 'simulate' road conditions, and find the fault when the problem is intermittent and/or just appearing. Typically such a bearing [if any] problem may take 'tens of thousands' miles to 'develop'.

The brake calipers, discs, mud shields should be checked. Just to make sure, the wheels could be swapped from front to rear.

12-15-2007, 02:22 AM
Sounds to me like possibly a cv joint is going bad. The rattling, grinding noise when you turn at a slow speed is a dead giveaway. That is where i would start looking. It is something that you may not necessarily see the damage. I have replaced cv joints in a couple of different vehicles I have owned over the years. Some are easy. some are hard. A good sevice manual is a must.

12-15-2007, 10:09 AM
"A good sevice manual is a must." = Buy Haynes comic books if u need a good hysterical midnight laugh... First read all comments +plus links.

"SonOfDolomite:..."Hey all, I have a strange noise that no one seems to be able to pinpoint."
---> My guess: 'mr. anyone/noone' --- would START from CVjoints.

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