Page updated on 06-25-2018 do I tell if its a bearing

11-10-2008, 06:09 PM
I have a squeak in the rear end. I think its a bearing, but I'd rather it be a U-joint. It increases with speed and goes away when I hit the brakes. At first I was thinking its just a burr or something on the brake shoe, because it went away. But now its back (a few thousand miles later). Is there a way to verify its a wheel bearing before pulling my axle shafts? Could it be something else?

11-10-2008, 08:31 PM
goes away when I hit the brakes.
For this reason imho it's definitely something in the brakes.... likely the shoes are contacting the drum in some way, or possibly you have some loose/broken hardware (like a return spring or self-adjuster cable) in the drum.

You should remove the drums and inspect them.

If nothing is obviously wrong try reassembling the brakes with all-new hardware.

Often, even if the return springs look ok and feel stiff, they can be too weak to do the job.

BTW wheel bearings pretty much always rumble, growl or grind when going bad. They never 'squeak'.

11-27-2008, 06:26 AM
Take the driveshaft out and see if there is any binding in the joints. You can put the rear axle on jack stands and let the wheels turn. Get a pipe or piece of hose and use it as a makeshift stethescope.

11-27-2008, 06:46 PM
If you don't have posi drive put it on jack stands. Then put it in drive and run slowly. Use a 2x4 and stop one wheel at a time when you pick out the problem wheel. Then pull the brake drum and inspect it if something rubbing fix it. Then run it in drive and stop the other wheel if making a noise replace the bearing. They make extra wide repair bearings with a seal built in.
Use the 2x4 to slow down the rear end. If you push the brakes you will blow the wheel cylinder. Just shut off the motor don't put it into park.

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