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Old 07-21-2019, 04:56 PM   #21
454cid
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Default Re: Unusual wheel bearing noise -- hard to diagnose

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido View Post
91-'98 only got rear disc with ABS. No S-Series after '98 had rear disc.
Interesting. Rockauto has rear calipers listed for my 2000... although no rear rotors listed. I suppose that could simply be a cataloging error.

...
2000 SL2 Automatic (back on the road) 16X,XXX miles.
1999 Chevy K3500

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Old 07-21-2019, 10:07 PM   #22
can0fspam
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Unusual wheel bearing noise -- hard to diagnose

As for the main thread topic, I did some diagnostic work today before getting caught in a rain storm. I picked up each corner of the car and felt the bearing wobble and resistance.

Both rear tires spin super well and free, and have no play at all.
The fronts logically had more drag as they were connected to a CV shaft and differential even in neutral.

The "new" bearing felt good although the brake rotor may be dragging somewhat. I will switch the rotors around if nothing else works.

The driver's side had a miniscule amount of side-side play and a tiny bit of catch. That may be the bad bearing even though the sound on corners made me assume it was on the right side.

I switched the left and right front wheels. This should put to rest the theory of unbalanced wheel/tire noise.

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Old 07-22-2019, 12:26 AM   #23
S-forever
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1997 SL2
1991 SL2
Default Re: Unusual wheel bearing noise -- hard to diagnose

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Originally Posted by can0fspam View Post
Saturn Night, thanks for the analysis and advice.
I did exactly what you suggested and found a good donor bearing on a 1999 SC2 in my local junkyard. The noise still continues, so I will check out the other bearings on the car.

S-forever, good idea!
I did not think very much about the rear hubs. I will jack up the car when I get the chance and look for play on the remaining 3 wheels. Looks like the rear hubs are extra easy to change. Might even look into a disc brake conversion while I'm at it.
The rear bearing that I just dealt with had been making the annoying wup/wup/wup sound for months. There was no difference in handling and I couldn't find anything wrong until the last 200 or so miles. All bearings spun well, and I even jacked up the car and ran the front wheels up to speed. Eventually the noise got louder and I was able to feel the roughness in the rear wheel bearing when turning it by hand. It never got loose or wobbly though.

I would caution that the rear hub can be quite challenging to remove if the car has lived in the northeast for the last 20 years. Mine was corroded in place(97 SL2 non-ABS) and it took quite a lot of persuasion to get it loose. I'm in the desert southwest now and tapping one loose from the local junkyard was a piece of cake. It's the second bearing that failed on mine - the other side went out about 60K miles ago. If/when you do it, make sure to use a six point socket on the hub mounting bolts. They can round off.

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Old 07-24-2019, 12:28 AM   #24
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1999 SL2
Default Re: Unusual wheel bearing noise -- hard to diagnose

Well, I've got a small update!

I had my tires balanced for free through a stroke of good negotiations. In the process, they discovered my RR tire was full of fix-a-flat and would not balance properly.

They emptied the tire out and were able to balance it after that!

Driving after the balancing and de-fix-a-flat-ing felt better and the wub-wub-wub noise was noticeably quieter. It's not gone, but it was definitely affected.

I switched the front tires the other day and the sound's still coming from the right side, so I might try switching the back tires and seeing if it moves. At least I seem to be tracking it down to a tire issue so far.

This continues to confuse me, but I'm glad to see progress finally.

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