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Wheel bearing kind of noise, but wheel bearings seem fine...
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:21 am    Post subject: Wheel bearing kind of noise, but wheel bearings seem fine... Reply with quote

Hi all,

So there's a noise that sounds like a loud hum, growl, or drone that comes from the rear when I get over 35mph, and gets louder the faster I go. Happens when the car is in gear and in neutral and with the clutch in, etc. So my initial thought was that the wheel bearings were toast, but I checked them and there isn't any play. After searching on the samba, I saw that insufficiently tightened castle nuts on the drums can cause a similar noise, but I checked the torque there and tried to tighten them more (put around 275 ft/lbs) and they were sufficiently tight.

So my question is, what would be the next thing to check? CVs or something else? Also, since it does sound like a wheel bearing problem...is it possible that they really are bad, but aren't exhibiting excessive play when I check them?

I'm trying to avoid just randomly replacing parts, but the sound is pretty ambiguous, so I'm not really sure what to check.

Thanks for any suggestions.
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack one rear wheel off the ground at a time and let it idle in 1st. Jack it just high enough for the one wheel to clear the ground and with the parking brake off. I raise mine from the rear lower shock mount. That's not raising the body for the body to fall if vibrations shake it all too much. But also use a jack stand. And also just to be extra safe park with the nose against someting solid.

Observe and listen. Shot wheel bearings do not have to have slop or a loose nut. When was the last time you serviced them?
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desertbusman wrote:
Jack one rear wheel off the ground at a time and let it idle in 1st. Jack it just high enough for the one wheel to clear the ground and with the parking brake off. I raise mine from the rear lower shock mount. That's not raising the body for the body to fall if vibrations shake it all too much. But also use a jack stand. And also just to be extra safe park with the nose against someting solid.

Observe and listen. Shot wheel bearings do not have to have slop or a loose nut. When was the last time you serviced them?


I've only had the bus for about a year, so the last time they have been serviced is anyone's guess. I'll try this and see what happens. Thanks!
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DanTmaN
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you chnaged the brake shoes recently? I thought I had a bearing problem but it was just the brake shoes rubbing.
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DanTmaN wrote:
Have you chnaged the brake shoes recently? I thought I had a bearing problem but it was just the brake shoes rubbing.


I haven't. I changed the wheel cylinders, though. Did you just back the shoes off?
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am ashamed to say that by the time I got around to ordering a 48mm socket for the rear wheel nut the noise stopped - hence my conclusion that it was the brake shoes rubbing. If it was the bearing it would have gotten worse...
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 05, 2013 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not really sure if it has gotten worse...definitely hasn't gotten better. I'll try the idling on a jack stand this weekend and report back.
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desertbusman wrote:
Jack one rear wheel off the ground at a time and let it idle in 1st. Jack it just high enough for the one wheel to clear the ground and with the parking brake off. I raise mine from the rear lower shock mount. That's not raising the body for the body to fall if vibrations shake it all too much. But also use a jack stand. And also just to be extra safe park with the nose against someting solid.

Observe and listen. Shot wheel bearings do not have to have slop or a loose nut. When was the last time you serviced them?


Ok, thanks for the advice. I did this. The right rear was silent. The left rear was making this weird clunking noise. It wasn't a grinding or growling noise, it was a definite "clunk, clunk, clunk" for each revolution of the wheel. Seems weird, and makes me suspect that something else might be off? And perhaps that ends up sounding like a loud growl at ~35mph?

Anyway, very weird. Not sure that that could be...
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desertbusman wrote:
Jack one rear wheel off the ground at a time and let it idle in 1st. Jack it just high enough for the one wheel to clear the ground and with the parking brake off. I raise mine from the rear lower shock mount. That's not raising the body for the body to fall if vibrations shake it all too much. But also use a jack stand. And also just to be extra safe park with the nose against someting solid.

Observe and listen. Shot wheel bearings do not have to have slop or a loose nut. When was the last time you serviced them?


Ok, thanks for the advice. I did this. The right rear was silent. The left rear was making this weird clunking noise. It wasn't a grinding or growling noise, it was a definite "clunk, clunk, clunk" for each revolution of the wheel. Seems weird, and makes me suspect that something else might be off? And perhaps that ends up sounding like a loud growl at ~35mph?

Anyway, very weird. Not sure that that could be...anyone had a bad wheel bearing that sounded like that?

I'm wondering if it's a brake issue..
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Desertbusman
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chrisd1891 wrote:
[...anyone had a bad wheel bearing that sounded like that?

I'm wondering if it's a brake issue..


You can pinpoint if it's coming from the bearing housing or the backing plate or maybe a CV joint by using a stethescope or some long screwdriver or hose.
But you will know what it is when you pull it all apart. BTW, the bearings should be serviced every 30k miles and that was with new bearings.

my bug had a similar sound although not as observable and it was a bearing.
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Desertbusman wrote:
chrisd1891 wrote:
[...anyone had a bad wheel bearing that sounded like that?

I'm wondering if it's a brake issue..


You can pinpoint if it's coming from the bearing housing or the backing plate or maybe a CV joint by using a stethescope or some long screwdriver or hose.
But you will know what it is when you pull it all apart. BTW, the bearings should be serviced every 30k miles and that was with new bearings.

my bug had a similar sound although not as observable and it was a bearing.


Thanks. Took the drum off just now, and things look fine, no loose bits or anything. There's no rubbing that I can feel turning it by hand. nor can I hear the clunking noise when I turn it by hand. It's a little hard to pinpoint the noise with the engine running, I'm not even entirely sure it's coming from the wheel or the CV or something else. Just saw that the CV boot is ripped on that wheel though, so that may be a factor.

I'll probably just order new bearings and a fix that CV. Sucks to order new parts and not be entirely sure of the problem. Maybe it won't even fix the issue. Confused
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find that two of the rear bearings are priced rather high. I think it was the inside bearing that was $73 each for Timken at my FLAPS. The outer bearings were around $28 each. Spending money on those parts with the possibility that they may not be bad may preclude you from having money to pay for the actual bad part when you do fiind it.

Also, there are many here that have had a lot of bad luck with new bearings being garbage Evil or Very Mad . Check the search engine for 'rear wheel bearings' and read up on this. Brand names are discussed!

I just finished a complete brake job, with new rotors, drums and misc. hardware. Rebuilt the calipers and new wheel cylinders. Because of this all being taken apart, I decided to take the time to remove, clean in a parts tank and inspect all bearings, front and rear. I chose to replace one front bearing due to its shelling of the rollers. I had no problem removing the rear bearings once I spent money buying a bearing and seal tool kit at my FLAPS. I was happy that I spent some money on a parts washer, and was able to have the time to look at these parts up close. Most all the original German stuff is still in good condition Very Happy !

You may find your noise is actually coming from a CV joint. The ripped boot necessitates removal of the CV joint, clean inspect and repack. That would also suggest it's nearly time to do all the boots.

I'm sorry I can't suggest anything helpful to you, but I would look to the CV joint situation before I spent money on wheel bearings. Don't forget, when you get to the bearings, you will need to order seals and good quality grease, too! (more money, right!)
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chrisd1891
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wasted youth/adulthood wrote:
I find that two of the rear bearings are priced rather high. I think it was the inside bearing that was $73 each for Timken at my FLAPS. The outer bearings were around $28 each. Spending money on those parts with the possibility that they may not be bad may preclude you from having money to pay for the actual bad part when you do fiind it.

Also, there are many here that have had a lot of bad luck with new bearings being garbage Evil or Very Mad . Check the search engine for 'rear wheel bearings' and read up on this. Brand names are discussed!

I just finished a complete brake job, with new rotors, drums and misc. hardware. Rebuilt the calipers and new wheel cylinders. Because of this all being taken apart, I decided to take the time to remove, clean in a parts tank and inspect all bearings, front and rear. I chose to replace one front bearing due to its shelling of the rollers. I had no problem removing the rear bearings once I spent money buying a bearing and seal tool kit at my FLAPS. I was happy that I spent some money on a parts washer, and was able to have the time to look at these parts up close. Most all the original German stuff is still in good condition Very Happy !

You may find your noise is actually coming from a CV joint. The ripped boot necessitates removal of the CV joint, clean inspect and repack. That would also suggest it's nearly time to do all the boots.

I'm sorry I can't suggest anything helpful to you, but I would look to the CV joint situation before I spent money on wheel bearings. Don't forget, when you get to the bearings, you will need to order seals and good quality grease, too! (more money, right!)


Thanks, I appreciate the advice. I have some time in about 2 months where I'll be able to get all this stuff sorted. I don't drive it much so I'm not in a huge rush. I'll read up on brands for the bearings.

I just made a trip this weekend that was around 400 miles. The noise didn't get louder, and it hasn't gotten louder since I've owned the bus and put maybe 1000 miles on it, so I'm thinking it might be a CV rather than a bearing as 1000 miles on a bad bearing would have likely destroyed it for good, or at the very least made the noise louder.
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