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KMT
01-20-2014, 06:25 PM
1990 SC...what does it mean when a new (left) front wheel bearing pops/sounds off on hard turns, just like the one that came off? Inspected everything else OK and replaced in the last 5k miles. Car is lowered.

Searching the forums here shows popping/noisy wheel bearings have plagued others - is this just something chronic on early style cars? Might swap to later style spindles, etc. if I can't get this to settle down.

racecougar
01-20-2014, 08:44 PM
You're certain it is the wheel bearing and not a balljoint? I've never heard a wheel bearing "pop". Groan, whine, grind, or growl, sure, but not pop.

MadMikeyL
01-20-2014, 08:46 PM
It means the wheel bearing isn't the problem. When they go bad, they either hum or grind, not pop. Popping when turning is either ball joints or sway bar links.

KMT
01-20-2014, 09:31 PM
You're certain it is the wheel bearing and not a balljoint? I've never heard a wheel bearing "pop". Groan, whine, grind, or growl, sure, but not pop.

Not a hollow pop...more like a tight pop/snap...pap pap pap while rolling, hard turn, smooth pavement, like it binds, then snaps free then binds again. Keeps repeating until you straighten the wheel or stop moving.

Not certain that it's the wheel bearing at all after a new one only went a week before the noise came back.

Lug nuts were all tight, no cracks in the wheel that I could see.

Trying to imagine if a bent spindle would make the bearing bind, then release...would a ball joint or end link repeat as the wheel rolls like that?

I'm comfortable working on front ends, but this noise has me baffled. Does the spindle nut need to be retorqued after first install?

KMT
01-20-2014, 09:34 PM
You're certain it is the wheel bearing and not a balljoint? I've never heard a wheel bearing "pop". Groan, whine, grind, or growl, sure, but not pop.

The ball joints don't seem loose/worn. Maybe they're binding, but it's odd that it only makes the noise when turning hard and rolling.

SmokinTbirdSC
01-20-2014, 09:42 PM
My SC pops on tight turns. It's from bad strut rod bushings.

KMT
01-20-2014, 09:50 PM
All new strut rod rubber bushing less than two years ago....is there something I can recheck, like making them tighter or looser or ?

S_Mazza
01-21-2014, 10:24 AM
You can re-check the torque on the hub retaining nut, but that doesn't really function as an adjustable preload. I think it's 200-250 lbs-ft?

All the bad bearings I have had were detectable by feel when the car was jacked off the ground.

I have never had any bad replacement bearings, but I have only used one brand (Motorcraft).

I have heard about serious quality problems with replacement bearings from overseas for GM W-body cars. But I haven't heard about any for these cars.

CenTexSC
01-21-2014, 11:11 AM
I have lifetime alignments on both my tbirds and take them in every 3 months or so. All they do to check the ball joints is use a pry bar and look for excessive movement. These parts on the front suspension do not last long especially if any of the boots are torn. Inspect and you will find the problem.

zack

Mike8675309
01-21-2014, 03:35 PM
I'm thinking of things at the wheel that spin, and the only other thing I can think of would be the rotor not running true or the brake line for the caliper binding and causing movement? something coming into contact with the wheel?

It is possible of a poorly manufactured bearing but if the noise before replacement is the same as the noise after replacement, that seems to indicate a different problem. If the bearing moves smoothly with the wheel free and there is not excess side movement in the bearing, then it is unlikely a problem with the bearing or perhaps that bearing. I assume you checked the other side?

Other causes might be a cracked wheel deforming and making noise as loads shift, problem with the subframe or the bushing at the subframe mount of the torsion rod. That rod moves and pivots at the subframe as the lower control arm drags it around.

David Neibert
01-21-2014, 04:34 PM
Not a hollow pop...more like a tight pop/snap...pap pap pap while rolling, hard turn, smooth pavement, like it binds, then snaps free then binds again. Keeps repeating until you straighten the wheel or stop moving.

Not certain that it's the wheel bearing at all after a new one only went a week before the noise came back.

Lug nuts were all tight, no cracks in the wheel that I could see.

Trying to imagine if a bent spindle would make the bearing bind, then release...would a ball joint or end link repeat as the wheel rolls like that?

I'm comfortable working on front ends, but this noise has me baffled. Does the spindle nut need to be retorqued after first install?

If you have aftermarket wheels, you might want to take a look at how much clearance you have between the inner edge of the wheel and the spindle arm. I've seen some 17" cobra rs that just barely cleared the spindle and would rub during sharp turns. Fix was a little clearance grinding on the spindle arm.

If you have stock wheels forget everything I just wrote and check your fender liners to see if tire is rubbing. If those plastic push pins that hold the liner in place break the liner can sag a little and rub the tire on sharp turns.

David

KMT
01-21-2014, 05:07 PM
This is the noise.
(http://kentidwell.net/SC/WheelNoise.m4a)
Same going forward or reverse, this was recorded out the driver's window, flat parking lot, wheel hard over, slow then a bit faster, then stopped. I can drag the brakes or let roll free and no change in noise. It only changes depending on speed and goes away when not turned hard left or right. When I pull into a parking spot, people look over to see what's ready to break :)

Spins free off the ground, no noise or rough feel.

Stock wheels, same noise the 18 month old Timken was making that just came off - this new off brand hub is the other end of the price scale (both from RockAuto) and has been in service now less than two weeks.

No trauma when inspected, but the Timken had released a small amount of grease into the dust cap.

Mike8675309
01-21-2014, 09:28 PM
did you have this noise from day one with the newly installed bearing, or it developed over 2 weeks?

Did the removed bearing have any indication of failure other than your suspecting it of the cause of the noise?

Frequency of the sound doesn't sound right for a bearing but no other ideas than what I already presented.

KMT
01-21-2014, 09:37 PM
It took less than a week and 100 miles for the noise to resurface.

The hub/bearing assembly that came off is intact, clean and smooth when spun by hand. I haven't come up with a way to replicate the side load when turning...might have to sacrifice it and look inside.

I think I'll mount a temp spare and see what happens with it.

racecougar
01-21-2014, 09:39 PM
That sounds awfully plastic. You're certain that there is no tire to inner splashshield contact?

KMT
01-21-2014, 09:44 PM
Not sure right now, no. No rub marks on the tire that stand out...

Roads are wet and driveway is part dirt, so there is a slight buildup in the wells this time of year. It does the same either direction, so I figured it couldn't be a liner rub, but I'll hose out the wheel wells and double check, thanks.

racecougar
01-21-2014, 09:56 PM
From that sound, it won't be a rub really, it will be the tire tread grabbing at an edge or one of the clips/pins.

KMT
01-21-2014, 10:03 PM
Thanks. Running a mini spare should help check that.

SmokinTbirdSC
01-22-2014, 02:22 AM
Can you post a video. It might help if we can hear it.

racecougar
01-22-2014, 07:56 AM
Can you post a video. It might help if we can hear it.

See post #12. He posted an audio clip.

TbirdSCFan
01-22-2014, 01:09 PM
Be sure you've checked that the 8 subframe bolts are tight. Inverse Torx T17.. I think. I couldn't find that sized socket in any local stores. I had to order one off ebay.

Oh.. check your upper A-Arm bushings for movement too.