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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

I have a new to me 2008 Offroad. It's been making very loud grinding / mechanically destructive noises from the front end. The wheel on the outside of the corner feels like it wants to lock up / stop rotating and it's worse with an aggressive turn in either direction, even at slow speeds. It's also not constant and can disappear mid turn or be take some patience to initiate. It's very hard to tell exactly where the noise is coming from other than it is forward. You can feel the noise through the pedal. It does not happen in reverse. The test drive and pre-purchase mechanical inspection said only that the passenger side lower ball joint was bad and that the front brakes had uneven wear - 1 pad out of 4 was down to 1mm, the rest were 6mm.

The noise first turned up after driving it 30 or 40 km from the lot. I replaced the passenger side ball joints and wheel bearing assembly when I did the brakes. I figured that the most likely culprit for uneven brake wear would be a siezed caliper, so I replaced calipers and pads on both sides. The problem disappeared and I drove 100km with no issue. I assumed that the wheel bearing had been the culprit as the old one was definitely at the end of it's life. I then replaced the bearing and CV axle on the driver side and drove another 30km, again with no problems. And then the noise came back - pretty much the same in quality as before, but more often. By the time I nursed it home, any corner at 10km or above would set the noise off. So...unless the new Timkin bearings failed in 130km, it's not the bearings. Unless there is something really ugly going on with the ABS, it's not the brakes (or shield). And it's not the CV axle on the driver side. Any ideas? Thanks
 

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Hi

I have a new to me 2008 Offroad. It's been making very loud grinding / mechanically destructive noises from the front end. The wheel on the outside of the corner feels like it wants to lock up / stop rotating and it's worse with an aggressive turn in either direction, even at slow speeds. It's also not constant and can disappear mid turn or be take some patience to initiate. It's very hard to tell exactly where the noise is coming from other than it is forward. You can feel the noise through the pedal. It does not happen in reverse. The test drive and pre-purchase mechanical inspection said only that the passenger side lower ball joint was bad and that the front brakes had uneven wear - 1 pad out of 4 was down to 1mm, the rest were 6mm.

The noise first turned up after driving it 30 or 40 km from the lot. I replaced the passenger side ball joints and wheel bearing assembly when I did the brakes. I figured that the most likely culprit for uneven brake wear would be a siezed caliper, so I replaced calipers and pads on both sides. The problem disappeared and I drove 100km with no issue. I assumed that the wheel bearing had been the culprit as the old one was definitely at the end of it's life. I then replaced the bearing and CV axle on the driver side and drove another 30km, again with no problems. And then the noise came back - pretty much the same in quality as before, but more often. By the time I nursed it home, any corner at 10km or above would set the noise off. So...unless the new Timkin bearings failed in 130km, it's not the bearings. Unless there is something really ugly going on with the ABS, it's not the brakes (or shield). And it's not the CV axle on the driver side. Any ideas? Thanks
While you have it at home are you able to jack up the front end to get the wheels or one wheel at a time off the ground so you can slowly spin the tire/wheel and get a sense of where the grinding is coming from?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I've tried that a few times - one wheel at a time only. I can't get any noise out of it by hand. Speed is part of the equation - it is less likely to happen at very slow speeds - and the side while turning forces might play a part too, I just cant figure out how.
 

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If turning one direction makes the noise, then the wheel on the opposite side (low side as the body rolls) is where the bearing will need to be inspected. E.G.: turn left = noise, inspect right.

By 'aggressive turn', I imagine trying to turn quickly while at speed. My 2011 Chevy car has hydraulic PS. When I make a U-turn above 10 mph (seems fast, sounds slow), the pump really starts making noise. Your noise could be the pump. Check the condition and level of the fluid. Also check for proper flow the best you can. If there's some kind of filter screen in the system, it could be clogging up, reducing the amount of flow at those times. Also check for proper belt tension, and if the belt is worn so much that it slips under a heavy load.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are new bearings on both sides and the noise happens turning both ways. At 10kph (6mph), nothing happens. Double the speed and the noise appears if you turn sharply. A very gentle turn might stay quiet. It definitely feels like the sway of the vehicle is linked to the noise. The sound is very obnoxious and sounds like something is going to break or is in the process of self destructing so I can't imagine it is the pump. But the power steering system has a leak somewhere on the driver side near the steering box so it's not out of the realm of possibility. Stranger things have happened and I will certainly look at it. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So I took it into a shop. It is the ABS system engaging the brakes on the outside front wheel...or perhaps it is the VDS system engaging the brakes. Either way, the grinding noise is the caliper being engaged automatically while turning, even if I'm not braking. The mechanic suggested that I have the steering sensor re-calibrated, and if that doesn't do it, it might be the steering clock spring / sensor. One of the ABS sensors is unplugged to disable ABS and the vehicle drives fine. But I want ABS, so while I might be closer to an answer, I'm still digging.
 

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So I took it into a shop. It is the ABS system engaging the brakes on the outside front wheel...or perhaps it is the VDS system engaging the brakes. Either way, the grinding noise is the caliper being engaged automatically while turning, even if I'm not braking. The mechanic suggested that I have the steering sensor re-calibrated, and if that doesn't do it, it might be the steering clock spring / sensor. One of the ABS sensors is unplugged to disable ABS and the vehicle drives fine. But I want ABS, so while I might be closer to an answer, I'm still digging.
I'm trying to imagine how applying braking pressure with the ABS system causes a loud grinding noise while normal braking without ABS function does not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The noise seemed overly loud for ABS to me too, but I know that the outside wheel was stopping/dragging when the noise happened and that the noise problem is gone now that the wheel sensor is disconnected. The mechanic who diagnosed it first thought it was a CV axle in serious distress while cornering, but that doesn't even really make sense, as the CV axle is never straight and the noise only happened while cornering with some speed.
 

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The noise seemed overly loud for ABS to me too, but I know that the outside wheel was stopping/dragging when the noise happened and that the noise problem is gone now that the wheel sensor is disconnected. The mechanic who diagnosed it first thought it was a CV axle in serious distress while cornering, but that doesn't even really make sense, as the CV axle is never straight and the noise only happened while cornering with some speed.
So the ABS was on full stop to lock up the wheel like that. Who knows what kind of noises would be generated by such a full lock up of that one wheel. Makes more sense now.
 

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The noise seemed overly loud for ABS to me too, but I know that the outside wheel was stopping/dragging when the noise happened and that the noise problem is gone now that the wheel sensor is disconnected. The mechanic who diagnosed it first thought it was a CV axle in serious distress while cornering, but that doesn't even really make sense, as the CV axle is never straight and the noise only happened while cornering with some speed.
Did you stop working on this because it started snowing up there? Springs a long ways off!
 
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