Front end howling/grinding - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 10-10-2003, 08:42 AM   #1
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Default Front end howling/grinding

Over the past few days I've noticed my 93 SE becoming increasingly loud from the front end. At first I only noticed the noise during high speeds. As the miles progressed it has begun doing it at all speeds (even at 10 MPH I can hear it). Acceleration power has not decreased. It does not get worse during braking, only softens and the steering wheel does not shutter during heavy braking, however I can almost feel a "grinding" through the steering wheel. The car does not pull (like being misalligned). After driving it home from work yesterday (79 miles) I touched the front wheels and they were hot! I popped off the little hub cap cover and the splined shaft and spindle nut were red hot on both sides. I think the bearing assemblies on both sides are going. Given that, it'* parked today until I get a better idea of what the REAL problem is (don't want to completely sieze those hubs).

If it is the hub assemblies, does anyone have a cut and dry procedure for changing them? I looked through my Haynes manual and it indicated that I need to remove the axles, control arms, tie rod ends, ball joints, and hang the caliper out of the way. Removing the axles seems like a longshot!! Also, does anyone know of an inexpensive place to buy those hubs? AutoZone lists them at $175.00 each!!!
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Old 10-10-2003, 12:20 PM   #2
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It does kinda sound like wheel bearings going out, but it would be kinda rare for both sides to go out at the exact same time.
You gotta quit jumping curbs.
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Old 10-10-2003, 01:52 PM   #3
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My drivers side bearing is gone. It vibrate and hums loudly. I can't fix mine though for awhile due to lack of $$$
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Old 10-10-2003, 02:34 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brminder
It does kinda sound like wheel bearings going out, but it would be kinda rare for both sides to go out at the exact same time.
I agree. Dragging brakes might do this.

Try jacking up the front end and see how easy it is to turn the front wheels in Neutral.
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Old 10-10-2003, 07:22 PM   #5
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r the bearings are quite easy just take all the brake stuff off and then losen the driveaxeal nut then should be 4 bolts holding it on? 13mm i believe
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Old 10-12-2003, 12:09 AM   #6
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It sounds like wheels bearings to me. It is not uncommon to have both front bearings to go at the same time, Changed front left two weeks ago and front right last night...no more humming Both bearings, when removed , came out in pieces...
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Old 10-12-2003, 09:57 PM   #7
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Try these guys for price, I've bought a couple of rebuild kits from them and was very satisfied with their service. Even good return policies.

www.northernautoparts.com
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Old 10-12-2003, 10:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
r the bearings are quite easy just take all the brake stuff off and then losen the driveaxeal nut then should be 4 bolts holding it on? 13mm i believe
The hub on these is a sealed unit. It'* not like the old RWD cars. I think you have to pop off some of the suspension parts.
You might get a manual if you want to do it yourself.
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:25 AM   #9
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Had both of mine replaced at the same time. I would recommend that anyways, less headache & worries down the road.
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Old 10-13-2003, 09:37 AM   #10
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Thanks for the replies. I removed the calipers off each rotor and put the car in neutral and the just by spinning it by hand didn't make a noise that seemed excessive (but on the same note, I've never experienced this issue so I didn't know EXACTLY what to listen for). I pads looked decent. So, I rotated the tires (thinking there might be some uneven wear on the fronts). Did the test drive and the noise is still there. Given the amount of work described in the Haynes manual I just took it to a shop to have them change out the hub assemblies. Thanks again for the advice!
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