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Username Post: loud growling noise w/vibration        (Topic#365883)
56chev66must 
Senior Member
Posts: 265

Reg: 04-06-04
07-22-21 02:47 AM - Post#2823667    

Hello all,

So I'm driving my new-to-me 1999 Suburban now (5.7L, 4x4) and its got a bad noise. Here's the details:

Starting at about 60mph, and gradually getting worse up to about 70, there is a noise that vibrates the whole truck (you can see the rear view mirror vibrate). It's a low buzzing noise that kind of wavers just above 60 and gets a bit more constant closer to 70. It sounds a bit like driving over rumble strips, but you would never confuse it with rumble strips. It's a bit like if you were in a car with super-bass, and you ran a 50hz tone through the speakers. There is no mistaking this noise & vibration, it is significant. I thought it might be tire noise, but the truck has fairly standard off-road tires on it (stock wheels, stock size tires), not some monster mudders or something.

- It does not sound like the rear diff howl I've heard from bad rear diffs before.
- It's not the front CV axles because I replaced them.
- It's not related to the engine, I shut the engine off while driving and it made no difference
- It is not road dependent. All roads do it.
- it is not totally speed dependent. Yes it only starts above 60mph and gets worse as you go faster, but going uphill/downhill, letting off the gas, etc can also change the tone a little bit regardless of the speed. It's not like having a rock stuck in your tread that is 100% speed dependent.

Any ideas?

Thanks!

56chev



 
bobb 
Super Senior Member
Posts: 5882

Loc: paradise
Reg: 09-05-03
07-22-21 07:12 AM - Post#2823676    
    In response to 56chev66must

i would look at the driveshaft


70 L camino, grampa engine, g-force 5 spd, road rage suspension. Pray first before all else fails.


 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3230

Age: 48
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
07-22-21 09:44 AM - Post#2823691    
    In response to bobb

  • bobb Said:
i would look at the driveshaft




That's my first thought too.

99 K3500 RCLB


 
GreatNorthWoods 
"6th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 1297
GreatNorthWoods
Age: 79
Loc: Littleton, New Hampshire,...
Reg: 03-31-02
07-23-21 02:00 AM - Post#2823737    
    In response to bobb

Mine too. You may have a U-joint going...

Vern

1953 Chevy Belair Sport Coupe - 355 Chevy V8, 700-R4, 4-wheel disc brakes, Ididit column, cruise/tilt,'59 Vette Steering Wheel, A/C

1930 DeSoto Business Coupe- 350 Chevy V8, EFI, 4-wheel disc brakes, Wire Wheels, TH400, S-10 Rear, A/C


 
56chev66must 
Senior Member
Posts: 265

Reg: 04-06-04
07-23-21 03:17 AM - Post#2823738    
    In response to 56chev66must

Three votes for driveshaft/u-joints? That's what I needed! Thanks guys, I'll report back soon.

56chev



 
56chev66must 
Senior Member
Posts: 265

Reg: 04-06-04
08-02-21 04:21 PM - Post#2824341    
    In response to 56chev66must

......aaaand it wasn't the u-joints. Just replaced them and test drove it. No affect on the noise.

What else could it be? I guess I could move my wheels my from 2005 Sierra over to this Suburban just to be sure it isn't tires but it just doesn't sound like tires.

I'm suspecting the rear differential but I'm hoping that's not it. Everything about those gets expensive.

Thanks for reading,

56chev



 
454cid 
Valued Contributor
Posts: 3230

Age: 48
Loc: West Michigan
Reg: 02-18-12
08-02-21 05:47 PM - Post#2824347    
    In response to 56chev66must

  • 56chev66must Said:
......aaaand it wasn't the u-joints. Just replaced them and test drove it. No affect on the noise.

What else could it be? I guess I could move my wheels my from 2005 Sierra over to this Suburban just to be sure it isn't tires but it just doesn't sound like tires.

I'm suspecting the rear differential but I'm hoping that's not it. Everything about those gets expensive.

Thanks for reading,

56chev



Do you have a two piece driveshaft or a single piece? The two piece will have a center bearing bolted to the chassis, and those can go bad, although I've never experienced it, since my driveshaft is one-piece.


99 K3500 RCLB


 
go_hercules 
Contributor
Posts: 181

Reg: 10-27-16
08-02-21 08:41 PM - Post#2824361    
    In response to 454cid

You sort of ruled out tires, but maybe a tire is separating? I had that happen once and the car shook pretty bad. One of the sidewalls looked like it had ripples in it. Took it back to get it warrantied and the tire guy said I probably drove it on a flat. He guessed right, I had done that until I could get off the freeway, then I later plugged the hole in the tire. When he took the tire off the rim, a handful of ground up rubber fell out. Easy enough to do a good visual while you're ruling things out.



 
rockfangd 
"8th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 3144
rockfangd
Age: 35
Loc: Utica ny
Reg: 04-13-10
08-03-21 08:17 AM - Post#2824385    
    In response to go_hercules

Does the sound change when you turn?
I highly suspect a front hub assembly. Very common problem.
Causes howling and vibration.
If you turn left and it gets louder then it is likely the right one.
If you turn right and it gets louder it is likely the left one.
I see you did cv joints, but not hub assemblies. Even replacements can fail.
Most common failure is the inward seal, washes the grease out and then you are left with metal on metal ball bearings
2nd guess would be a carrier bearing. Located between 2 rear driveshafts. Not all that common, but still a bearing that can fail. Do you have a carrier bearing? or 1 shaft from transfer case to differential

Old School GM fan FOREVER


Edited by rockfangd on 08-03-21 08:23 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
56chev66must 
Senior Member
Posts: 265

Reg: 04-06-04
08-03-21 06:22 PM - Post#2824420    
    In response to 56chev66must

Hi guys,

I can't say if it does it when turning... it only does it at 60mph and above, so I can't really turn at those speeds.

I have a one-piece driveshaft that goes straight from the transfer case to the rear axle.

I'm thinking I may invest in one of those Chassis Ear tools. I used one once a long time ago (mid-90's!) and I didn't fully understand what it could do for me if I exercised patience and logic. I bet it could help me alot right now.

I'll see!

56chev



 
rockfangd 
"8th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 3144
rockfangd
Age: 35
Loc: Utica ny
Reg: 04-13-10
08-05-21 03:46 PM - Post#2824576    
    In response to 56chev66must

I would at least jack up each front tire and check for play.
So you do not have a carrier bearing with one shaft. Rules that out.
Check the inner side of your tires for feathering as well

Old School GM fan FOREVER


 
jbknight311 
"4th Year" Gold Supporting Member
Posts: 1071
jbknight311
Age: 63
Loc: Fort Worth, TX
Reg: 11-27-06
08-14-21 07:32 PM - Post#2825166    
    In response to rockfangd

I'd vote tire problem. Broken belt probably. Would make it vibrate a certain speeds and aggressive tread can growl. Have the fronts balanced and if they are fine have the back done. The balance machine should spot one he can't balance.
My experience with almost new tires once after going through all the other things on the list. Turned out being a back tire.
Had something similar happen with a bad rear bearing. The drum brake shoes worn bad on top and I kept changing everything doing with the rear brakes along with front bearings, rotating tires and everything until I finally checked for play in rear wheels. That was a first for me.

98 C1500 Silverado extended cab 5.7 auto 2wd Fort Worth, TX.


 
56chev66must 
Senior Member
Posts: 265

Reg: 04-06-04
09-08-21 05:23 PM - Post#2826752    
    In response to 56chev66must

Hi everyone,

Well I did get the Steelman Chassis Ear tool, and hooked it up underneath the Burb. I put it on the exhaust, front lower control arms, and the rear axle. Test drove the vehicle, and I never heard a sound through the Chassis Ear like I hear just driving around. But I tell you what, all the spots just had this low hum to them as I switched back and forth, except the rear axle, which sounded like a shrieking cat! Really, it sounded like the old dial-up modem sounds. I put the Burb in the air, and found I can move the pinion shaft visibly up and down. I didn't measure it but it is significant, I'd say 1/8 inch. I wish I had checked it before I bought the Chassis Ear, but hey it did its job and helped me find the (likely) problem.

Looking to rebuild the rear axle now. New pinion shaft and bearings, ring gear, spider gear carrier, really everything. At 200+K miles I better expect it is all shot.

Thanks for reading,

56chev



 
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