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Discussion Starter #1
I'm curious if anyone has any insight into what the most likely cause of excessive driveline noise might be. The noise I'm hearing is not bad enough to indicate an urgent issue but it doesn't sound normal either. It is speed dependent and doesn't change with gear changes. I'm guessing driveshaft carrier bearing but that's a wild guess. What usually goes bad first and any suggestions on what and how to check without a lift?

I did notice that GM has a TCM update to address transmission noise that I do not have. Unlikely fix but a possibility. TIA
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
It might be tire noise. Half-treaded Cooper CS5 Touring tires and the noise came with the car. It's not really noticeable until 40 mph+ and is a steady hum. Not noticeable during acceleration as the engine noise is louder. No change during deceleration. Thank you gentlemen.

I suppose I'll rotate the tires and see if the noise changes.
 

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It might be tire noise. Half-treaded Cooper CS5 Touring tires and the noise came with the car. It's not really noticeable until 40 mph+ and is a steady hum. Not noticeable during acceleration as the engine noise is louder. No change during deceleration. Thank you gentlemen.

I suppose I'll rotate the tires and see if the noise changes.
That's more than likely a bearing. Tire noise will change at some point with speed and cornering.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I can't rule that out. I'm having my annual inspection next week and I'll ask them to check the wheel bearings while they're at it. The noise does change with speed and cornering but it's not easy to describe it accurately. I'll post back after the inspection and some more test driving. Thanks again.
 

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More than likely your tires. I hate to say it but your ABS ring is likely to go bad long before you notice anything about the bearings going bad. My snow tires are loud. Sounds like a truck when the weather is above 50F.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well, although I've never had a wheel bearing fail after only 70k miles, I haven't owned a GM in over 30 years. The inspection shop called this morning to inform me that my fight front hub bearing is going bad. The want $450 to replace the hub assembly! Their labor seems fair but they want $300 for the hub and won't install customer parts.

I have two questions for you knowledgeable gentlemen:

1) Are the cheaper hubs any good? I can get Detroit Axle for $55 or $120 for ACD or Moog.
2) Do I really need a hub buster or is it worth trying a slide hammer first?

Thanks in advance and a special thanks to Mr. Upson who correctly diagnosed my noise issue based on nothing but a poor description of the noise. Well done, Sir.
 

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I have purchased cheap hubs before and ended up "paying" with multiple replacements.
Never again. I won't buy any hub that doesn't have at minimum a 2 yr warranty.

I have replaced at least a dozen hub assemblies and never used anything more than a 3# hammer to coax them out, but have never replaced one on my CTS...yet.
From what I have read, the slide hammer does 3 things:
1. Wastes your time.
2. Increases your curse count for the duration of work performed.
3. Hurts your hands.

Highly recommended to coat the hub mating surface of the spindle with anti-seize upon reassembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Long. I expected to hear that about the cheap hubs but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I'll stick with name brand hubs. I've read much the same about the slide hammer but I've also watched 2 videos of CTS hub removal. In the first one the guy needed numerous full swing hits on a hub buster with an 8# sledge before the hub finally released. In the second, the guy made about a half dozen hits with a slide hammer and it popped out. I imagine each case is different. Since I can't source a hub buster locally I may just order one with the hub. I also need to check if I can find and have enough anti-seize on hand. Thanks!
 

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Depends on how much corrosion there is. Long's assessment of the slide hammer above is spot on, especially if you live somewhere where the car rusts.. I was able to get one out with the 5lb autozone rental slide hammer, but it took hours of pounding on it. I would not try another one that way, I plan to buy a hub-buster or pay someone else if I have to do another one.

Note that the tone rings go bad on these hubs first alot, which still requires a full replacement. I only had to replace one so far and it was at about 45k. The actually bearing was fine though. I replaced it with a Timken @ about $130 but if the tone ring fails again I'll be throwing a perfectly good bearing out again. At least that should come out easy next time with all the anti-seize I used.
 

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Well, although I've never had a wheel bearing fail after only 70k miles, I haven't owned a GM in over 30 years. The inspection shop called this morning to inform me that my fight front hub bearing is going bad. The want $450 to replace the hub assembly! Their labor seems fair but they want $300 for the hub and won't install customer parts.

I have two questions for you knowledgeable gentlemen:

1) Are the cheaper hubs any good? I can get Detroit Axle for $55 or $120 for ACD or Moog.
2) Do I really need a hub buster or is it worth trying a slide hammer first?

Thanks in advance and a special thanks to Mr. Upson who correctly diagnosed my noise issue based on nothing but a poor description of the noise. Well done, Sir.
No special powers here, I just guessed like everyone else and leaned towards a bearing issue, because tire noise tends to vary a lot more than what you described with changes in speed.

You may want to consider the feasibility of just removing the knuckle assembly and taking it to a reputable shop that can press the bearing out fairly easily for a reasonable price. I have not had to do this yet and am not sure how much extra work it may or may not be if trying to reverse hammer it out doesn't go very well. I'd weigh it against the cost and future usefulness of the extra tool.

Some shops will install the customer's parts. What I suspect is that the ones who will not are often banking on the profit that comes from not doing so, especially those shops that use the cheapest part they can find. Otherwise they can install any part and insure the customer knows their warranty is limited to defects in labor only, so that it does not become a loss due to premature failure.
 

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SKF hub from Rock Auto for about $150...

Hub Buster from Amazon...

5 lb sledge to beat on said hub buster...

Loosen the axle bolt before lifting the car so you can use the cars weight to keep it from spinning. Otherwise you may have fun getting it loose. If your rims allow.

remove brakes and rotor from car leaving caliper hanging out of the way. Loosen the axle nut to the end of the axle until it is flush with the end of the axle then tap the end with the hammer (Leaving the nut on protects the threads.) Once you have the axle knocked loose, remove the axle nut and tap the axle to make sure it will move easy. You need clearance behind the axle to get to the three hub bolts. Loosen 3 hub bolts as much as you can. You MAY not be able to remove the bolts from the hub due to clearance issues with the axle shaft. But you will know when they are fully loose. Bolt on the hub buster... Wack on the hub buster hard with the 5lb sledge both up and down until the hub pops free.. Took me about 20 wacks on mine and it popped right out. I now can change a hub on my CTS in about an hour...

Do NOT even try the slide hammer... I hurt my hand doing that and couldn't use it properly for 3 days. And ended up paying a shop $125 to swap out my part... I lost another hub about a month later and they charged me $175 for that one for labor.. When I bought my wagon I lost a hub about a month after having it. Took off the knuckle and brought it into work... Was a PITA to pull off the knuckle.. A lot of work. And can potentially throw off your alignment if you follow the shop manual regardless if front or rear. The hub buster was almost like magic...

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys! I really appreciate all the great advice. I ordered a Moog hub assembly (3 yr warranty) from Amazon for $117 and a hub buster from ebay for $108. The Amazon shipping estimate for the hub buster was 9/11-18 but ebay guaranteed delivery by 9/10 and was $9 cheaper too. I'll let you know how it goes next week. I've got until the end of the month when my inspection expires.
 

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You will want to remove the speed sensor or you may damage it when you remove the hub.

In my wagon where I removed the whole hub and took it to work, the speed sensor was stuck within the corroded knuckle so I had to get a new one. It snapped off when I tried to get it out and I ended up having to use a punch to push it out. Then I smoothed out the corrosion and was able to get the new one in.

The first two hubs in my Sedan the speed sensor came out easy.. And the last one I did in my wagon also came out easy... Just be careful when you remove it.

Rodney
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks again. Hopefully I'll get lucky. I hate paying local prices for parts or leaving the car on jack stands for days waiting for shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
My new "made in China" Moog hub assembly arrived today. :rolleyes:

It seems the only things made in the USA anymore are WOMD and freshly printed treasury bonds...
 
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