The suspicious noise….

Now I know you’re all waiting to hear about our (I mean, mine) progress on the “Suspicious noise problem” so I thought that I would give a quick update after completing my second session of “One the road diagnostics and repair”.

The background info behind the problem is that we did not have the noise at the set off from New York and there was no noticeable showing during the drive across the USA, neither when we were visiting the first of the National Parks.  The noise started after Monument Valley, but I chose to think that I was hearing things!  Now the drive around MV was rough but not what I’d call really rough.  True, you would have had to turn the radio up pretty loud to drown out the banging and clattering of the van as it bounced from rock to hole, but this should be nothing that the van shouldn’t take in its stride.

The noise is of the type that indicates that a rotating bearing is running dry, or has excessive play, and the noise is more noticeable when the van comes off of the forward drive and starts to coast on the overrun.  Also, and most important, the noise increases with road speed and not engine speed.

During diagnostics session one I checked the front wheel bearings and CV joints.  I kind of knew that this may be a waste of time as I had serviced the CV joints and re-packed the front wheel bearings with grease before we left the UK.  The picture below will give you an idea of what these look like.  (DOJ, BJ and Front axle hub assembly)


During this session I found no discernible wear in any of the front rotating parts, so then turned my listening during the daily driving to the rear axle and drive shafts.

Today I completed diagnostics session two where I checked the bearings on the front and main drive shafts, the rear wheel bearings, transfer box output bearing, rear differential backlash and finally the drive shafts ‘UJ’ joints and sleeve yokes.


I found no free play in the rear wheel bearings, transfer box output bearing, or the front diff input bearing.

The rear diff backlash is right on the high limit which will indicated more than a desirable amount of wear, so this could be the problem.

I found that there was approx 0.010″ of lift in the rear sleeve yoke, this is within limits.  However, rear and front propshaft ‘UJ’ joints took more than an expected amount of grease (from the newly purchased ‘Mini grease gun’) indicating that they had not been greased for a while.  Also, there was no witness of the old grease being evacuated from the ‘UJ’s by the new grease as I filled them with the grease gun.  This could also be the problem.

Well that’s it for now, I have gone as far as I can with the limited resources we have.  If the bloody noise is still there when we set off on Monday then I will apply Jane’s approach and turn up the radio to very loud, and wait and see!

I’m betting you’re all glad Jane doesn’t let me write the blog……!!



13 thoughts on “The suspicious noise….”

  1. Please, no more engineer type comments on the blog!! You are handy to have around though. 🙂

  2. Hang on, I’m just getting my motor dictionary out, that together with your diagrams might help me translate most of what you’ve written!!!
    Is the gist of the post telling us you are now travelling with the radio turned up to full volume?
    Well done Jane, you suggestion worked… ???

    1. Hi Lisa,
      We are having to adopt Janes approach because we have exhausted all service type actions that can be taken with the resources we have with us. NOT BECAUSE SHE’S RIGHT….!!!!?

  3. Hi Lisa, thank you for even taking the trouble to read it, let alone making a comment.
    The post was really about me taking the piss out of me, if you like….x

    1. We cant afford it!
      I did check all the points you suggested and it all looks good. There is an anti roll bar at the back, it all looks ok. I suspect the diff still if I’m honest….we’ll just have to wait until or see if it gets louder.

  4. Hi John and Jane, it’s Waz the Australian with the Elefant. Hope you remember me.

    As you might remember I also had a Delica in the UK, and I’ve got another one now … I’ve built up a bit of knowledge about

    John: regarding the noise, check for a dragging brake caliper. Sometimes the pistons get muck in behind the boot and seize up. I’ve had it on the front of my first Delica, and on the rear of my second. You can pump the piston out, clean it all up with fine wet-and-dry paper etc, and reinstall. The boots are held in place by a circlip. Kits are available if you need. I drove around for a few weeks in London with this problem before I pinned it down.

    The auto tranny responds well to a dose of Lucas Transmission Fix if you think there might be problems in that area. A North American product that you should be able to track down fairly readily.

    1. Hi Waz….!!
      Great to hear from you mate. We really like the Delica its turned out to be a great choice for us. I will check out what you say next time we get a chance,until then the radio is up louder than usual.
      Say hi to everyone….John and Jane.

      1. Hi guys – yours is a Series II (ooh la la!) and mine is a Series I but many things stayed the same … I have done a lot of work on the damned things, from a/c compressors to steering racks to CV joints to glow plugs to diesel injector pump leaks (removed and reinstalled 3 times …)

        I have currently kind of given up hope on ours as a reliable daily conveyance and bought a diesel Subaru Forester (great fuel economy!! but a bit highly strung in the pollution control/DPF and electronics department). Once some house renovations are squared away I’m going to dive back into the Delica and try and fix up a few things, maybe sell it as ‘semi-camperised’, but I still kind of love it … goes anywhere.

        The futon thing resonates with me because Lenny and I went all around the Rockies and across Canada in huge V8 Ford Econoline van that ran on propane (LPG) … and we slept on a futon in the back. Great to see you are back on the road – good luck on your journey!

    2. Hi Waz, really great to hear from you and thanks for the great information, very useful. Hope you, Lenny and the kids are well and life is good back in Oz. Who knows perhaps one day we’ll get to meet up in our Delicas.? Love to you allxxx

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