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……!!