'04 Chevy Venture Van - Noise while Driving?

Discussion in 'Other Repairs' started by turtle1173, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Hey all,

    '04 Chevy Venture with 69K miles. At around 20 mph, it starts making a low noise. Noise increases in pitch as the speed increases. It shifts fine and doesn't seem to be affected by RPM's but by speed.

    Took it to a mechanic. He said the front Driver side wheel bearings were shot. Replaced the hub assembly, got new brakes, also put on 4 new tires and had it aligned. Problem is still there.

    My wife calls it a weed-eater under the hood. I can feel a slight vibration from the gas pedal and also the steering wheel.

    Also, it's weird but if I'm driving down a straight road and turn the wheel a little to the right, the noise lessens. When I turn it back to the left, it comes back in full force. This is also the case if I'm making a right turn (it lessens).

    This afternoon I took both front wheels off to have a look. I couldn't tell that anything was different from one side to the other. I couldn't see any binding or anything like that. I could tell they replaced the driver side hub and brakes all around but that was it. No extra play on one side or the other.

    Any ideas? I'm out of them :crazy:

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Mutt

    Mutt Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    19,208
    State:
    Ca
    Name:
    Mutt
    Sure sounds like a bearing is going to me.
     

  3. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Shane, Is is a front wheel drive? That sounds kinda like bad cv joints. There will be some mechanics along in a while that can help.

    ST
     
  4. Kittyhunter

    Kittyhunter New Member

    Messages:
    291
    State:
    Princeton, NC
    The problem is the right side bearing/hub assembly. They replaced the left you said. When you turn to the left it worsens (you are putting more load on the right side of the car) and turning right it gets better (you are shifting weight to the left side and taking it off the right). If you still have the old bearing from the left side, put it on the right, they are the same. Or, you need to buy another bearing for the right side. Keep an eye on the lower intake manifold gaskets for coolant leakage. This is a major problem with the 3.4 engine. Look for traces of coolant (streaks or stains) on the ends of the cylinder heads.
     
  5. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    Shane, this may sound silly, but check your valance panel to make sure it isn't vibrating in the wind.

    Smitty
     
  6. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Is there anyway to tell if the bearings are going out in it for sure? How hard would this be to change myself? Any place online where I could find a schematic?

    Yes, this is a front wheel drive.

    Smitty, excuse my ignorance but what is a valance panel and where is it located?

    Thanks a bunch guys!!
     
  7. 223Smitty

    223Smitty New Member

    Messages:
    478
    State:
    Indiana
    It's the spoiler/air dam under the front bumper. Odds are slim, but materials can make funny sounds when wind is forced over them. Imagine driving with an empty breadsack hanging out the window.

    Smitty
     
  8. three_rivers

    three_rivers New Member

    Messages:
    688
    State:
    Tupelo Ar
    Shane, most bearings are relatively easy to replace. All of the bearings i've seen are set up the way i'm fixing to describe here. Jack stands are a good idea if your going to be working underneath it. I've used wooden timbers before just make sure they will withstand the load if jackstands are not handy. What your describing sounds like a dry bearing. The first thing i'd do is jack it up, put your hands on each side of the wheel and rock it back and forth. If there is any play (rocking loosely on spindle where no slack should be) you ought to be able to feel it. That doesn't in any way mean they aren't dry but most i've seen after running dry will wear fast causing play.

    After checking for play, take the tire off. There should be a couple of bolts that hold the break caliper on. Unbolt and rock the caliper up and down until it comes off the rotor. I use baling wire to tie the caliper up on the a frame out of the way and to protect the brake line in case the caliper falls.

    After that, there should be a dust cover in the middle of the wheel. You should be able to peck around it from the sides and it come off. I've seen people use screwdriver pecking lightly slowly working it out. Under that dust cover should be the spindle nut with a cotter key in it. Straighten the cotter key out and take the nut off the spindle. The outer bearing is right there. Take it out and get a good look at it checking for pitting, or excessive wear. Clean all the grease up in the hub. I usually clean the bearings with gas so i can get a good look at them. Make sure they have had plenty of time to dry before greasing them again.

    Slowly slide the rotor off the shaft. The inner bearing is on the back side of the rotor behind a seal. Take those out clean and inspect. It goes back pretty much the same just in reverse order. If the bearings look good just repack and put them back in. Repacking is easy. Most hardware stores carry a bearing packer. Its around five dollars and is easy to use. Drop the bearing on it and hook up a grease gun and pump until grease comes out the bearing.

    If your replacing with new bearings, make sure to peck the races (what the bearing rides in) out. Also pick up a new inner seal which is cheap and usually the best thing to do since your going back new. Tap the new races down in the hub seating them against the lip firmly. Put the inner bearing in and seal, slide it up on the hub. Put the outer bearing in, tighten the spindle nut down finger tight.

    I tighten the spindle nut down and slowly back if off a little until it rolls freely. More or less by feel, making sure there is no slack. Someone else may chime in with more specific way to tighten the spindle nut and if there is a certain way be sure and chime in. After that just replace everything else in reverse order and you should be good to go. I go back a few days later after a few miles and jack it up and check for slack. Just to double check.

    Now if its a sealed bearing assembly, i've never dealed with one so someone esle could give better information on it. I've probably made it sound harder than it is. It is an easy fix just take your time. Hope this helps!

    If i've left anything out make sure to chime in....
     
  9. davesoutfishing

    davesoutfishing New Member

    Messages:
    479
    State:
    Menominee Michigan
    if I remember right the bearings need pressed out and in the bearings are easy to replace that big nut on the end of the axle might be the bear I had one I had to heat up to get it off you have to take that nut off beffore ya take out the bearing also check the powersteering fluid level low level or bad power steering pump will make noise and cause some vibration
     
  10. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    Thanks for all the information Danny. I believe these are the sealed kind, as I was told by the mechanic that you can't just take the bearings out or replace them, you have to replace the entire hub assembly :crazy: The end of the axle does have that big nut on it.

    When I put it up on jack stands yesterday, I tried pulling and tugging on the wheel. I didn't notice any excessive play in it and couldn't tell the difference between doing it to that tire or the drivers side (which the hub has been replaced in).

    A boat trailer seems a lot easier to do the bearings on, LOL. Take the tire off and have a look!

    I was looking up the hub assembly on the internet last night and it looks like it will cost somewhere around $150, so I was hoping to be sure it needs replacing before springing that for it.
     
  11. SeedTick

    SeedTick New Member

    Messages:
    1,414
    State:
    Conway Arkansas
    Hey Shane, Are the rubber boots around your cv joints still in good shape? The cv joints generally don't cause you any problems unless the boot is cracked or has a hole in it which lets in dirt, grit or water. Good luck.

    ST
     
  12. Shortarms

    Shortarms New Member

    Messages:
    48
    State:
    Illinois
    If the noise fluctuates when the load shifts from right to left you are looking at a hub bearing. It's the only point where a lateral load is carried on a front wheel drive. The procedure is pretty straight forward short of the axle being tightly splined to the hub. The repair procedure calls for a special tool that bolts to the lugs and drives the axle out of the hub. I've been known to use a BFH but have also been known to destroy the threads on an axle. Be careful if you choose to beat it out, you'll either be buying a new axle or a a huge die to chase the threads which is nearly as costly as a new axle. I'd go back to the mechanic and tell he that he replaced the wrong one.
     
  13. turtle1173

    turtle1173 Member

    Messages:
    613
    State:
    Mayfield, KY
    I went out this morning to figure out what I wanted to do with this van. I jacked up both wheels again and gave it the "rocking" test. I felt just the slightest amount of play in the passenger side.

    As I was thinking about taking on this project, I realized that I would need to get a few tools to do this. The mechanic was only going to charge me $60 to put it on plus the actual cost of the part. So I chickened out and let him do it, LOL.

    Long story short, it no longer makes the noise and all is good. He showed me both of the old hubs. He told (and showed) me that the bearing was bad on the drivers side and also that the passenger side had been getting very hot. He said the driver side hub was in very bad shape and we were in danger of losing the tire.

    Anyway, all is well. Thanks everyone for your assistance!!
     
  14. Kittyhunter

    Kittyhunter New Member

    Messages:
    291
    State:
    Princeton, NC
    Glad you got it fixed, I just pm'd you back but I see you took it back to the guy. I doubt there was anything wrong with the other side but at least you got new bearings and won't have to worry about that for a while.