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  1. #1
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    Transmission noise

    Hi guys,

    1994 Viper

    Sunny day today, I went out for a drive. Near the end of it, I started to hear what seemed to be a pretty loud worn wheel bearing sound. As far as I know I didn't drive on any pothole... But maybe I went a bit fast on that railroad track though.

    I jacked the car up and couldn't find any difference between both bearings. I do hear some very light crackling sound while turning those wheels with my hands, but none of them are extreme, in my opinion.

    So I changed the differential fluid. Still no change, that sound is still there.

    I took a video... Is that noise normal? It seems to be coming from the transmission, or the front end of the driveshaft... I do not know. Transmission fluid is 2 years old and it is not leaking, I checked and the level is still full.

    I'm kind of lost.

    Everything runs as it should on the car right now.

    Thanks for your ideas... 0:30 is the noise I'm talking about, I'm not sure that it is what I hear on the road but probably...

    Nothing changes if I press/depress the clutch, change gears, change RPM... Noise increases only with speed.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s9u72DSuTV8
    Last edited by MuRCieLaGo; 05-28-2022 at 09:46 PM.

  2. #2
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    Just to make it short: I hear that whining sound more and more according to speed, I even stop the engine completely while going 40 mph and the noise is still there.

  3. #3
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    Diagnosing noises over the internet is usually like playing the guessing lottery. But here are my experiences with my car.

    Wheel bearings/hubs... One front went out at ~39K miles and the other front at ~44K miles. The rears are still the OE parts. The noise was sort of a squealing sound. The noise may have been from the rotor rubbing the caliper. See pic of the self clearance effect going on. You need to troubleshoot this not by rolling the wheel but by trying to wobble it off axis.

    Picture 045.jpg
    Picture 044.jpg

    The other noise I had, unrelated to the front hubs, was the pinion bearing going out. I attribute this to wheel hop. I addressed the hop with the new LSD going in but meanwhile the bearing noise was like a mild grinding / box of rocks sound. Do keep in mind that the front of the diff is almost directly underneath where your elbow rests on the center console. So it will noticeable. See pic of fretted bearing race. This failure was also close to the 39K mile mark when I installed a new replacement diff.

    Diff Pic2.jpg

    Both of these issues were independent of the engine running. Car rolling was all that mattered. It will probably be easier to hear a diff noise with the windows up to reduce exhaust noise, and windows down if listening for wheel bearings.

    What? Huh? Gen 1 Vipers don't have windows and a roof? Okie dokie skip that last step then
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave6666 View Post
    Diagnosing noises over the internet is usually like playing the guessing lottery. But here are my experiences with my car.

    Wheel bearings/hubs... One front went out at ~39K miles and the other front at ~44K miles. The rears are still the OE parts. The noise was sort of a squealing sound. The noise may have been from the rotor rubbing the caliper. See pic of the self clearance effect going on. You need to troubleshoot this not by rolling the wheel but by trying to wobble it off axis.

    Picture 045.jpg
    Picture 044.jpg

    The other noise I had, unrelated to the front hubs, was the pinion bearing going out. I attribute this to wheel hop. I addressed the hop with the new LSD going in but meanwhile the bearing noise was like a mild grinding / box of rocks sound. Do keep in mind that the front of the diff is almost directly underneath where your elbow rests on the center console. So it will noticeable. See pic of fretted bearing race. This failure was also close to the 39K mile mark when I installed a new replacement diff.

    Diff Pic2.jpg

    Both of these issues were independent of the engine running. Car rolling was all that mattered. It will probably be easier to hear a diff noise with the windows up to reduce exhaust noise, and windows down if listening for wheel bearings.

    What? Huh? Gen 1 Vipers don't have windows and a roof? Okie dokie skip that last step then
    Thanks a lot... Car is jacked up in the air right now and I really couldn't feel anything wrong wobbling it off axis.

    Girlfriend came in to help this morning so it was easier. Sound definitely comes from the differential. I'm not sure what to do at this point, I have rebuilt rotary engines but I have never opened a differential. Does it need to be removed from the car? Should I send it to a local transmission shop? Drive it like this, hoping that it would be fixed by some magic, now that I changed the oil?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by MuRCieLaGo; 05-29-2022 at 04:37 PM.

  5. #5
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    I was always taught a quick way to see if wheel bearing is bad is jack the front of your car up and wiggle the tires if they wiggle (like it has loose lugnuts) then its a bearing. and they dont look like too bad of a job to do on these should be pretty straight forward.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by laney487 View Post
    I was always taught a quick way to see if wheel bearing is bad is jack the front of your car up and wiggle the tires if they wiggle (like it has loose lugnuts) then its a bearing. and they dont look like too bad of a job to do on these should be pretty straight forward.
    I guess you are right. And also the "left/right turn test" to pinpoint which side is defective!

  7. #7
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    If you saved the oil you drained from the diff then look for shiny bits or gear teeth. Use a magnet. Send some to Blackstone for analysis.

    Changing the diff is not far removed from caveman simple. A handful of bolts, some bigger and tighter than others, and a few misc parts aside from whatever diff you are installing. Would be a perfect time to change to 3.55s with the later and larger diameter ring gear bolts. I bought a new diff outright and had Unitrax set it up. Sold the old one as a rebuild core after the swap.
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  8. #8
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    I couldn't see anything wrong in the oil, even if I use a magnet. But, the problem is... I used a syringe to pump out the old fluid. I would like to keep the stock gears ratio. Right now the car is running as it should, the only problem is the noise. Should I drive it like that or I will break more stuff doing so? Will it fix itself with some new fluid magic?

  9. #9
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    A simple fluid change will probably get you between a few weeks and a few months of breathing room. Meanwhile, you can continue to be more meticulous in how you describe the symptoms and perhaps catch an oil sample in several weeks to analyze the severity of the problem. You can also be prepared with a shop lined up and probable parts required for a rebuild to reduce downtime.
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  10. #10
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    Fluid does not fix worn parts. There is no such thing as magic fluid that fixes worn parts. Whatever part is the noisy one it will eventually fail. It will either happen at a convenient time or it won't. Depends on if you pinpoint it and perform it as proactive maintenance or wait until you need a flatbed.
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  11. #11
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    I still do not want to open that differential because I am really not sure that it is the issue...

    Noise is directly and only related to speed, as you can hear in the video. It doesn't change whether I press the clutch pedal or not.

    Is it the differential? Rear bearing(s)? Driveshaft u-joint(s)? Transmission? Any idea to pinpoint the issue would be very welcome. I recorded another video with my cell phone and it seemed to be louder at the differential...
    Last edited by MuRCieLaGo; 06-18-2022 at 11:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    FYI gears will change noise level and pitch based on being loaded or unloaded i.e. in the gas or not as gears have two sides. Bearings typically won't be like that as bearings contact all sides of the rollers and races constantly as they rotate. If your noise does not vary by throttle position, engine rpm or clutch position and only corresponds to vehicle speed, I would still suspect differential bearings. Since for some reason you are avoiding the reality that your diff may need repairs I would do the 6 u-joints. They are cheap. While all of the shafts are out you can check out the feel of the rear hubs and diff.

    Not sure why you are so scared of working on this car. If you can't afford it sell it to someone that can.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave6666 View Post
    FYI gears will change noise level and pitch based on being loaded or unloaded i.e. in the gas or not as gears have two sides. Bearings typically won't be like that as bearings contact all sides of the rollers and races constantly as they rotate. If your noise does not vary by throttle position, engine rpm or clutch position and only corresponds to vehicle speed, I would still suspect differential bearings. Since for some reason you are avoiding the reality that your diff may need repairs I would do the 6 u-joints. They are cheap. While all of the shafts are out you can check out the feel of the rear hubs and diff.

    Not sure why you are so scared of working on this car. If you can't afford it sell it to someone that can.

    Problem is, I own an RX-7 and lost a lot of money changing stuff that weren't broken. But I'm glad to read that you also think that it is the differential. I'd be sad to open it to finally realize that it was the transmission, or something else...

    Thanks for your help

  14. #14
    Then buy an automobile stethoscope.

  15. #15
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    Why not spend a few hundred bucks and get it properly diagnosed by someone in person?
    Nick Anderson

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by goggles Pizano View Post
    Then buy an automobile stethoscope.
    Good idea. Ordered right away.

    Quote Originally Posted by 13COBRA View Post
    Why not spend a few hundred bucks and get it properly diagnosed by someone in person?
    I would love it. Unfortunately, my trust is very weak with mechanics where I live...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuRCieLaGo View Post
    Good idea. Ordered right away.



    I would love it. Unfortunately, my trust is very weak with mechanics where I live...
    Find a speed/race shop.
    Nick Anderson

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  18. #18
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    Following goggles Pizano's idea, I received my stethoscope today.

    I can finally be sure that it is a differential issue.

    I've got some options. Differentials are available used, or I can have it rebuilt by a garage.

    There's a local transmission place that has an OK rating on Google. I went to see them and he was working on the transmission of a Ford Focus.

    Do I need a special transmission place or any transmission shop could do the job?

    What do you think of getting it used (X2 Builders, $950 + 18 hours ride back and forth)?

    I'm leaning towards getting it rebuilt by this (unfortunately unknown by me) local guy.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by MuRCieLaGo; 06-29-2022 at 05:24 PM.

  19. #19
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    You should be checking with the local hot rod clubs, drag racers, MOPAR clubs, etc. for possible references.
    I don't send or receive "PM's" since I prefer DIRECT communication.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuRCieLaGo View Post
    Following goggles Pizano's idea, I received my stethoscope today.

    I can finally be sure that it is a differential issue.

    I've got some options. Differentials are available used, or I can have it rebuilt by a garage.

    There's a local transmission place that has an OK rating on Google. .
    Often, the recommendation is to go to a shop that specializes in working on differentials; which is pretty common in my area due to the popularity of off road driving.
    Last edited by AZTVR; 06-29-2022 at 08:33 PM.
    Jim

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by AZTVR View Post
    Often, the recommendation is to go to a shop that specializes in working on differentials; which is pretty common in my area due to the popularity of off road driving.
    This. Find a 4x4 shop. Or what Steve suggested. Not hard to do just requires experience to do quick and right.

    Plus where are you located? Might be able to get you a used diff.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by goggles Pizano View Post
    Just upgrade bruh. Do like a double upgrade. You know, like upgrades installed inside of other upgrades. So totally upgraded when you double upgrade your upgrades.
    ^^^^ this. googles'P nailed this thread.
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  23. #23
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    Alright, thanks for your help. I am located 1h north from Montreal.

  24. #24
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    Well major update:

    Noise comes from the transmission, maybe near the yoke. I turned that driveshaft by hand underneath, after removing the splash guard, and I could feel some "bumps", always at the same place... Could it be a broken spline from the slip yoke? Hmmm, I'm not liking this...
    Last edited by MuRCieLaGo; 06-30-2022 at 06:15 PM.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuRCieLaGo View Post
    Well major update:

    Noise comes from the transmission, maybe near the yoke. I turned that driveshaft by hand underneath, after removing the splash guard, and I could feel some "bumps", always at the same place... Could it be a broken spline from the slip yoke? Hmmm, I'm not liking this...
    ... Or not. A friend came home and he was confused as well. I removed the driveshaft (easy job) and I could determine that the "bumps" could be felt even with the driveshaft disconnected.

    Differential it is. Differential is now removed from the car.


 
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