Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Tulsa, Okla
Drives: 2002 KIA Sedona LX, 1992 Ford Festiva, 1994 Mercury Capri XR2, 1992 Ford Aerostar, '99 Mazda Protege
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Front wheel bearing noise isolation and other issues
I bought an '02 Sedona LX with 105K on it and have begun bringing back to life. I bought it with a discharged battery and it hadn't been driven in about 6 months. I've discovered that I have multiple issues to deal with.
It was stalling and impossible to start once it was warmed up, turned out to be the Mass air flow meter but I replaced the 3 coils, wires and plugs first thinking that was my problem. The previous owner had electrical tape all over one coil and much of the plug wires so I assumed that was the issue.
I pulled the front T-belt cover and rotated the crank to TDC and the front cam was off one tooth. The belt had been replaced so I assumed they either did it wrong or they hadn't replaced the tensioner which allowed it to slip. I pulled it all back loose and re-aligned the cams and replaced the tensioner (those back cams were a lot of fun). That's done.
I replaced the drive belts but I have a grinding noise in the belt area of the motor that I think is a pulley but I checked them both when I had them off and they seemed fine (not loose and no catches in rotation). It seems to be worse when the car is at idle and in a gear. It goes away with throttle and seems to be worse on cold start-up.
I've also been chasing that common humming noise in the front end that these have. When I drive it the noise progresses as I speed up and doesn't change pitch when the tranny shifts. It goes away when I bank to the right which leads me to believe that it's the right wheel bearing. As I bank right the bearing doesn't howl because the weight shifts off of the right bearing (correct?). I jacked up the front and let it go in drive to rotate the front wheels but (of course) they don't want to make noise without load on them. I didn't hear any noise in the right wheel (as I do when driving it) but heard a little in the left wheel.
I took the right steering knuckle off and it spins loose and free as can be but has no noise or catches in it when spun by hand. I've tried two used ones on that corner and they both didn't spin as loose as my original one. Do you think my right bearing is bad and the two used replacements just happened to be as well or am I just hearing the noise from the wrong side? Am I right in understanding that the noise going away on a right turn means the right wheel bearing?
Sorry for the long post.