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  #1  
Old 06-26-2013, 10:28 AM
aharris aharris is offline
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Default Ticking sound coming from front end

Hello all, I have a 1997 Ram 1500, 5.9, automatic 4x4. Started getting a ticking sound like a nail in the tire, but that is definitely not the case as I put on new tires and rims 2 days after the ticking started and it still continues.

I figured maybe it's an axle joint, jacked the truck up, immediately noticed the wheel is lose, ie can be moved back and forth, this is the case on both sides. It is not the ball joints, etc.

I did the unit bearings maybe a year ago, both sides. Now both sides are loose, just like they were when I decided to replace the unit bearings. My next step is going to be to re-tighten the axle nut.

My questions are, would the axle nuts being loose cause a ticking noise? It's the drivers side axle. When I turn right the noise stops. Also, why would the axle nuts loosen up in the first place, they have a cotter pin from what I remember. I torqued them good with a 3/4 breaker bar during assembly.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:14 AM
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I doubt it's the axle nuts they're pretty much fixed in place. The problem may have been over-tightening the axle nuts when you installed the (hub) "unit" bearings.

Check for any orange/rust residue on the axle shafts if they're universal joint shafts (I can't remember right now when they changed over to constant velocity joints). If there is any orange/rust on them that'd mean the u-joints are dry and most likely worn.

My inclination is the hub bearings from the description of the play you mention.
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Old 06-26-2013, 11:33 AM
aharris aharris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock III View Post
I doubt it's the axle nuts they're pretty much fixed in place. The problem may have been over-tightening the axle nuts when you installed the (hub) "unit" bearings.

Check for any orange/rust residue on the axle shafts if they're universal joint shafts (I can't remember right now when they changed over to constant velocity joints). If there is any orange/rust on them that'd mean the u-joints are dry and most likely worn.

My inclination is the hub bearings from the description of the play you mention.
Thanks for your reply. I really really hope the bearings aren't shot again. They are a little over a year old. No way I overtightened them. They are Moogs. I just spoke with Advance, luckily still under warranty....but the fun part is pulling them again.

Does anyone know if it's normal for them to loosen and need re-tightening after initial assembly? I checked, I did them on 12/2/11.

Last edited by aharris; 06-26-2013 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 06-26-2013, 04:28 PM
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There is no "re-tightening".
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Old 06-26-2013, 09:08 PM
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I'd check those rear brakes (if they're drum brakes). Sometimes, when they're a little loose, they can develop a little "tic-tic" noise with each wheel rotation as the pads kinda flop around in their slightly out-of-round environment. They're designed to automatically adjust when in reverse, each time the brakes are applied, but if you haven't done much of that they could be pretty loose. Take the wheels off and inspect before you get into those bearings. Also, if you find them to be slack, you can quickly adjust. Just a thought. Might save you a bigger hassle.
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:59 AM
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Oooops sorry. Just noticed you said "FRONT" end. Doh! What I get for being half asleep.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:09 PM
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I jacked up the truck last night and tightened the 1 11/16" axle nuts and put the cotters back in. They were loose as all hell. Gonna drive it for a bit and see what happens. Obviously if they loosen up again I'll need to replace the unit bearings...again. I will post up results.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:27 PM
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I honestly believe that tightening the axle shaft isn't going to cure your problem, but compound it.

I firmly believe that tightening axle the nut merely masked the problem of a bad bearing by pulling it in tighter to the hub.

You're probably right. It's better to just tighten the axle nut and drive it until the bearing warranty expires. And then replace them.
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Last edited by Warlock III; 06-27-2013 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:16 PM
aharris aharris is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Warlock III View Post
I honestly believe that tightening the axle shaft isn't going to cure your problem, but compound it.

I firmly believe that tightening axle the nut merely masked the problem of a bad bearing by pulling it in tighter to the hub.

You're probably right. It's better to just tighten the axle nut and drive it until the bearing warranty expires. And then replace them.
I'm definitely not going to wait for the warranty to expire. I just wanted to drive for the weekend, see what happens, check tension again, etc.

Also, my thoughts are, what are the chances of TWO bearings both being faulty in under 2 years? I could see one, but both? I wonder if there is another component to the system that can cause excessive wear/failure.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:02 PM
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I dunno, it could have been the guys first day on the job and he made both of 'em.
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