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Discussion Starter #1
I have been having a noise that sounds like it is coming from the front end of the vehicle. It is a howling noise that progressively gets louder at higher speeds. It is really loud at around 65-70 MPH to the point where I can hear it over my Magnaflow exhaust. There is also a ticking noise at around 20-25 MPH that happens from time to time.

My initial thought was that this was the wheel bearing. So I jacked the vehicle up and looked for vertical play. There was none on either of the front two wheels. I also drove the truck down the street and swerved from left to right. When I swerved right it seems like the sound lessened. I'm still thinking it is the wheel bearing but I have some doubt now. I am going to check the rear wheels tonight (even though the sound definitely sounds like it is coming from the front end). I should also mention I just recently replaced the front rotors and pads and the vehicle is 4x4.

Any suggestions?
 

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If it lessened when you swerved right then it's probably narrowed down to the left side.

Check the CV/U joint on that side (left) for damage/wear.
 

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Have you looked at your tires? Did you change them also? Aggressive tire treads and uneven wear can cause the howling noise you described. Wheel bearings and brakes tend to make a squealing sound or grinding noise. Hard to tell from an armchair.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I actually have Hankook tires on the truck. The tread is just a standard all-weather street tire.

I think the CV joint is good place to look at later tonight and I will let you know if that is the issue. Thinking back to right before the problem started I did have some "bucking" from what seemed like the right side after I had disengaged the 4WD. The same feeling that you get when trying to turn in a dry parking lot with 4WD on, but the light was already off and I was driving straight down the road and not turning.
 

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I would say it is a bearing. If the noise was better when turning right (weight being taken off the right side) it is most likely that bearing. I have seen many bearings that have zero play but are howling like crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Do you know of any other way to test to see if it is the wheel bearing? That was my original thought just based on the sound.
 

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The only other way you can check is get the wheels spinning and using a stethoscope or metal bar listen to each bearing. But that is really only done on a hoist.
 

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Every time I come across a bad wheel bearing, when the wheel is off the ground and spun by hand, it feels like there's sandpaper inside it.
 

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Best way to be sure is to remove brakes, caliper and rotor and the bearing to be completely free and you will hear it.
On my 2005 ram left side went bad on 72000 miles.
Not fun to change them.they are stuck on the knuckle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Best way to be sure is to remove brakes, caliper and rotor and the bearing to be completely free and you will hear it.
On my 2005 ram left side went bad on 72000 miles.
Not fun to change them.they are stuck on the knuckle.
Guess what the mileage is on mine....
 

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I would say it is a bearing. If the noise was better when turning right (weight being taken off the right side) it is most likely that bearing. I have seen many bearings that have zero play but are howling like crazy.
I completely agree with YO208 on this. Rams go through wheel bearings faster than spark-plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Fixed the issue. Strangely it was the driver's side wheel bearing that was the issue. There was not much online about how to remove the cv joint. I had to remove the upper ball joint in order to drop the knuckle down and remove the cv. After that I used an impact wrench to pull out the three bolts and a sledge hammer to beat the hub out of the knuckle.
 
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