new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ??

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new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ??

Postby mattds [OP] » August 25th 2013, 5:15am

Hi there,
After about 5 years of admiring these vans, i finally took the plunge and replaced my 98 dodge ram van 3500 with a 2004 GMC cargo AWD! It's absolutely perfect for my occasional reno work, general hauling and camping.

I have a few questions, the previous owner told me that it will need new front hubs, but how can i be sure - the noise certainly sounds like the constant bearing type of noise (verses changing volume and pitch of bad tires). being new to these vans i can't tell i the ride is any different - would bad hubs actually affect the ride? Further if i do change them, is it worth it going for the Timken - this might see 5000k a year max. no off roading, just some over sized tires, and usually driven around with 200lbs of tools it the back (so pretty much empty).

another question - where can i find a maintenance schedule?

And i have the GMC cargo version, so the front end is an older style with square lights with built in bulbs...what are these called?

Thanks
m
Original Poster [OP]
mattds
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Extra Info: awd cargo 3.42 g80

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Re: new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ?

Postby Don1806 » August 25th 2013, 8:35am

Do a search here for the term "encoder motor" and look through those posts. The encoder motor facilitates the AWD and when that motor goes, the noise under the front increases dramatically. Easy fix if that's all it is. Others who are more technical can provide you with more direct questions to help diagnose further.

I would eliminate the encoder motor first before I started replacing hubs. My hubs have 160,000 plus miles on them with no problems. My encoder motor went at about 150,000.
99 Astro LT - Orginal Owner.
New Engine at 140,000 miles due to intake gasket failure. Hoping to at least double that.
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Re: new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ?

Postby Drummernaut » August 25th 2013, 5:34pm

Lift the front end and shake the wheels. There should be little to no play. You will know.

If you want to take the listing to one side or the other when turning, I hear just the front set of Timkens can get the job done.

Maintenance schedule can be found in the owners manual 3/4 down on the front page of this site:


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1999 Astro LT AWD
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Re: new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ?

Postby Leeann_93 » August 26th 2013, 12:27am

And yes, the Timkins are worth it.
'05 Astro AWD vin X
'02 Astro LS AWD vin X
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'99 Safari XLE AWD - broke
'93 AWD EXT vin W - real broke
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Re: new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ?

Postby mattds [OP] » August 27th 2013, 9:20pm

Well i have changed all the fluids except the rear diff as the plug is cold welded (I tried everything I can think of - including wedling on a bolt to it) so it looks like i'll have to either tap the cover or crack open the cover and fill it through the vent...

my drive line binding has gone away, and the awd is working well. Also put on monroe (i know they are not the best, but it's what was easily avaialble) front shcoks and rear coilovers - they lifted the rear about half an inch so right now I am level with the front which has a 1.5" torsen twist.

I'd still like come guidance on how to confirm that noise that i hear is indeed the front bearings.

thanks
matt!
Original Poster [OP]
mattds
Fueling (1/4 tank)
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Re: new owner - diagnosing front hub noise and a few other ?

Postby mattds [OP] » September 5th 2013, 4:59pm

for what it's worth, the grinding or roaring noise was indeed the front bearing and it went away. I also experinced what i thought was a rough ride after the shocks, but it turns out those were just a little loose after a few days of driving and needed to be tightned up.

Now i have to tackle a werid rubbing noise from the back after the brakes were done, an exhust leak and at some point some the rear axle and pinion bearings - anyone have a good 'how to' on that?
Original Poster [OP]
mattds
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Fueling (1/4 tank)
Years of Membership: mattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full yearsmattds has been a member for 7 full years
Posts: 29
Topics: 12
Joined: August 2013
Location: Scarborough
Gender: Male
Alias (AKA): Matthew
Van Model Year: 2004
Van Make/Model: GMC Safari
Extra Info: awd cargo 3.42 g80


 
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