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Old 02-22-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Weird noise from rear wheel (i think)

I've had quite a bit of maintenance-free miles ('00 base), but recently I've noticed this sound coming from the rear driver's side wheel (i think). I say sound because I can't really describe it very well. It's a "squeaking" type of sound, almost a chirp.. kinda like turning the wheel while standing still on concrete pavement.

Sound and intensity change with speed (definitely sounds "rotational"). I can really only hear it when going really slowly (braking to a light, taking off slowly, etc.). Any faster and engine noise drowns it out. I can hear it "reflecting" off the median on the highway and buildings though when at speed.

So it's gotten to the point of being "embarrassing" because it's loud enough that people can hear it in parking lots, stop lightss etc.

Tonight, I took the rear wheel off and visually inspected it. Nothing out of the ordinary, and no odd wear pattern(s). Visually inspected the rotor, caliper, brakes, etc. Nothing odd there either.

It's VERY hard to pinpoint where the noise is coming from because it only does it when the car is moving and I have no way to stick my ear out there to isolate it. I have no clue what it is and it's kinda got me stumped...

I've also tried "bouncing" the rear end of the car on both sides to see if it was suspension-related, but no noise came from doing this and I don't hear any change in the sound when I go over bumps or speedbumps, etc. No leaks or fluids on ground either. No recent maintenance or replaced items.

Anyone else experience this or have an idea of what to check?

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Old 02-22-2014, 06:47 PM   #2
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Bearing or CV.
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Old 02-22-2014, 06:55 PM   #3
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Hmm.. both sound expensive/difficult

Any way I can "test" either of those to better gauge if either one is the culprit? Was trying to replicate the sound with the rear end on jack stands. Is it even possible if those are the suspect items?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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Well, it can be expensive if you have the work done and depending on what you end up doing.

If a CV joint is bad, you might as well source a half axle. Prices vary from under $100 used to $400 for new. The bearing is cheap..under $50.

Thing is, if you are going to replace the axle, go ahead and do the bearing (and vice versa) as the labor involved is similar.

I repacked CV boots ($10 each) and replaced a bearing a few years back. Took me about 4 hours. I was on a lift and had access to a press to R/R the bearing.

If you have this done, figure on $400-$600 labor.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by stateofidleness View Post
Hmm.. both sound expensive/difficult

Any way I can "test" either of those to better gauge if either one is the culprit? Was trying to replicate the sound with the rear end on jack stands. Is it even possible if those are the suspect items?
I had the bolts sheer in my CV.. I fixed it for free without spending a dime at the house myself and also borrowing a few hammy down bolts from a boxster at the dealership that no longer needed them... hopefully if it is down there.. the joint itself is fine and you just need to replace some bolts same as mine... is the ride odd in any way?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:30 PM   #6
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What Timco said.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #7
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Ride feels fine and if I coast on a flat surface, it tracks normal. I've had bearing go out on other cars and it's usually like a "roaring" type of sound or a metal grinding type sound. This is more of a squeak type sound, like a small dog in my trunk lol.

I'm a DIY'er so I would do the work myself, but seems like there'd be some special tools involved. I don't have a press, or bearing pullers (easy enough to borrow from FLAPS), or a bearing "installer". Is this a DIY project or no?
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:37 PM   #8
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Semi serious DIY. I've had my axles and engine out, not the bearing though.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:09 PM   #9
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No real special tools required above something to crack a ball joint. You could get the wheel hub off and take it to a shop to have the bearing R/Red.

Not saying you need a bearing, I'd be leaning toward CV but so hard to tell without hearing it live.
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Old 02-22-2014, 09:51 PM   #10
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CVs are easy swap.

Bearings were a beeeeotch to swap. I took lots of pics. Made a special puller of my own.
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Old 02-23-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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semi OT, but in the process of judging whether i want to do this myself..

In the pic, is it safe to rest the car on wood blocks underneath that cross bar underneath? Also, I've always struggled with using the jack point with the floor jack and then not having a place to put the actual jackstand... Can I jack the rear end of the car up in the middle of that underbracing that goes under the transmission?

Sorry if that's a Boxster 101 question, but I absolutely loathe jackstands and try to avoid them whenever possible (I use ramps typically), but in this case, wheel has to come off, so i'm trying to figure this out.
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Old 02-23-2014, 05:59 PM   #12
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jacks can give out... DO NOT get up under the car with just the jack.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:18 PM   #13
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i know better! so... about the placement of the blocks.. waiting to see if i can lower it or if i need to throw the wheel back on before i call it a night.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:36 PM   #14
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i would avoid putting the cars weight on anything in the undercarrige.. solid level areas on the outside of the car... beneath the doors and such... i think i have a picture somewhere from when i had the car jacked up for my cv joint.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:52 PM   #15
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ignore the beauty mark.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:57 PM   #16
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semi OT, but in the process of judging whether i want to do this myself..

In the pic, is it safe to rest the car on wood blocks underneath that cross bar underneath? Also, I've always struggled with using the jack point with the floor jack and then not having a place to put the actual jackstand... Can I jack the rear end of the car up in the middle of that underbracing that goes under the transmission?

Sorry if that's a Boxster 101 question, but I absolutely loathe jackstands and try to avoid them whenever possible (I use ramps typically), but in this case, wheel has to come off, so i'm trying to figure this out.
Nope - this is soo wrong on so many levels. There ia a 101 Boxster projects book that details how to properly do this. The positoning of the blocks is near the hard point where the lifting jack is useful, and the lifting jack is where the jackstands go. If you set the car down on the blocks where they are, you will not be able to remove the parts that need to come off to take out the axle as the blocks will be in the way. You also need to invest in large jackstands to suport the back at a reasonable height to give you room to work.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:01 PM   #17
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The problem with using blocks on this car is the limited area of the hard points. You dont have a frame to put a block under so you need to pick up just the jacking pad with the jackstand. I did not try to jack up on the lower rocker panels but they look soft and I think there is a very high likelyhood they would crush if used for a lift or support point.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:55 AM   #18
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In this case the car is high enough to get the engine out, this height provides excellent access to the axles. The tire ended up under the car, not for safety but just to make room. For safety the front wheels were chocked and I tried to push it off the large jack stands before getting under it.

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Old 04-26-2014, 11:45 AM   #19
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that looks dangerous James!

SO i took the car by my Indy (who is also a friend and someone who has been working on P-cars for 20+ years). Let him drive it and he agreed that it was not a wheel bearing noise. He likened it to a seal that had dried up type of noise. Definitely rotational and coming from driver's side rear wheel area. No fluids visible, no cracks/leaks around CV's. Again, this is more of a "squeak" type sound, not a grinding/howl like a wheel bearing would make.

Was going to attempt to run the car with the rear on stands to see if the load on the rear makes any difference with the issue.

Any other ideas/recommendations? I may end up taking it to the stealership to have them listen to it.
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Old 04-26-2014, 12:16 PM   #20
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