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Old 08-02-2019, 07:58 AM   #1
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Loud Pulsing Noise

Morning Folks,

I've got a 2002 ZX3 Zetec and when I am travelling on the freeway between 60-75mph, I get a pulsing noise coming from what I feel like is the rear passenger wheel bearing. It's always loud and ready to be replaaced, but at the above speeds, it's like a wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh sound. <---technical explanation
Any idea what that might be? I've never had a bad bearing sound like that before. For added info, they are drum brakes.


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Old 08-02-2019, 08:34 AM   #2
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Jack car up and carefully since parking brake needs to be off. Spin the rear wheels and look at how far out of round they are, that makes that noise commonly. Worn tires on the rear, it is normal and shows you do not rotate which simply buries the issue by wearing all 4 tires the same way to mess the front ones up too.

There is no heavy weight back there like the old RWD cars had, the tires begin to oscillate due to that and then the weird wear. Every FWD car on the planet does it in varying degrees if you do not rotate the tires. Rotating does NOT stop it, only averages it out but then the fronts once worn will begin to affect how bad the front drives to make you change tires quicker.

Balancing will have no effect on that at all.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:16 AM   #3
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Good to know. I have owned the car for about a month now, it didn't do it when I first bought it, but started a few days ago.
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Old 08-02-2019, 09:24 AM   #4
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So I replaced brakes a few years back on mine, front and rear. Still had noise from rear so though I over torqued the rear drum tightening up the wheel bearing to far. To be fair I only had a 150 ft lb tq wrench at the time so i just rammed it with my impact. Still had the noise. Buddy has a press so we pressed new bearings in and torqued correctly. Still had noise. Turns out when putting back together we noticed that the tires were cupped very very bad. One side probably was about to blow through. He said that bad shocks will let the ass end bounce too freely and cup the tires. A trip to oriellys for shocks and 2 new tires from Walmart later noise was gone. Check your tires as well. The noise may not be coming from the bearings like you think. Mine was not.

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Old 08-02-2019, 03:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chivo View Post
a wuh, wuh, wuh, wuh sound.
Tire(s)

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Old 08-04-2019, 12:28 PM   #6
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The tires are fine. This is what i found. A ton of play while the wheel is mounted. Seen in video with wheel removed.
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Old 08-04-2019, 12:31 PM   #7
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Well, video wont post. Wheel wiggles back and forth. Lugs are all tight and nut for the bearing is tight. Removed the wheel and the drum and studs all move together about 3/16" i assume this is a bad bearing.

Last edited by Chivo; 08-04-2019 at 12:57 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 08-04-2019, 08:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chivo View Post
Wheel wiggles back and forth. Lugs are all tight and nut for the bearing is tight. Removed the wheel and the drum and studs all move together about 3/16" i assume this is a bad bearing.
The truth is the noise you are hearing is the tire because it is so loose now. Usually when the bearing begins to fail/fails you hear more of a speed related howling noise and you hear it long before the bearing is so bad that you have 3/16" looseness of the tire/wheel/drum.

In your case if you are certain the retaining nut is tightened/torqued correctly against the bearing then more than likely the bearing has failed. The bearing is pressed into the drum and most new drums come with a new bearing installed. Getting the old drum off can sometimes be a problem as the inner race of the bearing sometimes seizes to the spindle. I just replaced the rear drums/bearings, shoes, and hardware on my 2005 and I needed to use a slide hammer and stud adapter to get the drums off. And on one side part of the bearing inner race stayed on the spindle and I had to partially cut it off. Once you replace the drum/brearing I would recomend replacing the retaining nut as well and be certain to install it using the Ford procedure/torque.

Good luck
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