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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story.

I hit a pothole that threw the car way out of alignment and wore the front tires bad.

Started hearing some "road noise" and assumed it was just the front tires. Had tires replaced ~1000miles later. noise didn't go away and has gotten worse since. ****.

Got under the car to check out suspension. Saw dripping from the rear diff.

Bought diff oil from the dealer and started adding fluid. Took in at least .5L (capacity .7 right?) sigh.

No change in noise.

I jacked the rear of the car up and checked for play in the wheels that might indicate wheel bearings but they're very tight.

At this point I'm going to have to assume the diff is just f'd right? Is there anything else I can check?

My awd appears to still be working (can't get the tires to do anything but chirp for a 1/4 sec) and the car still drives ok, but you can feel a vibration and the noise is very loud at this point (and speed dependent and rpm independent)

Here's a link to a video I took of the noise. Sounds pretty awful eh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ME_sx3bOl0M&feature=share&list=ULME_sx3bOl0M
 

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jack up the car on rollers like the ones on dynos and see if your prop shaft is vibrating to produce this sound level.
 

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God damn PA roads! that sounds awful. good luck in finding what it is.
 

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When the diff in my M3 needed to have the fluid changed, it would only make a sound when it was in use. That was if I made a really tight circle, so that the inner wheel was traveling much slower than the outer. It made a whump whump whump type of sound at a rate of maybe 2 per second, rather than the perpetual propeller sound you're getting. I agree that it sounds more like a driveline issue, probably loose or broken shaft.

FYI, 1.5 liter of Diff fluid for my M3 was like $280. I don't know how much the R is, but I doubt it's that much.
 

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I'm curious to why you didn't get your alignment checked right away if you knew it was ****ed up, even so, I don't think that would have any affect on your diff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
update:

Bad driver side rear wheel bearing. There is absolutely no play in this bearing at all but after running the car on jack stands it was pretty obvious that's where the noise was coming from. After pulling it off I still couldn't find any play in it but you can hear it crunch as you spin it.

Just weird. I'm no stranger to awd cars eating rear wheel bearings (like tasty candy) but I've never seen/heard one this bad that didn't have massive amounts of play.

I also discovered I still have the ebd (unbent miraculously) and that at some point there was some rain squeal going on. I haven't heard it personally but there is a nice groove worn in the resonator and the witness mark on the drive shaft. The ebd is gone now and I'll have the resonator removed some time in the next month when I have time to get it into an exhaust shop.

Still unresolved is my leaking rear diff. It appears to be coming from the top of the differential? For now I'm just going to keep an eye on the fluid level but at some point I'm going to have to pull it down and either reseal or replace it.

Why do we love cars so much? They're all giant pieces of crap. Although I will admit, coming from the world of 80's & 90's sports cars, its really nice to work on something that isn't rusted to hell and back.
 

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just the wheel bearing? Sounds like you lucked out!!

Now go buy lifetime alignments at firestone...it's like $220 and you can go in as much as you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
just the wheel bearing? Sounds like you lucked out!!

Now go buy lifetime alignments at firestone...it's like $220 and you can go in as much as you want.
haha yep already got a 5 year alignment from NTB for ~$150

I definitely lucked out in terms of immediate damage but I still need to deal with this leaking differential at some point.
 

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I trashed a perfectly good set of winter tires on my S60 because I mistook the noise that three bad wheel bearings made. Now I'm paranoid about some noise on my VR, but I think it is just a bit of feathering on my Conti DWSs. You are right, bad bearings are obvious if you jack up the wheel and spin it in neutral.

Hopefully it's just a blown seal on your differential, but you should attend to it ASAP.
 

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mx6er2587, check this thread on replacing the wheel bearing. It is pretty easy to do. Did the tone or volume of the noise change as you changed direction when driving?

Linky: How-to-Change-rear-wheel-bearing-(hub)-amp-wheel-speed-sensor-tons-of-photos...

As for the leaking differential, there is a breather vent on the top of the rear differential. Let me know if you'd like me to post a photo. After replacing my differential, the new one leaked a bit from the top. A trip to my independent mechanic and lifting the car revealed the fluid coming from there; used a flashlight and small telescoping mirror. He opened the drain/fill plug to allow the excess fluid to escape. My rear diff hass been dry ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
already replaced the bearing. very simple job.

I'm no stranger to bad wheel bearings. All the typical signs, changing tone while turning, play in the wheel when jacked up, loose lugs, were not present. baffling. Even spinning the wheel in neutral didn't immediately give away the issue. I had to put the car into gear and let the wheels spin to pinpoint the issue

the rear diff is definitely not just breathing fluid from being overfilled. In fact as I mentioned in the first post the diff was almost empty.
 

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As you removed the bearing, did pieces come out like mine?

 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
no it did not. The above picture is what I expect a bearing that sounded as bad as mine to look like.

Heres a youtube video of the bearing in question. Its a little tough to tell but what I'm trying to show at the end is how tight the bearing is and how there is literally no play in it.

 

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The bearing above that fell apart must of howled like a Banshee. A bit embarrassing to drive isn't it?
 

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The bearing above that fell apart must of howled like a Banshee. A bit embarrassing to drive isn't it?
Mine was like that, it was loud as hell! :D but i only drove like that for 2 weeks till I was about to get them changed.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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The bearing above that fell apart must of howled like a Banshee. A bit embarrassing to drive isn't it?
Mine was like that, it was loud as hell! :D but i only drove like that for 2 weeks till I was about to get them changed.
I was bizarre, to say the least. At first, there was a slight noise, then it went away for a while, then came back with avengence. Once I dianosed it, my wife drove it because her drive was significantly shorter than mine. She said it felt like the wheel was going to fall off and the rear end was all squirrely; she did not feel safe driving it. When I replaced it that night, there was so much play in the bearing, it broke the wheel speed sensor and wore off the face (hence the error messages). Looking back, I was VERY blessed the wheel didn't fall off and cause a crash or something!

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
wow that is some impressive damage. Glad I replaced mine before it got to that point. I can't believe there was enough play in it to snap that mounting tab like that. ouch.
 
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