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Dana 35 clicking


thcscubajohn

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Hi guys, I've got an issue with my front axle that j can't seem to pinpoint. Whenever I drive I get a clicking noise that has gotten progressively worse and more frequent over the past year. It used to do it very infrequently, sometimes over bumps, now it makes the noise all of the time whenever the truck is moving. It sounds rotational but I don't think it actually is because it clicks more frequently over rough surfaces even at low speeds than it does over smooth surfaces at higher speeds. If I'm stopped facing downhill and I quickly cycle the brakes it will consistently make a click when the brakes are released very quickly, and when the brakes are applied when driving the clicking stops. I changed the calipers a couple years ago when one was locking up and recently I've changed the rotors, pads, wheel bearings and seals, caliper pins, radius arm bushings, and tires. It seems to be more prominent on the passenger side and when I went under to try to feel it I feel it in the traction beam not the shafts or caliper. It sounds kind of like the axles rattling in the hub. Has anyone had this noise and fixed it?
 


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Denisefwd93

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Over a year and you still haven't tried to fix it ? I don't think they fix themselves.

Do you have automatic hubs?

if so, that's probably the first place you should look,

I would almost bet they are full of grease. And long since past their useful life.
 

thcscubajohn

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My credo
Smog is for pussies.
Over a year and you still haven't tried to fix it ? I don't think they fix themselves.

Do you have automatic hubs?

if so, that's probably the first place you should look,

I would almost bet they are full of grease. And long since past their useful life.
I converted to manual hubs and have replaced them once and re packed them several times. I want too worried about the noise at first because it was very infrequent. And during that time I had other more pressing repairs that I wanted to do first, I rebuilt the transmission, changed the lower intake manifold gasket, and swapping differential carriers. I'm pretty sure that it isn't the hubs because of everything I've done with them, and because when I hold my hand on the hub while someone works the brakes I don't feel the click. I only feel it strongly in the beam. I'm as t 147k miles and I think it's the axle pivot bushings but I don't want to rip the front end apart and have it still click afterwards.
 

Denisefwd93

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I would encourage you to do the simple things first like unpack or wash out the grease from the manual hubs. They seem to mysteriously not click or buzz when the wheel is off the ground and someone spins it.

They are not supposed to be packed with grease if anything a few drops of ATF.

after a few hours of taking them apart and looking them over with some help. we determined the grease pushes the inner workings against the spline just enough to make it click Buzz or even break.

another common issue the the driver's side ujoint

Good luck hope it's something simple
 
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thcscubajohn

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My credo
Smog is for pussies.
Over a year and you still haven't tried to fix it ? I don't think they fix themselves.

Do you have automatic hubs?

if so, that's probably the first place you should look,

I would almost bet they are full of grease. And long since past their useful life.
I would encourage you to do the simple things first like unpack or wash out the grease from the manual hubs. They seem to mysteriously not click or buzz when the wheel is off the ground and someone spins it.

They are not supposed to be packed with grease if anything a few drops of ATF.

after a few hours of taking them apart and looking them over with some help. we determined the grease pushes the inner workings against the spline just enough to make it click Buzz or even break.

another common issue the the driver's side ujoint

Good luck hope it's something simple
I'll try that, see what happens. I still am going to maintain the position that it isn't the hub however. I forgot to mention that I also replaced all of the u-joints front and rear, I should have changed the pivot bushings then, when one of the caps came off on the drivers side. I usts the hub rattle as an example of the noise, I can feel the clicking when I touch the beam but not when I touch the hub. Hopefully that'll work, I've just kept putting more and more bearing grease in those frickin things.
 

Denisefwd93

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I forgot to mention also could it be something as simple as the pads rattling? I know those anti rattle Clips are a PITA to get just right
 

cstarbard

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I wouldn't know for sure but I would think that if the axle pivot bushing was the cause of the noise, that you would be able to see some movement of the beam relative to the axle pivot bracket, but then again I would think it would take some serious slop to get to the point where the end of the beam can visibly move in the pivot bracket. Can you see any movement? Can you feel or hear the click there?

There is a spindle bearing inside the spindle where the outermost piece of the axle shaft passes through it, do you know the condition of that bearing? If it was severely damaged or missing for some crazy reason, I could imagine that the axle shaft wouldn't be well supported at the wheel end and might be able to clunk, but again I don't know for sure

I'm sure Denise is right about locking hub lube, but I have had wheel bearing grease inside my locking hubs for a while, not knowing that they took anything different, and they do not click or make any noise that I have ever heard, if that helps you at all

Also, I realize you said you replaced the u joints in the front axle assembly, but it might be worth pulling the axle shaft out on the clicking and making sure they haven't developed any play just to rule that out. I had a few brand new u joints fail on my rear driveshaft last year, same one position failing, each going 5000 miles or so a piece. I installed them each time and I know they went in correctly. I put a third one of a different brand after the first two went, no other changes to the truck in terms of driveline, and it has held up for 10,000 miles since.
 
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Denisefwd93

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The grease, I think if enough is in the female spline,when the hub goes on, the grease gets behind pushed behind outer side, we had this wheel and hub off and on three times, finally became obvious, cleaned out the grease it's been good ever since. It was really hard to find because the click and buzz was so loud when making left turns, starting & stopping. Yes, I know almost everybody packs them with grease.
 

thcscubajohn

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Engine Size
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4WD
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4-6"
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My credo
Smog is for pussies.
I wouldn't know for sure but I would think that if the axle pivot bushing was the cause of the noise, that you would be able to see some movement of the beam relative to the axle pivot bracket, but then again I would think it would take some serious slop to get to the point where the end of the beam can visibly move in the pivot bracket. Can you see any movement? Can you feel or hear the click there?

There is a spindle bearing inside the spindle where the outermost piece of the axle shaft passes through it, do you know the condition of that bearing? If it was severely damaged or missing for some crazy reason, I could imagine that the axle shaft wouldn't be well supported at the wheel end and might be able to clunk, but again I don't know for sure

I'm sure Denise is right about locking hub lube, but I have had wheel bearing grease inside my locking hubs for a while, not knowing that they took anything different, and they do not click or make any noise that I have ever heard, if that helps you at all

Also, I realize you said you replaced the u joints in the front axle assembly, but it might be worth pulling the axle shaft out on the clicking and making sure they haven't developed any play just to rule that out. I had a few brand new u joints fail on my rear driveshaft last year, same one position failing, each going 5000 miles or so a piece. I installed them each time and I know they went in correctly. I put a third one of a different brand after the first two went, no other changes to the truck in terms of driveline, and it has held up for 10,000 miles since.
I replaced the passenger side spindle not too long ago, I've considered that it might be loose. I haven't pulled the front end apart again yet but when I do I'm going to check everything you and Denise suggested. I'm currently dealing with chewed up spider gears in the rear end, after I sort that out I'm just going to take the front end completely apart and check everything, there is just too many possibilities to do one at a time. They're all going to be a pain to get to so I think It'll be easier to just do everything at once.
 

thcscubajohn

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Smog is for pussies.
I forgot to mention also could it be something as simple as the pads rattling? I know those anti rattle Clips are a PITA to get just right
I actually had one brake pad fall out when the spindle nut was too loose and caused a lot of movement in the rotor. The pad got extremely low and just wiggled out. I replaced everything and all the brake jobs on the truck and I never had an issue with those clips I just put one side over the caliper, then pushed the other side up, and popped them both into place.
 

thcscubajohn

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Thanks for all of the help, I'm going to explore all of your suggestions and I'll let you know what I find. Also if anyone has more I'm all ears.
 

thcscubajohn

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My credo
Smog is for pussies.
Finally found the problem. I rolled my truck and put a new cab on. During this process I found that the washer on the passenger side radius arm was aftermarket, slightly larger diameter, and much weaker. It was tweaked and hitting the frame. Swapped in a stock washer, problem solved.
 

Josh B

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Wow, that's a tough way to figure something out
 

thcscubajohn

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I dont think I'd have ever spotted it if I couldn't see it without the cab on.
 

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