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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a light rumbling noise (almost like grinding or exhaust noise) on my Sable and I cannot tell where it is coming from. Is a low frequency noise, related to speed. Doesn't come from the engine - I even shut it off and put the transmission in N, noise is still there.
I would think that comes from bearings but that would be a higher pitched noise, no? It doesn't change in curves, so I guess the CV joints are ok.
Could it be in the transmission? Ideeas what to check?
 

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Could be bad wheel bearings - last set I changed rumbled as if I were driving on snow tires, come to think of it, I don't remember getting a high pitch noise from a bad hub-assembly - though I suppose it could happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Noise increases with brakes. Actually that was when I notice it first time. Driving faster than 20-30 mph fades away...
Those are the original hubs on 174k miles.

For hubs, does anybody have experience with Timken hubs? Alternative is Moog...
 

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IIRC, isn't Timken the OEM supplier to Ford?

Never heard any complaints with Timken. The factory is about an hour north of me, just outside Charlotte, NC.
 

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just out of curiosity you dont have any tpye of sound system in your car do you? like amps and subwoofers? if you do sometimes road noise can be picked up throgh signal wires from stereo to amp and project through speakers.

Other than that i would go with wheel bears. Timken are great havent had problems with them worked at autozone for a few years and sold alot of timken bearing for all kinds of stuff.
 

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increases under braking and fades as you go faster? Check your rotors for warping and make sure you don't have a sticky caliper.

My experience with wheel bearings is that signs of wear (rumble/noise) generally gets worse with speed and changes as the load on the bearing changes with steering input (typically worse when going straight and better in a curve).

Hubs can be a pisser to diagnose. Jacking the car up and spinning the wheels doesn't always help because you end up taking the load off the bearing.

I go with timken when I can - shop around for prices if thats the way you end up going - I've had best luck with pricing from Rock Auto and Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Now that you said about the rotors - they are "pulsating" for a while, just didn't know what to fix first (breakes, struts, hubs) and kinda of left them like they are.
You might be right on target with that, because I too, have the experience that a bad bearing will increase the noise (and higher pitch) with speed.
Like you said, suspending the wheel won't tell the whole story on bearings.

And no, no audio involved, I even turned off the engine on a empty road and rolled in "N" - noise was still there - mostly at breaking but could hear it while rolling too. But with windows down I could not hear it from outside...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What's the OE size of the front rotors on a 1996 Sable DOHC with 15" rims? Is the 10.1" one?
 

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it does sound like the brakes more then the bearings. its been a while since ive done the rotors on a bull of that year. but i think you have the size right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Sadly the lug nuts on front where loose. I will tell tommorow how much difference it made. This coincides with some road stripping/repaving that started on my main street that left some big bumps on some places. Bumps that I "might" taken to fast...

Update: Noise is still there.
 
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