Noise while turning left - Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum



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Go Back   Chevy TrailBlazer, TrailBlazer SS and GMC Envoy Forum > 2002 - 2009 TrailBlazer/Envoy Tech > 02-09 Vortec 4.2L I-6 Engine and Drivetrain > 4x4 Drivetrain

4x4 Drivetrain 4x4 Repairs & Problems

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  #1  
Old 03-05-2019, 05:44 PM
zraffz zraffz is offline
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Noise while turning left

I recently purchased a 2005 Trailblazer LS with 158k miles. I get a continuous "thumping" rotational sound, similar to a flat spot in a tire, when I turn hard to the left. The best way to replicate the sound is to suddenly maneuver hard to the left. The sound will continue until I straighten out the wheel. Speed doesn't seem to matter although the frequency of the thump increases with speed. It sounds hollow and is loud enough to hear with the windows up or down. I do not feel it in the steering wheel or floor pans; the truck doesn't jerk, shimmy or shake.

Turning from a stop or low speed doesn't seem to trigger the noise.

It sounds like it is coming from inside the driver's side wheel well... it's somewhere between the hub and differential.

This truck had the hub assemblies and CV shafts changed just before I purchased it; now that I think about it, they must have been chasing this issue. Anyway, I checked over the hub assemblies, CV shaft outer nuts, and brake calipers to ensure they were torqued on both sides.

I drained the front differential fluid - it only had a hair over half a quart in it and was a little milky looking but nothing out of the ordinary for the mileage. Fluid didn't have an unreasonable amount of metallic glitter or any metal chunks in it. I filled it with about 1.5 quarts of 75w90 synthetic.

Front end feels nice and tight. No slop in the wheels with them jacked up. Ball joints, tie rods and sway bar links are good. The CV shafts don't seem to bind or have excessive slop - they wobble slightly at the differential and actuator if you grab them and shake them up and down (actuator side wobbles a little more). 4WD works perfect.
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  #2  
Old 03-05-2019, 07:22 PM
miketexas miketexas is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
Black 4.2L I6 2WD
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: TX
Posts: 435
Quote:
Originally Posted by zraffz View Post
I recently purchased a 2005 Trailblazer LS with 158k miles. I get a continuous "thumping" rotational sound, similar to a flat spot in a tire, when I turn hard to the left. The best way to replicate the sound is to suddenly maneuver hard to the left. The sound will continue until I straighten out the wheel. Speed doesn't seem to matter although the frequency of the thump increases with speed. It sounds hollow and is loud enough to hear with the windows up or down. I do not feel it in the steering wheel or floor pans; the truck doesn't jerk, shimmy or shake.

Turning from a stop or low speed doesn't seem to trigger the noise.

It sounds like it is coming from inside the driver's side wheel well... it's somewhere between the hub and differential.

This truck had the hub assemblies and CV shafts changed just before I purchased it; now that I think about it, they must have been chasing this issue. Anyway, I checked over the hub assemblies, CV shaft outer nuts, and brake calipers to ensure they were torqued on both sides.

I drained the front differential fluid - it only had a hair over half a quart in it and was a little milky looking but nothing out of the ordinary for the mileage. Fluid didn't have an unreasonable amount of metallic glitter or any metal chunks in it. I filled it with about 1.5 quarts of 75w90 synthetic.

Front end feels nice and tight. No slop in the wheels with them jacked up. Ball joints, tie rods and sway bar links are good. The CV shafts don't seem to bind or have excessive slop - they wobble slightly at the differential and actuator if you grab them and shake them up and down (actuator side wobbles a little more). 4WD works perfect.
Rotate the tires and see if it goes away.
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  #3  
Old 03-05-2019, 08:01 PM
zraffz zraffz is offline
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I'll have to try that tomorrow. I would think a tire issue would be continous and not isolated to turning in one direction but it doesn't hurt to eliminate as an issue.
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2019, 05:34 AM
princej99 princej99 is offline
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2008 GMC Envoy SLE
Bordeaux Red Metallic 4.2L I6 4X4
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If all else is good.

check the front brake dust shields.

i had a similar issue, shields were rotted and broken and bent. see if shield is scraping the hub.
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2019, 05:34 AM
miketexas miketexas is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zraffz View Post
I'll have to try that tomorrow. I would think a tire issue would be continous and not isolated to turning in one direction but it doesn't hurt to eliminate as an issue.
I know, but you said you didn't see anything obvious, so I'd rotate the tires. It's easy and like you say, eliminates one thing. Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2019, 07:27 AM
zraffz zraffz is offline
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It doesn't sound like a dust shield where its metal on metal scraping. I'm going to switch around the tires, CV shafts and hub assemblies to see if the sound switches sides - if not, I think I can safely say this is an issue between the differential, intermediate shaft or actuator.
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  #7  
Old 03-06-2019, 02:23 PM
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wcosh wcosh is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
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Have you checked your front wheel bearings ? Sounds like you have a bad one on the right front
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  #8  
Old 03-06-2019, 03:12 PM
zraffz zraffz is offline
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It doesn't sound like a wheel bearing. I truthfully think it's an issue in the front differential but I'll be switching the CV shafts, hub assemblies and tires around tomorrow to see if the problem switches sides. Otherwise it is an issue in the differential/intermediate shaft/actuator housing.

Disappointed if that's the case but the truck is in fantastic shape for a 14 year old northern state truck. The frame still has all of the original paint on it!
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Old 03-06-2019, 03:23 PM
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wcosh wcosh is offline
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2003 Chevy TrailBlazer LT EXT
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Ok, makes sense. I re-read your post and I guess I misjudged the noise.
Sounds like its a pretty good thump noise. Odd that it only starts when you turn sharp Left but not when you start off slowly with sharp turn.
Almost like front axle not disengaged ?
I assume you have had the wheel apart and checked that all attachments are torqued down? Axle nut tight ?
Hope you solve it without too much of the green stuff needed
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Old 03-06-2019, 04:41 PM
zraffz zraffz is offline
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Everything that the previous owner recently changed has been checked over. Driver's side hub assembly was not torqued down but wasn't loose enough to move around nor did it show any signs of doing that. Although I am very mechanically inclined (my roots are street/strip f-bodies, 1988-2007 GM full size trucks 1st generation SBC/BBC, 2nd generation SBC and 3rd generation LS motors), I am new to this differential setup and motor. I rebuild everything myself except for front differentials, transmissions and transfer cases. I have rebuilt two older 3 speed TH350/TH400 GM transmissions but I have yet to touch anything electronically controlled and I have never had a reason to rebuild a transfer case although I am confident that I could.

When I looked at this truck and saw the front differential, I was uncomfortable with the design. I bought this truck for my wife to drive while I do the second major overhaul on her 7.5" lifted 2002 Z71 Tahoe (new body mounts, a 2" body lift, wire wheel/paint the frame again, inner & outer rocker panels and replace the tired old 5.3 with a freshly rebuilt/cammed 6.0 LQ4) that I have owned since I was a kid and just can't part with after spending 100's of hours rebuilding and repairing. 🙃

The mechanic at work thinks it is the bearings in the actuator and we are hearing the intermediate shaft echo in the pan. I checked another Trailblazer and my passenger CV shaft has a little more wobble at the inner cup (which would point to the outer bearing on the actuator having some play so he might be right that the inner bearing is toast; his speculation is since it was an older man that he drove around in auto 4WD). I am not sold on his theory and think the differential or the bearings leading to the intermediate shaft are the cause since, in theory, the entire differential and intermediate shaft have to spin since the actuator is on the opposite side of the pan.
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