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R50/53 - R50/53 Clicking/buffeting noise in a straight line

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R50/53 - R50/53 Clicking/buffeting noise in a straight line

  #1  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:45 PM
seattlejester
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Clicking/buffeting noise in a straight line

I was hoping to get some input regarding an odd noise that seems to have popped up.

Car in question is a 2006 MCS, 81k miles. It is a speed dependent clicking noise, starts at about 40 or so mph, I have a hard time hearing it below then. I can only really hear it when it echoes off of either a wall or another car. Definitely speed dependent and only readily heard on the driver side, if I speed up I can hear it increase as I pass cars or drive in tunnels. I don't feel any vibrations, and I don't hear it during turns, although I do hear the groaning at really low speed, which seems pretty normal from what I have read.

My impulse is to think CV axle, I've checked the wheels for anything silly like a rock or a nail, and haven't found anything like that. I don't recall seeing a tear in the boots the last time the car was up on a lift. Most recently it was put up on a lift and the supercharger belt was replaced. The mechanic also added an OEM undertray my Mini was missing. I've checked to see if it is anything like the tray flapping which would make a bit of sense to me as it wouldn't flap at low speed, but it seems pretty rigid to me.

Am I overthinking this? Is the CV axle a good fit for the symptoms? Anything other than a visual inspection? I've tried rotating both by hand and I get a little movement and a bit of a click, but that seems normal for a tripod style CV axle.

Also I'm reading online about some axles only being listed up to 2005, did something change on the axles in 2006? Is it worth doing them together both left and right?
This is the set I am looking at getting:
Amazon Amazon

While I'm in there should I plan on doing ball joints or anything of that nature?
 
  #2  
Old 05-30-2019, 05:47 AM
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Unless they've been replaced recently, my bet would be wheel hubs.
 
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2019, 08:34 AM
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CV joint problems can be very elusive and can manifest in many symptoms. Often they start very subtly and very gradually get worst. The progression of worsening could also add additional clues but they can be so slow that you simply don't realize. In my case one of the strongest clues is when negotiating my driveway at very low speed with sharp turn I could feel the steering feedback is gritty or a little bit jerky. I connected this to the outer CV joint problem. Why? When turned sharp they are working very hard and the power transmission throught the axle outer CVs can be close to 35 degrees. When this happens the steering mechanism acts like the extension of my hand reaching down to feel the vibrations and binding of the CV joints at the steering knuckles.

From your symptoms to me these are the possiblities:
  • one or more outer CV joint of your axles is going but in early stage of deterioration
  • a rattling brake pad (sitting loose in the caliper); this can be eliminated by slighting touching the brake pedal at speed
  • wheel bearing in one of the hubs - diagnosing or inspecting wheel bearing on the front can be difficult because of the extra drags of the differential and axles
  • wheel flexing - this tends to happen with steel wheels with hub caps
I would replace the axles in a pair especially the Chinese axles are so cheap. The one you plan to buy looks exactly like the DDS that I bought, just a different branding.

Lastly, for sure if they have not been changed, the front rubber bushings for the control arms are definitely rotted. If you are going to change the axles you can check the front hubs by turning them by hand when the axle is removed. Without the drag of the driveline you can feel the bearings better. Still bad bearing can feel totally smooth when not under heaver load because of the grease inside. You can definitely feel the grittiness if you can somehow remove all the grease, but this is not practical with sealed bearing like ones on our Mini.
 

Last edited by pnwR53S; 05-30-2019 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 05-30-2019, 08:38 PM
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Appreciate the response gents, pnwR53S I just finished your thread the other day. I may have to bug you about the specifics of the coolerworx shifter, I've kind of talked myself up from a Cravenspeed short shifter after adding up the shifter, ****, bushing, cover, etc.

I digress.

I did post earlier, but seems like it was lost. I did swap to the powerflex control arm bushings, those made a real noticeable difference on throttle off. I also swapped out the rear engine mount and put in a poly urethane insert, and replaced the passenger side mount. Still looking for transmission mounts to come back in stock.

On my way home today I went over the helpful list you made. It was hard finding a solid object on the driver side going 40+mph, but a bus ended up coming up.

I tried squeezing the brakes for the pads and engaging and disengaging the clutch to see if it was somehow load dependent. No difference, weaved a little bit, but the noise was constant. I did notice the noise was more of a buffeting/muted clicking type noise rather than just a solid clicking. After the bus cleared I stuck my head out and noticed it was more pronounced in the rear.

When I got home I did a more thorough inspection of the rear since I was convinced it was in the front and did the most cursory glance at the rear.

Answer: tread ejection. Rear driver tire was missing a chunk out of the center of the tire, to the point that the steel cords are exposed in one spot. I'm guessing on my original inspection this section happened to be on or close to the bottom. I should have rolled forward, but I was so positive it wasn't something on the tire since there was no noticeable noise at low speed.

I have a set of enkei compe's I picked up a while ago. The offset is low at +25 on a 16x7, but this gives a reason to try them out. I don't plan on lowering the car so hopefully no rubbing.
 
  #5  
Old 05-30-2019, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by cooper48 View Post
Unless they've been replaced recently, my bet would be wheel hubs.
X2 on this! the run flats that came with these cars, makes them eat hub bearings! (and make it ride like crap!) (noisy kidney mashers!)
 
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Old 05-30-2019, 11:06 PM
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I've only replaced wheel bearings once on my 40 year old datsun and that was pre-emptive, I didn't realize it would be such a highly suggested problem area!

I'll plan on having the hubs and maybe some axles on hand as those seem to be common failure points. Thanks for the suggestion.
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:28 PM
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As a conclusion:





The tire was really bad. I decided I wouldn't push my luck after figuring out the problem and carpooled to work today. Glad I did. You can almost lift half of the tread, would have been a matter of time until it ejected more.



They talked me into going with a 205/55/16 at the tire store. I figure a little taller might not be a bad idea and lower the RPM's a smidge, I think it might be catching on the bigger dips in the rear though, definitely was catching on the way home with the other wheels and tires in the back. I'll give it a week and maybe I'll take some weight out the back with a new battery and a one ball and see if it will work. If not I may be stepping down to a 205/50/16.
 
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Old 05-31-2019, 07:42 PM
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Can you read off the date on the tire? I bet is it very old. Also what make and model is it?
 
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Old 06-01-2019, 10:05 PM
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Odd, my posts keep not posting.

Tire is a Ziex ZE950 the last 4 on the DOT code is 2815 so 28th week of 2015.
 
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