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Discussion Starter #1
I have this alarming noise that I first noticed while driving home from work a couple of days ago. It sounds sorta like a distant helicopter. Today on the way to work it sounded like high speed dribbling, and it seemed worse. Yesterday, it was hardly noticeable. If it weren't for the vibration, I could solve it by turning up the radio, but now my rear view mirror is shaking so much that things are blurry, and I am afraid a wheel might fall off. The source seems to be from the front driver side. After popping the hood the day after the noise began, we observed liquid apparently leaking from the engine mount on the driver side mount. We therefore diagnosed the problem as a degraded engine mount and I ordered a new one. However, I noticed today that while coasting with the engine off, the noise and pulsing is still present. With the engine off, it definitely sounds like a rubbery scrunching noise when rolling. Other clues are that when I first noticed it, it seemed to intensify when turning to the left, and it would diminish under braking and acceleration. Now, it seems to be quite strong when turning right at high speed, and it is present during acceleration as well as normal cruising, however, it virtually disappears under braking. It seems to me to appear once per revolution of the wheel above a certain speed, but sometimes it goes a way. I can feel the pulsating through the steering wheel and gas pedal. The problem is definitely worse at high speed. The next test I have yet to perform, will be to jack it up and spin the wheel to see if I can duplicate any of the symptoms. My gas mileage seems minimally affected if at all. I also have grinding in first and second gear and must now shift by double clutching. There are now 166569 miles on the odometer. Does anyone have any ideas, or have any of you seen this before?
 

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From that description it could well be the inner CV joint, either dry or worn... or of course both. Check you havent got a split gaitor that has let the grease out.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
So I jacked it up and put it on my jack stands. The lower rear engine mount has failed. The rubber has separated from the housing. Also the affected wheel doesn't seem to have any balance weights on it. However, I don't know if these two things are symptoms or causes of the problem, or unrelated. I checked the rubber boots on the axle, and they seem to be intact. I tried to jiggle the bearings, and the tie rod, and they both seem tight. Everything seems to rotate with the car up on jack stands. I moved the wheels through the range of steering by hand and there was plenty of creaking moving the wheels back and forth. The wheels don't spin freely, yet there doesn't seem to be any significant resistance at any particular point in the rotation. With the wheel turned full left or right, there is a rubbery noise when rotating the tire, which seems to come from the CV boots at the wheel, but no apparent popping noise. I'm guessing this is normal. I'm hoping that replacing the broken engine mounts and greasing everything else up solves all the problems, but I am wondering if the engine mounts broke because of something in the drive shaft or suspension that has failed that I have not deteced? I will also try to rotate all the tires and see if the shaking moves to a different corner of the car. If the new engine mounts don't solve the problem, I guess the next step is to try to rebuild the axles, and CV joints.
 

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I am debugging my 2000 with only 42K that I got in Jan but didn't put on the road until April. From the beginning I could hear a soft rhythmic rubbing sound which seemed to come from the driver's side front, definitely in sync with wheel rotation, most noticeable at around 53-55 mph. I thought warped rotor as there was light contact with the pads on that side during part of the rotation, so I replaced both rotors, calipers and pads all at the same time. Guess what? no change. I had it to a reputable shop today and we are starting to think transaxle/differential noises-at 41K. Has anyone gone this route before me cuz i would hate to have to reinvent the wheel. Jim
 
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