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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 2004 goat has 180K miles on it and has started to make a loud vibration that starts at about 35 mph and gets louder and worse as speed picks up. Above 55 mph the dome light starts to vibrate severely and you can feel it when you touch it. The vibration goes away completely when the car is steered to the right and get worse when steered to the left. I have already replaced both front wheel bearings, a bad right outer tie rod end and the drive shaft center bearing but the noise continues. I had a four wheel alignment done and that didn't help much. The shop told me it might be the rear end gears but I am skeptical. I thought about the rear wheel bearings but they are so hard and expensive to change and I don't know which side to do or both. I did notice a loud squeak coming from the left side rear when I take a hard right turn. upon inspection I see the left rear brake rotor is rubbing on the backing plate on the lower rear side. Maybe the left rear wheel bearing is failing. I looked for some complete rear wheel hubs on ebay with low mileage and I came up with some curious information. One used parts dealer has sold 33 LH rear complete used bearing hubs and 0 RH hubs. So I am thinking it is the LH side that always goes bad. I am going to order a LH complete rear hub assembly because I can replace it myself and because I won't have to remove and replace just the bearing. The seller says it has 61K on it and I can get it for about $150. I hope that takes care of my vibration and I though I would post this in case anybody has other ideas or experiences with this issue.
 

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Jack the rear up and check the rear wheels for play. It should become obvious then.

There is a how-to for the rear wheel bearings on this site. You can do it with rent-a-tools from your local auto parts store. You don't need to replace the whole control arm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yes thanks I have checked the rear wheels for play up and down and there is none I can feel. There is some in and out play on both but this seem normal. Plus no noise I can hear when I spin them. I drive my GTO every day for work and I use it for work as I am a traveling repair man. I can't take the chance I will damage the stub during the bearing change or something else going wrong where I would need to order parts so I would rather change the entire hub assembly. I was hoping someone would confirm or at least agree it was the LH rear bearing before I make the change. How many of you have changed rear bearings? LH? RH? Both? do my symptoms sound familiar? Thanks for the help.
 

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The wheel should have no play, period.

As far as LH/RH, doesn't matter. You should honestly just do both if one is bad, since it is such a common issue with GTO's.

Every control arm/hub assembly out there is used, and has probably been in an accident. Why take that chance on an unknown? Replace with new parts and do it right, you should be fine if you are mechanically capable. If not, find a good shop that can do it for you.

It might be also be time to consider trading up or purchasing a more reliable vehicle if this is what you depend on to make money.
 

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Also, the rear axles, the driveshaft, and i am sure the differential can all be sources of vibration. So can the wheels and tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
If I buy the complete used hubs for both sides I can replace the bearings first and then replace the assemblies with the new bearings. Then I can install new bearings on my original hubs and sell them to save somebody the hassle of changing them. Also with the hubs removed I can put them in the oven and the bearings in the freezer to facilitate replacement. Plus I broke a bolt off when I removed the parking brake so I need a new backing plate on the LH side anyway. I have already rebuilt the drive shaft and bought new tires. I am worried about the rear diff too but I guess I will take things one step at a time. Could be the diff side bearings I guess. I don't trust shops to work on my cars. I have never had my goat to a shop and I don't plan to other than wheel alignment. I was hoping there was a common fix for my problem that you all could tell me about. Thanks again.
 

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My 2004 goat has 180K miles on it and has started to make a loud vibration that starts at about 35 mph and gets louder and worse as speed picks up. Above 55 mph the dome light starts to vibrate severely and you can feel it when you touch it. The vibration goes away completely when the car is steered to the right and get worse when steered to the left. I have already replaced both front wheel bearings, a bad right outer tie rod end and the drive shaft center bearing but the noise continues. I had a four wheel alignment done and that didn't help much. The shop told me it might be the rear end gears but I am skeptical. I thought about the rear wheel bearings but they are so hard and expensive to change and I don't know which side to do or both. I did notice a loud squeak coming from the left side rear when I take a hard right turn. upon inspection I see the left rear brake rotor is rubbing on the backing plate on the lower rear side. Maybe the left rear wheel bearing is failing. I looked for some complete rear wheel hubs on ebay with low mileage and I came up with some curious information. One used parts dealer has sold 33 LH rear complete used bearing hubs and 0 RH hubs. So I am thinking it is the LH side that always goes bad. I am going to order a LH complete rear hub assembly because I can replace it myself and because I won't have to remove and replace just the bearing. The seller says it has 61K on it and I can get it for about $150. I hope that takes care of my vibration and I though I would post this in case anybody has other ideas or experiences with this issue.
Go back to the front, look at the top strut mounts. Look at the motor mounts. If not already get the tires balanced. If still on factory bushings replace them, period. Check the cv joint bolts, they can back out, not common but you have the back of the car up anyway and it'll take all of 2 minutes.. Do yourself a favor; instead of throwing parts at it throw tools- Get a stethoscope (coupla bucks at harbor freight) probe the closest non moving spot at the bearing in question and roll the hub, should be a light, smooth sound (I don't know exactly how to describe it) if it rumbles that bearing is probably toast.You want to hit several different places; sound will travel across things like a half shaft, probe the line back until the sound fades. While you are at Harbor get a dial indicator set (less than $35) and figure a way to clamp it to the control arm, if you can round up a magnetic base so much the better but any way you go the instrument has to be stable. Set as close to the half shaft center as possible, clean a path round the shaft down to white metal (do NOT use a file), set the point and roll the axle, when you find the lowest point zero the dial then roll to the high, that number is the run out. I do not know what the spec is and won't hazard a guess, you can look it up. Before you take the setup apart get a bar and try to pry the shaft forward and back, much movement there would indicate a bearing or cv joint, also a spec number. Set your instrument both closer to the diff and closer to the spindle, see if you can isolate the lost motion. Most of the moving suspension parts on a car can be inspected this way, the biggest and also the PITA is getting things setup; getting accurate numbers is all about making the tools stationary. You already have @200 bucks in parts and labor (or more if you don't DIY) and looking to drop hundreds more with no clue if they will correct the situation. You could soon have a grand into it and still be at square one. Those 2 Harbor Freight tools total well under 50 bucks and (depending on the setup time) may take 2 hours to do the work and at the end of the day you still have your tools. There's another goat guy I do shows with, when we met he was carping about new axles because a 'tech' said they were bent, parts and labor would be $800. How does the mechanic know? Rode around in it. You gotta be sh.... Had him bring it by, setup the indicator, less than .005" run out, close enough to call perfect. Before letting it down I squeezed under to see the carrier bearing; there was none and it ain't a one piece shaft, there was barely enough of the outer shell to keep the whole 9 yards from falling out. The repair was @150 p+l. If things change with steering movement that is the logical place to start looking and you have to look at EVERYthing, blowing it off, going directly to the rear is not trouble shooting it is parts changing and that is like the monkey said as he pissed on the cash register...
 

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If I buy the complete used hubs for both sides I can replace the bearings first and then replace the assemblies with the new bearings. Then I can install new bearings on my original hubs and sell them to save somebody the hassle of changing them. Also with the hubs removed I can put them in the oven and the bearings in the freezer to facilitate replacement. Plus I broke a bolt off when I removed the parking brake so I need a new backing plate on the LH side anyway. I have already rebuilt the drive shaft and bought new tires. I am worried about the rear diff too but I guess I will take things one step at a time. Could be the diff side bearings I guess. I don't trust shops to work on my cars. I have never had my goat to a shop and I don't plan to other than wheel alignment. I was hoping there was a common fix for my problem that you all could tell me about. Thanks again.
i've done similar before with other projects, buying spares to work on in case i screw something up, but honestly 95% of the time it's not worth it and you end up spending more money than you need to, and end up with parts laying around you don't need.

is not trouble shooting it is parts changing
he has a point, you should really make sure what the problem is before you start changing parts. diagnosing on the internet can be a crapshoot. you need someone knowledgeable to get under the car and look. as much as i hate to recommend it, go on facebook and see if there are local GTO owners in your area that can get under the car with you and verify what the problem is. There just aren't enough people on these forums anymore. They might even be able to help with parts or work, as they probably have done it already on their own car.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the help from all of you. The truth of the matter is My 04 goat has almost 200K miles on it and throwing mechanical parts at it at this point will only do it good in the long run. I have purchased a LH rear hub assembly for $130 shipped with supposed 61K miles on it. I will keep you all informed on the progress. I may replace the bearing before I swap it out depending on how it feels. Mike.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Problem was the right rear wheel bearing. I had both sides replaced just because of the mileage. Also had my parking brake repaired and poly bushings put in the lower rear control arms. Now the steering is off center just a bit so an alignment will be next. The center support bearing was ok and not replaced. Thanks again for all the help. Mike.
 
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