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Rear axle bearing or diff noise

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  • Rear axle bearing or diff noise

    I have a 2006 120 series, which has over the last year developed a diff/bearing noise.

    Last May I had a car T-bone me at about 50km/hr on the drivers side, after shooting a give-way sign, and then he shot through. Long story, but the cops were next to useless and achieved nothing, while I got part numbers from headlight fragments, measured skid marks, took photos, dash cam footage (didn't show the number plate clearly enough unfortunately) etc, etc, ... but I tracked the bastard down and he was charged.

    I had a brilliant job done by a local panel beater here in Tassie, had a wheel alignment done, and had a mechanic look for any indication of mechanical damage. Everything was fine for a while, but a month after, during a service test drive, my mechanic noted a 'diff noise', which over time has got worse. I had them put it up on a hoist just recently to try and figure out, with wheels turning, where it was coming from. It seemed to be coming not from the diff, as they thought, but was more noisy on the drivers side wheel bearing.

    I had the claim re-opened and the assessor agreed to replacement of that wheel bearing, and any other consequential collision damage, if there's anything else seen once it's pulled apart. I think it's probable that the wheel bearing might be the culprit, because the RR wheel had to be replaced, because it got a hit in the collision ... and the assessor agreed. My mechanic originally thought it was pinion bearing noise ... until we put it up on the hoist again.

    My Prado has done 250,000km with rear axle oil replacement at more frequent intervals than suggested during my ownership (100k km) ... previous owner highway use (approx 100k km) with good service records, first owner travel/4WD/towing a caravan. Could this be just normal and expected bearing wear? What is regarded as a reasonable life for axle and diff bearings? What experiences have others here had with rear axle/diff/bearing noise?

    If the noise is just normal wear and tear, then I'm OK with that ... but I'm not OK with paying for something that wouldn't have normally happened or is unusual, and is a likely consequence of that idiot running into me.

    Any comments would be appreciated.

  • #2
    I replaced wheel bearings in my old 90 at 450,000k. Was a waste of $$, they were fine. Might have been different if it had spent time swimming or bush bashing though, can't tell what a previous owner has used the car for.
    After an accident bad enough to damage a wheel, it's a good plan to pull the axle to check for bend. May as well replace the bearing while it's apart, and do both sides even if you have to pay for the non-accident side.


    • #3
      Wheel bearings on both sides were fine. Pinion bearing was shot and being replaced now. Mechanic said they've replaced a few.