When i go over bumps i can hear clunking noises coming from the rear end. if i take the top of either rear (tire) and start pushing in and out at the top toward the center of the rear end, i hear a metal slapping sound. the truck has over 220,000 miles. truck runs fine on the highway.
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Ensure the wheel nuts and Axle nuts are properly torqued to the specification. Lift up the front wheels, place supports under the car and do the following:
- Sit if front of right wheel, slightly move it right and left and feel any abnormal noise if coming out of it. If click-click or Tuck-Tuck sound is observed it could be due to the excessive play in the tie rod end, rack end, ball joint wheel bearing or U joint. Next hold the Tire with your one hand at the top and with other hand at the bottom. Shake the Tire inside out and feel any noise or play. If play is observed, it could be the worn out ball joint or the wheel bearing. Now hit the Tire at the top with rubber hammer and observe any rattling noise coming from near the center of the wheel. If you could listen to the extra noise it could be due to the dried up caliper pins. Grease the pins with graphite grease. If all is found fine, similarly check the left wheel and repair as necessary.
This could be one of several problems: If the noise increases with speed, and you are only hearing it from the rear differential and not the transmission, it could be the rear differential carrier bearings, or rear axle bearings going bad. If you are only hearing the noise upon acceleration or deceleration, the rear differential ring and/or pinion gears may be going bad and the rear differential will need an overhaul. You'll have to get the rear wheels off the ground and see if you can pinpoint the location of the noise with something such as a stethoscope. If it's coming from the rear differential, you'll need to pull the bolts and the cover to determine if the gears are still in good shape, or if there is any pitting. Same with the carrier bearings; if you see pitting/ discoloration, they'll need replacement. If the noise is coming from one side towards the end of the axle shaft near the wheel, it's most likely a axle bearing going bad, and you'll need to pull the wheels, remove the diff. cover to release the C clip which holds the rear axle in place at the differential, and pull the axle out. You also need a special tool with a slide hammer to remove the axle bearing and seal.
It could be as simple as the exhaust bumping the rear end. Or the trailer ball hitch rattling inside the receiver! (I had one customer wanted me to weld it so it wouldn't rattle any more!)
Slide under there, don't jack up the truck it will change the normal ride clearance. There should be a few inches of clearance between the exhaust pipe and the rear end. Move it around see if it bumps the rear end or the frame.
It could also be a bad U joint, grab the drive shaft near the U joints and move it around, if either is bad you'll see it moving. The caps that connect to the drive shaft have needle bearings inside them, if they're bad it will move or clunk at the cap, near the rubber seal.
Or it could be a little excessive end play in the rear end. Some cars/trucks are noisier than others. USUALLY not a big issue. It could clank for years. Just annoying.
The noise is caused by the axle button being worn out, this lets the axle move back and forth and clunk, this is a unique problem with C clip retained axles, it is a noise issue but will not fail and cause any more damage, in order to fix it you must have the axles pulled and the diff carrier checked for excess wear where the axle retainning C clip rides, if the carrier is ok then replace the axles.
How about the U joint? If it's shot, you will hear a clunk when u start up. You probably already know, but jack up the back of the truck (both wheels off the ground) make sure u blocked front wheels front and back so it can't roll, use jack stands so u don't get squished, truck in neutral, e- brake off, climb under, grab driveshaft and twist back and forth to see if there is slop or play in the rear universal joint. Let me know what u find. Good Luck, and don't get squished (or squashed). countrycurt0