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I don't know what the noise is but it sounds like a loud rubbing sound coming from the front end. I can hear it, while driving near my knees. Initially, I thought it was the speedo cable that had come out because it sounded similar to a past event where, it was loose.

I jacked up the front end. My front wheels do not free spin so I couldn't reproduce it near the front wheels. In the neighborhood, turning the wheel from side-to-side had no impact. I couldn't tell if braking did or didn't since the noise speeds up and slows down with my speed.

Thoughts?

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I don't know what the noise is but it sounds like a loud rubbing sound coming from the front end. I can hear it, while driving near my knees. Initially, I thought it was the speedo cable that had come out because it sounded similar to a past event where, it was loose.

I jacked up the front end. My front wheels do not free spin so I couldn't reproduce it near the front wheels. In the neighborhood, turning the wheel from side-to-side had no impact. I couldn't tell if braking did or didn't since the noise speeds up and slows down with my speed.

Thoughts?

Why not? They should. Have the front bearings become damaged somehow? Since the rubbing noise speeds up when you speed up it's most definitely related to the wheels. So either a disc brake pad has gone bad, possibly cracked and become loose so it rubs on the disc, or the disc pads are low and the little metal tab is rubbing on the disc telling you it's time to replace the pads, or the bearings have gone bad or are dry and need to be replaced or lubricated. Those are the only moving parts in the front that increase in speed as you go faster.

Thanks. Both wheel bearings were changed a year ago. Not saying it isn't that (that is was done incorrectly or something) but I did pay a mechanic to do it.

My brakes have been squeaking so maybe that.

On a holding pattern to get new brakes/rotors for my wide-fives. I would assume this would resolve the issue if it is brake related. The wheels not free spinning is a question. I don't recall if they did at some point but feel as though they did, with a little resistance. It is effort to turn them and my wheels/rims were warm when I came back.

If you spray some water, like from a spray bottle, onto your rotors after a drive and the water sizzles, then it's a brake issue. It happened on my 4 runner.

My pads drag on my rotors just a bit. But I can still freely rotate the wheels. My front right squeals sometimes too.

When your driving and you take your hands off the wheel, without hitting the brake, does it pull to one side? How about when you hit the brake? If so, then that side is your problem side. If no pull, then maybe a MC problem.

With the wheel off, you can clearly see the pads to see if the resistance is with them. If you have a caliper or MC issue, changing out to new pads probably wont cure your issue. Maybe, if your pads are SO worn that the pistons are stuck out.

Maybe the bearing preload is too tight. There should be just a hint of play.

I think the .... Doesn't spin freely, is the flag. As mentioned spray water to check for hot rotor to pad. then pull the "C"clip holding the speedo cable on the left dust cap, pull the dust caps from the spindles, back off the Allen bolt holding the spindle nut in place and back off the spindle nut to see if they are too tight  ( one  side is a Left hand thread and the other side a Right hand thread)

You could also have a seized front caliper(s) or a master cylinder issue that is not allowing the front brakes to fully release. Happened to me as you describe on my old Karmann Ghia once. It was the master cylinder as I recall. More likely to be a wheel bearing as Robert says, but don't rule it out.

Thank you Michael. I clearly zoned out when I said the problems I listed were all there was. A bad caliper would also cause the rubbing issue/sound as you described.

@Carlos G If the caliper on one side is bad, say it's frozen in place, and the pads are just slightly rubbing enough to cause a noise and he hits the brakes won't it pull to the working caliper side?

I don't know Robert. I suppose in an extreme case, if the dragging pad was very glazed and thus offered less friction, pulling to the good side during braking might be a thing. But when not braking, it would pull to the dragging side. I don't think the pistons could be so corroded in place in a car that gets driven regularly and stored in a garage that they would not react to hydraulic pressure pushing them out. A field car, maybe.

What I've experienced, when my bad caliper was dragging and I let go of the wheel, it would pull to that side, but brake evenlyish during braking.

Stuck caliper, common trouble, easy fix.

I had one of the rears get sticky on the Spyder. Noticed because the car stopped rolling on very shallow hills if I took my foot off the brakes when stopped for a red light. Found it easily by putting my finger on the wheel hub when I got home: the very warm one was the culprit. Pulled it and disassembled, cleaned and put a little brake parts grease on the slidey parts, scuffed the pads with some 60 grit sandpaper, reassembled and no trouble since.

Do the same.

Recheck the bearing lash while you're at it, as Alan suggested.

Both Tab and Jack may be correct in this case.

Questionable bearings are indeed a thing these days. Get some Tinken bearings if you can find them.

And stiff hoses narrowing(turning into one-way valves) are a definite thing.

I had replaced all the hoses on a sand rail back in 2012, and ended up replacing them again 7-8 years later, along with wheel cylinders, a brake master, and cutting the drums.

Thanks all. Hopefully, if the brakes I have on order ever make it past the shipyards, we will find the answer. If the brakes are all coming off, lines at that time are probably a good idea.

I have no idea what kind of bearings were added but I guess I can deal with all of that after the new brakes, rotors, lines and wheels go on.

Because I have to pay for it, I am hesitant to pay to fix the brakes now when they are just coming off in the near future.

However, I was rather hoping the wait for the brakes wouldn't take this long............ or much longer.

I don't think you'd be able to get paper in there even if they're 100% right/normal. MAYBE a 0.001" or 0.002" feeler gauge, but paper is thicker than that.

Is it HARD to spin the wheel? If so, crack a bleeder and see if brake fluid spurts out(it will only be a little). If so, and the brakes release(and become easy to turn the wheel and noise disappears or lessens) it is one of three things: collapsed brake hoses, bad master, or improper brake pedal pushrod length.

If the brakes DON'T release, the calipers are most likely in need of rebuild/replacement.

Squeeze the piston back a tiny bit with a screwdriver or a big pair of slip-joint pliers(AKA water pump pliers). I have a huge pair of pliers that will open up about 6" and have 16-18" handles. They are perfect for this job, they can grab the brake pad near the piston and squeeze the caliper piston back in, usually while the caliper is still mounted. You can usually find something to pry on with a LARGE screwdriver too, just don't rip the piston's rubber dust boot.

Replacing brake fluid every two years prevents the corrosion that freezes calipers and such.

Last edited by DannyP

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