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Thread: Wheel bearing or low oil in gearbox?

  1. #1
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    Wheel bearing or low oil in gearbox?

    Ok, my 1986 Nissan Pulsar is scaring me. I travel ~140kms a day (80+miles) and need this fixed/diagnosed! (work tommorow)

    It is making a whining (sounds like a bearing) noise relative to speed (pitch gets higher with higher speed but it's not high pitched like a squeal). Putting load on either front wheel (by turning) does not make a difference to the sound. The wheel has no play (like a failing wheel bearing would).

    The sound does change slightly when under load or coasting so I'm thinking the gearbox's internal diff (FWD)? Changing the wheel made no difference.

    I will check the gearbox oil soon, just have to let it cool down after the drive home from work (~35 minutes).

  2. #2
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    My guess is that its a bearing in the transmission. Likely one on the input shaft. I could be wrong, but I'd check the oil in the transmission and see what other people say.

    I drove a Miata that had a bad input shaft bearing and it howled like mad. I replaced the transmission and the issue was gone.

    Will

  3. #3
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    Whats the life expectancy before the gearbox goes? (done approx 500km like this) So broke at the moment and was hoping it would last at least another 400-500kms till payday :/ I can handle the noise if I know it isn't going to all of a sudden seize on me..

    Oil in trans - assuming I got the right plug (not the one with the square in the centre at the lowest point of the box) but a 19mm plug approx 4 inches up from the lowest part of the trans) and the oil poured out! So obviously not empty lol. Oil seems relatively thin (motor oil thickness) .. hmm. If I do a quick flush with some trans oil I have sitting here would it prolong the box's life by any margin?

  4. #4
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    sounds like G/box.. only reason i say is i had one like that before..

    when you drive if you put the clutch in does it go away? ie disengage the gearbox

    if its still there its almost certainly wheel bearing

    also if you can lift all 4 wheels of the ground turn them and listen for grinding sounds from your wheel bearings wheel by wheel there is not always play..

    Marc

  5. #5
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    yeah you need to work out if its a rotational noise or coming from trans

  6. #6
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    It's likely either your clutch release bearing or your main input shaft bearing. For your sake I hope the first option.

    However, gearboxes from later Pulsars with the same engine designation will likely fit if not direct then with a little fettling so I'd not be too concerned about it should you wish to replace rather than fix.

  7. #7
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    When I disengage the clutch/pop the gearbox into neutral at speed the sound remains. Final drive bearings?

    This isn't going to be that expensive - a replacement gearbox (and upgrade to a 5speed) is going to cost $125 for the box+labour, and a replacement hub with a decent bearing is ~$40 NZD. (this was the last year they used this motor in the pulsars, 1987 in the n13 they went to the CA motor, mine's an E13 :/ )

    There is a cyclic grinding/graunching? from the drivers front wheel under braking (noticeable and embarrasing under 50kph) as well so maybe related? Turning the rotor with the wheel off the car I see no wobble/warping in the disc though.

    Turning the front drivers side wheel when the gearbox is in neutral on a jack, the driveshaft has a lot of play at the box end (~1/25th of a turn before moving the final drive in the box) and it clunks when i move it enough to rotate the final drive. Not clunky on further rotation though. :S

    Turning wheels by hand there is no bearing noise at all and there are receipts for all the bearings being replaced ~10-20,000kms ago.

    Thanks for your suggestions guys.

    (oh BTW I'm tempted that if I can find $300 I'm going to drop an E15 and the attached 5spd manual in this car from a Langley (up-spec pulsar) in the local pick-a-part. 200cc increase and an extra gear for $300+ a weekend. yay?)

  8. #8
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    iv'e had tyres that wear funny that will make exactly the same noise as a wheel bearing does. try another set of wheels just to make sure before you spend a fortune on repairs.

  9. #9
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    Swapped the tyres over to my spare, tried on each side, no change :/

    It's starting to have a high pitched whine so I'm gunna try the $40 (hub replacement with bearing from the local pick-a-part) fix if I can scrape together some $

  10. #10
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    your gear oil sounds to be unusually thin, was it clear still? i had a similar issue that was linked to my input shaft seal being gone, gear oil was sprayed all over my clutch, big mess that required a lot of new stuff, doesnt seem like you have that issue, and ive not heard of an input shaft bearing going unless the box was leaking. the brake issue, how are the pads looking? uneven wear? i had that grinding with my honda domani and it turned out the piston in the caliper was a mess, the outer pad was perfect, the inner pad was down to the metal, piston was basically siezed into place.

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