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Weird intermittent scratching sound

Old 03-22-2016, 07:21 PM
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Weird intermittent scratching sound

Sometimes the front of my truck makes a scratching sound to which I can't immediately trace the source, and it seems to be coming from the passenger side. At first, I thought it was just the creaky suspension, but when I shook my truck from side to side to make the suspension creak, I knew that the scratching sound had to be something else. It's a little hard to describe, but it sounds like a strip of paper being sucked through a fan, almost a buzzing sound. When I looked to see what was making that noise, there didn't seem to be anything rubbing against the tires, nor did it look like anything else was wrong.

Any ideas on what could possibly be making this scratching sound? It just makes me wonder every time I hear it, and I'd like to try to fix whatever could be causing it.

Thanks,
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:46 PM
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Does it do it when the wheels are turned to the lock, or nearly to the lock? Left/right? Steering stops, if so. Although that's usually more noticeable than "paper through fan sound"!
My left tire rubs the rubber flap inside the wheel well at full right lock, makes a similar noise...
Or does it just do it randomly, steering direction has no effect?
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:49 PM
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Red face

Squirrel or Cat that you woke up from a nap
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Old 03-22-2016, 11:51 PM
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^lol. More of a shriek and flapping sound at startup.
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Old 03-23-2016, 04:17 AM
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Are you sure that the sound doesn't come from a dragging tail pipe?
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Old 03-23-2016, 05:28 AM
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I thought about this because mine was doing it this morning as it warmed up for a minute. Is your grille broken or loose? Mine hit something years ago, bent the bumper and broke the tabs that hold the grille on the core support. Makes several weird noises, especially when it's cold out. Maybe?
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:59 AM
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Does it make this noise when you're moving, when the wheels are rotating? If so, it might be one of the disc brake pad retainer clips having popped loose and scraping against the inside of the wheel. I just had this happen when I had the front brakes done on my 95 4Runner.
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:59 AM
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Brake pads are made with a metal tab that will contact the disc when there is about 1mm of pad left. "Scratching sound" is exactly how I would describe it. Check the remaining pad thickness.

In the good-ole-days, there was no tab, and if you didn't religiously check your pad thickness (who ever did that?) your first notice that you needed pads was when the rivets (yes, the friction material was held to the pad with rivets) were pressed into the disc. Unless you stopped pretty-much instantly, the rivets would dig out a divot in the disc by the time you could work on it. So you had to pull the rotors and have a machine shop "turn" the rotor to flatten it.

You never hear of people turning rotors anymore, mainly due to the invention of that little metal tab. (The tab is softer than the rotor, so you can grind quite a bit of it away without hurting the rotor.) As a result, rotors are made thinner, since by design they should never need to be turned. So if you do scar a rotor, you almost always just replace it. The foundries in India can turn out castings so efficiently that it is often cheaper to replace a rotor than to turn one.

Last edited by scope103; 03-23-2016 at 10:14 AM.
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:23 AM
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Red face

That has very little to do with turning Rotors It is just not cost effective .

New Rotors and Drums are so Cheap faster to replace with new.

If you can turn stuff in house you might break even time wise.

I don`t know of anyplace that even can cut rotors at least here in Pa
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:03 PM
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Weird. Several parts stores here turn them. $8 for rotors and $12 I think for drums? Or maybe the other way. The brakes is a good thought, though. Or a rock stuck in there..
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by combatcarl View Post
Weird. Several parts stores here turn them. ...
Once they have the machine, they're not going to throw it away. I'll bet they don't get much business, though.

And RockAuto will sell you a replacement rotor for $9.22. Shipping will run that up, but you can have the new rotor sitting there when you start work on the brakes. If you plan to turn a rotor, you have to pull it off, then get on your bicycle to huff it to the machine shop. Then you have to plead with them to do it "while you wait." Then you have to huff the resurfaced rotor back up the hill.

It's hard for me to imagine why I would ever want to have a rotor turned.

Last edited by scope103; 03-23-2016 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 03-23-2016, 07:32 PM
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Meh. I do it. Why not. Nothing wrong with new, but if I buy it in-store, it's about 20-30 bucks. Oder online, ok, maybe 10, plus shipping. Or, or, I can run it down, have em turned while I do the brakes, etc, and put it back on.... Same day! Whoa!!!! Whuuuuut? Now we're off topic.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:06 PM
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Sorry for the late update.

First, I'll answer some of y'all's questions.

Originally Posted by KBJ View Post
Does it make this noise when you're moving, when the wheels are rotating?
Yes, it only makes the noise when moving.

Originally Posted by combatcarl View Post
Does it do it when the wheels are turned to the lock, or nearly to the lock? Left/right? ...Or does it just do it randomly, steering direction has no effect?
The noise only occurs when going straight, rather than steering. Also, to answer your other question, my grille isn't broken or loose.

Originally Posted by roadtrekker View Post
Are you sure that the sound doesn't come from a dragging tail pipe?
My pipe is very well secured, so it isn't dragging.

I got the problem solved. As it turned out, the front passenger-side shock was missing a bushing, so the noise I've been hearing was apparently the sound of that shock rattling around. I got both front shocks replaced about a week ago and not only did the noise go away, but the ride quality is much smoother as well. On top of that, I also got the alignment done on the wheels.

I'll try to post some pics later on.

Thanks anyways if you pitched in
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Old 03-30-2016, 03:09 AM
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Yay!!!! I didn't think of shocks because mine were clanking, sounded like steel tubing banging around on bumps. I feel ya with the improved ride with new shocks.
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Old 03-30-2016, 09:35 AM
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Based on the title, i was thinking raccoons! Lol

Glad you got it worked out. Weird noises can be a PITA.

I have one myself, truck makes a clunking sound when i turn into the driveway.... ON RAINY DAYS ONLY. what the heck makes noise only when wet? Been doing it for months...
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Old 03-30-2016, 11:45 PM
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I had a clunk going into driveways... Was my idler arm. But it definitely did it all the time. Soon as the right front rolled into a driveway, "clunk".
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