Sunday, July 21, 2013

Van Repair

Fixing the noise in the rear wheel/brakes

Difficulty Level (Easy, Medium, Hard, Insane):

Today on my way home from church all of a sudden I started hearing a knocking, snapping, clicking noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. It was very rhythmic and got faster as I accelerated and slower as I slowed down. Interestingly, it went away as soon as I touched the brakes. It seemed to be about once every turn of the wheel so I figured I'd have to do something about that before my 4000km trip to Ontario and back.

I had Melanie drive it on our street while I walked beside the left, then the right and I determined it was definitely the right.

The sound could best be described by an older bycicle that had the main bearings go. It was some sort of a creaking, popping sound and it only happened once per revolution. I figured it would either be the brakes or the wheel bearing.

After jacking it up and spinning the wheel I could tell that it was the rear wheel bearing and I was NOT impressed to say the least. This van was a gift given by one of the most generous people I know (Mel's dad) and I know that he intended it to be a blessing which, unfortunately, it ended up being a crap-load of work. I do have to say, that the thought of him giving us a vehicle to sell and pay for home schooling curriculum was/is incredibly special and dear to my heart so I don't mean this rant to be taking away from his heart of gold, but from a purely time-wise and financial perspective I should have sold the van as is and kept driving our own van.

So far, what I had to do on this 2005 Pontiac Montana (Base), 3.4L since we got it in May is the following:

Fix instrument cluster ($25, 2hrs, saved $800)
Fix door alignment ($0, 1.5hrs, saved $80)
Fix left rocker panel ($150, 15hrs, saved $750)
Patch right rocker panel ($0, 1hr)
Replace muffler and gaskets ($120, 3.5hrs, saved $95)
Replace front left wheel bearing ($150, 1hr, saved $95)
Replace sway bar bushings ($20, 2hrs, saved $75)
Replace transmission solenoids, oil and filter ($250, 14hrs, saved $1000)
Install tranny oil cooler ($60, 3hrs, saved $95)
Replace spark plugs and wires ($100, 3hrs, saved $95)
Replace front brakes ($30, 1.5hrs, saved $95)
Fix leaky radiator ($15, 1hr)
Change oil and filter ($20, 1hr, saved $25)
Wheel alignment ($0, 1.5hrs, saved $95)
Replace rear right wheel bearing ($120, 2hrs, saved $145)
Total: $1060 and over 53hrs, saved almost $3500 in labor!!!


Taking out the retaining bolt. This was actually engineered with some brains
Separating the wheel bearing from the back plate
After the wheel bearing was removed; you can see the ABS plug in the center
The old wheel bearing
The new one Melanie picked up for me while she was out
10 minutes later, the new one was installed
Putting the drum back on
And for fun I took the old one apart to see how it worked and I got me some more steel balls out of it

Torque wrench
Regular wrench
Impact wrench
Hydraulic jack
Brake cleaner fluid

Rear wheel bearing
Anti-seize grease
Brake cleaner




Noise is gone. Now I just hope the wheel doesn't fall off!!!


Cat Motor Grader said...

Brilliant! This is a really marvelous stuff for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest blogger. I was curious to see a stuff like that. Fabulous post!

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