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Old 05-13-2023, 07:19 PM #1
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Bad mystery noise... please help

OK- My 20024runner/256,000, which has never had any issues other than a little frame rot, began to make a loud clanking noise today- it sounds like something is loose and banging around as the wheels turn... no noise while stationary, but in drive, reverse, and rolling in neutral it makes a clanking noise. We also have a 97 Jeep wrangler that made similar noises several years back- some brake parts had broken apart and we're bouncing around in the rear drumsÖ I inspected the 4runner rear brakes this afternoon and everything looks fine. It sounds bad enough that the truck is staying parked until its figured out. Any advice would be much appreciated! THANK YOU.

I do have an audio recording but have no clue how to upload?
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Old 05-14-2023, 08:46 AM #2
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Good morning! I've been posting on the Gen. 4 section of this forum about a 4runner my son and I are fixing up. We received really helpful advice but I think it was partially because our questions we're around pretty normal problems with those rigs- I'm beginning to think that this sound/problem on my Gen. 3 might not be a common problem? We're a three driver family down to one car...lol! Any advice would help Thx!
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Old 05-14-2023, 09:28 AM #3
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While it does sound drive train related a bit more info would help. Can you isolate the noise to the front or rear end? Does the noise change if you switch between 2wd & 4wd? Can you get the truck in the air and put it in drive so you can inspect while stationary? If not, possibly just drive slowly down the driveway and a partner outside the car see if they can isolate the location.

Short of that jack up each wheel and check for play (wheel bearings). Grab and shake any drive train parts (drive shaft, cv axles, etc). Look for loose shielding parts under the truck that may have become unattached and are now rubbing on drive train parts. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2023, 09:57 AM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustTroItIn View Post
While it does sound drive train related a bit more info would help. Can you isolate the noise to the front or rear end? Does the noise change if you switch between 2wd & 4wd? Can you get the truck in the air and put it in drive so you can inspect while stationary? If not, possibly just drive slowly down the driveway and a partner outside the car see if they can isolate the location.

Short of that jack up each wheel and check for play (wheel bearings). Grab and shake any drive train parts (drive shaft, cv axles, etc). Look for loose shielding parts under the truck that may have become unattached and are now rubbing on drive train parts. Good luck!
Thank you JustTroItIn!
We drove the truck down the driveway and around our cul-de-sac a whole lot yesterday- I'm sure the neighbors think we've lost our minds. The noise does seem to be coming from the rear of the truck- no difference between 2wd and 4wd -no difference in being in gear or in neutral... I did first start hearing the sound while exiting our neighborhood several days ago… The road is a steady decline and slowly arcs to the left putting more pressure on the passenger side wheels- as I exited that section of the road I noticed the noise would stop- thought it might be a loose heat shield or piece of trim? Yesterday morning, I drove all over town with no issues… Until I began to hear the sound, in a quite pronounced manner, all the time.

I'll jack the truck back up and check for anything loose... Thanks again.
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Old 05-14-2023, 10:02 AM #5
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Also no loud clunks- shifting issues- or brake problems other than the emergency brake has been non functional for quite some time. The noise isn't random- it's could be described as a rhythmic series of clanks that seems to speed up and slow down with whatever slow speed we're driving. thanks

Last edited by 1sam16; 05-14-2023 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 05-15-2023, 11:36 PM #6
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Off the top of my head it sounds like either a CV axle is going bad, or similarly a u-joint in the driveline. If it occurs while going straight as well I would suspect a u-joint. More than once I've had them go dry on me at the literal drop of a hat while driving and proceed to make all sorts of nasty squeaks and clicks and whatnot.
Wouldn't hurt to check ball joints while you're at it but if the sound is rhythmic I don't suspect they'd be your problem. More often than not, rhythmic means it's rotating or connected to/very close to something that is. If possible, a video of the sound would help other's greatly
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Old 05-16-2023, 08:55 AM #7
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Quote:
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Off the top of my head it sounds like either a CV axle is going bad, or similarly a u-joint in the driveline. If it occurs while going straight as well I would suspect a u-joint. More than once I've had them go dry on me at the literal drop of a hat while driving and proceed to make all sorts of nasty squeaks and clicks and whatnot.
Wouldn't hurt to check ball joints while you're at it but if the sound is rhythmic I don't suspect they'd be your problem. More often than not, rhythmic means it's rotating or connected to/very close to something that is. If possible, a video of the sound would help other's greatly
Thank you Deybot! My oldest son has his graduation party at our house this evening so we've been in a full court press these past two days to get ready. I'll have much more time to investigate tomorrow, but I do have an audio track I'll try to upload that might help.
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Old 05-16-2023, 09:24 AM #8
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOh-R6JB2_s&feature=youtu.be

A recording of the noises its making- Thank you!

Last edited by 1sam16; 05-16-2023 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-16-2023, 11:43 PM #9
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That's definitely more severe sounding than I thought. Almost sounds like a bad transmission, but rolling in neutral tends to be a good sign it's something else. Personally I'm still leaning towards CVs, though that is quite a noise for them to make randomly. If you were thrashing the car and crawling rocks all the time, sure, but just typical city driving is strange.
Are you 4WD or 2WD? I would suggest getting all the wheels off the ground and seeing if you can replicate it, if you haven't already - perhaps have your son in the driver's seat while you poke your ears around (or send him under the hot car, it builds character!). If you have 4WD you could engage 4Hi while up in the air to get the front wheels spinning
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Old 05-17-2023, 05:43 PM #10
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Posting link to resolution for continuity for anyone that finds this thread in a search.

Bad mystery noise...no longer a mystery
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