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 Strange fluttering/ticking noise...

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Name : Andrew Zamiska
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Location : Cecil, PA - 25 miles south of Pittsburgh
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PostSubject: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Nov 18, 2012 10:58 pm

Hello all,

The title of the thread really sort of sums it up. There is a noise my Riv has had since I bought it that I can't seem to pinpoint, even after all these months. To start, my 2000 SSEi did the SAME thing as this car. The noise sounds like a light fluttering coming from the driver's side of the engine bay. Best way I can describe it is a thin card clipped to a bicycle wheel. It only happens under load, from 2K-2.5K RPM. Does not happen in Park or Neutral, and does not do it when 'power blocked'.

The noise will change frequency, i suppose you could call it, when it downshifts from 3rd to second gear, so it almost sounds like it has some congruence with engine rotational force to some degree. But again, only between 2,000 and 2,500 RPM under load (a hill, for instance). Some days it's more noticeable than others. Torque converter is locking up properly in 3rd and 4th gear, driveability and fuel mileage are great.

Here's another thought. I mentioned my SSEi made the same noise (same engine and transmission as this Riv). The driver's side axle bit the dust one day last year, and once I changed the axle, the noise disappeared. Does this make any sense?

Please let me know if I need to provide any other information, though I think I've described it to the best of my ability.. I will do my darndest to get a recording of some kind if possible. I've been poking and prodding for months now and I'm just as stumped now as when I owned my Bonneville...

Thanks everyone!

-Andrew Z
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:11 pm

"Axle bit the dust" I don't understand.

"Axle retaining clip failed and tore a hole in the CV boot" I do understand.

Just what did the axle on that SSEI do?

Albertj
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:17 pm

Sorry - a slit got torn in the boot somehow and it lost its grease. Then it failed to the point that I could not accelerate (before I noticed the grease everywhere) .
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Nov 18, 2012 11:39 pm

Could it be an exhaust leak? If the EGR isn't sealed for instance, it can tick at low RPM under load, and not be noticeable at other times.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:04 am

As you know, CV joint basically has balls wedged in a cage that's secured over a cylindrical race. Once the grease is lost, ball wear accelerates (dramatically) and they will grind until they jam or fall out.

Downshift from 3rd to 2nd changes the applied torque and I imagine speed might change a little.

But... you know, maybe the drivers' axle CV joints are just worn. They have not necessarily had an easy life and they don't last forever.

I can't think of any reason that this similar noise has a very different cause than what caused it on the SSEI.

That said, it's really not worth waiting. They can run a very long time worn, or they can fail suddenly -- only way to tell is to remove them and if you do that you may as well replace with new, remanufactured or known good used. A safe way to cheap out on this one is get a good used half axle from Leetsdale (near you), Heidelberg (not so near you but they UPS) or Ed Morad.
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:31 am

No detectible exhaust leaks, Aaron. Thank you though.

Ah - applied torque...that makes a lot of sense Albert. I know you guys are extremely knowledgeable (and experienced) with these cars, and that's why I continue to look to you for opinions and ideas such as this.

I agree, I didn't really think it would be a different reason than the SSEi, but I just wasn't sure of the odds of this SAME problem that I can't seem to find any other threads about across a few forums.

Changing axles is not my favorite job, but I don't mind doing it on a warmer day. I might have another axle in the garage, if not, thank you for the source suggestions around me!
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:45 am

If the noise just started, and there's no grease leaking from the boot, I wouldn't be too concerned about it failing right away. Our CVs are seriously overbuilt, and although it's possible one could fail, I've never heard of it actually happening on the HD-equipped transmission. The driver side is actually built a little stronger than the passenger. So get it fixed, but as long as the noise doesnt change I would still drive it.

Does the noise get louder if you turn the wheel and drive in reverse? Is there any "clunk" from D to R and vice versa?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:53 am

The car sat about 6 months before I bought it, and the noise started not long after the car was on the road again, from what I remember. It makes sense that it could be something related to that, especially when you go from sitting that long to daily driving. I heard the axles we pretty tough as well, but I guess with my SSEi's failing at 125,000 miles anything is possible.

No noises that I've noticed other than under load at 2-2.5K RPM. Nothing in reverse, but when I go to work tomorrow I'll do some tests in the driveway beforehand, just in case I missed something.
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:12 am

CV noises are supposed to be most prominent when turning, and even more so rolling in R.

Failures are mostly a result of the condition of the boot. If the boots remain in good shape, the CVs should last an enormous amount of miles (mine are still original at 253k). If the boots leak out the grease, they will surely fail in days or weeks.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Mon Nov 19, 2012 10:47 am

CAI? Try putting the stock intake back on and see if it goes away (the one with the big muffler hanging off the tube iand the big grey thing on the airbox) - it's worth a shot, just to eliminate intake noise.

Not saying you should keep it that way - just to determine the problem is all.

Another idea is to wrap your exhaust crossover tube and see if it lessens.
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:17 pm

That's what I thought Aaron...I'll do my best to try and really inspect the boot to make sure grease hadn't leaked out at one point and it's dry.

I actually don't have a stock airbox Derek, or I would. But I'm sure it's not noise from that. It's too slow of a frequency noise to be the supercharger or anything related.

Yesterday I made an attempt at recording the noise but it was one of it's 'quiet' days and the wind noise pretty well cancelled it out. I'll keep making attempts, but by the time I get a chance I might as well just replace the darn thing. Axles don't appear to be too much $$, in general.
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Thu Nov 29, 2012 7:53 pm

The boot appears in decent shape, though it is a little dry. I know there's a certain amount of play they have with the wheel off and whatnot, but this thing is moving a little more than I think it should.

Again, considering I had the SAME noise on my Bonneville, I'm just going to replace it. It's getting replaced along with a few other things next weekend. I'll report back when I have results!
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Thu Nov 29, 2012 8:16 pm

Nothing wrong with a dry boot if it's not cracked. Let us know if the new axle fixes your issue!

_________________
'98 SC Riviera 268k miles 298 HP/370 TQ 0-60: 5.79s ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 4087 lb 20.1 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley AL104 plugs 180 t-stat FWI w/K&N 1.9:1 rockers OR pushrods LS6 valve springs SLP headers ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts MaxAir shocks Addco sway bars UMI bushings GM STB Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus SS lines Brembo slotted discs DHP tuned Aeroforce Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO 49k miles 0-60: 4.8s 16.9 avg MPG Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:36 pm

Hey everyone,

Wanted to update on this axle thing. Yes, the axle was the source of the noise. I just picked up the car and it turns out it was making a lot more noise than I ever picked out. The car is so quiet now and much more enjoyable to drive, without it.

I haven't had time to open up the boot and see what's what, but there's nothing obviously wrong (externally) with the old axle. I'm a little confused why it started making noise in the first place, but at least we now have two documented cases (both from me) of this unusual noise from an axle.
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PostSubject: Re: Strange fluttering/ticking noise...   Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:04 pm

Z-type wrote:
Hey everyone,

Wanted to update on this axle thing. Yes, the axle was the source of the noise. I just picked up the car and it turns out it was making a lot more noise than I ever picked out. The car is so quiet now and much more enjoyable to drive, without it.

I haven't had time to open up the boot and see what's what, but there's nothing obviously wrong (externally) with the old axle. I'm a little confused why it started making noise in the first place, but at least we now have two documented cases (both from me) of this unusual noise from an axle.

The balls in the tripode joint had probably just worn to the extent that you had lots of play and it was audible, but were not on the verge of mechanical failure.

But yeah, it's the CV joint... replace it... what he said... yeah....
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