Clunking from the rear end

I have a '95 Chevy 6.5 Turbo-Diesel Pickup. The past few days there has been a whining noise that went up and down with the speed of the vehicle. I decided to have it looked at this coming week when I have a day off but when I was driving home last night the whining stopped and was replaced with a clunking. It sounds like a pair of running shoes that have been thrown in a clothes dryer. When it clunks loudly there is a shake that can be felt through the floor and seat. I now have it parked until I can find out what is going on and if it is safe to drive to the mechanic or if I should have it towed.

Sounds like either a ujoint failure or rear axle bearing failure. At this point, it is NOT safe to drive.

On that truck, it is easy to see if it is a ujoint failure. Look under ter truck and just look at the joints. Grab the driveshaft, and try to shove it around. If it moves around, especially with tapping sounds, a joint has failed.

To check the axle bearings, you’ll need to jack up the truck to shove each of the rear tires around to find the bad one.

Hi BK - Thanks for the info. Do you think there is any chance of it being the differential? One person at work suggested that as an idea when I was whining.

Possible, but the ujoints and outer wheel bearings carry most of the load. However, if all the gear lube dropped out of the rear axle, it could totally be toast.