Unknown wheel noise - '99 GMC Sierra 1500 2wd

Concerning my recently purchased '99 GMC Sierra 1500 2wd 4.8L…

There is a seemingly undiagnosable, not that noticeable, rubbing noise that seems to come from the front passenger wheel - one rub for every revolution of the wheel. It is fairly subtle and can be felt (subtle) in the steering wheel between 30mph and 45mph. I don’t think a lot of people would notice it and anyone that did would probably just turn up the radio at this point. After all, this truck has a very solid drive train and runs amazingly smooth for its age and mileage (172K)

Here are the repairs I have made that you might be about to suggest:

  • New front bearing/ hub assemblies on both sides within the last year. No play in any of the wheels.
  • New tires from Firestone within last month.
  • New tie rod ends and alignment.
  • New rotors, pads, and flex lines on front. Refurbished caliper on passenger side front.
  • New pads, calipers, and flex lines on rear. (one of the calipers had seized and I thought I had finally found the problem… not.) (one of the flex lines was the wrong part and was rubbing up against the rim… I thought that was the problem… not.)

Here are the things you are about to suggest I check:

  • Transmission, rear axle bearings, etc checked out by my trusted transmission shop.
  • Wheel well shields are firmly attached.

Things I haven’t yet fixed because I have spent so much time and money trying to fix this noise: tail pipe bracket, evap emission solenoid assembly (thanks GM for making parts like this as if designed just to aggravate drivers with warning lights.) , blower fan resistor thingy, crappy door latch.

Where should I go from here?

Oops, I was going to suggest a tire problem, but I see you already got new tires.

I suppose I should rotate that tire to the rear and see if the noise diminishes or not. I wont get time until Monday though. Will post results. Firestone has better reputation than most, but who knows maybe a tire weight was flung out??

Also, note that front wheel hubs do not have dust shields to rub. If shields were original equipment, they were removed by previous owner.

Okay. I am sitting here covered in grease, sweat, and angst and thought I would share my findings and my thought process in case someone else runs into a similar problem. I drove my truck a hundred or two miles since last post and the noise got more and more pronounced. It sounded just like every wheel bearing that I have ever replaced. No longer subtle. I swore the noise was coming from the passenger front so I replaced that bearing and the noise was worse than ever. So I took the 1 month old bearing from the passenger side and put it on the drivers side (they are more or less interchangable, but I did have to wire back the wheel sensor cord so it didnt rub) to replace the 3 month old O’Rielly bearing and sure enough, the noise and sensation in the steering wheel is gone. From now on, I am committed to spending a little more on bearings so I don’t have expensive hub-shaped paper weights.

Well done. The best problems are the ones you can solve yourself. :wink: