1995 Tahoe Grinding/Thumping sounds in front drivers side after wreck

Discussion in 'GM Powertrain' started by btandoz, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. btandoz

    btandoz New Member

    New to the forums here and in some trouble.
    I have a 1995 Tahoe 4x4 old body style with the tbi 5.7.
    I was recently in a wreck, main impact area was the left front headlight assembly. Wreck occurred around 20-25 mph and smashed the headlight assembly and the left front fender curled a little. After the wreck I had noticed a grinding sound coming from the front driver side of the Tahoe while limping it in to the gas station. After it was towed home I jacked it in the air and started inspecting the damage. I could not visually notice any suspension parts broke, shock mounts, control arms, sway bar or anything of that nature. I could not feel any grinding when turning the wheel by hand or notice any excessive play as my first thought may be wheel bearing. After inspecting I put my spare tire on and the grinding was gone but it was making a knocking/thumping sound when I hit bumps or made left turns. On a straight road I tried swerving left and right to try and get a feel for where the noise was coming from but no help. When traveling about 25mph and swerving to the left there is a small "thumping" sound that happens a couple times. When driving straight or turning right no noises or issues. When a sharp left turn is made at slowers speeds there is a more significant thump, which was noticed when I pulled in the driveway as there is a small hump to get over. I'd also like to add that my spare was a 16" rim with a 245/75/16 series tire and the rims and tires I usually run on the Tahoe are 17" newer GM take offs with 265/70/17 series tires meaning the rest of the tires are obviously bigger than the spare. Also the Tahoe is pulling to the left and obviously out of alignment. The only visual difference between each side of the Tahoe I could notice is that the sway bar link on the right side seems to be angled a little different than the left. Not sure if putting the smaller tire on gives more clearance to a suspension part and thats why I hear a grinding sound with the normal taller tire and not the spare, or if the grinding and "thumping" sounds could be related, which would be my assumption since it was wrecked.

    Main question is why the grinding noise with the normal tire an rim I run and not the spare smaller tire and the the obvious "thumping" sounds noted above.

    Anyways any input would be great, or a direction to look. Thanks in advance.
  2. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Does it happen in reverse too?
  3. btandoz

    btandoz New Member

    Im really not sure I'll throw the old rim and tire on and see if the grinding or thumping happens in reverse.
  4. Jamm3r

    Jamm3r Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    The first things I would check are the CVs, and axle shaft and if those are golden then maybe the wheel bearing.

    The force of the impact could have screwed up the CVs even if there was no contact back that far.

    If the sound changes in 4x4 then that would tend to indicate CVs (with the matching wheel of course). I suppose you could pull the front axle shaft out on the left side and see if the problem clears up but that's a major undertaking.
  5. btandoz

    btandoz New Member

    Could the difference in tire size alone be making the thumping sound as it is putting more stress on the left side?

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