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Discussion Starter #1
My '06 4x4 Crewcab LE has started making a whining noise when under load. Its hard to tell, but it sounds like its coming from the rear axle. I changed the gear oil and the magnetic plug had some soft sludge on it but nothing else. Anything else I should check and should I be worried?
 

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Sounds like the bearing in the diff is getting worn out. jack up the rear, and put blocks in front then put the car on 2wd then put it truck into gear and listen to the noise.
 

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^^^That is a good way to tell you if you have a noisy bearing, but won't put the rear end under load.

The more likely culprit is ring/pinion gear noise, possibly indicating wear and at least the need to check backlash, pinion depth and bearing preload. There are a million posts on this forum on the whining issue, and much of the time, it appears to be bad setup of the axle (including right from the factory). Check out this thread, by way of example, with most useful info starting at post 10: http://www.titantalk.com/forums/titan-engine-transmission-drivetrain/331337-2015-drive-train-whining.html .

How many miles? Regular drain/fill of diff fluid? Did the whining just start? If you have a lot of miles (and I guessing you do on an '06), it's probably worth checking for the other common problem, by pulling the differential cover off, and making sure the spider gears aren't self destructing.

Hope this helps.
 

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From some old Summit Racing newsletters, I found the following: "Usually it is axle bearings, differential bearings, and pinion bearings that will generate a howling or whining noise. "
Depending on who's ears are listening, a howl and whine are the same.

Here's some more direction to get into the ballpark:
Noise: Howl while decelerating (gears previously quiet)
Cause: Loose pinion bearing preload

Noise: Howl with whir or rumble while accelerating at any speed (gears previously quiet)
Cause: Worn rear pinion bearing or worn gear set

Noise: Howl without whir or rumble while accelerating at any speed (gears previously quiet)
Cause: Worn gear set due to lack of lubrication or overloading

Noise: Howling while accelerating over a small speed range (gears previously quiet)
Cause: Worn gear set due to lack of lubrication or overloading

Noise: Howling after gear set installation
Cause: Faulty gears or improper installation

Noise: Low-pitch rumble at all speeds over 20 miles per hour
Cause: Worn carrier bearings

Noise: Whirring during acceleration/deceleration at about 10 miles per hour
Cause: Worn pinion bearings

Noise: Banging or clunking while making a turn, backing up, or rapid deceleration (like on a freeway off-ramp). Noise gets worse in warmer weather
Cause: Posi chatter due to improper lubrication; worn clutches or spider gears; improper assembly

Noise: Banging, crunching, or popping while making a turn. Noise not affected by temperature
Cause: Badly worn or broken spider gears

Noise: Banging or heavy clicking every two to three feet during acceleration and deceleration
Cause: Damaged or broken pinion gear tooth or teeth

Noise: Banging or heavy clicking every two to three feet during acceleration or deceleration, but not both
Cause: High spot or heavy chip on pinion gear tooth

Noise: Banging or heavy clicking every eight feet during acceleration and deceleration
Cause: Damaged or broken ring gear tooth or teeth

Noise: Banging or heavy clicking every eight feet during acceleration or deceleration, but not both
Cause: High spot or heavy chip on ring gear tooth

Noise: Clicking while decelerating from 20 miles per hour to a complete stop
Cause: Worn carrier case-side gear bores

Noise: Rumble or clicking that gets worse during hard turns
Cause: Bad wheel bearings

Noise: Driveline squeaking or grinding at any speed
Cause: Worn or damaged U-joints

Noise: Clunking when depressing the throttle pedal (takeoff)
Cause: Worn U-joints; worn spider gears; worn axle splines; excessive gear backlash; loose yoke splines; worn slip yoke splines

Noise: Clunk immediately after taking off from a stop
Cause: Worn slip yoke splines

Noise: Steady vibration that increases with speed
Cause: Worn U-joint or out-of-balance driveshaft

Noise: Cyclic vibration that varies in intensity. Intensity increases at a specific speed range, worsens during deceleration
Cause: Pinion angle too low (not parallel with front yoke on driveshaft)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the responses. The truck has 155k miles and is rarely used to tow. I only notice the noise a few weeks ago, when speed is up over 45mph, and the noise is only noticed when you are accelerating or holding constant speed. If you let off the gas, the noise goes away. I change the gear oil regularly and the oil level was normal when I changed it a couple weeks ago. There was a slimy sludge build up on the drain plug, but no chunks or metal pieces. I haven't heard any other noise but the whining sound.
 

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My 06 Le is doing the se thing as yours. I bought it and before I drove it much I had the rear axle leak fixed (passenger side) . I'm not sure if it was whining before that or not.

Should I take it back to the shop who did the axle seal?
 

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The pinion bearings are most likely worn causing the pinion to slop back and forth slightly. It's easy to diagnose, set the e brake and put it in neutral, then climb underneath and try to wiggle the companion flange.
Does it have any play?
 
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