I have 1988 Toyota Pickup 4x4 Manual 5-speed with the 22RE Engine. Starting a few weeks ago, while at speed, the truck would randomly make this loud rubbing/grinding noise coming from the rear. I've captured it on video, and was hoping somebody could pinpoint the type of sound.

Here's what I've determined so far:

  • Happens randomly while at speed
  • Happens at various speeds, but mainly starts above 40 mph
  • When the noise happens, slowing down to a few MPH will stop it
  • Noise seems to be irrelevant from transmission. happens in gear, or while coasting in neutral
  • Jerking truck to the left will pause noise for a second. Jerking right seems to have no effect
  • I do feel a surge/friction when it happens, along with vibration.

In asking the people around me, I've heard mostly rear bearings, or drive shaft u-joints. I was hoping somebody could listen to this noise and narrow it down for me. The way the noise kicks in with a yelp, then settles down is strange to me.

Here's video of the noise. Thanks for taking a look.


  • Did you ever find out the cause of the sound? I am having a similar issue with my 1995 Toyota Pickup.
    – user2204
    Commented Sep 14, 2012 at 18:34
  • No, I still haven't fixed the issue. However, locking the front hubs has prevented the noise from returning. Thinking it's related to my front 4WD differential/drive train. Waiting for winter to end to break it down further.
    – csthopper
    Commented Feb 4, 2013 at 21:06
  • That's some strange sounds. Did you ever resolve it? Commented Dec 27, 2015 at 18:41
  • No, never did solve it, but to be honest, I never had to time to troubleshoot it further. I sold the truck a few months back, so its now on the new owner to solve. It was most likely a front spindle or bearing that was bad. It was so random, that I just lived with it.
    – csthopper
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:55

3 Answers 3


I would suspect axle bearings more than U joints. Drive shaft noises usually don't change when moving left or right. You can check the axle seals for leaks. If the bearing is bad many times it moves enough to wear the seal. You can also check the axle housing for a temperature difference after a highway speed ride. It doesnot have to be an actual measurement just a difference you can feel with your hand. If it is really bad you may feel the play with the wheel jacked up off the ground. Just remember not be under the vehicle without jackstands.


When it happens do some tests.

1) place the car in neutral if it goes away then it might have some thing to do with your drive shaft of differential

2) try very lightly pressing the brakes if it changes then you might have a loose brake pad or something else wrong with the brakes

3) try Turn from side to side (be carefull) if the noise changes then it might be from the wheel hub assembly

  • Thanks for the suggestions. I ended up selling the truck, and never had time to solve the problem. It would only do it on hot days, so during the winter I would forget about it. To answer your questions. 1) Neutral wouldn't stop the noise. 2) Braking would not change the noise. There were times I had to bring the truck to a complete stop, then it would stop. 3) Yes as I mentioned in my original post, jerking the truck, aggressively, would stop the noise.
    – csthopper
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 16:49

it sounds like a fan that will not turn the blades: the spindle rotates but it's not fitted tight enough to the blade pulley and causes a loud rubbing humm. This sound is also typical in Worn Hub Bearings The sound is almost like the sound of a bad heater blower spindle not making good contact with the blower-fan in the car.

  • Thanks for the post. I ended up selling the truck without ever fixing the issue. It never got worse, and only happened on hot days, so I lived with it. Mainly because front end work is above my mechanical skills, and takes tools I don't have. I really do think it was was a worn hub bearing as you suggested.
    – csthopper
    Commented Mar 2, 2016 at 16:54

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