RWD - Noise from rear, on jacks only one wheel turns

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Noise from rear, on jacks only one wheel turns 200 1987

Please help me diagnose my '87 240 DL wagon, automatic, so assuming 1030 differential, about 250k miles.

It's recently begun making an unpleasant noise from the rear. No, it hasn't been eating Taco Bell. Sort of a grating / whirring noise. Not quiet, but not so bad it's especially embarrassing. It begins when the car starts moving. It seems to vary with revs, not necessarily speed, but hard to tell for sure because it gets indistinct under road and engine noise as speed picks up to maybe 30, though it seems like it's still in the mix at that point. The sound started suddenly and doesn't seem to have changed.

The car was jacked all around today to replace the cat (the 31-year-old one turned out to be empty; at least this work went all right and the exhaust now smells like roses) which provided an opportunity to hunt for this noise. There wasn't any observable play or other unpleasantness in the driveshaft, U-joints, or center bearing. Putting the car in gear, the driveshaft seems to spin appropriately and without discernible vibration.

However, the rear passenger side wheel just isn't turning at all by itself, on jacks at least. Even with some coaxing by hand it didn't seem to be trying. The wheel turns by hand with mild resistance and light clucking (maybe 100 clucks per full rotation) whether the car is on and in gear, or in neutral. It stops turning on its own within a few degrees of release.

It's had new differential fluid twice over the last eight months or so because I figured it probably hadn't been changed in a while (and because the first time I didn't realize there was a drain hole at the bottom). Right now it has maybe five hundred miles on AMS oil severegear 75-90 (claims general compatibility, may require additive for limited-slip). Pulling a little off the top today to inspect, it has mild to moderate brown discoloration and a light champagne sparkle.

Fuel economy has not changed. No matter what I do this car gets 20-21 mpg.

What do we think? Does it sound like a bad wheel bearing making the other axle do all the work? Stuck brake caliper, ditto? Blown pumpkin? Should I head out to the yard for a rear axle? Trade it in for a PT Cruiser and a Neon? Ignore the problem and +T it? Call the crushers? Stop feeding the Mogwai after midnight?

Thanks in advance.

p.s. if the car survives this maybe someone will have some tips for loosening the *[email protected]#^$ strut gland nut.


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New 1 Noise from rear, on jacks only one wheel turns [200][1987]
posted by  Kindofhandy  on Sun Jul 29 01:52 CST 2018 >

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