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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Concerned about a growling noise that gets very noticeable at highway speed. Started all of the sudden about two months ago and I cannot figure it out. Took it to a local shop and they said they thoroughly checked the drive train and find no issues. Suggested it is the tires, which are indeed worn and noisy, but rotating tires made no difference.

Best I can describe, sound is like a fan clutch going bad, which I know is not a Tundra thing, just what it sounds like. At idle it purrs like a kitten. Driving city streets, it is unnoticeable. But once forward speed increases and get it up to about 70 it is there. At 80 it is pretty damn loud. No other symptoms, it goes down the road straight, tire wear is even, no vibrations, nothing else but the sound. Could it be something in the transfer case? This truck is off-roaded hard, so in 4 Lo/Hi frequently. Only issue there is sometimes it doesn't want to go in or out of 4 WD. Any ideas appreciated.

TIA,
William
 

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The only thing that comes to mind is the somewhat common front end growl. I could hear mine at much lower speeds though and if you put it in 4 wd the noise goes away. There’s post on this topic.
 

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Sounds like a wheel bearing. They howl pretty good when you get up to speed. Lift one tire at a tire off the ground and slowly rotate the tire, feeling for any gritty/clunky/crunchy/notchiness. Also check the tires for movement when pushing/pulling at the top and bottom of the tire.

When was the last time you service the differentials and transfer case? The front bearings are a unit bearing and aren’t bathed in oil. The rear bearings are bathed in oil so the rear diff fluid can sometimes offer clues.
 

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I'm right there with you.
I have a growl at about 45/50 mph.
If I swerve hard to the left (if i recall correctly) it goes away.
I can feel a slight vibration in the steering wheel sometimes.
I've tried to check the wheel bearings, but am to the point that I will more than likely puul the wheels, calipers and such to see if there's any play or noise as nothing else seems to pan out.

It has been suggested that it may be a common bearing issue on the front diff, but I can't find any way to diagnose it...
I hope you figure it out.
 

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Look up TSB-0121-08-REV2 for the front end growl issue. It had to do with the needle bearings in the front diff clamshell and only applied to ‘11 and older vehicles. BUT, also note that the growl was most noticeable between 15 and 35 MPH, and usually was less or not noticeable at higher speeds.

I would also suggest looking at tires but they usually sound like a fast “money-money-money-money-money” chant at high speeds when they are the culprit. It’s usually from an out of round tire or the variable but repeating tread pattern alternately slapping the ground. The fan clutch noise has almost always been a bearing issue in my experience. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be wrong..
 

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A 1994 k1500 (4wd) chevy truck I used to own, started making growling noises around 225K miles. The general consensus from the GM/Chevy forums was probably rear axles wheel bearings. Ring & pinion gears wearing out make more of a "whine" sound, IME. Even though your problems seems to be noises from front end, Might provide a clue for your Tundra (or not!).
 

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Many times you can diagnosis a front wheel bearing by slightly turning right or left when it is making noise. If the noise changes or goes away when you steer either left or right, than indicates a bad front wheel bearing. I have never been able to determine a bad wheel bearing from just spinning the tire. But changing them made the growl go away.

The good news is that if you can't find it, the catastrophic failure to follow is it's own form of positive diagnosis!

Let us know what you find.
 

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There is the issue with the front diff, but that happens at 35-40 mph. I had that done while it whole still under warranty.

I had an issue for the last couple of years like you describe, but it is like 35mph+. Thought it was tires but didn’t go away with new tires. Saw some info here about rear wheel bearings being bad on early models. Took it to dealer, confirmed bad bearings and replaced. Noise is gone along with $1500.
 

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I have on 08 2wd and I had a growling/whine coming from the rear starting around 30mph. It got louder as I increased speed. My issue was the rear axle bearings. Apparently the 08 was known to have issues with this, I'm not sure about the 07 though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the replies. New tires this morning, Falken Wild Peaks. Smooth, quieter ride, but still a growl as you approach 70 mph. By 80 mph it is very loud.
 
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