Questions and Answers
Chevy S-10 Pickup Vibration
Q. I have a 1996 Chevy S-10 pickup, 4WD, with push button shift from 2WD to 4WD. The problem is a vibration in the front end. I begin to feel it at about 25 or 30 MPH and it doesn't go away. The vibration gets faster with the speed of the truck so I'm guessing it is something in the drive train or suspension.
While coasting I can feel the vibration but it gets worse while accelerating especially around 35 to 45 MPH. The vibration doesn't change with the gears and doesn't seem much different in 4WD than it does in 2WD.
The truck had been hit in the front driver side in an accident and damaged the wheel. I have put on new tires which were balanced and had the wheel checked to assure it wasn't bent. I have replaced both ball joints on the driver side and the upper on the passenger side. I have also replaced the half-shaft and both CV joints on the driver side.
I "trapped" the short drive shaft from the transfer case to the front differential to keep it from rotating and it had no effect on the vibration. Sometimes after backing up, the vibration will disappear for a while. It always comes back; sometimes with a "pop" under my feet. Hope you can help.
A. You may have a bad hub bearing assembly. These are common to go bad. Fairly expensive too! If one side is bad you can usually make the vibration change tone or pitch while swerving from side to side at the speed at which it's occurring. It's just a pair of wheel bearings that is supporting the spinning wheel and ½shaft combination. I'm guessing that this is what you are describing.
Sounded to me that it's more of a noise and gritty feeling than something shaking the whole truck like a out of round tire would do. There are also bearings inside the front differential that could be bad, but you said it didn't really change when you put it in 4x4.