350 Big Bear Front End Squeal - Yamaha Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-21-2020, 09:09 AM Thread Starter
 
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350 Big Bear Front End Squeal

My father-in-law gave my boy a 1999 350 Big Bear. It's been sitting in a barn for a bunch of years. It runs great! My boy has been riding a couple weeks now and it has developed a squeal coming from the front end when you get off the gas at speed. No noise during acceleration. At first I thought brakes. I took it for a ride and I don't think it is the brakes. I feel it is the front prop shaft U-joints, front differential or one/both axles. I pulled the fill plug on the differential and I can't find anywhere how much gear oil should be in there. My gut says up to the fill opening. It doesn't have a manual. It's wet in there, just don't see any gear oil.

#1 Should I fill the differential with gear oil up to the fill opening?

#2 How do I check or know if the u-joints are bad? That looks like a "Big Bear" of a job if they don't need to be replaced.

#3 What else could it be? I don't think it is the front bearings. I jacked the front wheels off ground and no play in the right wheel. Very little play in the left wheel, looks like the lower control bushing is where that play is coming from. The rubber CV boots look original but all still intact. Wheels spin easily without any noise.

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-21-2020, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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I topped off both differentials. The front took a lot more than I thought. I couldn't tell if it made it any better The squeal was still there.

Here is a quick video I took of the squeal:

https://youtu.be/k7UWOi75H24
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-21-2020, 09:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Victor View Post
I topped off both differentials. The front took a lot more than I thought. I couldn't tell if it made it any better The squeal was still there.

Here is a quick video I took of the squeal:

https://youtu.be/k7UWOi75H24
Yes, fill till it runs out the fill hole.

U joints are a possibility, check for looseness in them, there should be none. I doubt wheel bearings too. Can you put it in 2x4? Does it change anything? If in 2x4 and it makes no or less noise I'm guessing u joints.

Raise it off the ground and start looking for anything loose/noisy.
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-21-2020, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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It's full time 4x4. That threw me off too when I first got it. It's really difficult getting to the front prop shaft to even wiggle it around. I was really hoping to replicated the squeal on the jackstands but no luck. I just don't want to tear into the whole front end if I don't have to. If I have to get to the front prop shaft then I'm gonna replace everything leading up to it while it's apart. It looks like a beast of a project for the front prop shaft.
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