2002 Suburban, ticking noise while moving forward, transmission?

phoenixracerphoenixracer Member Posts: 4
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
So a few days ago I guess this started and I'm really at a loss. Its getting a little worse now and I was going to take the truck on a little day trip tomorrow and now I'm not so sure. It sounds like a bearing tick when the bearing goes bad, but its coming from the middle of the truck (on the bottom around the driveline). Here are a few weird facts about the noise. It occurs in forward gears under medium / hard acceleration, its there under low acceleration but very quiet. Once you are no longer accelerating the noise goes away. It is directly linked to the speed of the vehicle, engine rpm, or transmission more specifically because if I am going very slow it is a methodical tick, and the last tick you hear is almost like a ttttiiiiiiccccckkkkk because of the speed. I mean, it really sounds like a freaking baseball card in the spokes of your bike. I do know that when it shifts gears the ticking stops and starts again to almost match the speed of the engine, not so much the speed of the vehicle. I'm trying to diagnose the thing, and I looked under the truck today while my wife was accelerating it very slowly and I just didn't see anything. All the body bushings are snug. Tranny mount, catylitic converter have no slop in them. Its not related to the A/C being on in the front or the back. The truck DOES have an autoride suspension in the back, but the tick sounds like it is coming from the mid point in the drive shaft, so perhaps where it connects to the transmission. I was thinking maybe that it needed grease, but the more I ponder it, the more I realize that it is linked to the speed of the engine and the strain, not the speed of the vehicle. I really think that this is drive train related between the tranny and the engine and I just hope the hell its not the torque converter... I do have 22" wheels, and they may be putting a load on the vehicle. However, it sounds ridiculous that this thing can tow 9000 pounds, has an auto ride suspension, and has been defeated by wheels and tires that are only about an inch bigger in diameter than the stock set up. I have a Vortec 5.3l, and the year is a 2002. Please someone, give me something to think about!!! 'Carl


  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Will it make the noise while sitting still, with it in gear and stalling the motor or do you have to be moving? Does the noise occurr in reverse? Do you have a 1 or 2 piece driveshaft with a center bearing? Does the noise go away when in o/d?
  • phoenixracerphoenixracer Member Posts: 4
    nope, vehicle HAS to be moving. and like I said, it seems like its most dependant on the speed that the engine is turning the tranny, not the speed of the vehicle, which from the drive shaft hitting the tranny, all the way back is the same. i can't even sleep because I'm thinking about this so much. I think it must be transmission related, because like I said, when the transmission shifts, the clicking/ticking noise slows down even though the vehicle is going faster.

    did not do it when I stalled the motor up.

    pretty sure its a 1 peice shaft

    i don't think i've gotten it all the way into overdrive since I have noticed it. if I had, and it does make the noise, its very faint. most noticeable in 1st and 2nd
  • rhtransrhtrans Member Posts: 84
    Well I hate to say it but it does sound like one of the planetary gearsets in the trans...I could be wrong though..very hard to diagnose noises over a computer. But i have seen the inner bearing go out in those chewing the gearset up and makes a noise much like your describing. The gearsets are used for gear reduction mostly in first and second. Does it make the noise in reverse too, may sound a little different since its rotating the opposite way. If you pull the pan off you'll know...it will be full of metal particles..if its clean it's not comin from the trans. Might have to just break down and take it to a shop. It is 2wd right?
  • phoenixracerphoenixracer Member Posts: 4
    Yup, 2wd. I'm going to pull the axle tomorrow since its pretty easy and put it in drive and just let it idle. If it really is what you think (and me too, even though I'm not excited about it) it should make the noise... Probably be faint, but at least it will knock out the rear end completely. But like I said, since it slows down when the tranny shifts, I know its on the tranny/engine side and not the tranny/diff side. Since it doesn't do it when the engine is in neutral, it seems like the tranny is the place it is.

    I really HATE taking my stuff to car shops...
  • phoenixracerphoenixracer Member Posts: 4
    For me it ended up being my U-Joint. It was 10 bucks at advance auto parts and took me all of 10 minutes to put in. I regreased my drive shaft also. If yours is doing it at idle though, this is not the fix for you.
  • whtrocketwhtrocket Member Posts: 1
    I have a similiar problem...just started last night. 1999 5.3L Silverado w/120k. Ticking noise at idle when on a hill with back end down hill and when I hit the gas. Faster ticking with speed. Mine happens in reverse when I hit the gas hard. Sounds like metal/metal. I read about Chevy's piston slap and it souds like maybe thats what we have. Contact the BBB and look for a new motor...not sure yet myself??
  • michaelhall76michaelhall76 Member Posts: 1
    hey did you get this fixed mine is doing the same thing... i cant figure it out thought it was coming from in the oil pan but it was not... nothing there...iam so lost right now...lol a lil help would be great... thanks [email protected]
  • moneytpdmoneytpd Member Posts: 1
    I have the same Vehicle with the same problem. What was the outcome?
  • sloth2sloth2 Member Posts: 1
    Hello, is the drive shaft on a 2002 suburban aluminum?
  • mtap007mtap007 Member Posts: 5
    I have just been informed by the dealer that the transmission on my 2005 Suburban needs to be replaced. There is not even 50,000 miles on this thing and I do not tow with it all. Is this common? Also, or there other options beside a $3,600 new transmission?
This discussion has been closed.