[x-type] Request for help: Rumbling / whining drive-train

I have a 2001 2.5 Sport. It’s wonderful. It’s also very
quiet. Well it was until recently. Now I can hear a grating
/ rumbling / whining from the drive train somewhere. In any
other car you’d probably just think that was how it was
designed, but I’m used to my X being quiet.


It’s not proportional to the speed of the car.

It’s not proportional to the engine speed.

It happens all the time I’m driving in a straight line. It’s
also there when I turn right, but it goes as soon as I
deviate even a fraction to the left. That makes me think
it’s something at the front of the car, but it’s hard to pin
down where the noise is coming from - two blokes at my
garage couldn’t figure it out.

I’ve had it up on a jack to see if it’s the wheel bearings.
There’s no play in the wheel when grabbed at 12 and 6
o’clock. If I grab it at 9 and 3 o’clock then it wobbles a
bit, presumably because they are supposed to move that way
for steering! If I rotate the wheel then the 12-6 position
is always firm. There’s no bearing noise when I rotate the
wheel, but there is a bit from the brakes rubbing. The
bearings don’t make any vibration if I put my hand on the
hub and rotate the wheel.

Both front drive shafts make the same bit of a clunk when I
rotate them.

There is a very slight vibration in the car as the problem
gets worse over the last few weeks, but the steering wheel
is not affected.

One day, when it was about 2 degrees celsius there was a
whine from what sounded like the (UK) passenger back wheel
for about 800 metres, then it went away, never to return.

Any suggestions would be welcome.

I was half-tempted to just change the wheel bearings, but
haven’t found a workshop manual yet. My garage would take a
punt and do it for over 200 pounds, but they aren’t even
sure what the problem is either.–
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In reply to a message from MyForest sent Fri 17 Apr 2009:

Try the simple transfer case oil refill posted on this forum. If
no oil comes out of the TC then it may be the problem. Please keep
us posted.–
Anthony Hladun
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In reply to a message from Anthony Hladun sent Sat 18 Apr 2009:

I’m delighted to say that patience paid off on this
occasion. The noise slowly got worse and in the last few
days got quite noticeable. Also, the vibration became more

A quick test drive with a mechanic from the dealership this
morning revealed it was in fact the front left-hand wheel
bearing. I had it replaced today and now I have my lovely
quiet Jag back after many weeks of driving a horrible thing.

I’m very happy.–
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