My 2003 Dakota 4x4 4.7 Quad Cab w/55,000 miles suddenly started making a very lound grinding/squealing noise coming from the front right wheel area (by very lound I mean I could hear it over my (stock)stereo at 32 volume). It happened while driving on a straight highway at about 55mph. I had just turned off a 2 mile drive on a dusty/bumpy gravel road. Since I was only a half mile from my house I drove here, but I'm a bit afraid to drive it much more..
The sound increases in volume and frequency the faster I go, it's definatly a metal on metal grind. It doesnt happen when I go in reverse at all, it's perfectly normal then (I had someone stand next to the wheel and listen). It shifs into and out of 4HI fine, but that dosent affect the noise at all. The driver side is fine. I recently replaced the front pads but not the rotors. My first suspision was possibly a rock or something stuck between the pad and rotor, it's happened before, but since it sounds fine in reverse I've kinda ruled that out. It dosen't vibrate/shake/rattle or thump. I've crawled under it and looked things over, but nothing is obviously wrong-although I'm no mechanic.
I might take the wheel and caliper off tonight to see if I can find out anything else.
Also, I've never replaced the ball joints, and just heard about the recall on them from this site, I checked my VIN on the dodge site and it says there's no recall for it (although it is a 03 4x4). I'm not quite sure what sound a failing balljoint will make.. do the symptom's I've described sound like it?
Thanks for any advice.
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Well, I just took the wheel off and looked it over.. and found a fairly good sized piece of gravel wedged between the rotor and the thin metal back piece behind the rotor, which was causing the loud screech. When I turned the hub the metal backing piece was scraping against the part that remains stationary. After prying the rock out, the sound went away and it appears to be fine now. Still not sure why it didnt make any sound when I rotated it backwards.. guess its just the way the gravel was stuck there.
Anyway, guess it was a bit of a false alarm.. sry