Hi guys, so I was having an intermittent squeak from the passenger side at about 35 MPH when turning slightly left.
The culprit (story below):
The ring deformed a bit when I pulled it off the axle, but the cracks and the ground down metal were there before I took it off.
I should have taken a picture of it in place but didn't think to at the time. It was sitting roughly in the spot marked in red, but part of it was jammed in between the axle and knuckle, causing the squeak:
At first I thought it was coming from the front because it would only squeak when turning (must be steering related). So I took off the front passenger side wheel to inspect, but found nothing out of the ordinary.
Took the rear passenger side wheel, caliper, and disc off to check the E-brake assembly. While I was looking around, I noticed this obviously broken ring on the backside of the knuckle. The way I found it, I could see it cracked and part of it was wedged between the knuckle and axle. I looked on the drivers side to see what this piece was supposed to look like, and it appears to be some sort of dust seal or similar. I couldn't find any info in the service manual about it though.
Do you guys know what this piece is? Can I drive for a while without it in place, or will oil leak out/water get in and corrode bearings or something?? I'll eventually get around to replacing it when I do a hub service, I just want to know how soon I need to get to that.