If a hub bearing is bad enough to be rattling it would surely move when you did the 'wiggle' test on the wheel. If everything up front is original, I'd bet your balljoints and/or sway bar link are the rattle. Front wheel bearings are fairly cheap and really easy to swap as well.
Well, as I said in my OP, both rear wheels did indeed do "the wiggle" whereas the fronts did not. I'm not sure if it counts as "humming" but when I'm driving, I can hear a rhythmic low sound coming somewhere from the car, I'm not sure where. Perhaps that's the "humming" sound people talk about when the hub bearings start to fail?
Anyway, I'm leaning on replacing anything with a ball joint of some sort first.
This applies ONLY to the upper inner bushing. You bend the outer shell until you can free it from the arm. The new one has to be pressed in. When you press the new one in, be sure to put something in the gap between the sides of the arm so it won't collapse. The knuckle bushings should press out cleanly. You can make a tool to push those out if you want.
I can search around for said tool that I can make. Or, link me to a thread / website where I can learn how to make said tool, lol.
I'm also wondering if a shop I'd be taking my knuckles to have the bearings pressed in / out can also do the bushings I bought. If so, that's another option available to me.
I would say that getting the front suspension replaced would be most important at this point. Get it safe then look for lowering springs and such. Look closely at the front strut rod bushings and see if they need to be replaced. Those are hardest to come by as far as finding parts. They are also expensive to fix if you have to buy the sleeves. Other than that just piece together the parts and get it done. (UCA, LCA, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, front/rear strut rod bushings)
That's what I'm trying to decide which route to go with first. One of my car enthusiast co-workers said that I should go with the springs and struts / shocks first because of how I drive....I drive it like I stole it. To paraphrase what he said, it's better to have better grip with the ground and have a things loosely held in because of their degraded nature, than to have everything held in tight but have poor grip with the ground because of worn springs, struts, and shocks. I'm not sure this merit on his statement, but it makes sense to me.
If you're on a budget you can skip the aluminum control arms for now. That's a couple hundred bucks for arms/perches.
While I agree with the budget part, I'm thinking if I can just piece together these components separately by buying the MK8 rear LCAs, perches, springs, and shocks / struts individually and put all this on at once when I have it all. It'll spread out my cost on this making it easier on the wallet.
They are basically 2 bearings inside of one casing. If you look at this picture there is a small gap between the inner races. That is where he is saying to look.
You're talking about the small gap I've marked here?
Rattling, clunking, whatever you want to call it has always been sway bar end links for me. Doesn't matter if it's front or rear.
Between my Honda and my T-Bird, the sounds are distinctively different for the same issue then. The T-Bird gives an obvious rattle whereas my Accord gives an obvious clunk for busted end links.
Pulling to one side when braking, or creaking when going over a speed bump is lower control arms (ball joints).
Since you have to remove a good bit of the front suspension to do shocks/springs, I would wait to do it all at once, except for sway bar end links, which are easy.
It drives straight as an arrow! Unless my rear hubs both happen to be evenly worn out so that they both create an identical amount of friction so that the pull to one side is cancelled out by the other side, LOL.
And, I'd LOVE to do it all in one shot, but with this being a potential safety issue, I'm thinking I'll have to replace some of these first before I do others.
Hope you have air tools! Good luck with it.
I have a compressor, two different sets of air guns, and a few sockets. Whatever I don't have, I'll have to acquire.