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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
rig info (cause it's been awhile since I've posted here): 2001 double cab, v6, 4wd, ~140k

TL;DR:
Items it's not:
U-joints (front, rear, mid cv)
Carrier bearing
CV axles
Front wheel bearings

I've had an on going persistent squeak- at about the same speed as the tire or drive shaft rotation. Initially I assumed it was either the carrier bearing or u joints, so I replaced the front and rear u joints on the rear drive shaft, and meticulously cleaned and pumped new grease into the double cardan and cv mid joint (I used a syringe to inject grease into the cv as well as pumped it in via the zerk). The squeak remained. The CV axles have been replaced in the last year, and the squeak has been around longer than that. I popped the front spindles off, and inspected the wheel bearings. They are rock solid, no translational movement in them. I cleaned the seals and reapplied a little grease to them, and re assembled the spindles. I also cleaned the brake components and applied appropriate amounts of disc brake grease to the pad backs, and pins while I had to take them off to remove the spindles. The squeak remained. I removed the front drive shaft, even though it doesn't spin, I thought it would be one of the cheaper items to check off the list. It had a questionable u joint (near to the xfer case), so I replaced it, and cleaned and re-greased the other. No surprise, the squeak is still there.

So... my current thought is that it might be one of: a) output bearing on the xfer case, b) input bearing on the 3rd member, c) rear wheel bearings, or outside chance d) something else in the front diff?

I did have some issues long ago with rear axle seals when I was wheeling all the time, but I always took care of them right away, and I haven't had any fluid leaks in over 7 year, and the fluid in the axle is at the correct level. However, if I had to put my money on one of the above, it would be the rear wheel bearings. Does anyone have some tips on inspecting them? Can I simply pull the shafts out and take them to a shop to be changed? I recall reading horror stories about shops not pressing the bearings to the correct position, and the seals/abs ring getting screwed.

I can't completely rule out the double ujoint/cv on the rear drive shaft. I cleaned and put new grease through everything, there is no noticeable play, and they move as freely as the new u joints. I did find double cardan tear down thread on yoda tech, and the R2540 SKU... But I feel like the squeak would have stopped or changed if I had gotten grease on the bad part.

I'm open to other things to check, or methods to pin point the squeak. I've tried the "try to find the hot bearing" test unsuccessfully.

Money is SUPER tight, and the squeak is getting worse to the point where I don't drive more than a few miles at a time, which is a big problem as I will start a new job soon and will be commuting.

Edit - Adding information:
After driving today for a bit, I noticed that it completely stops under braking. Also, if I apply the slightest amount of brake, then I can make it do it on demand... So that circles back to the brakes... The calipers are new in the last year and a half, as are the rotors and pads. I may have the rotors turned this weekend... still open to other thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Brakes is a common source for that noise. Try applying the e-brake alone to see if the noise is from the rear. If its the front, you might have a pad that is dragging or a sticky brake piston.
Brake calipers and pads are new, and I have made sure to apply the appropriate amount of brake grease to the pad backs and pins. I've checked the pads for uneven wear or a contaminate on the pad surface.

I will try testing just the e-brake...
 
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