Kenmore/LG washer grinding, can't find source (UE code also)

I have a Kenmore/LG front loader HE washer, about 7 years old (I don't think it's the device I picked but it doesn't matter). It's been making a grinding noise, and I thought it had draining problems (more on that later). It kept stopping at "UE" (for unbalance) EVEN WHEN EMPTY. The grinding noise, FYI, happened during agitation and spin cycles.

So...I replaced the drain pump, put it back together (with a few extra screws left over...oops?) and it still made the noise and stopped (on an express cycle, empty).

I thought maybe the bearings were making the noise, but if you reached in and spun the drum it was smooth and fast (and spun several times before stopping). I tried moving the drum around to see if the bearings were giving out, and the movement was the normal minimal amount.

So maybe there's a foreign object in between the drum and the plastic housing around it? I took the whole thing apart. No foreign objects found. Bearings spin great, no movement on the inside if I try manipulating them. No rust coming out of them. They look normal to me.

The whole thing looks new on the inside, clean, with only some corrosion on the back side of the drum, but not out of control. The motor seems fine too.

Disclaimer I am no maintenance expert, so take my assessments with a grain of salt. Do I replace the bearings? $50 for the set. Not unreasonable, but before I do that I'm wondering if anything else could be the problem. How long should they last?

ANY ideas? Thanks guys!!!

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@yomamasapajama what is the complete model number of your washer? the UE code is for uneven load so that would correspond with your grinding noise.