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Unread 08-22-2014, 04:53 PM   #1
VegasMatt
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Persistent front end creaking sound

Iíve been getting a creaking sound which appears to be coming from somewhere in the front end. At times, it sounds almost like clutch chatter (weird since I have an auto), other times like a squeaky spring compressing & unloading in resonance. I find it happens mostly at low speeds around town.

After searching the forums a bit, I greased the front sway bar rubber bushings with white lithium grease, then hit the sway bar end links and the spring perches with WD-40. No change. Nothing appears to be loose and there is nothing else to grease. Any other ideas?

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Unread 08-22-2014, 07:57 PM   #2
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Check to see if the sway bar end links are tight. It took me forever it seems to locate an annoying noise which turned out to be loose links. It happened once on my í08 and twice on my 2012.

Use a wrench to check because just grabbing them wonít tell you much unless they are ridiculously loose.
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Unread 08-22-2014, 08:14 PM   #3
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Don't forget the Trackbar bushings and the lower front shocks bushings-

As 1222 says, check for tightness, ESPECIALLY the shock lower attach bolts)(50/60 FtLbs)-

Good luck

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Unread 08-22-2014, 10:59 PM   #4
matttruj
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I have the same cracking/popping problem on my '08 but mine seems to be coming from the drivers side A pillar or dash
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Unread 08-22-2014, 11:12 PM   #5
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Check your ball joints, hubs and axle shaft u joints.
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Unread 08-22-2014, 11:49 PM   #6
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On a different 4WD, I had a similar noise...turned out to be the springs moving against the spring mounts....I sprayed some WD40 on them occasionally for a quiet ride.
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Unread 08-23-2014, 06:35 AM   #7
megawatt308
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Would you by chance have an aftermarket bumper and leave the shackles mounted on the front. I have seen many shackles make noise and drivers think its the suspension needing lubrication. I was reminded about this since you said.
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Originally Posted by VegasMatt View Post
...I find it happens mostly at low speeds around town....
Remove the shackles or get daystar isolators for them.
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Unread 08-23-2014, 01:47 PM   #8
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Thanks for the ideas all. This morning I checked a few things:

Took off track bar to inspect bushings. Didn't see any that were obviously bad:





I re installed bolts & torqued to spec.

Next, I checked sway bar links, and could not budge any with a wrench. It's hard to get a torque wrench in there without removing the whole assy.

On the sway bar links - on the passenger side link, it appears the PO replaced a flange nut with a regular nut and washer. Unsure if thatís an issue. Pics below:




I also checked lower shock mount bolts. They were good.

Then I had an idea to bounce all 4 corners to see if I could recreate the noise. I was able to recreate the spring creak on the passenger front & driver rear corners. I hadn't previously lubed the rear swaybar bushings, they seem easy enough to get to so i'll give that a try.


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Originally Posted by megawatt308 View Post
Would you by chance have an aftermarket bumper and leave the shackles mounted on the front.
Factory bumper, but i do have a winch + winch mounting plate. The winch hook is secured to the factory tow hook, and doesn't have much play at all.
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Unread 08-23-2014, 03:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBOX View Post
Don't forget the Trackbar bushings and the lower front shocks bushings-

As 1222 says, check for tightness, ESPECIALLY the shock lower attach bolts)(50/60 FtLbs)-

Good luck

JIMBO
This just reminded me about the shocks. I was again having problems with front end noise but as usual was having trouble locating the source until out of dumb luck I found it; the upper shock stem on the pass side was loose from a backed off nut.

On another occasion when I was absolutely sure it was a front spring making noise it turned out to be a bad sway bar link joint, it was tight and all but dry and squeaky and clicked all rolled into one.

I guess the point to all of this is that sometimes the source is where youíd least expect it.
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Unread 08-23-2014, 04:30 PM   #10
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Heh Heh, YUP_


Quote:
Originally Posted by 1222 View Post
This just reminded me about the shocks. I was again having problems with front end noise but as usual was having trouble locating the source until out of dumb luck I found it; the upper shock stem on the pass side was loose from a backed off nut.

On another occasion when I was absolutely sure it was a front spring making noise it turned out to be a bad sway bar link joint, it was tight and all but dry and squeaky and clicked all rolled into one.

I guess the point to all of this is that sometimes the source is where youíd least expect it.
Sometimes it's the wife sitting next to you !

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Unread 08-23-2014, 05:53 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBOX View Post
Heh Heh, YUP_




Sometimes it's the wife sitting next to you !

JIMBO
True enough but the IS expected.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 10:52 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JIMBOX View Post
Heh Heh, YUP_




Sometimes it's the wife sitting next to you !

JIMBO
That is an easy one to diagnose. Remove wife and test drive.....
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Unread 08-24-2014, 11:29 AM   #13
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So first thing today I checked the upper shock mount bolts, they were tight.
Then I checked the lower shock mount bushings, looked good so I retorqued to spec.




Then I took off the sway bar links and think I found the culprit. The side that the PO had used a regular nut in place of a flange nut has a tweaked bushing. The rubber is misshapen and when I put them side by side on the bench you can see how the bushing sticks out. Iím assuming if the bushing is tweaked then the metal has been warped torsionally as well.





Looks like Iím ordering some new swaybar end links and a flange nut.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 01:19 PM   #14
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Glad you found it. I had to remove mine also to confirm it was the culprit.
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Unread 08-24-2014, 03:30 PM   #15
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Way to bird dog it .

Let us know when you replace the swaybar end links if it cures the problem.
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