NEED HELP 2003 Silverado grinding and clunking drivers side

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
Hello! Is this my first post so I apologize If don't know how things around here work.
I have a 2003 Silverado 1500 LS (RWD) and I'm dealing with an issue I haven't yet been able to solve
There is a loud grinding and clunking noise coming from the front drivers side wheel area. At first I thought it was maybe the breaks or rotors, as that's what it sounded like at first. And at first would only happen when pressing on the break. Took it apart and the breaks seemed fine, I replaced them last summer. So I purchased a new rotor and still had the same issue, so I also replaced the breaks. Still, same issue. Now I hear a very loud clunking coming from the area as if something is loose and bumping around, along with the same break grinding noise. Two weeks ago I replaced the hub assembly as well as the outer tie rod so I'm really at a loss. I would appreciate any help as to what it could be
 

TollKeeper

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Dec 3, 2011
7,631
Brighton, CO
Have you checked the rotor back plate/heat shield? I see you are from the rust belt, and those can deform as they rust out, and rub on anything from the rotor, wheel bearing, etc.

You being a 2wd, and this being on the front end.. You have already replaced the rotor, and hub...

After that I am out of ideas, unless its the control arm bushings, which are very prone to going bad after so many years of use.

Now that I think about it, you did say clunking? Check your lower/upper control arm bushings.

Also be sure to check the steering component's. I know some where in there they switched from a standard multilink steering system to a rack and pinion. The standard multilink steering system is quite prone to failure in the pitman arm and idler arm. The rack and pinion is not prone to failures at all.
 

Redbeard

Member
Jan 26, 2013
3,311
Just a suggestion, have someone stand outside the vehicle when you come to a stop (like in empty parking lot). Once in a while we seem to hear something inside the vehicle we would swear comes from the front end of the truck only to find out later the noise actually coming from elsewhere on the vehicle. The "clunking" you hear is often end links or sway bar bushings like azswiss & tollkeeper mentioned, yet the grinding sounds like brakes like you mentioned. Pulling from my poor memory it seemed like I had similar issues with the 2004 TB I had and it turned out to be the REAR brakes making the thumping and grinding noise, but I only heard it when I had the mrs. drive it while I was outside. When I was inside I was betting the noise was from the front, but I was wrong. Another thought is push and pull on the exhaust system making sure it isn't vibrating on you.
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
Have you checked the rotor back plate/heat shield? I see you are from the rust belt, and those can deform as they rust out, and rub on anything from the rotor, wheel bearing, etc.

You being a 2wd, and this being on the front end.. You have already replaced the rotor, and hub...

After that I am out of ideas, unless its the control arm bushings, which are very prone to going bad after so many years of use.

Now that I think about it, you did say clunking? Check your lower/upper control arm bushings.

Also be sure to check the steering component's. I know some where in there they switched from a standard multilink steering system to a rack and pinion. The standard multilink steering system is quite prone to failure in the pitman arm and idler arm. The rack and pinion is not prone to failures at all.
Have you checked the rotor back plate/heat shield? I see you are from the rust belt, and those can deform as they rust out, and rub on anything from the rotor, wheel bearing, etc.

You being a 2wd, and this being on the front end.. You have already replaced the rotor, and hub...

After that I am out of ideas, unless its the control arm bushings, which are very prone to going bad after so many years of use.

Now that I think about it, you did say clunking? Check your lower/upper control arm bushings.

Also be sure to check the steering component's. I know some where in there they switched from a standard multilink steering system to a rack and pinion. The standard multilink steering system is quite prone to failure in the pitman arm and idler arm. The rack and pinion is not prone to failures at all.
Thank you I will definitely look. I have a rack and pinion steering. The bushings are long since worn so maybe that is it. I also forgot to mention it doesn't seem to do it in reverse, only forward and it both high and low speeds
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
Just a suggestion, have someone stand outside the vehicle when you come to a stop (like in empty parking lot). Once in a while we seem to hear something inside the vehicle we would swear comes from the front end of the truck only to find out later the noise actually coming from elsewhere on the vehicle. The "clunking" you hear is often end links or sway bar bushings like azswiss & tollkeeper mentioned, yet the grinding sounds like brakes like you mentioned. Pulling from my poor memory it seemed like I had similar issues with the 2004 TB I had and it turned out to be the REAR brakes making the thumping and grinding noise, but I only heard it when I had the mrs. drive it while I was outside. When I was inside I was betting the noise was from the front, but I was wrong. Another thought is push and pull on the exhaust system making sure it isn't vibrating on you.
It definitely feels like the front but I will have to check. At first I was thinking maybe the hub assembly I bought didn't have grease from the factory and it wore out in the two weeks since install. I also drive a lot for work easily 300 miles a week. I'm hoping it's something minor I will let you know when I figure it out
 
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mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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If your Truck is fitted with the Torsion Bar Suspension... These Torsion Bar Bushings with (4 Nuts & Bolts and an Angle Bracket Mounts per side) can become Real "Clunkers" after a while:

Note: Some "Bracket Removal Techniques" shown below are BETTER than others...


How to Perform the Torsion Bar Brackets & Joints R&R at "Ground Zero":


RockAuto has these Replacement Parts


A Few More Videos describing "The Clunking" Issues:


 
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TollKeeper

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Dec 3, 2011
7,631
Brighton, CO
Him being 2wd, I am pretty sure he has standard coil springs.
 
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Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
Update: I replaced the sway bar link and the issue persists , I'll try to get a video of the sound so you guys can get an understanding of what I'm dealing with
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
How did the sway bar bushings and bushing brackets look? Also, did you inspect the coil springs and seats/insulators?
The bushings and brackets looked solid. Definitely old but not worn to the point where it would cause the truck to clunk. The best way I can explain the noise would be when depressing the breaks, it sounds as if they are grinding like they are worn, but I just replaced them. And when driving it sounds like a rotational clunk almost as if the hub assembly and bearings are locking up. I'm really at a loss cause I just replaced the bearings two weeks ago. I may just return the hub and try that. The quality of replacement parts have gone down in recent years.
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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I'm daft to know why I did NOT think of this before... But years ago, I had a similar experience with my own 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD 1500 near the Right Front Wheel. It was literally making "Crunching, Grinding Noise' that turned out to be caused by a Bad Wheel Hub. On the outside chance that this may be involved with your vehicle, THIS is the Thread that covers that R&R and Image Documented Repair:

 
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Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
I'm daft as to why I did not think of this before... But years ago, I had a similar experience with my own 2003 Chevrolet Silverado 2WD 1500 near the Right Front Wheel. It was literally making "Crunching, Grinding Noise' that turned out to be caused by a Bad Wheel Hub. On the outside chance that this may be involved with your vehicle, THIS is the Thread that covers that R&R and Image Documented Repair:

I'm going to replace the hub assembly today, idk what the issue is cause i already replaced the hub assembly a few weeks ago. I believe they may have gave me a faulty part
 
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mrrsm

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Well ....Damn... There always seems to be 'another place' to LOOK for such Noises:

2002 Chevrolet Silverado... "THERE It IS!"


And using some Under Body Cameras during several Test Drives on a different Truck:

 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
Here's a thought: check the motor mounts. And again, what are the specific conditions when this sound occurs?
There's a slight grinding when I hit the breaks; pads, rotor and hub assembly are new. And when going over bumps, specially round 20 mph, a clunking or thumping sound starts; similar to the sound of a train going down the tracks. And if I press the breaks, the sound stops until I go over uneven road again
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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If there is any chance that the Rear Brakes are involved.... When Brand New after I COMPLETELY replaced the Rear Brakes (and Emergency Drum Shoes as well...) mine looked like THIS:


49432061472_803cd0265e_c.jpg49431837806_dfdd4dd848_c.jpg49431358008_3c15d88094_c.jpg49431357928_ec4363eb88_o.jpg49432061532_eb2c4dd544_c.jpg

BUT... I was able to slip the Old, Raybestos Brake Liners right off of the Old Rusted Steel Brackets Ones with ease... so perhaps THIS is what has happened and they are "clunking" around inside there, hidden underneath the Cast Iron 'Hi-Hat' of the Rotor.

By The Way... A Broken Leaf Spring WILL also make a Helluva Racket whenever the Brakes are applied, too.
 
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azswiss

Member
May 23, 2021
709
Tempe, AZ
Got it. Are the wheels stock (i.e. no offsets, stock backspacing)? How about the calipers; no damage & all bolts tight?
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
I thought it might be the calipers, but they were replaced in 2019 and seem solid. I'm trying to attach a video of the sound and it very much seems to be coming from the drivers front side wheel well
Got it. Are the wheels stock (i.e. no offsets, stock backspacing)? How about the calipers; no damage & all bolts tight?
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts

Couldn't figure out how to upload a video on this side so I resorted to posting a YouTube short of what sound I am dealing with. So you guys can get a general idea
 

mrrsm

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Oct 22, 2015
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Tampa Bay Area
Check all of your Tires for any signs of "Cupping" as that symptom would indicate a completely failed Gas Cylinder in one or more Shock Absorbers:

iu
 

Kgurn1020

Original poster
Member
Mar 2, 2023
26
Massachusetts
UPDATE: brought it to a shop, turns out one of the caliper bolts on the other side of the truck had backed itself out causing the caliper to bounce and clunk against the rotor. Goes to show sometimes it's the littlest things that cause the most headache. Thank you to everyone giving advice I'm sure I'll be posting issues in the future
 
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