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Need help diagnosing a suspension noise

Discussion in 'Brakes' started by mntb, Jun 12, 2016.

  1. mntb

    mntb Well-Known Member

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    Admins, please move to the correct forum, thank you. My apologies.

    I'm looking for some guidance on how to track down a noise and how to diagnose/fix it.
    I'm getting a creaking noise from the front driver's side wheel well when I enter or exit our TB. And/or the suspension makes any up/down travel at slower speeds.
    When rocking the TB side to side, the sound seems to be come from somewhere in the upper suspension. While rocking the TB side to side and placing my hand on various parts, I can feel a vibration coming from maybe the top of the steering knuckle. Maybe the upper ball joint? But I can feel vibration in coming from where the upper control arm mounts to the body and the strut assembly. I tried spraying pb blaster on various parts but never stopped the vibration or noise.
    Also, the TB does pull to the left slightly and the inside edge of both front tires are showing excessive wear (almost completely smooth) and the top of both front tires look to be leaning in.
    With high mileage (293,xxx miles) I know parts are going to need to be replaced. At this mileage I'm thinking a suspension rebuild is probably due. But I can't afford to do it all at once. I will have to do it piece by piece.
    But for now I need to find what is causing the noise and tire wear and fix that first.

    Any ideas on what could be causing the pulling, noise, vibration, and tire wear?

    Any insight, tips, and/or advice is greatly appreciated.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2016
  2. djthumper

    djthumper Administrator

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    Admin Post
    If you are getting unusual wear I would look at the bushings. Or take it in for an alignment and let them tell you what the problem is.
  3. Sparky

    Sparky Moderator

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    Very possible the upper arm bushings are shot. We just worked on another member's truck with half the miles and his passenger side upper arm bushings are totally ripped and worn out (arm just flops around). New upper arms with bushings preinstalled are under 40 bucks.

    Does the upper ball joint have a zerk fitting? If so, try squirting some grease into there. My tie rod end made a nasty creaking noise when it wasn't fully greased (oops).

    Otherwise, take the wheel off, remove the upper pinch bolt holding the knuckle to the upper arm (15mm), tap the arm upward to free the joint from the pinch bolt (careful of the weight of the spindle!), and see if the ball joint and/or the upper arm bushings are either really rough or really loose/floppy.

    The lean-in could just be from a bad alignment. After you check/replace the bushings/joints get it aligned.
    Matt likes this.

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