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Old 06-16-2010, 01:36 AM   #1
masksqueeze
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Default Right front creak/squeak... IT'S NOT THE SWAY BAR BUSHINGS.

Alright fellas, aside from my sporadic starter problems, my front end has been creaking like MAD. I'm very familiar with the widely known sway bar noises. I replaced the sway bar bushings with poly bushings yesterday, lubed them up nice and good, and torqued the brackets back down to factory specs.

Needless to say, that didn't solve my front end creaks. I put a cloth over the fender and bounced the front, and it's LOUD. We took the wheel off, crawled under, and supported the knuckle with another jack and bounced some more. I can't pinpoint the root cause. I saturated every piece of rubber I could find with the lithium lube, hell, I even tried WD-40. No change.....

This creak is crazy loud. Every bump, even of the slightest and this thing starts to creaking. I'm thinking the shock is bad, but it still holds compression that I can see. The car isn't sagging in the right front as a busted shock would lead. Before I take it to the stealership or order parts I don't need. What's next on the list?
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:13 AM   #2
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A bad shock won't make the car "sag". The weight of the car is supported by the spring, not the shocks. Try removing the shocks one at a time and doing your bounce test.
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Old 06-16-2010, 01:39 PM   #3
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I would look at the ball joints which are non greaseable, or the inner tie rod. Ball joint squeak a more common problem. Good luck!!!!
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:53 PM   #4
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Use a stethoscope or a piece of hose to listen through when you doing your squeak tests. It will help pin point the exact spot.
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:11 PM   #5
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The tie rod is a possibility. I get some pretty bad wobble from the front over 70mph. And the tires are fine.

How do I check to tie rod and ball joint?
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:14 PM   #6
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Have you had an alignment completed recently?
Something about the weight of the car needs to be on the tires when they make the adjustments, otherwise it can squeak.

This happened to me and the car sounded like crap until I had it aligned again (by someone who knew what they were doing).
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Old 06-16-2010, 04:24 PM   #7
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I had the same issue a few weeks ago and I couldn't figure it out. I actually took the front way bar OFF. I said no way it was the sway bar or bushings. Sure enough the noise went away and when I got back home I noticed my end links where loose and I actually didn't have it bolted down correctly. SO I reinstalled and torqued to spec and was gtg So give it a shot take the front sway off and see if the noise is still their. Our shocks are pretty good not sure why we all think it's the culprit at first.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:01 PM   #8
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Default Noise

A arm bushing will make that same noise, and its loud when going over big bumps slow or if you hit the brake fast and it makes the front end dip up and down. You can try spaying some lube on them but want last long if it even helps at all. If thats the problem you will have to replace them.

Good luck.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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All the bushings pass visual inspection. I'm in the process of pulling the shocks out, and swapping in some Monroes to see if that alleviates the noise. Car hasn't been aligned in a while. It tracks straight. I even installed new end links. However, the creak I hear sounds more like a popping/binding sounds then a squeak. I first checked the sway clamps to see if they were torques too tight. I think I'll pull those again and saturate the hell put of them to make sure that's not the culprit.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:58 AM   #10
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Well, as certain as I was...... I found the damned problem.

The sound I was hearing before the new sway bushings was the exact same sounds I heard after installing poly bushings. So I pulled the shocks, bench tested. The pressure was just fine. Inspected anything that moved on the front suspension. Everything was tight. Frustrated at that point.... I pulled the sway bar off and went to town, down the highway.....

All be damned. No more noise.

Such an easy miss, it was stupid. I should have done that the first damn time. I was so sure that the new bushings weren't the problem. I even used the supplied lube that came with them, new endlinks, the lot.

Any clue as to why my sway bar is so noisy? I'm tempted to order the pfadt set, but I've already got $100 in new bushings and end links sitting in the garage floor.

I'm not putting the sway bar back on until I get a better understanding as to whats going on.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:31 AM   #11
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I doubt it's the bushings but is probably the end links. There are dozens of posts on here about people having your problem and sure they got the links tight and it turns out they weren't.

Use a torque wrench and tighten them to 53 ft/lbs.

If you want to be sure on the bushings, remove all the grease and wrap two layers of teflon tape around the contact area. The tape does a better job and will last much longer.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:04 AM   #12
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My car was creaking really bad going in and out of driveways etc. where the car was "cross" loaded (twist). Replaced the sway bar end links F+R and all is well now. The suspension is noticeably tighter also, with no more rattling and rumbling going over bumps. '02Z with lowered stock suspension, I've never had the front sway bar out of the car and it was the front that was making all the noise. Car has +107k miles.

Side note: be careful driving your car around with no front sway bar in it - removing the front sway bar (while leaving the rear sway bar in place) will DRAMATICALLY increase the car's oversteer characteristics... meaning if you swerve to miss something you'll be going backwards before you know it!

EDIT: Try going back to your OEM rubber sway bar bushings and leave the new endlinks in place. Maybe it's your bushings?

Last edited by Blue Angel; 06-17-2010 at 11:07 AM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 11:04 AM
 
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