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clunking, rattling, creaking noise front suspension

I've had this clunking noise in my front suspension for the past few years and have just ignored it (because I couldn't figure out what's causing it). But it's gotten

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Old 02-05-2015, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default clunking, rattling, creaking noise front suspension

I've had this clunking noise in my front suspension for the past few years and have just ignored it (because I couldn't figure out what's causing it). But it's gotten worse and now I'm at the point where I would do anything to really find out what it is and fix it!

So the noise sounds like it's coming from the front left suspension. It happens only during slow speeds (like driving around the parking lot) and most of the time when I turn the wheel or going over bumps or up and down driveways. It's a clunking noise / creaking most of the time and sometimes it's like a rattling noise.

When I jack the car up and put a jack under the lower control arm, I can replicate the noise by slowly jacking it up (and compressing the spring). The noise feels an sounds like it's coming from the lower control arm. But exactly where and why is it making the noise? All bolts are tight and nothing is hitting or rubbing against anything else. It just makes a clunking/ creaking/ type of a noise.

I replaced the sway bar end links with SPL units, just replaced the ball joints on the SPC control arms (b/c one of them was bad). Noise is still there. I'm running Eibach springs, Hotchkis sway bars and he SPC control arms.

Any ideas? Or any recommendations on a shop that can get to the bottom of this? I've taken it to 2 different places already and no one knows for sure. It's pretty frustrating.

The thing it reminds me of is when I had my 240sx and had the same noise and it was a bad TC Rod bushing. What would be a corresponding part in the Z?

Any help would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.



Any ideas?
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The bushings that mount the sway bar to the frame. Wrap the sway bar where the bushing goes with teflon tape, and grease the bushings with silicon grease.
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Old 02-05-2015, 07:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The bushings that mount the sway bar to the frame. Wrap the sway bar where the bushing goes with teflon tape, and grease the bushings with silicon grease.
wow, I hope you're right and it's that easy. thanks. i'll give it a try and post what I find.
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Old 02-05-2015, 08:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Check the top of the strut, ensure bolt is tight. Any play there will radiate to the bottom. Spindle. Its a sealed bearing, make noises when hitting road bumps. Steering end links could be bad.
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Old 02-05-2015, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The bushings that mount the sway bar to the frame. Wrap the sway bar where the bushing goes with teflon tape, and grease the bushings with silicon grease.
yep for the clunks and creaks. for the rattles check your endlink.
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Check the top of the strut, ensure bolt is tight. Any play there will radiate to the bottom. Spindle. Its a sealed bearing, make noises when hitting road bumps. Steering end links could be bad.
I checked the top of the strut - all is good there. The steering end links seem ok as well. How do I check the bearing in the spindle?
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:58 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My lock nuts on my SPL links were bad. I went to Lowes and bought some new ones and lubed the ball joint on the link with lithium grease. No issues to report.

SPL Front End link Problem
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Old 02-06-2015, 12:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default clunking, rattling, creaking noise front suspension

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Originally Posted by 14BlackCherry View Post
My lock nuts on my SPL links were bad. I went to Lowes and bought some new ones and lubed the ball joint on the link with lithium grease. No issues to report.



SPL Front End link Problem


I'd suggest not using the Lithium grease, but use some teflon dry lube. Grease will attract and hold a lot of dirt and cause a lot of wear.
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Old 02-06-2015, 09:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I checked the top of the strut - all is good there. The steering end links seem ok as well. How do I check the bearing in the spindle?
Get tire off the ground and pull on it. You will feel it if bearing is bad. It will pop a lot. To check ball joints slide a crow bar under tire and pull up. You here popping your ball joints are bad.
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Old 02-06-2015, 10:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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To check the wheel bearings and ball joints. Put a jack under the lower control and raise the tire off the ground. Grip the tire at the top and bottom with your hands. Try to move the tire by pushing and pulling. It helps if you have someone watch the back of the tire. The tire should have no movement. Now grip the tire at the 3 o:clock and the 9 o:clock position. Now do the same thing. Pushing and pulling. This will check up the tie rod end. For the ball joint. Put a bar under the tire and lift. Have someone watching the joints. Should be no movement. If it's bad. you may get a pop.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Noise problem fixed! It turns out that the noise was coming from the endlinks where the bolt connects to the sway bar. I just lubed with lithium grease and tightened it down really good and the noise went away completely. It was already torqued to spec before, but I guess it just needed to be tightened even more than what the specs call for. Thanks 14BlackCherry for the tip!
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TreeSemdyZee View Post
I'd suggest not using the Lithium grease, but use some teflon dry lube. Grease will attract and hold a lot of dirt and cause a lot of wear.
I have not noticed any accumulation of dirt yet, but then again I drive my car only maybe 1-2x a month. This winter I think I pulled it out of the garage maybe 5 times and that was literally just to park it on the driveway. I can't wait for autocross season to begin!
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:44 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Noise problem fixed! It turns out that the noise was coming from the endlinks where the bolt connects to the sway bar. I just lubed with lithium grease and tightened it down really good and the noise went away completely. It was already torqued to spec before, but I guess it just needed to be tightened even more than what the specs call for. Thanks 14BlackCherry for the tip!
Glad you got your issue fixed. I hated the sound of that clunking on my car.
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Old 02-27-2015, 03:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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ok, so it looks like it's fixed *mostly*. As far as street driving, it's fine. No more noises at low speeds in parking lots, going up and down driveways, etc. BUT at last weekend's auto-x, it was clunking under load. In the tight first gear corners. I don't think it'll be a problem at the track as there are no turns on a track that tight and slow. And the noise only comes on in really tight, slow corners under extreme lateral load, and mostly while on the brakes and turning.

I made sure everything is tight. But the problem I think is that the bolt that goes through the hole in the sway bar is not exactly the same diameter (it's a bit smaller than the hole), which causes a tiny bit of free play so under load, it moves around just a tad bit, but enough to cause the clunking noise.

I'm just glad it doesn't do it on the street anymore, but still, it'd be nice to have a permanent, all time fix for this.

Anyone else have noise problems at auto-crosses? Or during hard cornering (high lateral loads)?
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Old 02-27-2015, 05:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
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