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front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

 
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Old 11 Apr 2012, 04:08 pm
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Angry front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

Hi all, I have an 03 touring edition non turbo(darn) with 17" HD Cool Down wheels(see pic on my profile). I have a severe creaking noise in the front suspension. This is after spending $1400.00 on front suspension work. I've been back to the shop several times but they can't seem to find out what is causing it.
A little history on the work that was done: they replaced the lower control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, sway bar link kits, front struts, rear shocks, upper and lower motor mounts, & did a 4 wheel alignment. The ball joints were not replaced but they looked as though they were fairly new(before I bought the car). I'm the second owner of the car and it has never been wrecked.
A little history on the shop - It is owned by the former service manager of the local Chrysler/Dodge dealer who left the dealership and took the six best technicians with him so they are all certified Chrysler techs(I know, that & a buck gets you a cup of coffee).
I went in the other day and they put it up on the rack and checked the ball joints and tie rods - the whole suspension basically. The only thing they could find was the sway bar links were a little loose(could be due to the new rubber compressing or they just failed to tighten them properly when they installed them). So the car sat there on the lift with the suspension hanging without the weight of the car on it. We then went for a test drive and the noise was gone - completely gone. I left and by the evening the noise was back as bad as ever. It's so loud that when driving in a parking lot at slow speeds, people turn and look to see whats making the noise. I'm going back tomorrow for them to look at it again. Anyone have any suggestions as to what could be causing it? Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. DaDJmon
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Old 11 Apr 2012, 04:20 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

Is it possible that someone has replaced your factory bushings with after-market bushings? I don't exactly remember the brand but I just recently read information on some bushings that, while a bit stiff, worked well but caused incredible squeaking. I've heard of people bathing them in WD-40 time and again to get the squealing down, also heard of people pulling them out and roughing them up with sand paper to get rid of the loud squeaking.

They supposedly work fine, just give you some teeth shattering noises.
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Old 11 Apr 2012, 04:27 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

They told me that most of the replacement bushings came from the dealership but there were 2 (I can't remember which ones) that the dealer was out of and they used moog replacements for them.
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Old 11 Apr 2012, 07:14 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

I ran into a problem with a strut change were the lip of the spring bucket rolled up further than the originals and rubbed the spring and caused a squeak. The sway bar bushing would be my next most likely.
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Old 12 Apr 2012, 02:36 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

It's always been my experience that squeaking from the front end is caused by ball joints or tie-rod ends.

If it squeaks when bounced up and down but not turning the wheel its the ball joints - if it squeaks only when the wheel is turned side to side its the tie rod ends.

Are there grease fittings on them?

Also, I have the aftermarket energy bushings (black) and they don't squeak at all. Can't speak for the moog ones (but they have to be better than the OEM ones) but I doubt they would squeak unless the rubber has seperated from the metal.
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Old 12 Apr 2012, 06:11 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

My guess is the strut mount bearing since the struts have been changed out. If not worn out, maybe it was damaged when they replaced the struts.
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Old 12 Apr 2012, 06:39 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by eightball View Post
It's always been my experience that squeaking from the front end is caused by ball joints or tie-rod ends.

If it squeaks when bounced up and down but not turning the wheel its the ball joints - if it squeaks only when the wheel is turned side to side its the tie rod ends.

Are there grease fittings on them?

Also, I have the aftermarket energy bushings (black) and they don't squeak at all. Can't speak for the moog ones (but they have to be better than the OEM ones) but I doubt they would squeak unless the rubber has seperated from the metal.
I have never heard in my 30+ years working with these cars of all makes, heard a ball joint or tie rod squeak. Greased or ungreased. I'm sure it probably could happen, but have to be rare. Or must be a climate thing.
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Old 12 Apr 2012, 07:43 pm
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

Just for grins and giggles, have you checked to make sure the spare tire bolt is wrenched down ? A flopping spare could make quite a bit of noise and would be dead quiet on a lift. It's probably not the issue, but is very easy to check.
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Old 20 Apr 2012, 05:33 am
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Default Re: front suspension noise - frustrated - need advice

Ok after much frustration and several trips back to the shop, my creaking problem seems to be solved. It was the ball joints creaking. There is no play or loosness in them and it looks like they were replaced at one time. Fortunately there were plugs in them so grease fittings were able to be installed and the joints greased. That was a couple days ago and no noise since. I would have thought that a shop full of "Chrysler techs" would have known to look there first (I can't have the only PT with this problem), but no, they ran up a $1400.00 suspension bill first. Then the kicker is that they charged me another $56.00 to find the noise(which was my original complaint when they did the other work) and to replace the plugs with grease fittings and grease them. I need to find a new shop to do my work. I'm done with this one. Thanks for all the advice. As always this is a great forum. Da DJ Mon
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