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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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Horrible Frontend Squealing

Back story -

A few months ago I began to feel a vibration and hear squeaks and rattles coming from the front end. Upon inspection I found that one of the front coils was broken so I replaced the front and rear shocks and struts. The ride smoothed out a bit, but I was still getting some rattles and the squeak was getting worse.

Fast forward to last week and the squeak was almost unbearable as shown in the video. Please do yourself a favor and turn up your speakers as loud as the can go.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2SDfIVkYRA
I ended up replacing the uppers, lowers and swaybar endlinks to get rid of the squeal and the old bird is getting aligned as we speak.

I read quite a few posts on here prior to tackling the job and I think the best description of the noise was Dora speaking to the whales in Finding Nemo.

-1997 Thunderbird LX

-Gold digger, "Most of the guys I have dated drive an Escalade."

-Me, "This isn't a date"
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 12:35 PM
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Your right it did sound like a whale Welcome to the boards

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 12:55 PM
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Hey, Ive been trying to track down a similar problem on a 1995 Supercoupe. Only the Passenger side front wheel makes the Same squeaking sound when the wheel is turned ..
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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I'm not sure if it was the lower control arm, sway bar bushings or endlinks. It's really not that tough, but you may need a lot of leverage to break the swaybar to lca nut loose. I tried to tackle the passenger side without pulling the shock/strut out, but found that it was easier once removed. Good luck with it.

-1997 Thunderbird LX

-Gold digger, "Most of the guys I have dated drive an Escalade."

-Me, "This isn't a date"
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 11:11 PM
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so is it fixed? I wasn't sure reading the response. But i would check the bushings in the strut tower. And when u say you replaced lowers... do u mean, lower control arm bushings, ball joint, or the entire lower control arm?

Also under what circumstances does it make noise, can u cause it to happen intentionally?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 12:42 AM
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Yeah I wasnt following that post either ... I am trying to track down a similar sounding squeak/grinding/groan on a customer's car that I only get to work on every 2 or 3 months or so ..

It usually makes the sound when the wheel is being turned. The car also has had pretty much EVERY piece of suspension replaced - except for the spindles, and the Rack and pinion ... I had previously thought I tracked it down to loose brake pads on the caliper, seemed like they were shifting when the wheel turned .. but that didnt turn out to be the case. I am thinking Rack and pinion since thats the only thing I havent replaced .. doesnt help that the car is Lowered either ..

Still looking, if you have a better idea .. let me know.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 09:30 AM
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not that i expect you to list everything that has been replaced but it would help.

Have you tried spraying dry graphite on suspect parts? It may help.


The only thing i can think of is if it squeaks when turning look for parts that pivot. Such as swaybar Endlinks, strut rod bushings, upper ball joint etc.

Its been said before and proven to be true each time. Dont waste your money on cheap suspension parts from napa, AZ, or Pep boys they never work right. Go with O.E.

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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry for the confusing post. I replaced the following parts;

Shock/Strut
Upper Control Arm
Lower Control Arm
Swaybar End Link
Swaybar to LCA bushing.

The noise did not go away until I replaced:
Lower Control Arm
Swaybar End Link
Swaybar to LCA bushing

The other parts were replaced due to a broken coil on the shock and worn ball joint on the UCA. I replaced the entire uca and lca due to ease of installation. My guess would be that it was lca ball joint or the swaybar end link because the boots were dry rotted. Im sure there was some rust or rocks stuck in the ball joints causing the noise due to the salt/gravel mix thrown on the roads in the winter.

SCT, get your customer's car up on a lift and have someone turn the wheel. You should be able to hear where the noise is coming from. I'm sure you have already done that, but it's worth a shot to pinpoint where the problem is.

-1997 Thunderbird LX

-Gold digger, "Most of the guys I have dated drive an Escalade."

-Me, "This isn't a date"
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FWT View Post

SCT, get your customer's car up on a lift and have someone turn the wheel. You should be able to hear where the noise is coming from. I'm sure you have already done that, but it's worth a shot to pinpoint where the problem is.
Sounds like everything I replaced .. they were not OEM parts, mostly from Supercoupeperformance.com - customer insists.

The problem is .. it only made the sound ONE TIME when I had the car at the shop .. its one of those problems that goes away when you have a mechanic look at it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 01:36 PM
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I always told customers... and friends "If it doesn't happen when i look at it take notes when it does. Be very detailed"

I would suggest the same to you. Time, Temp, Was the car warmed up, how fast were you going, weather, location., uphill, downhill, accelerating, cruising, stopped. etc
Like the customer says "usually happens when turning" does it happen anyother time?

Its Just so you may have a shot of recreating the sound. All those small detail matter because i can not tell you how many times it turned out to be road conditions or silly things the owner was doing. Not necessarily squaeks but driving issues nonetheless

Forgive me When i sound like i have A.D.D.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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What happens if the car is on the ground and you turn the wheel? I guess mine came and went when it was on a jack.

-1997 Thunderbird LX

-Gold digger, "Most of the guys I have dated drive an Escalade."

-Me, "This isn't a date"
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 03:48 PM
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if it can only happen when the tires are on the ground it might need to be under load. Which is probably lower ball joints...

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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frst4.6 View Post
I always told customers... and friends "If it doesn't happen when i look at it take notes when it does. Be very detailed"

I would suggest the same to you. Time, Temp, Was the car warmed up, how fast were you going, weather, location., uphill, downhill, accelerating, cruising, stopped. etc
Like the customer says "usually happens when turning" does it happen anyother time?

Its Just so you may have a shot of recreating the sound. All those small detail matter because i can not tell you how many times it turned out to be road conditions or silly things the owner was doing. Not necessarily squaeks but driving issues nonetheless
Yeah I know .. I really pick their brains and then top it off with a little more knowledge and things to look for ..

Problem is sometimes I have a language barrier with certain customers .. they dont speak english as well as you and I do, so sometimes things are lost in the translation.

Yeah it only makes the sound under load, not up in the air .. on that note, I remember the nuts for the ball joints on the LCA's were not the Nylon locking type and I was not impressed by their overall quality ..
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCTbird1994 View Post
Hey, Ive been trying to track down a similar problem on a 1995 Supercoupe. Only the Passenger side front wheel makes the Same squeaking sound when the wheel is turned ..
That's a bad wheel bearing. BTDT.

If you do rears, don't bend or break the knuckle with the press.

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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 10:48 PM
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maybe you've heard of this trick or not but wiggle the wheel up and down (lifted off the ground of course) any kind of play is a sign of bad wheel bearings
Wiggle left or right is steering

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