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excessive "creaking"


dtro's Avatar
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02-27-02, 07:22 PM   #1  
excessive "creaking"

1998 Olds Bravada 4.3 litre. The last couple of days I've noticed excessive "creaking" from the drivers side front wheel. I can mimic it if I rock the vehicle back and forth, except then it is more like a loud clicking. My guess is a balljoint or bearing. Any thoughts or suggestions to try to locate the problem.
Thanks much

 
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02-28-02, 03:29 AM   #2  
Joe_F
Jack it up and grab the wheel. Do you feel any play? Might have a worn suspension bushing too.

 
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03-17-02, 06:42 PM   #3  
I couldn't find any play in the wheel. When I pushed down on the front end it would creak only on the way back up. I couldn't find that the shock absorber was leaking at all. I greased the fitting on the back side of the rotor. I believe that is the ball joint right? Anyway it seems to have stopped the creaking. It was quite loud. Could that have been the only problem. Does this seem right, or might it be the shock?
Thanks for any help

 
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03-18-02, 03:26 AM   #4  
Joe_F
Could be if the noise has gone away.

How many miles? Do the shocks feel spongy? How many times does the truck rebound back after you bounce on it? If more than twice, pitch the shocks they are goners.

 
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03-18-02, 08:19 AM   #5  
rickwhoo
also check the control arm bushings.

 
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03-18-02, 12:12 PM   #6  
Ball joints

Do you have a shop manual? There are tests that you can do for checking the ball joints. Don't forget we have rubber bushings in place of metal greaseable ones today.

Are you checking for the noise by putting your hand on different parts? While some one else pushes up and down on car for you.

A shock can make this noise. Yes if you drive on smooth roads most of the time, and then you bounce it up and down farther than normal it stops.

 
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03-18-02, 02:26 PM   #7  
I can't get it to make noise anymore after I greased the fitting. That's good I guess. Now I will have to see if it comes back after time.
Thanks for all the replies.

 
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03-18-02, 10:40 PM   #8  
Ball joints are a common ailment to this vehicle - we've replaced them with as little as 10k on them. More than likely it was a sharp "snap" you were hearing? Kinda common on a lube-neglected ball joint. In order to check these out properly, you need to lift the vehicle up by the lower control arm as close to the wheel as possible ( OK let me rephrase that - place your jackstands at the outer most portion of the control arm nearest the center of the wheel) That sway bar bracket by the wheel (this vehicle only) is perfect. You cannot check these correctly if you lift by the frame as it puts tension on the suspension and you wont get the real condition of the suspension.
Now have somebody look at the ball joints(or you) while you (or the other person) is on the side of the vehicle facing the wheel. Grasp the tire at the six o'clock position with one hand and twelve o'clock with the other. Pull on the bottom and push at the top simultaineously. Then push at bottom and pull at top. Don't be afraid to use your muscles. What we are looking for is movement of the ball joints side to side. Good ball joints should not move side to side. Some people put a long bar under the bottom and lift up and see movement and automatically condemn the ball joints. Fact is some will move up and down nearly 1/8" and still be in tolerance.
Now that I think about it, you may want to try moving it up and down as when they creak or snap what happens is they ball stud wears through the bearing surface and gets "stuck" in the housing. It's trying to rotate on a surface it wasn't designed to.
If you follow the methods above, you may be surprised by how far you can get the tire to move. With it lifted, also move wheel at three and nine o'clock position to check commonly failing idler and pitman arms and the tie rod ends.
If it was the ball joint you greased and the noise went away, ball joint is the problem. You gave it a temporary fix. I'd bet a dollar they are bad. I work at GM-Toyota dealer and see quite a few bad front end parts on these. Most cars have a weak points and this one is the ball joints,idler arm and pitman arm.
Uh, have you replaced your leaking oil cooler lines lately? (oops, another sore on these)

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03-19-02, 06:03 AM   #9  
Joe_F
Good advice. Very true .

I would think at such low mileage, GM would eat ball joints on this one .

Does www.alldata.com have anything to say about this problem?

 
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03-19-02, 04:54 PM   #10  
I have replaced many of these under warranty. Warranty is 3yr/36k on this one so warranty is gone unless problem noted to dealer before warranty expired- (extended warranty maybe?). With Olds getting phased out, warranty on new ones are 5yr/60k.
Just kinda the nature of the beast. The '02 models are a sweet unit, though. Just hafta see what its sore spots are.

I did find this TSB at work:

Info - The Importance of Chassis Lubrication #00-00-90-001
The Importance of Chassis Lubrication
2001 and Prior Passenger Cars and Trucks

An Explanation of Required Lubrication
It is important to note that many General Motors trucks and sport utility vehicles do not have the "lubed for life" suspension systems that are becoming common on the passenger cars. It is vital to the longevity of the suspension components that proper lubrication be received at the specified intervals. Extra attention should be given to the ball joints to assure they receive regular greasing.

A Visual Inspection is Not Enough
Many combinations of grease fittings and sealed components may be found on the chassis of General Motors vehicles. The lubrication required for each vehicle can be located in the Maintenance and Lubrication sub-section of General Information in the Service Manual. This section outlines all lubrication required for the vehicle and also provides chassis diagrams of grease points. Please refer to the maintenance schedule for the recommended service intervals.

Not much info but it seems most that fail were not lubed as required.

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03-19-02, 05:13 PM   #11  
I don't have the subscription to the all data but one of the sb's is: "explanation of loud noise from front end" Just wondering if anyone could tell me the explanation. Also maybe the ball joints should be replaced. Any ballpark figure on labor and parts??

 
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03-19-02, 08:03 PM   #12  
DTRO,
Give me the bulletin number and I can get you the info. I didn't find it on the free side of Alldata(not a member(too many websites, not enough time!)) I will check on prices from our dealership to give you a ball park figure. I work at a GM dealer, but if this isn't a warranty job, MOOG is the ONLY brand I personally would put in my vehicle.

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03-20-02, 07:39 AM   #13  
Joe_F
Moog is good. Federal Mogul owns them and TRW now.

As for warranties, just because it's a 3/36 doesn't mean GM won't eat if you speak loud enough (goodwill warranty ).

Saturn ate the A/C compressor on my 93 SL2 after warranty and my griping/research .

 
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03-20-02, 03:29 PM   #14  
Sorry the TSB I was referring to was "explanation of driveline clunck" N/A to me I guess. The sound is more like high pitched duck call, and only sounds on the way up if I push down on the front end. Calling local garage now. Thanks for all the help.
Darren

 
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03-22-02, 08:15 AM   #15  
redneck
Fishpounder, Yea what is up with those oil cooler lines? My '98 GMC Z71 had them replaced at 18,000 under warrenty, now truck is off warrenty and they are starting to seap oil again! Also, are ball joints, pitman arm, and tie rod ends a problem on the fullsize trucks? I am asking because I have been having problems for the last 20,000 miles with alignment/tire wear. Truck has 50,000 on it and last alignment with new tires shop said front end parts were worn--I think there full of it, the truck is very tight and I can't produce any movement from any parts. I think over half of these alignment shops have their head up their ___!, and try to cover up poor quality alignment with excuses for tire wear! PS, went out this morning to a puddle of Dexcool under it! It is always something when warrenty is up! Can't find the leak coolant is coming from just above fuel pump area(the spot where there would have been a fuel pump if it was machanical) and running down the block and dripping off the oil pan! Doesn't look like a water pump(usually coolant is slung all over the inside of the pulley) Oh well I'll find it when it gets worse!!

 
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