Difficulty Troubleshooting suspension creaking
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This is a discussion on Difficulty Troubleshooting suspension creaking within the Suspension & Wheels forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; My front passenger suspension on my 02 wrx (120k miles) started creaking about a month or so ago and is ...

  1. #1
    Registered User sdlocsrf's Avatar
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    Difficulty Troubleshooting suspension creaking

    My front passenger suspension on my 02 wrx (120k miles) started creaking about a month or so ago and is proving extremely difficult to troubleshoot. The creaking/groaning is noticeable during braking, accelerating, turning the wheel (both while moving and stopped), and going over bumps (it is particularly strong while turning and going over a bump, up a driveway for example). The noise is only heard at low speeds. As far as I can tell the car is handling/performing just fine. It just doesnt seem like something I should be just dealing with though, so I am hopeful I can get this figured out in the next week or two before admitting defeat and taking it to a shop.

    My current suspension mods are whiteline sways and endlinks, Koni inserts, group n mounts, and RCE wagons (about 60k miles on all modifications). I have isolated the noise to the front passenger wheel by going over speedbumps at an angle, in addition to the noise being clearly from this area. I disconnected the front sway bar as part of my troubleshooting which had no impact on anything, noise still occurred in all situations. I had a look at the bearings in the Group n mounts and they seem to be rotating smoothly and are not sticking when turning the wheel. Though I never put a cover on top of the group n mounts to keep dirt from getting in due to the adjusters sticking up preventing the stock cover from fitting. Is there a way I can clean this out, regrease, and then cover up somehow? Does it seem like this could be causing the issue? Picture below...
    Attachment 101927

    Is it possible the springs against the group n rubber are squeaking? would it be a dumb idea to put some lithium grease on the springs where they meet the top mount?

    I checked the wheel bearing, there is no play in the wheels... Also people describe that as a much different noise so I don't think that's the case.

    I replaced the brakes in front as they needed to be done anyway and this had no improvement on the creaking.

    I checked the CV boots, no tears in the boots or leaking from the boots, however there is some grease and gunk buildup where the axle meets the transmission on one side. Could this be causing my issue? Should I look at replacing the axle regardless of whether this is causing the creaking? Pic of clean and dirty sides of transmission below. Attachment 101928Attachment 101929

    Could this be an issue in my steering column? The boots on the steering column are not leaking or ripped, but they are certainly looking a bit "dry". I had my wife turn the wheels full lock to full lock a few times with the car jacked up and heard no noises. After doing this the car shuddered when turning the wheel at low speeds a few times, but that issue went away quickly.

    Any help would be appreciated. I am at my wits end trying to get this figured out and am concerned if I take it to a mechanic they will just throw parts at it till it goes away or till my money is all gone.

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    I had a similar sound, but it was more of a knocking sound, especially when going into reverse.... After hours of looking and changing things it turning out to be my Suspension top mounts. I changed them and it disappeared instantly, but after 6 months or so it come back!!! I'm now running coilovers cause the Tein springs I had on my standard shocks were taking out my top mounts!!!

    Hope that's helps

    Dan


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    Registered User sdlocsrf's Avatar
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    Appreciate the response. I had read that that could be a possibility, but the Group N mounts are supposed to be pretty durable and well matched to the RCE springs, so it has me surprised that they would have gone out after 60k miles with no track days. I will have to take a closer look at them.

    Does anyone know of an isolated way to test the mounts specifically?

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    I have just one mod in common so that should narrow it down. Only one mod in fact.

    When I installed my Whiteline sway bars, I had the same squeaking sound that occurs exactly like you describe it.. No matter how much I lube it up with grease, it returns after a while. Those poly bushes are really squeaky!

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    Registered User Annihilator817's Avatar
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    It may not be suspension related. These cars make a lot of groaning and creaking between the unitbody and chassis and body panels. You might be chasing this noise for a very long time.


    That's my guess since you say its happens more so when the chassis twists.
    Good judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

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    Registered User teflon_jones's Avatar
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    I'd guess it's the strut since it happens under all those different scenarios.
    Scott
    Past Subies - '11 STI Limited stage 1+ and '04 STi stage 2+
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    Registered User slowdown's Avatar
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    Hate to bring up an old thread but I just did my Whiteline sway bar and endlink install yesterday and noticed the low speed knocking too. Car is handling great though - just the knocking.

    After doing research it sounds like it could be a number of things. Going to call the shop and see what they say?????

    Any solid leads?
    2012 WRX 5 door WRB

    Protune, Cobb Airbox, Cobb DP, SPT Exhaust, Short throw, DBA 4000 slotted rotors, Hawk Racing Pads, Goodridge lines, Whiteline front and rear bars and endlinks.

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    Registered User sdlocsrf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slowdown View Post
    Hate to bring up an old thread but I just did my Whiteline sway bar and endlink install yesterday and noticed the low speed knocking too. Car is handling great though - just the knocking.

    After doing research it sounds like it could be a number of things. Going to call the shop and see what they say?????

    Any solid leads?
    I never did figure out what was up with the suspension on my bugeye. I ultimately decided it wasn't a big enough deal to keep worrying about. The engine on the car died a few months later so it became a moot point as I chose to sell the car rather than replace the short block.

    I did confirm in my diagnosis that my issue was NOT the sway bars. This was done by disconnecting the sways and carefully driving around. Even with the sways disconnected the car still made the noise. There are many reasons your sways could be creaking and clunking. There are also tons of threads discussing sway bar issues. Assuming proper parts were used and the parts were installed correctly, that the usual cause is insufficient lithium grease on your bushings or your bolts not tight enough.

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