View Full Version : 94 SC Loud Squeaking in Steering

04-20-2009, 06:07 PM
Even sitting w/o the engine running but with steering lock disengaged, while turning the steering wheel left and right there is a very loud squeaking noise (almost sounds like a rubber type of squeak) that even is felt as a vibration in the steering wheel.

This noise seems to be coming from the passenger side of the vehicle. I added some P/S fluid because it was reading low and the sound went away for a couple of days (it has gone away in the past w/o adding fluid) and then returned. I did notice some fluid on the ground which may have been from overfilling it as it is now reading slightly above the "full hot" mark with the engine shut off. When I first saw the fluid I thought maybe it was a line leaking but that doesn't appear to be the case.

The engine mounts have been replaced a few years ago because the originals had failed. I have also replaced the upper control arms fairly recently as well as the torsion strut bushings on both ends/sides.

I have not yet attempted to tighten the K-member bolts as mentioned in another post but will check them this evening.

Could the rack and pinion make this kind of a noise? I notice the squeak as the wheels travel up and down (i.e. over speeds bumps, etc.) as well, but is very noticeable when turning particularly at slow speeds or at a dead stop with or without the engine running.

Thanks for any and all assistance.

Best Regards,

Ted Allen

04-20-2009, 06:13 PM
Not sure about the rack and pinion - I don't remember mine making any noise. However, the balljoint made quite the noise before it went - especially turning the wheel.


04-20-2009, 06:17 PM
Sounds like tie rod end or ball joints squeeking. Impossible to pinpoint without physically seeing the car. The fact that it does it sitting still with the vehicle off tells me tie rod ends or b-joints. Adding fluid and it going away makes no sense at all if it is though. Unless its just luck of the draw. We could guess all day long though...Not really anything capable of squeeking in the rack. Fluid grunting and pump whine are possible, but not squeeking. Steering shaft yes, rack..no.

04-20-2009, 09:16 PM
There are a couple of bearings in the column itself that might squeak, but you could probably tell if the noise was outside the car or inside.

04-20-2009, 10:45 PM
Time to flush that crrap out. I once replaced the pump and high pressure line and it sounded even worse when I was done. The only thing you need to replace is all the old fluid. It's a messy job, and not fun at all.

Disconnect the low pressure PS line just under the oil filter at the clamp.
Figure out out a way to get a (preferably clear) hose onto it so you can see what you are pumping out. And pump that krap into a bottle or what ever (a gallon size is a good choice), by starting the car, or turning the pump with a drill, or by hand. It takes at lesast two quarts to flush and fill the the system if you know exactly what you are doing and don't waste a drop. Plan on at least 3 quarts in/out if you've never done it before.

Also, the car needs to be on stands so you can turn the wheel from side to side so that all the fluid in the rack gets flushed. As you turn the wheel, different fluid is excreted. Of course you need to be adding fluid from the top during the entire procedure. It's a two or three person operation - seriously.

Good luck man, these cars are an environmental disaster to work on.


04-21-2009, 11:21 PM
I would guess a passenger side Lower Ball Joint. Peace, Gary

04-30-2009, 04:05 PM
I confirmed that it makes at least some of the squeaking noise just by pushing up and down on the passenger front fender.

I was under the car while someone else pushing and releasing the fender to compress/decompress the spring/strut. I could feel vibration in the lower control arm both when turning the wheel and when pushing and releasing the fender to compress/decompress the spring/strut. I had a hard time telling if there was vibration in the shock assembly but I believe there was.

I didn't notice any in the tension strut (I just replaced those bushings about 8 months ago).

I couldn't really find any play in anything with my bare hands. The front wheels were on ramps and the rear wheels on the ground when I checked.

I'm wondering if the strut/coil assembly could be causing the noise and transferring the vibration into the lower control arm where the bottom of the strut/shock assembly connects to it? Or maybe the upper strut/shock mount?

Best Regards,

Ted Allen

04-30-2009, 06:43 PM
I guess it's possible, but I haven't heard a lot of noises from the shock, spring, or shock mount. I would be more inclined to blame the wheel bearings or ball joints. Can you jack up the front end and try to wiggle the wheel and look for vibrations in those areas (upper and lower ball joints, wheel bearing)?

05-01-2009, 11:00 AM
i just replaced brand new worn out nappa premium lower ball joints on a 94 regular v8 t-bird at work, whom ever installed them neglected to grease them after install and they've worn an 1/8" of play in 2 months, made a creeking sound.

05-01-2009, 05:19 PM
I've got almost the same problem like a squeeky noise coming from passenger side and once in a while a banging noise follows it not sure what it is but it's terrible LOL

05-03-2009, 10:56 AM
It should not be the upper control arm/upper ball joint. I replaced it about 3 years ago. I also replaced the hub/bearing assembly about 2 years ago. I'll jack it up instead of using stands and check though.

I do hear some knocking/clunking noises going over rough roads as well. Sounds like they may be coming from both the front and the rear.

I noticed several posts mentioning tightening of subframe bolts to eliminate a lot of noise in some instances. Are these the bolts with the torx/star-shaped heads on them? If not, how do I identify them? Any idea what the torque specification is for them?

If it would turn out to be the lower ball joint making the noise, do you actually have to remove the lower control arm to press out the ball joint or can it be done without removing the lower control arm (i.e. with a ball joint removal tool)?

Thanks for the input!

Best Regards,


05-03-2009, 02:17 PM
the control arms and radius arms should be removed to press them in properly, i've never tried still on the car with a thunderbird before, its not that hard getting the arm out anyways, extra 10 mins a side.

05-03-2009, 02:49 PM
I just got out from under the car and test drove it again. It looks like the majority of the responses suggesting the lower ball joint were correct.

I found a ruptured boot on the passenger side lower ball joint (also on both ends of the link). Since I figure I need to replace both anyway, I sprayed into all 3 boots with Sea Foam penetrating lubricant just to see if I noticed a difference.

I moved the steering wheel lock to lock a few times and then lowered the car off the jack.

Sure enough, the terribly loud creaking/squeaking sound was gone during the test drive. I guess it was pure coincidence that when I topped off the power steering fluid the noise went a way for a few days.

Thanks to all for you input. If I find out that indeed something else was involved, I'll upate the thread.

Best Regards,