Creaking from front passenger wheel area when turning left?

qpalzo

Registered User
Hi there, I've got a 90' SC with about 100k on it and I've run into a strange noise recently. When turning sharply left at low speeds, the car makes a creaking noise. I suspected maybe a tie rod end or something, but the wheel doesn't budge left or right when it's on a lift, so I've ruled that out. The upper control arm/ ball joint was worn and just got replaced, but the creak is still there. Could it possibly be a bushing or something? Wondering if anyone else had a similar issue to me. Thanks!
 
A couple possibility's come to mind.
The strut rod bushings where they attach to front
of the engine cradle (under rad support) E9SZ 3B271 A & E9SZ 3A225 A
or the bolt's attaching rear of engine cradle to the body (cowl) have loosened off
will make noise's simular to what you are describing.

Checking for play in suspension/steering components while the wheels are hanging down( no weight) on a hoist isn't always accurate.
Especially tie rod ends-a lot different angle then when the car is on the ground.
 
Last time I had that, it turned out to be wheel bearing. Ours are a dual row of ball bearings, and are hard to diagnose using typical/older methods of getting the wheel off the ground and checking for slop w/tapered bearings.

List of other things checked/ruled out in the process:
- tie rod ends
- sway bar end links
- front subframe fasteners
- steering rack to cross member bushings/fasteners
- caliper slides

Note that after I replaced the hub/bearing, creaking/snapping continued until the correct torque was confirmed - believe it to be 220 ft. labs.
 
Interesting. It seems like a lot of things can happen to cause a noise like this. Interesting it only seems to happen while moving slowly and turning tightly, like parking and other such scenarios, it doesn't happen when the car is completely stopped. Possibly this points to the wheel bearing? Hopefully not, that's not a fun job. There's no grinding or wobbling or anything at high speed either. Perhaps it's not torqued to the right spec right now either.
 
Additionally it's got rebuilt suspension basically all over, with urethane bushings as well. I'm thinking possibly it's the lower ball joint but the boot doesn't appear to be ripped.
 
Interesting it only seems to happen while moving slowly and turning tightly,
Same symptom that originally grabbed my attention.

Note that steering geometry changes when turning - example would be exaggerated caster would see the tire want to 'lay down' at full lock. That means the wheel bearings are temporarily subjected to higher side loads. But the chatter I think comes from the hub being allowed to move against the retailing spindle nut...load/grab/more load/release~grab again, wash rinse repeat. Only one side at a time, tho, depending on which direction the wheels are turned.
 
Same symptom that originally grabbed my attention.

Note that steering geometry changes when turning - example would be exaggerated caster would see the tire want to 'lay down' at full lock. That means the wheel bearings are temporarily subjected to higher side loads. But the chatter I think comes from the hub being allowed to move against the retailing spindle nut...load/grab/more load/release~grab again, wash rinse repeat. Only one side at a time, tho, depending on which direction the wheels are turned.
Got a quick follow up question for you, how did you come to the conclusion that the bearing had gone? Any signs to look for?
 
Urethane does tend to make noise then stock.
May be normal. I had a simular noise on a 89,
turned out to be sub frame(engine cradle) to cowl
bolts had loosened &/or rubbers shrunk. Torqued them
to spec & noise went away.
 
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