Front end noise. Advice needed

Discussion in 'Stock Suspension + Bolt On Kits' started by HighSierra86, May 17, 2017.

  1. HighSierra86

    HighSierra86 Newbie

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    Hello everyone,

    I've been reading these forums for years and have benefited greatly from all the ideas and information posted. So thank you.

    I have since found a problem that is driving me crazy. Have had many gmt400s as well as the gmt800s and never experienced this same noise. I have a 96' 2500hd 4x4 with a front end noise i have been chasing for years now.

    Front left has a loud clanking/rattle that comes with hitting any imperfections in the road surface at any speed. Sounds like the plastic center cap is loose and rattling around but I have ruled out that is the actual source of the noise.

    I have replaced the shocks with three different brands and each time this eradicates the noise for about a year or 5,000 miles. I kept telling myself this was an issue of poor quality shocks but now I'm not so sure. Everything in the front end appears to be tight, both on the ground and on jack stands.

    If this truly is a shock issue what would be causing the rapid failure? Truck is overweight with a loaded utility body so Im sure that doesn't help.

    I would appreciate any further hints or ideas. I'm really at a loss with this one.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Biggershaft96

    Biggershaft96 Resident 4l60e killer

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    What do your control arm bushings look like? Those can make the suspension make some weird noises. Are your cv shafts worn out? If your truck has the torsion bars turned up to level it could be trying to over extend the shock when you go over bumps. I pulled a shock in half before i realized i needed extensions.
     
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  3. df2x4

    df2x4 Domestics only.

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    What he said.

    Also what brand shocks have you tried? IMO Bilsteins are the only way to go.
     
  4. LostX

    LostX Newbie

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    Most likely cause is a small gap between where the shock bolts go into the shocks. Try swapping out the metric bolts with the next marginally larger SAE bolt that will still fit into the shock mounts.

    I had the same front end noise and this is how I fixed it, the problem is from that the aftermarket shock mounting holes being a very slightly larger diameter.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  5. LostX

    LostX Newbie

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    Also before you do that id suggest removing both shocks from the front and driving it around the block, then let us know if the noise is gone.
     
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  6. Biggershaft96

    Biggershaft96 Resident 4l60e killer

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    I didnt think about that, thatd be a great way to tell if its the shocks.
     
  7. HighSierra86

    HighSierra86 Newbie

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    Thank you for all the above replies...exactly what I was looking for!

    Stabilizer links are good. LH side is new, which i did re-tighten yesterday to eliminate that as a possibility as well. Control arm bushings on that side are near new as I replaced them along with the arm a short while ago.

    The torsion bars have been leveled out which could over extend the shocks as you say causing the rapid failure rates I've been seeing. When you mention extensions are you referring to a longer shock or is there actually an extension bracket/bushing available?

    I will also try removing them to double check the noise as well as up-sizing the bolts to an SAE size. There does seem to be some noise at the top of the shock when I shake it by hand, so that could be the culprit...

    I have tried Monroe gas shocks, Rancho RS5000's, and Im now on to a set of Billstein 4600's following the advice from this site. I will say the Billsteins have lasted longer than any of the others so far.

    Thank you again for the help and Ill will post my findings as soon as I have the time to work on the truck.

    -Nick
     
  8. wheelman

    wheelman Newbie

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    what about your steering linkage.down to your rag joint.changed any of that out.i learned that you change the rag joint even if it looks.like it aint broke.if you have never changed it change it..if it is old.they get weak and sloppy..
     
  9. HighSierra86

    HighSierra86 Newbie

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    Per usual the advice found on this forum has been of great help.

    I checked the top shock mounts and found there was play in both the shock and the mounting holes in the frame. I up-sized from metric to 1/2" SAE bolts which fit much better.

    I had noticed movement here before, but didn't think it was enough to cause the noise. Plus I had no reason to assume the factory sized bolts were in fact too small.

    The noise is completely gone and I can now drive around without it sounding like my poor truck is falling apart!

    Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

    -Nick
     
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