creaking noise when braking/turning

SilverSaloon

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hi

1994 W124 300TD...

when i brake relatively hard or turn the wheel so the front of the car moves up/down with suspension, i hear a sort of creaking sound coming from around the gearlever area.

any ideas? i've bounced/rocked the car at standstill and hear no strange sounds

thanks

derek
 

roofless

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when you drive the car keep your hand on the gearshift to see if you get any feedback when it makes the noise. i was thinking gearbox mount ect ?
 
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SilverSaloon

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when you drive the car keep your hand on the gearshift to see if you get any feedback when it makes the noise. i was thinking gearbox mount ect ?

will try this on my way home tonight
 

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bottom ball joints are a favorite for this
 
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SilverSaloon

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bottom ball joints are a favorite for this

i tried holding the gearshift but couldnt feel anything strange. i do notice a very slight movement of the gearshift when you accelerate from standstill - cant rememebr if its always done this/if its normal....? its a very slight movement.

i did some more testing - car at a standstill with engine running. if i move the steering left/right i get the sound, aswell as when i put the brakes on i get the sound (when movig slowly).

its a mystery to me - it seems to be coming from the middle of the car... very hard to pinpoint the sound though.

it sounds like leather creaking but its not
 

leeallen73

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i had the same problem with my 1994 w124 e280 it sounds like your front suspension ball joints i also had my front springs replaced
 

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front ball joints would be my guess as if i remember correctly they dont have McPherson struts.(strut top bearings). ive also known similar noises on a w203. just needed suspension bushes given a good coating of silicone lube!
 

wireman

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Ditto I first heard my duff ball joint around the gear selector, maybe its because there is less sound proofing around the only hole in the floorpan.
 
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SilverSaloon

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Classic balljoint symptom

Nick Froome
www.w124.co.uk

thanks.

assuming this is the lower balljoints - is this an easy DIY job with standard tools? or is it a job i should get a garage to do? i plan on towing a caravan in a few weeks so need it done by then i guess
 
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Number_Cruncher

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>>is this an easy DIY job with standard tools?

No - book it into a garage.
 

turnipsock

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Its actually pretty easy to do yourself, if you know what your doing.

I did mine a while ago and there should be a thread about it somewhere.

Basically, support the car on the wishbone, disconnect the strut, bang out the old ball joint, press in the new one...

It would probably take an hour or two.
 
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SilverSaloon

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thanks. i'll take a look for that thread for info, but i've booked it into the garage for next week. I would have a go myself if i had enough info/how-to's etc but i'm due to go on holiday on the friday towing my caravan so need it to be sorted before then and also quite busy getting the van ready for its 1st trip this season.

thanks for all the advice!
 
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SilverSaloon

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Garage has just got back to me..... although they can hear a creak they cant pin point exactly where its coming from. They have checked the ball joints and other suspension parts and there is no noticable issues.

They suggested just leaving it until it gets worse to identify the noise....

i guess this makes sense and they have checked it over and cant see anything dangerously wrong etc.

atleats i know its OK for my trip this weekend. Turnipsock - you say "press in the new one".... do i need a press for this, or can it be sort of wound in as i tighten the bolt? i've never done any suspension/steering work before but if the urgency of the job is gone i may take a look at it myself as the parts are cheap.
 
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Number_Cruncher

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>>i've never done any suspension/steering work before

The advice I gave above was keeping your level of DIY knowledge and skills in mind. I really don't think W124 ball joints are a job for a novice.

Unless the garage really know W124s, it's very easy for them to get the checking of ball joints completely wrong. As the coil spring pushes down on the wishbone - preloading the joint - the normal standard pushing and pulling test with the wheels off the ground *will not* show up even a badly worn ball joint.

As an example, mine passed its MOT, and shortly afterwards (a matter of weeks), when I replaced the ball joint which I knew needed doing, I found a real mess inside the joint - left much longer, and I suspect it would have snapped.
 
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SilverSaloon

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the noise i'm hearing (assuming it is indeed the ball joints) is a sort of leather creaking sound. Only hear it at low speed (ie under 20mph approaching a junction etc) and say a creak every second on and off when applying the brakes or turning around a corner without any brakes.

the garage suggested waiting until the noise is much louder..... my main concern is them breaking.

do they usually (i know there are always exceptions etc) really make a bad noise before they fully fail or is the light creaking as bad as it gets?

i've really run out of time to get another garage to look at it before my trip at the weekend. i've been using it for the last few weeks with the same creak...
 

Number_Cruncher

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It varies. Mine creaked for a few months, and I was very remiss in leaving it so long. However, I've heard of them failing after just creaking once or twice. (Sorry - I know that's not what you want to hear!)

Your symptoms sound like classic ones for a failing ball joint.

One quick check that you can do is to jack the car up, take the wheel off, and disconnect the track rod end. This will allow you to swivel the hub about the steering axis, and feel if the joint is tight. On mine, it moved freely for a few degrees, and then became quite stiff to turn. Obviously, with the gearing in the steering box, you can't really feel this from the steering wheel.

To separate the track rod end, you'll need something like this;

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BALL-JOINT-SP...ryZ30928QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

They make the job much easier!

With your car safely jacked and on axle stands, you can also then use your jack to lift the wishbone a bit (jack as close to the ball joint as possible, but not on the thin matal backing plate of the joint itself), to take the load from the coil spring, then, you'l be able to get a lever in and feel what the joint is doing - there should be absolutely no play at all.
 
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SilverSaloon

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only other option i have really is Kwikfit (or similar) who i assume would be able to replace it there and then, but i guess they would be best avoided as they may do the job wrong on this car?
 

eddiereilly

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strange you mention this as i had all my front suspion done and coils in october along with ball joints and ive just started to hear a squeey noise from my front wheel and only at slow speeds is it the case of just abit lube as i just had new tyres and discs and tracking done 2 weeks ago
 


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