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New leaf springs. Still has a rubbing noise


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2011 Sierra, 4x4, 5.3.  Passenger side leaf spring was squeaking real bad for quite some time, when driving over uneven ground.  I put up with it for a few months, sprayed it, oil, etc.  I eventually had the dealership replace both side for $900+.  Ugh.  They said both sides should be replaced to assure a level truck.  That made sense.  So I had it done.  The issue now is I still have a small squeak.  Its really more of a grunt sound when the body flexes over uneven ground, or when I step on the step bar to get out of the truck.  Its not a high pitch "squeak".  Though its 90% better than the old spring(s) there's still a noise there.  They replaced shackles too, I think.  I asked the dealer about what could be done and was told nothing other than maybe they could spray something on it -- which is what I had done myself on the old spring.  But what I don't get is why a new GM spring would not be quiet.  Any recommendations?

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A guy (he says he was an mechanical engineer) told me a story once about the Pontiac T-1000 and the Chevy Chevette. The problem was with a noise during a turn every time you went right (or left it doesn't matter for your purposes) around a street corner there was a popping sound. The Chevy/Pontiac dealers couldn't figure it out, the GM engineers couldn't figure it out. The guy says a mallet blow to the floor pan (where you rest your feet) would stop the noise, he wouldn't tell them unless they paid him X dollars... because the floor pan was "oil canning", you know pops in and out like the bottom of an oil can? Well maybe your truck's body is about to pop like an oil can but there isn't quite enough force for that to happen but it's groaning/squeaking. Metal will squeak when flex the right way.

I would start by making sure all the shackles are oiled/greased, oil, grease, or replace the bushings and their bolts on the control arms, grease both ends of the torsion bars and both sides of the torsion bar keys, you'll need to remove the keys to do any torsion bar related work; you can rent a tool to release the tension at any Auto parts store that "rents" tools for free.

Let the forum know how it goes. I would say should the squeak still be there you must have a situation like or similar to the T 1000/Chevette thing.

Edited by dna9656
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On 7/5/2023 at 3:28 AM, dna9656 said:

A guy (he says he was an mechanical engineer) told me a story once about the Pontiac T-1000 and the Chevy Chevette. The problem was with a noise and a turn every time you went right (or left it doesn't matter for your purposes) around a street corner there was a popping sound. The Chevy/Pontiac dealers couldn't figure it out, the GM engineers couldn't figure it out. The guy says a mallet blow to the floor pan (where you rest your feet) would stop the noise, he wouldn't tell them unless they paid him X dollars... because the floor pan was "oil canning", you know pops in and out like the bottom of an oil can? Well maybe your truck's body is about to pop like an oil can but there isn't quite enough force for that to happen but it's groaning/squeaking. Metal will squeak when flex the right way.

I would start by making sure all the shackles are oiled/greased, oil, grease, or replace the bushings and their bolts on the control arms, grease both ends of the torsion bars and both sides of the torsion bar keys, you'll need to remove the keys to do any torsion bar related work; you can rent a tool to release the tension at any Auto parts store that "rents" tools for free.

Let the forum know how it goes. I would say should the squeak still be there you must have a situation like or similar to the T 1000/Chevette thing.

I'll mention the greasing and bushing replacements to my neighbor. He'll fetch this neat 2010 Sierra once he cleared the garage. He's letting go of his TJ once the new brake pads and jeep wheels were replaced. The truck has been sitting for about two years so good chance it just needs some grease to eliminate the squeaks.

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  • 1 month later...
On 7/4/2023 at 2:28 PM, dna9656 said:

A guy (he says he was an mechanical engineer) told me a story once about the Pontiac T-1000 and the Chevy Chevette. The problem was with a noise during a turn every time you went right (or left it doesn't matter for your purposes) around a street corner there was a popping sound. The Chevy/Pontiac dealers couldn't figure it out, the GM engineers couldn't figure it out. The guy says a mallet blow to the floor pan (where you rest your feet) would stop the noise, he wouldn't tell them unless they paid him X dollars... because the floor pan was "oil canning", you know pops in and out like the bottom of an oil can? Well maybe your truck's body is about to pop like an oil can but there isn't quite enough force for that to happen but it's groaning/squeaking. Metal will squeak when flex the right way.

I would start by making sure all the shackles are oiled/greased, oil, grease, or replace the bushings and their bolts on the control arms, grease both ends of the torsion bars and both sides of the torsion bar keys, you'll need to remove the keys to do any torsion bar related work; you can rent a tool to release the tension at any Auto parts store that "rents" tools for free.

Let the forum know how it goes. I would say should the squeak still be there you must have a situation like or similar to the T 1000/Chevette thing.

dna9656, it got bad enough that I ended up replacing both leaf springs and all shackles at the dealer ; so its GM leaf springs and shackles.  $900 !  yikes.   It still had a little bit of groaning after they did that but was minor.  That was 7 months ago.  Slowly over the 7 months its back to doing it again......even with all new parts.  Yet it was 90-95% better after they did the work.  It is worse at times and not so much at all at other times.  This happens when going over uneven terrain and there's flexing of the truck.  Example:  my yard is uneven as I live in a country setting. So, It happens there.  When I go out of my driveway (which rises to the street) and I make a turn onto the street (right turn) it happens there too.  Some parking lots are quite uneven and not flat and it happens there.  Just going down the road I don't hear it.  It "seems" to be when the truck is rocking on uneven surfaces.  Coming from the right rear.  With all new leaf springs and shackles I don't see why it would do this.  To address your point of replacing the bushings, this is all new OEM springs and shackles.  Today, finally I took it back to the dealer this morning and left it.  To demonstrate it to the service manager I stood on the step board to rock the truck to demonstrate to him.  As you might guess it was not noticeable this time.  Figures !   But they will check it out.  2 day wait to get to me.  I just dont get it.

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23 hours ago, dna9656 said:

I would get a torque wrench and go over everything you did and the dealer did with a torque chart for your truck.

 

dna9656, Yeah...I'll see what happens when I get the truck back.  If it still has the noise I'll get the torque wrench and try to look up a torque chart and do that.  I think I should be able to rent a torque wrench from Napa or Autozone.  Of course I don't know this for sure, but I imagine what the dealership will do is grease it all up real good and send me on my way.  Just guessing.  They're the most reputable dealer I've ever come across and I know the service manager pretty well.  He's never done me wrong on anything.  But this issue is perplexing.  It seems from what I've seen in youtube videos this is not an uncommon problem with GM trucks.  The only video I've seen that makes sense is the one about a product called "spring-thing" rubber inserts.  It made sense...that is, IF the noise was from the springs themselves.  If the noise is from a bushing though I don't see how the "spring-thing" product helps.  After much examination under the truck when the old springs were still on I was pretty sure it was the front bushing.  I soaked it thoroughly with WD40 and let it sit overnight.  Next morning it had totally eliminated the creaking, but only for a month. I would think it REALLY odd if its the same bushing on brand new GM springs.  But,,,,,, thats exactly where it sounds like its coming from -- just as it was in the old springs. 

 

I'll get back to you when I get it back from the dealer.  If I still hear it I'll try your suggestion with the torque wrench.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/9/2023 at 11:56 PM, xranger90 said:

I'll mention the greasing and bushing replacements to my neighbor. He'll fetch this neat 2010 Sierra once he cleared the garage. He's letting go of his TJ once the new brake pads and jeep wheels were replaced. The truck has been sitting for about two years so good chance it just needs some grease to eliminate the squeaks.

xranger90, I hope you are right and just some greasing will solve it.  Others on here have said that doesn't last long; has to be re-done.  Whatever, when I get it back from the dealer we'll see. They say they've been really backed up, but 2 weeks???...geesh. 

When I get it back I'll reply here to everyone that was kind enough to respond to this. 

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UPDATE:  The dealer guys drove it and said they couldn't find any noise.  I'd told them previously it was when the truck rocked going over uneven ground and they said they drove it over uneven ground and on the road and found nothing.  So, they did nothing....which would make sense if they don't hear anything.  Admittedly, when I left it with them it was not making the noise so I can't really blame them.  Anyway, I got the truck back, drove it about 50 miles today with very little noise.  A small amount but nothing really noticeable enough as before.  Whatever......for the most part I don't hear it now and I don't see any signs they greased anything under there.  If it comes back, which I assume it will at some point, I'll try some DIY recommendations I've received.

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