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Old 10-17-2017, 08:22 PM   #1
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Squeaky Suspension?

About three weeks ago, my van started squeaking like an old school bus going around a corner. Actually, it happens with any kind of turns or bumps in the road. It has to be coming from either the leaf springs or front coil springs, but I can't completely sound-locate it, even with the windows open.

I took it over to my regular mechanic today to take a look. They agreed it's a suspension-caused noise and sprayed some lube on the rear bushing but it didn't improve. They're not 4x4 folks so won't go farther in assessing it. They acted kind of intimidated by the conversion which left me pretty unimpressed with their skills.

So, where am I looking and what am I looking for? I'll need to take it to *somebody* here in Portland to diagnose and fix the problem, since I don't have the ability to work on the suspension.

As some of you know, this is a 2014 with only 15K miles on it and a new-last-March Agile conversion to 4x4. The only change to the rear springs was the addition of one add-a-leaf.

I'm stumped, but that's not saying much. Suggestions? Who would I even take this to to check it out?
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Old 10-17-2017, 08:49 PM   #2
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Since there's been some suspension work, the first thing I would check is the tightness of all nuts and bolts (spring ends/shackles, U-bolts, shocks). Hopefully the shop you took your van to checked al that, but I would double-check.


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Old 10-18-2017, 01:05 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter View Post
About three weeks ago, my van started squeaking like an old school bus going around a corner. Actually, it happens with any kind of turns or bumps in the road. It has to be coming from either the leaf springs or front coil springs, but I can't completely sound-locate it, even with the windows open.

I took it over to my regular mechanic today to take a look. They agreed it's a suspension-caused noise and sprayed some lube on the rear bushing but it didn't improve. They're not 4x4 folks so won't go farther in assessing it. They acted kind of intimidated by the conversion which left me pretty unimpressed with their skills.

So, where am I looking and what am I looking for? I'll need to take it to *somebody* here in Portland to diagnose and fix the problem, since I don't have the ability to work on the suspension.

As some of you know, this is a 2014 with only 15K miles on it and a new-last-March Agile conversion to 4x4. The only change to the rear springs was the addition of one add-a-leaf.

I'm stumped, but that's not saying much. Suggestions? Who would I even take this to to check it out?
Interested in what you find out. I've got a 2012 with an Agile 4x4 conversion that was done in February and I've got some squeaking going on that I haven't isolated yet.

I'm not even sure yet if its coming from inside or outside. I've got a passenger van (looks like you do also) and thought it might be coming from the stock interior plastic wall panels. I had removed/reinstalled a lot of the plastic when I removed the seat belt hardware and thought it might not be as tight as before. Tried having Sherry try to tell where it was coming from while I drove, but she can't even hear it because its such a high pitch.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by BroncoHauler View Post
Since there's been some suspension work, the first thing I would check is the tightness of all nuts and bolts (spring ends/shackles, U-bolts, shocks). Hopefully the shop you took your van to checked al that, but I would double-check.


Herb
Thanks, Herb. I'll double check with these guys if they did that before I get under there myself to see how much of it I can check while it's pouring raining outside. I've communicated with John at Agile and he thought the squeak was weird and not something they hear about. But I'm going to connect with him again to see if there's something more I should be taking a look at.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:19 AM   #5
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Interested in what you find out. I've got a 2012 with an Agile 4x4 conversion that was done in February and I've got some squeaking going on that I haven't isolated yet.

I'm not even sure yet if its coming from inside or outside. I've got a passenger van (looks like you do also) and thought it might be coming from the stock interior plastic wall panels. I had removed/reinstalled a lot of the plastic when I removed the seat belt hardware and thought it might not be as tight as before. Tried having Sherry try to tell where it was coming from while I drove, but she can't even hear it because its such a high pitch.
Joe: Interesting and nice to hear I'm not alone! This squeak I've got is definitely outside and you would recognize in a minute from hearing any old bus or truck going down a bumpy road. Really, it sounds like a high school bus . I feel pretty sure if I loaded up the rear with another 100+ pounds of gear, it would stop the squeak dead its tracks.

Yours sounds like it could be more of an interior thing, being so high pitched. I will let you know what I find out, tho.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:58 AM   #6
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Otter, I had a similar issue. Sounded like a mouse chirping every time I hit a bump. Ended up being one of the right rear leaf spring bushings. I used the lubricant in stages (one bushing/contact point at a time) to isolate the source. Sounds like they sprayed a lubricant on "the rear bushing". I would spray that lubricant on all the leaf spring bushings and then look for rust/debris in between the individual springs. On a separate note, definitely check to make sure your leaf spring u bolts are tight. Mine shifted (visible by looking at the rear axle) after the RIP kit was installed. Had to be retightened. Hope you find the source.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:40 AM   #7
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If you have a front anti-sway bar, try disconnecting one of the ends, and see if the squeak goes away. Anti-swaybar bushings are infamous for being a source of noise.

A word about shops and chasing down squeaks and rattles: There's not much money to be made, and it drives mechanics nuts. Think about it, you chase your tail for 3hrs, still can't locate the source. How do you charge the customer? You still have to pay your mechanic.

Worse, it's better, but the customer brings it back 3 times over the next 6 months, because the mystery squeak keeps coming back.
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Old 10-18-2017, 08:44 AM   #8
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Hey, have you driven recently under any semi-dusty conditions? Not to undo any of the great advice so far (which I'm paying attention to as well!) --- here's something else:

As a suggestion (not necessarily something a pro mechanic would do, but something that a fellow recent squeaky suspension sufferer did):

Have you tried hosing down the underside of your van aggressively with water yet? I came back from a dusty desert trip a couple weeks ago and found that the van had brought back an annoying high-pitched suspension squeak as a souvenir. It sounded like a gardeners flatbed truck.

A thorough water-hosing-down of the suspension (aggressively spraying laterally into the leaf springs and shackles, as well as all the front suspension pivot points and fittings) made the noise go away....and it hasn't come back since.

Mind you, I'm not using a pressure washer. And I wasn't concentrating water at ball joints. Simply trying to get dust out from between spring leaves and eyelets.

As a diagnostic "tool" to track down something more significant --- if it turns out that something indeed needs tightening on the rear leaves/shackles etc like is being mentioned by some of the other comments here....it seems that methodically hosing down one area after another (in isolation) might allow you to pinpoint the area where the squeak is coming from at least. A shifting part or clamp/loose bolt will probably temporarily get quiet when watered down.

It seems that a lot of trucks come back from the desert with suspension squeaks though, and so a little bit of that must be somewhat normal, right? That fine moon-dust gets into the smallest nooks and can work some awful-pitched magic....
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Old 10-18-2017, 10:06 AM   #9
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My rear leafs periodically squeak. Not sure if dust makes it squeak less or more. I'm leaning towards less. At least short term. Probably until the next monsoon, which will turn all that spring-lubricating dust into a nice grout compound.
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Old 10-18-2017, 12:14 PM   #10
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Its probably a leaf spring bushing, they do that and you can go crazy trying to get them to stop. I obviously dont know this for sure but I have yet to come across an aftermarket leaf spring pack that didn't squeak.
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