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Thread: Creaking and Groaning in passenger rear quarter

  1. #1
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Default Creaking and Groaning in passenger rear quarter

    Ok so I am stumped on this one I have a bad creaking and groaning at low speeds when the right (passenger) rear suspension is unloaded and loaded. So far we have checked over all the bushing and they were replaced within the past 2 years from the paper work. They also all look new and the bolts are all marked was done professionally at Z Car Garage in San Jose by previous owner. We have replaced the rear wheel bearing and stub axle+lugs, repacked and torqued lock nut (280zx without peening) to 200ft/lbs. It was a PITA to get the old lock nut loose. We also did the u-joint in the half shaft. The only thing I can think of is something in the shock/spring. I was thinking of buying some new shocks all round for track days but don't want to spend the money if I don't have too.

    I have also read all the good and bad posts about riding on bump stops the lowering of the cars and not much travel and the problems with springs. I don't want to spend the money on coil overs at this point. But back to the problem any ideas what this noise could be? This noise sounds real bad not like the creaking of interior plastic or old car but more metallic and louder almost a worrisome groan which is why I have not driven the car the past few months. There is now noise at highway speed or driving straight just at low speeds and unloading/loading the suspension? Strut housing and A arm all look fine.

    So here is the breakdown:
    • 1972 Datsun 240z
    • Panasport 16 inch wheels
    • New Diff mounts (done with previous owner at ZCarGarage)
    • New bushing (done with previous owner at ZCarGarage)
    • New diff rear seal and fluid
    • New lugs and Torqued lug nuts
    • Replaced stub axle
    • New Rear Wheel Bearings (inner + outer + seal + lock nut) and all torqued up
    • New u-joints on half shaft
    • New cusco strut brace bars (noise was there before them)


    Any advice and help would be greatly appreciated especially from people with more experience in this area than me.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  2. #2
    Z geek at large FastWoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zealous View Post
    Creaking and Groaning in passenger rear quarter...

    I have a bad creaking and groaning at low speeds when the right (passenger) rear suspension is unloaded and loaded....

    It was a PITA
    Me too. Old age is a b**ch!
    Last edited by FastWoman; 12-27-2010 at 01:08 PM.
    My last three sports cars while I still owned all three:

    2001 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i soft/hard top (sold)
    1966 Ford Mustang Coupe (sold)
    1978 Datsun 280Z (enjoying very much )

  3. #3
    Registered User bobc's Avatar
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    Your post is a little confusing. When you say loading and unloading the suspension, do you mean going over bumps or accelerating and decelerating?

    Groans and squeaks are usually suspension parts rubbing against each other and are not necessarily sensitive to speed. More sensitive to movement.

    Grinding noises that change (get louder, higher pitched, go away and come back) are more associated with bearings, i.e., universal joints, wheel bearings, etc.

    If you just push down and let go on the right rear of the car does it make the same sound?

    You might check in the top of the right shock tower to make sure the nut that secures the top of the shock is on tight. I had this problem once and it took me a while to locate it.

    You might also WD-40 around where the spring rests in the strut and at the top as well and see if this makes any difference.

    Sounds like you've done everything else I would normally recommend checking.

    Good luck.

    Best,

    Bob

  4. #4
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    thanks Bobc,

    Ill try those. To answer your question it is more over bumps or turning corners. The same sound cannot be produced by pushing down on the car. Not produced by just accelerating/decelerating in a straight line. It is produced by suspension movement as best as I can tell.

    Not so much a grinding noise more a groan, I agree that would indicate rubbing/binding. It is not the universal joints or bearings they have all been replaced.

    Ill try your suggestions, thanks
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

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    petrolhead spitz17's Avatar
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    Hey JC, sorry to hear about the problems on your car!

    I am guessing you want to avoid taking it to a shop and try to fix it yourself. If you do, however, decide to take it to a shop and don't wanna pay big ZCG bucks, I'd try out Dando's Automotive in Fremont. I have been going their for the Fairlady's head and exhaust work, and they use to be a Z Specialty shop. Ask for Benjyee, I believe he used to work for Rebello and knows his stuff.
    '72 Fairlady 240Z-L - HS30-10052, Imported in 1973 from Yokota Airbase
    '70 240Z - HLS30-19927, History in SCCA CP & Trans-Am, ICSCC CIP, IMSA GTU
    '77 Porsche 930 Turbo Carrera - Black on black
    '13 Subaru BRZ Limited - Daily Driver

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    Registered User palosfv3's Avatar
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    Is the lock pin in place on the lower outer control arm bolt that passes through the lower knuckle ?
    Larry

    www.picasaweb.google.com/wgmauto

    www.wgmauto.com

  7. #7
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    James,

    I had the exact same problem after I R&R'd the springs and struts.

    I tightened everything, no joy. I R&R'd the right rear suspension, (twice), no joy. I did the spray lubrication trick, no joy. Went back and added shrink-wrap over the springs where the contact the mounts and that seemed to solve the problem.

    Thing is, I don't really know if that was the root cause of the problem or if I just did something "a little different" upon re-assembly...

    Good luck and let me know if there's anything I can do to help.

    Julio
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

  8. #8
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Thanks palosfv3 yes the lock pin is in place.

    Thanks Julio, maybe I can bring it around one day and you can show me what you did with the shrink wrap. As an engineer like you I would like to find the root cause of the problem as it is not a pleasant sound and must be doing something to metal somewhere.

    Hoping some of the suspension gurus here might know
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  9. #9
    Low Budget/High Value
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    My rear sway bar mounting rubber groaned after I put new urethane end link pieces on. The mounts are right on the body so transmit the noise directly in to the cabin.

    Worth checking if you have a sway bar.

  10. #10
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Thanks Zed Head, No rear sway bar but I have been considering one

    So was out cleaning up the garage still after the move and trying to sort through things. I tried again pushing down on the car and I get a distinct metal sound almost a clicking but really a clicking which makes me think it is the spring in the perch. Guess I need to jack it up tomorrow and use a spring compressor to see if it is the spring moving in the perch. Any other thoughts?

    bobc, while out there I checked the strut nut at the top and it is all tight.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  11. #11
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    James,

    I just slid electral shrink-tube on the spring for about 1 coil to cushion the metal-to-metal contact between the spring & upper perch. No that I think back, I also applied a thin coating of silicone grease to the top of the rubber strut cap before installing the strut into the tower.
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

  12. #12
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Thanks Julio, hopefully that fix works but there must be some underlying problem it is hiding.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  13. #13
    Registered User IdahoKidd's Avatar
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    I had that (or at least similar) in my 240 and took it apart thinking I needed to replace the bump stop and or the insulator. What I found was the nut that holds the strut in the tube was loose and the strut was moving around. Tightend the nut up and it all went away. (the manual calls the nut the 'gland packing'. ) It is worth a look. I took the nut on the strut (in the insulator) off while the car was on the ground. Then took the insulator bolts off. Lifted the car until the weight was off the strut assmebly and the strut cartridge would then move feely about. It wasn't supposed to. You could tell visually by looking at that gland nut as well as you could see the threads. It should be down tight and no threads showing.

    Just my experience, but it was certainly my squeak and rattle.

    72 240Z HLS30 49052 110 Persimmons/white stick
    72 240Z HLS30 70087 110 Persimmons/white auto 43K
    77 280Z HLS30 400336
    77 280Z Turbo HLS30 369869
    57 Volvo 444K
    57 IHS120
    85 500 SEC

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    Quote Originally Posted by IdahoKidd View Post
    You could tell visually by looking at that gland nut as well as you could see the threads. It should be down tight and no threads showing.
    You should have a couple of threads showing on your gland nuts. If not, then that probably means that the strut insert is just slightly too short for the housing. I had this happen on both sides in the rear of my Z with Illuminas and tightened the nut against the housing, but the insert was free to move 1/16" or so. Made a hellacious rattle. Fixed by putting washers under the strut inserts and tightening so that one or two threads showed.
    Jon

  15. #15
    Registered User IdahoKidd's Avatar
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    Jon, when I put the new struts on the front, they did come with the washers now that I recall.. I didn't use them as it seemed to tighten up. Once I tightened the gland nut on the rear, the noise went away. Seemed tight enough and the nut was completely down on both rear assemblies. No doubt they will vary some between mfgs. My "loose" one had about a turn before it was completely off. I guess the amount of threads showing matters less than if the nut is tight. I hope he (Zealous) lets us know if he solves the problem.

    72 240Z HLS30 49052 110 Persimmons/white stick
    72 240Z HLS30 70087 110 Persimmons/white auto 43K
    77 280Z HLS30 400336
    77 280Z Turbo HLS30 369869
    57 Volvo 444K
    57 IHS120
    85 500 SEC

  16. #16
    Registered User Oiluj's Avatar
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    James,

    Don't have room in my garage at the moment, but if the weather clears, Perhaps we could look at it together. I'm off work till the new year. Give me a call if it works for you.

    Just a thought, have you asked Honza about this, I'm sure he's seen it before...
    Julio
    1972 240Z (in-progress, 95% complete)
    CZC# 15388

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    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Yeah Honza has been looking at it between when we were doing things. He thought it was the bearings and stub axle so we replaced those but noise is still there so just trying to track it down without wasting a lot of his time. Looks like I need to pull the shock. While I am at it I may as well replace them as the old kybs in there have been in there awhile longer than I have documentation for at least.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  18. #18
    Registered User 5150 will's Avatar
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    Hey James,

    If the nut holding the strut in the tube is loose, you should be able to jack up the car and reach in there with a large set of channel locks to snug it up. Just to see if that's your issue.....?

  19. #19
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Thanks Will, Hope everything is good with you.

    Mazdaspeed was getting some cleaning attention today, think she was getting jealous.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

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    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Just jacked it up and had a look, both the gland nut and nut at the top on the shock inside the car are good and tight. As Jon suggested there is a gap between the gland nut and strut (Honza also checked this in the shop and said it should be like that). I also looked at the spring perches and they all look good no obvious sign of wear and the spring moving around in it that would cause that name. Only thing I saw was that tip/end of the top coil is up against the side of the perch inward of the car that is perpendicular to the floor. (Really hope that made sense?). Not sure is that rubbing or moving around would make the noise. At this point I am considering pulling the shocks and replacing them with Tokico Illuminas and 280z springs. If I am going to pull it apart I may as well change the tired shocks, since I have tried all the other suggestions.

    Any more ideas?
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  21. #21
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    On another note, I do not have bump stops anywhere on the car....

    By that I mean I am missing these:
    http://www.thezstore.com/page/TZS/PROD/23-4196

    So that might be the noise but doubtful since it does not need a lot of suspension travel to cause the noise.
    Last edited by Zealous; 12-31-2010 at 03:03 PM.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

  22. #22
    Registered User olzed's Avatar
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    Squirt WD40 around one area at a time to see if you can isolate the noise, At least it will help rustproof the underbody.

  23. #23
    Registered User mlc240z's Avatar
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    I hope I'm wrong because the implications are nasty, but could you have a body flex/rust issue in the rear somewhere?
    Panels or parts moving, rubbing or separating when they should be solid?
    The clicking sound and then groan might indicate it.
    Don't know how easy it would be to see or localize without putting some type of stress on the chassis.
    Bart

    5/71 240z, HLS30-31306, mostly stock, ZTherapy SU's, Pertronix, Eibach ProKit, KYB, Poly bushings, 60 amp alternator w/Dave's plug bypass, headlight and parking light harness upgrades.

  24. #24
    Registered User IdahoKidd's Avatar
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    Hey Zealous, ever find the problem? Curious minds want to know. Ok, at least I do...

    72 240Z HLS30 49052 110 Persimmons/white stick
    72 240Z HLS30 70087 110 Persimmons/white auto 43K
    77 280Z HLS30 400336
    77 280Z Turbo HLS30 369869
    57 Volvo 444K
    57 IHS120
    85 500 SEC

  25. #25
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    OK, I know you listed this as an item checked... "New cusco strut brace bars (noise was there before them)"...but I think this might be worth taking another look at.
    I have seen strut isolator studs that have been bent out of shape enough to damage the threads to the point that the required torque value was reached before the nut was properly seated. The sound you describe is exactly the sound made when the stud rises up & down in the hole ever so slightly. Just something I have seen and heard several times.

  26. #26
    Registered User Zealous's Avatar
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    Bart, thanks for the scare if I can't find it I am going to have to get a chassis place to look maybe Dandos like one member suggested.

    IdahoKidd, Still trying to work it out. I just got my new tool chest from a sears sale and have been trying to finally sort all my moving boxes in the garage for a bit more space. I will get the spring compressors out this week and see if I can see wear spots and then try WD-40. I am not a big fan of WD-40 find that it works for a bit and then gums up and makes things worse afterwards. Might try some chassis grease or shrink wrap Julio suggested.

    Thanks geezer, I was also thinking about that last night and thought at this point it couldn't hurt to remove it and see. I need to remove it, if i decide on new shocks anyway.
    Cheers

    JC

    Current Project: 1971 Datsun 240z Series I - HLS30-14842
    Current drivers:
    1972 Datsun 240z - HLS30-69726
    2009 Kawasaki Ninja 250R
    2010 Mazdaspeed3

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