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Jerry
Jerry, Master Mechanic
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Sierra: clicking noise..the front end or maybe..drive shaft..slow down

Customer Question

my 02 gmc sierra has a clicking noise not sure if its in the front end or maybe a drive shaft on the front. when i slow down to turn or go over a bump i hear it and it seems to be getting worse could it be the u joint making this noise.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: GM
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.

Hello and welcome to Just answer.com, Super mechanic here. About your vehicle.

 

There has been a service bulletin for that type of concern. Here is what it states.

 

 

Bulletin No.: 03-03-08-002B

Date: November 30, 2005

TECHNICAL

Subject:
Rattle/Squeak from Front of Vehicle (Replace Lower Portion of Upper Insulator Assembly)

 

Models:
2002-2005 Cadillac Escalade, Escalade EXT
2003-2005 Cadillac Escalade ESV
2000-2005 Chevrolet Silverado, Suburban, Tahoe
2002-2005 Chevrolet Avalanche
2000-2005 GMC Sierra, Yukon, Yukon XL

 

Supercede:

This bulletin is being revised to update the correction and parts information. Please discard Corporate Bulletin Number 03-03-08-002A (Section 03 - Suspension).

Condition

Some customers may comment on a rattle or squeak type noise coming from the front of the vehicle.

Cause

The front shock absorber plastic pilot ring may be wearing out, causing the shock to misalign in the insulator.

Correction

DO NOT replace the shock. Replace the lower portion, P/N 15834275 , of the upper insulator assembly using the procedure listed below. This new insulator has a taller plastic pilot ring that is attached to the metal sleeve to aid in the proper alignment of the insulators.

1.Remove the front shock absorber. Refer to the Shock Absorber Replacement procedure in the Front Suspension sub-section of the Service Manual.

 

2.Remove the lower portion of the upper insulator from the shock and discard.

 

3.Install the new lower portion of the upper insulator to the shock.

 

Important: Be sure to center the shock in the frame bracket and tighten the upper mounting nut when the vehicle is on the ground.

 

4.Install the front shock absorber. Refer to the Shock Absorber Replacement procedure in the Front Suspension sub-section of the Service Manual.

 

 

graphic

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I dont believe that is what I am hearing its not a rattle or squeak it is a clicking sound that sounds like the 4wd mechanism is not disengaged all the way. I jacked the truck up and spun the drivers side front tire and it is faint but when driving i can hear it real good. The rear u joint appears to be going bad and when in 4 hi it squeaks a real hi pitch. but that is different from what i hear when it is in 2wd.
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.

Right, you did say a clicking. If the U-joint is so bad that it is squeaking in 4WD, then it might be what you are hearing in 2WD when the shaft has no load on it. You will want to be sure though that it's not a brake pad or something simple like that.

 

If it seems to be on the left side, (more than the right) it could also be the CV joint on the axle.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE CV JOINT ON THE AXLE TO CHANGE AND THE FRONT DRIVE SHAFT DOES NOT TURN WHEN IN 2WD DOES IT?
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.
It doesn't turn but they will some times make a rotating motion which is natural. The axle is fairly easy. You can normally tell if the clicking is with each revolution of the wheel, or if it is random. Let me see what I have on the axle shaft replacement. BRB
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
SO IF THE CLICKING IS WITH EACH REVOLUTION ITS THE AXLE?
Expert:  Jerry replied 5 years ago.

Well, that would be considered a first order vibration, (sound) one time with each revolutoin. That would narrow it down to either the hub, bearing, axle and of course, differential.

 

If it were more of a 2X per revolution then it would be a second order and so on. Sometimes you can have a couple of different things that will give you more than the typical first, second and third order vibrations, (like something loose and sounding very random)

 

It of course helps to have an electronic "chassis ear" litening device, (most of us don't) or to duplicate the noise on a lift with a stethescope to find the exact location of it.

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Jerry
Jerry
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ASE Master tech, 30 years experience GM certified