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  #1  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:38 PM
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Really loud sqeaking!

I am hearing a loud squeaking noise when I am driving. Sounds like a large old rusted spring. I can hear it more when I'm in park and turn my when left or right. I narrowed down the noise to the driver side front wheel well somewhere. Sprayed liquid wrench underneath, but that did not help. I also hear it when I jack up the driver side front tire. Any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011, 01:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lsmalley View Post
I am hearing a loud squeaking noise when I am driving. Sounds like a large old rusted spring. I can hear it more when I'm in park and turn my when left or right. I narrowed down the noise to the driver side front wheel well somewhere. Sprayed liquid wrench underneath, but that did not help. I also hear it when I jack up the driver side front tire. Any suggestions?
If it sounds like a creaky door hinge that has not been opened in 100 years:

Ball Joint.

Puncture rubber boot, spray in Wurth HHS 2000, squeak will be gone. (But not necessarily permanently.)
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2001 E430 4matic
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1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2011, 02:32 PM
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Yes! where its the ball joint located?
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:52 PM
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Loud squeaking/creaking

I mspraying white lithium grease, not sure if it went in or I got the right area because its still making the noise. Should I use WD40 so that it will run down into the area?
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by lsmalley View Post
I mspraying white lithium grease, not sure if it went in or I got the right area because its still making the noise. Should I use WD40 so that it will run down into the area?
I tried both but only the Wurth worked. It initially flows like WD-40 and then thickens like lithium grease.

Curiously, when I spayed it in, I could see it foaming and bubbling, as if reacting with the metal.
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2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #6  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by lsmalley View Post
Yes! where its the ball joint located?
Turn the wheels hard left to get to the ball joint on the driverís side. It is a sort of conical structure that the wheel pivots on. The rubber boot should be plainly visible.

The trick, after puncturing it, is to keep the hole open while you slowly spray the lubricant in. If you simply insert the straw and spray, the aerosol propellant will immediately fill what little space is in the boot and forcefully blow most of the lubricant back out at you.

So I suggest using a pick tool to hold the punctured hole open; position the straw just outside of the hole; and then gently depress the plunger so a fine mist of lubricant sprays in. A flashlight is probably necessary so you will either need a third hand, or hold a small flashlight in your mouth cigar-style.
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2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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  #7  
Old 07-08-2011, 04:16 PM
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If your ball joints are original, then the rubber boots are probably cracked, which should allow you to get the oil into the joint itself with a small fill tube. I would use heavy gear oil like 90 weight differential oil and fill the ball joint up until it starts leaking out. It is easier to get to the ball joint if the front end is jacked up and the front wheels are off the ground. If you turn the steering wheel left or right it makes it even easier to access.

You said the car creaked when you turned the wheel. Have you tried to spray WD-40 into the steering damper strut that runs horizontally between the tie rod ends? There is a seal around the inner part of the strut that makes a creaking noise when it gets old. I had to replace mine because it creaked when I turned the wheel. It was not until I sprayed WD-40 into the strut that I realized it was causing the noise.

I would also hit the rubber sway bar bushings with WD-40 too eliminate that possibility.

Check that the vertical sway bar brackets are not broken as this could also make the noise you described.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:00 PM
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If the creaking sound goes away, you have identified which part needs to be replaced. You have not fixed anything. If you continue to lubricate the ball joint whenever it starts making noise, one day your lower control arm will separate from the steering knuckle and your wheel will appear to be coming off. At speed this is really inconvenient.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2011, 05:43 PM
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Absolutely. All this advice is with the presumption that it is only to identify the bad part to be replaced.
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1994 E420, 200,000+ miles
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2011, 10:38 AM
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Friends, WD-40 is not oil. Please dont use it as such.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2011, 01:44 PM
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there appears to be several of these ball joints, or am I mistaken? there is one located at the very base of the front strut behind the wheel, this is the larger of the other ones, there is one on the lateral control arm, and then 2 more towards the medial control arm. they all have rubber boots that are cracked. I wasn't sure which was giving me the problem so I sprayed them all with lithium grease. I then sprayed the front strut and the strut on the control arm. I also followed the bar up to where the steering wheel connects to what appears to be a bar connecting the steering wheel to the control arm and I sprayed that as well. Drove the car yesterday and all seems well. I obviously need to do my suspension, what are the parts with the rubber I need to replace? and is this an easy fix? any special tools?
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  #12  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:37 PM
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Just had those creaking noises happen last week, same place. Slow turning, speed humps ... creak groan squeak. Loud. Embarrassing.

For diagnosis, using a needle on my grease gun I got some grease into various bushings. Noise quietened, but was not gone.

Raised car on stand, so the wheel was just off the ground. Placed trolley jack under control arm and raised it slightly (it's under tension from the spring). Inserted pry bar and checked for play in balljoint. There was about 5-10mm movement, and there should be none. Got some grease in there. Noise disappeared.

I was due to take family on a long drive later that afternoon. Swapped to small Toyota for that trip, as I didn't want to run the risk of balljoint separating at speed , in traffic , out of cellphone range , where the best possible outcome is to get a flatbed to recover vehicle to place of repair way the hell somewhere else etc.

There are threads on replacing balljoints, and my Haynes manual has a straightforward account, but I don't have time, or a press, so took car to the local Euro indie: 3 hours' labour plus parts and a wheel alignment. They compressed the springs, took the control arms off, pressed the balljoints in with an adapted hydraulic press, replaced, then took it for an alignment.

Result: no noise, and that old Merc steering feeling has come back, responsive, accurate, but not insistent.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2011, 02:59 PM
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FYI:

The Wurth application I described earlier has begun to dry up so I had to get more aggressive. For great results I recommend buying one of these, in stainless steel:

Flavor Injectors
http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/search/search.aspx/injector/?sstr=injector&grid=20&dim=1&nty=1&

Then:
1. Suck up some moly-lithium grease into the syringe (the vacuum is probably strong enough to suck up peanut butter)
2. Screw on the steel needle
3. Inject grease into ball joint boot.
4. Creak is gone -- hopefully for a long time.
__________________
2001 E430 4matic
122,xxx miles
Black/Charcoal Interior

------------------------------------
Gone but not Forgotten:
1995 E320, 252,xxx miles, Black/Grey
1989 260E, 223,00 miles, Black/Black
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