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Chevy Silverado makes a noise when I hit bumps

Hello All,

I have a 2004 Chevy Silverado 4x4 with 106,000 miles on it. I recently took the truck up to camp and while I was going downhill on a rough dirt road, I would hear a funny noise every time I hit a bump. It seemed to be coming from the front end and was easier to hear when I had the windows down. I have never replaced the shocks on the truck and the front bearing assemblies have been replaced years back. Any ideas?

Check the stabilizer links for play because they often go bad on those pick-ups… Replacing them takes 10 minute on each side and the parts are inexpensive.

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I crawled under the truck to see if I could grab the stabilizer links and shake them to test for play. Is there another method I should use to test? If this is the case, can this be done with jack stands/jack?

I also grease the fittings myself. With this said, all of the seals leak. Is this a cause for concern?

So what happened when you tested the stabilizer links ?

Describe how the seals leak. The rubber cups on steering and suspension parts should swell when greased and if you continue to add grease after they swell grease will be pushed out at the stud and possibly even at the ball socket where the cup can be pushed out of its groove.

When greasing as soon as the rubber cup begins to swell stop pumping.

I wasn’t sure how to test them. I just grabbed them and shook!

The grease comes out of the rubber cups via small cracks.

Did you try shaking anything else while you were there?
Can you describe the noise?

The seals shouldn’t have cracks, the grease should just squeeze out the bottom. You need to check the whole suspension, ball joints, tie rods, links, shocks.

I shook everything else up front while the truck was parked in the driveway without finding any play. The noise shoulds like a sharp metal shaking noise that is only apparent after each bump on a dirt road. (only makes a noise when going above 10 mph as well). It is sharp in that it stops as fast as it starts.

So I probably should have them replaced when I check the front end. I will probably just take the truck down to my local mechanic’s garage and have them check it all out. I will be using it more here in November-January when bear and deer season roll in!

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Not so good! If you stay on top of grease jobs and keep the cups full, you can get away with that for quite a while.Maybe enough to get to the point where the ball joints need replacing. If the grease load gets low, it can allow water is and that will hurt the joint.

Also very possible the front shocks need replacing. If the front end feels loose or wobbly, that is a key sign.

I suspect the front shocks would be coming up on needing replaced. They are originals and even though the truck is not my daily driver, I use it for many situations. Silly question- do I replace rear shocks when I have the front ones replaced as a general rule of thumb? (If it is time to have the shocks replaced?)

Why not, it is at the shop so you are not talking about a lot of extra expense. Let the mechanic decide if they are worn out.

Yeah, agree with @VOLVO_V70, replace the rears, too. The levels of damping were developed as a set by whatever manufacturer you buy them from so installing them as a set will give the best ride and handling.

A sharp noise makes me think of exhaust system, broken stabilizer links for me were more of a clunk. You could try playing whack a mole with a rubber mallet.

Not that sharp then. I would say clunk would be a better way to describe it… it has a bit of a grinding noise mixed in.

I had a similar problem on my Subaru Outback a while ago. Whenever I hit a bump or made a sharp turn there was a sound that was not unlike the sound that is made when the brakes need replacement, just a little more “rattly”. I found out that the thin sheet metal shields that keep dirt/etc away from the backside of the rotors/bearings were slightly deformed when I replaced the control arms a while back. They were bent so slightly that only occasionally, under the right conditions, they would rub/tap the rotor for just an instant; but it drove me crazy. I finally figured out what the problem was, bent the shield back slightly, and now, no more noise. Hope this helps.

and my question was: what happened when you shook them? did they move or not. Simple question.

Looks like they were still using the torsion bar suspension on this vintage, you should check the isolator bushings for those as well. Known issue of the bars rattling over bumps when the rubber parts fail.