1999 Dodge 3500 Road Trek. I rebuilt the front end about five years ago, replacing all ball joints, bushings, tie rods, shocks, etc. In the past year there has been a creaking noise that comes from the right front, only when I am braking and moving. It does not occur when I apply the brakes while stopped. Sometimes there is a creaking when going over bumps. I just replaced the brake pads, calipers, and caliber frame, but the noise is still there. Since it doesn’t happen when I apply the brakes while stopped, I am guessing suspension. Could it be the springs? How do I isolate where the noise is coming from, since it only occurs while moving?
With a vehicle this old, you start by spraying down every bushing with silicone spray.
Control arm bushings, stabilizer bar bushing, etc…
Then when the noise goes away, you know it was one of those!
But which one?
sway bar links and bushings, that would be my first guess, without even having access to the van
Turned out it was the bushings on the strut bar that extends from the frame to the control arms. The way I isolated it was by crawling under the van, grabbing the sway bar, and pushing it up and down. It didn’t move much. It’s a 6000 pound van after all. But I was able to make it creak a little bit, and then stuck a stick on various parts of the suspension and listened. The loudest noise came from the bushings on the rear of the strut bar. I changed both sides, and the side that was creaking had deformed bushings. I suspect when I installed them five years ago I didn’t do it quite right. I also replaced the sway bar links, and put silicone grease on all the bushings, including the sway bar bushings. 600 miles later, and no creaking so far! Thanks for all the help.