tic, tic?

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My truck is making a noise again. It's worse now though. It's a sort of metal-sounding tic, that I can hear and feel through the steering and sometimes brake and clutch. Used to only happen when I turn left, now I
feel/hear it accelerating and braking. Might have a frame component, 'cause I've heard it when the front tires go over bumps (but not always).
In the past, this was a seasonal thing - it gets better when the weather gets colder.
Any idea what this could be?
Oh. Truck is a 2001 Dodge Dakota, 4x4. Sometimes I forget we're not all regulars here :)
jmc
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Nobody?
Actually, I think the noise is more of a short creak. It's definitely heat related in some way, when we got underway this morning & it was relatively cool, hardly any creaks, but as the day and the truck warmed up it was more noticeable. And it happens when the truck first starts moving too (like from a stoplight).
I would like to have some clue what to suggest to the mechanic when I bring it in. Will be a new shop (essentially, since it's been 5 years), and like to go in sounding like I know something, so they don't take advantage 'cause I'm a grrrl. I'd like to avoid some Jiffy Lube wannabe telling me my flux capacitor needs to be replaced :)
jmc
Suddenly, without warning, jmc exclaimed (7/30/2008 6:24 PM):

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Jodi, have you tried bouncing the front end? Hop on the bumper and see if you can get it to make the noise. Where it's a 4X4 you might need hubby up there as well to compress things. Sounds like it might be a suspension deal brought about by weight transfer. You could always grab a can of silicon spray and start at the bottom and spray a component at a time and see if you get it to stop. Does it have a front stabilizer? If so, I'd start there.
%Roy
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Suddenly, without warning, Roy exclaimed (7/31/2008 5:57 PM):

We could try that... though hubby's not much bigger than me. Together, we hardly make a Denny... ::looks around:: did I say that? I didn't say that!
I think it does have a front stabilizer, but I'm not sure.
jmc
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On Fri, 01 Aug 2008 09:01:35 -0400, jmc

I'd guess together all of us don't make a Denny...
I think the question not asked (or I missed it) is this a rolling squeak (tick, whatever), or not? (does it happen every tire revolution...)
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Suddenly, without warning, PeterD exclaimed (8/1/2008 10:20 AM):

No it isn't. It's a single creak, or series thereof, no relationship to tire revolutions(I'd have mentioned it, if it was). It happens in response to something, though since I'm generally doing multiple things - steering, braking, clutch, shifting - I'm not 100% sure which one(s) is/are causing the noise.
jmc
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I had a similar sounding clunk on my 2004 Dakota quad cab, 4.7 w/ manual trans... I also felt it through the steering wheel and brake and clutch pedals. The dealer ended up replacing the secondary steering shaft, which fixed the problem. My clunk was most noticible when taking off from a stop, especially if I had to turn the wheel. Larry D.
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Suddenly, without warning, LarryD exclaimed (8/1/2008 5:01 PM):

That sounds about right. My Haynes manual is still in transit. Would I be able to get my hands on the secondary steering shaft, and how would I test it?
I did have a TSB done a while back, something about the steering column slipping off a bracket or something. Made no difference. There's no play in the steering wheel, I can't move it from side to side or anything.
Was that an expensive and/or time consuming repair?
jmc
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It didn't cost me anything as it is still under warranty. Although I suspected it, I didn't try to tell the service manager what I thought it was. I just told him the symptoms. He said it was most likely the stabilizer bar busings or the secondary steering shaft. As I said, they ended up replacing the secondary steering shaft. I do have the factory service manual. In the Diagnosis and Testing section, under "Steering Noise", it lists under "Rattle or Clunk": 1. Gear mounting bolts loose (correction is to tighten bolts to specification) 2. Loose of damaged suspension components (correction is to inspect and repair suspension) 3. Internal gear noise (correction is to replace steering gear) 4. Pressure hose in contact with other components (correction is to reposition hose) 5. Loose or damaged intermediate shaft or column (correction is to inspect and repair or replace)
So, as you see, it lists possible causes for the noise, but it does not have procedures for diagnosing the particular components. I think they chose the most likely candidate and then just replaced it. At any rate, it describes the procedure for replacing the steering shafts. for the lower steering coupling, is says: Begin quote: Removal: 1) disconnect the negative battery terminal 2) raise and support the wheels NOTE: The steering column on vehicles with an automatic transmission may not be equipped with an internal locking shaft that allows the ignition key cylinder to be locked with the key. Alternative methods of locking the steerin wheel for service will have to be used. 3) Lock the steering wheel with the tire in the straight position. 4) Remove and discard the upper coupler pinch bolt (Fig. 9). 5) Remove and discard the lower coupler pinch bolt (Fig. 9). 6) Remove the lower steering shaft coupler (Fig. 9) Installation: 1) Install the lower coupler to the steering rack and pinion (Fig. 9) 2) Install the upper coupler to the lower (Fig. 9) NOTE: New pinchy bolts must be used for reinstallation 3) Install teh lower pinch bolt (Fig.9) and tighten to 57 N-m (42 ft. lbs.) 4) Install the upper pinch bolt (Fig. 9) and tighten to 57 N-m (42 ft. lbs) 5) Lower the vehicle 6) Reconnect the negative battery cable. 7) Unlock the steering wheel End Quote.
Now, you may be wondering why I put in this verbatim, including the references to "Fig. 9", which I obviously couldn't type in. I did this because, even with the picture, it is scant help. The part descriptions in the figure do not match the part descriptions in the above procedure. "Fig. 9" refers to the following parts: 1) Lower coupler bolt 2) Lower coupler 3) Toe plate 4) Toe plate mounting nuts 5) upper coupler mounting bolt and nut 6) upper steering coupler shaft 7) rack and pinion
I hate to say it but the factory shop manuals I have for my Toyotas (89 PU, 2000 Camry, 92 Tercel) are MUCH better than the Dakota manual. Luckily I have not had to use the Dak manual much as it is still under warranty (its a 2004 with only 16K miles on it and I have an extended warranty). Sorry, but you now know pretty much as much as I know about the secondary steering shaft diagnosis and replacement. Larry D.
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On Fri, 01 Aug 2008 11:58:43 -0400, jmc

Considered shocks as a likely suspect?
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Suddenly, without warning, PeterD exclaimed (8/1/2008 7:51 PM):

Nope. I've put new shocks on recently; no change to the noise, which predated the shocks by some time.
jmc
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And another cheapshot artist joins the foray......
Denny
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Of course, only the best will do. Actually it's 'cause you are such a large target.<VBG> Do you really want be to tell the truth??
Roy
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Cheap? Oh, not a chance... <g>
I'm actually saying you're just better than us, that's all!
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I don't believe ya said that. Glad that ya did though.<G> Not that I would cheap shot ol wide ride.<VBG>
That is going to cost ya a couple dozen CCC!!

You are probably going to have to bounce it. Also as sombody mentioned, the steering shaft, give it a yank and see what's up with it.

Roy
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No shit!!!! See what your big mouth has done........ turned the entire group into a bunch of smartasses!!!! <VBG>
Denny
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On Fri, 01 Aug 2008 21:31:18 -0400, Denny wrote:

we were a bunch of smart asses before Roy ever opened his mouth...He is just more vocal than some!
--
Chris

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You always lashing out at me, for no good reason. <G>
Roy
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WTF????? Both of ya 200 lbs soaking wet?? No wonder ya'll can't handle a Dakota......always fighting on who puts the step ladder away.....
This is gonna get serious now....
Denny
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Suddenly, without warning, Denny exclaimed (8/1/2008 9:27 PM):

200? Heck, knock 1/3 of that off and you'll be closer... Vertically challenged, we are.
I can handle the Dak just fine, thank you (I had steps installed). Getting into Hubby's new Jeep before he installed the steps was a bit more challenging :)
Lol, I had a coworker a while back who was barely 5' tall (yes, even shorter than me) and he drove a huge Ford pickup - 350 I think. Made my Dak look tiny. We used to suggest he install an elevator :)
jmc
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