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Help with diagnosing a creaking sound from the rear

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Old 05-16-2018, 07:20 AM
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Default Help with diagnosing a creaking sound from the rear

Car Info:
2006 S2000, 153k miles, mods in sig, the koni's were installed after the noise started and didn't make any difference in sound.

Problem:
I've been trying to diagnose this for a while now and can't seem to figure it out. From a stop, when I first begin to move forward, I get a rear end creaking sound. This happens every time, warm or cold. No further sounds that I can hear once moving, just that initial sound. It's not a high pitched squeak like you'd get from brakes or something, it's a slower creaking sound.

Things I've done to try to fix/diagnose it:
I've had the thing up on jack stands trying to see if I can replicate the noise, but can't find anything that creaks. The rear wheels have no play with the ol' 6/12 and 9/3 tests. I tugged on every suspension component and tried to move the suspension up and down and couldn't get any noises at all. Checked bushings, including the diff mounts and everything looks fine.

I tried doing the axle nut tsb again as well, and that didn't make any difference. I will say however, that I did the first axle nut tsb late when I first noticed a click sound (110k miles) and though I have no clicking sound when driving now, I get a single click when the car is on jack stands and I rotate the rear wheels forward to reverse and vice versa. Not sure if that's normal or indicative of an issue, possibly even an unrelated issue.

Noise started after I swapped CV buckets:
My biggest concern is that this noise started up after I swapped and regreased my CV buckets to cure a very slight rear end vibration. In the process I also installed 2 new rear lower ball joints (which I preloaded when torquing down). I can't think of anything that I would have done that would cause this though, so maybe just a coincidence?

Last 2 things I'm thinking it might be:
I think it's unrelated to the CV bucket swap, and I maybe just didn't notice it before, in that case I'm thinking it's either:

The rear sway bar?
I'm going to try greasing the bushings, thinking that could maybe be causing the noise? I can't seem to move the bar at all to test this though.

Rear wheel bearings/hubs are shot?
Definitely plausible since I did the TSB late and the car has 150k on it, but I'm not seeing any symptoms for this, and I don't think these would cause creak sound when first taking off, would they?

TLDR:
My car makes a creak sound from the rear when I first take off from a stop, can't recreate it with the car on jacks, what could it be?
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:13 AM
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Ensure all suspension bolts are tightened to tq specs, ive seen loose bolts, but if it only creaks when you take off from a stop its most likely the hub and bearings, it will just get progressively worse, I have had this issue before, you can still drive on it , but i would recommend oem bearings and hubs, it is pricey and they will need to be pressed, replace both when you are doing it, also follow billmans recommended tq for axle nut, it is a bit more than what honda recommends!, the axles are pretty tough so they can handle alot, i used an impact gun to get it pretty high
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Old 05-16-2018, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by toztigger View Post
Ensure all suspension bolts are tightened to tq specs, ive seen loose bolts, but if it only creaks when you take off from a stop its most likely the hub and bearings, it will just get progressively worse, I have had this issue before, you can still drive on it , but i would recommend oem bearings and hubs, it is pricey and they will need to be pressed, replace both when you are doing it, also follow billmans recommended tq for axle nut, it is a bit more than what honda recommends!, the axles are pretty tough so they can handle alot, i used an impact gun to get it pretty high
Shouldn't I be getting some type of grinding or howling noise when moving if it's a wheel bearing though? Or is this just an earlier symptom for a bad bearing and the howling/grinding will come as it gets worse?
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Old 05-16-2018, 09:17 AM
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Are the CV-bucket bolts tight? If I remember correctly torque spec for them was pretty high.
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Old 05-16-2018, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by _valtsu_ View Post
Are the CV-bucket bolts tight? If I remember correctly torque spec for them was pretty high.

they are, that was actually something I double checked once I got the car back on jack stands.

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Old 05-16-2018, 10:34 AM
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Originally Posted by rbtz View Post
Shouldn't I be getting some type of grinding or howling noise when moving if it's a wheel bearing though? Or is this just an earlier symptom for a bad bearing and the howling/grinding will come as it gets worse?
just early signs, i would say keep driving it till it gets worse just to be for certain but check your cv buckets first
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Old 05-16-2018, 02:57 PM
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Most likely the noise is there at other times, other speeds, just drowned out by other sounds.

Its easy to imagine a creak like that being associated with something rubber. I like the rear swaybar bushings. When you take off, both sides of rear suspension articulate roughly equal (assuming roughly straight takeoff), so swaybar isn't applying any spring force, but it is pivoting in the bushings on both sides.

So it could easily creek as it pivots on old, dirty rubber bushings. You couod undo end links on both sides, and rotate bar in its bushings and see if you can replicate the noise.

You can lube up the bar and inner bushing with shin itsu grease (the silicone stuff used for softop seals). Just don't use so much it attracts dirt, as that will just grind into bushing and wear it out.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by toztigger View Post
just early signs, i would say keep driving it till it gets worse just to be for certain but check your cv buckets first
Yeah, definitely double-checked the CV buckets and made sure everything was tight, good call. I guess it would make sense that the clicking might progress to a creaking as the bearings get worse.


Originally Posted by Car Analogy View Post
Most likely the noise is there at other times, other speeds, just drowned out by other sounds.

Its easy to imagine a creak like that being associated with something rubber. I like the rear swaybar bushings. When you take off, both sides of rear suspension articulate roughly equal (assuming roughly straight takeoff), so swaybar isn't applying any spring force, but it is pivoting in the bushings on both sides.

So it could easily creek as it pivots on old, dirty rubber bushings. You couod undo end links on both sides, and rotate bar in its bushings and see if you can replicate the noise.

You can lube up the bar and inner bushing with shin itsu grease (the silicone stuff used for softop seals). Just don't use so much it attracts dirt, as that will just grind into bushing and wear it out.
Yeah that's exactly where my thinking was, ran into a snag though, as my end links are both jacked up from rust, should have just replaced those when I did the fronts. So going to just try to see if I can grease the bushings without messing with the end links. Not 100% though, feel like I'd hear creaking when sharply changing directions in a parking lot if it was the sway bar.

The more I keep reading the more I'm thinking it's just the famous axle nut click that has progressed to a creak. I'll update this thread once I get it resolved for anyone that searches this up.
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Old 05-17-2018, 07:18 AM
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Originally Posted by rbtz View Post
Yeah, definitely double-checked the CV buckets and made sure everything was tight, good call. I guess it would make sense that the clicking might progress to a creaking as the bearings get worse.




Yeah that's exactly where my thinking was, ran into a snag though, as my end links are both jacked up from rust, should have just replaced those when I did the fronts. So going to just try to see if I can grease the bushings without messing with the end links. Not 100% though, feel like I'd hear creaking when sharply changing directions in a parking lot if it was the sway bar.

The more I keep reading the more I'm thinking it's just the famous axle nut click that has progressed to a creak. I'll update this thread once I get it resolved for anyone that searches this up.
i had the same issue when i bought my car, i recreased and torqued the axle nut and within 3000miles i ended up having the bearing and hub whine, which got really bad ( you can hear it when you are on the highway in a lane next to a concrete barrier, and after a while you will develop the weird oscillating humming noise, than it starts sounding worse and worse, than you may as well change it. the rear hubs do go bad, due to the rear rotors not being vented and all that excess heat, getting vented rotors or rear brake vents does help mitigate the issue from coming back
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:09 AM
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Had a weird creaking in my car for awhile from the rear, ended up removing the rear sway bar as part of my set up, and the creaking went away, so iam guessing my sway bar endlinks were bad even though they didn't have any ripped boots.
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