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post #1 of (permalink) Old 05-08-2014 Thread Starter
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2008 Impala suspension popping/creaking sounds

Well, i've been dealing with these popping and creaking sounds coming from front passenger side of the engine. Replaced both lower control arms and swarbar links. Still didn't resolve the noises.
Started checking drive axles no problems there, boots are intact with no lose play. Tried removing upper engine mounts and rocking the engine, could not reproduce the sounds. While they were out , i rotated the bushing and it helped with more firmness. Shocks/struts are ok too, no loose play or creaking sounds. Checked the engine/tranny mounts all good there, no leaks or damage.

Finally decided to ask my friend to change gears between R/N/D with engine running and we could hear the same popping/creaking noises again. Took a few minutes for me to figure out that the damn braces for rad support were making the sound when torque applied. I could feel them twist. Took one of them out, no more popping/creaking noises! Reinstalled and tightened them.

So folks, if you are dealing with suspension creaks when accelerating or braking and changing gears, make sure these braces are bolted down well.

This is what im talking about.

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The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to Efx For This Useful Post:
702•LTZ (05-08-2014), Aepyceros melampus (06-20-2015), Dave_N (05-14-2014), jamesm007 (04-18-2018), sheila (05-08-2014)
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014
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You can also try installing Strut Tower Bar braces. They really help keep the car from bending and twisting.

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post #3 of (permalink) Old 05-14-2014
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MI 2010 LT does this but only when it's cool. Hmm mite do tht to mine.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 05-22-2015
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my ss does the same thing
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 06-20-2015
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Thank you so much for this! It has been bothering me forever! I guess when my Grandpa changed the battery, he removed the brace/bar above the battery area to get it out. His idea of "tightening" the brace back on was probably affected by his age
I removed the brace then reinstalled it, ensuring it was torqued. Sound is GONE! Once again thank you, and I hope this helps others out as well.


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post #6 of (permalink) Old 06-29-2015
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Would appreciate it if anyone would suggest a torque value for the (3) bolts on each brace. Thanks.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-03-2015
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I registered here today just to post a huge Thank You for this thread.



It has been freaking me out for a couple months.
I thought for sure that moving 20 miles up a damned mountain road had
made toast of my suspension and the monetary bleed was eminent.

I changed my battery a few months ago - and of course didn't tighten
the bolts down enough. So yeah. Thank you.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 11-15-2015
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I torqued mine to 26 foot lbs. worked well.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 04-17-2018
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Thumbs up Thanks!

I also want to thank you. Thank You for sharing your find with a picture. I have a 2009 3.5l Impala. This is something I would never think of. I had a slight "popping and clunk", noise on the passenger side. When I read this I had a gut feeling, that's it! I went out in the cold and snow removed cleaned and reinstalled, noise gone.

I don't pretend to be anything but a backyard mechanic. But I will try to write down why this can cause the noise.

When the noise first started I had a good look and found one slightly bad, and one bad engine torque strut. I replaced them. And the noise was, well back to looking and googling and found this.

It makes sense as those mounts transmit a lot of the engines torque via the radiator structure to the braces. And the other way around, strut tower to radiator structure. If one or both braces become even slightly loose it can cause a popping noise that's hard to fine.

I don't think its my imagination, the car also feels tighter as well. I noticed that right away.

Thank You
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2018
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When I removed the pass. bar to swap the batt. on my '12, the 2 smaller bolts at the front of the strut stripped. They pulled the threads out with them. Time for plan "B", lol.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sheila View Post
When I removed the pass. bar to swap the batt. on my '12, the 2 smaller bolts at the front of the strut stripped. They pulled the threads out with them. Time for plan "B", lol.
Now that you mention it, I remember that I took off the drivers-side brace once and one of the bolts at the front stripped. The threads were still there and worked, but I could no longer really tighten it down good. Thankfully the other one at the front was Ok. Can't remember if it was the bolt or the car, but I'm pretty sure it was the car body part that stripped, not the bolt...

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Last edited by jtrosky; 04-19-2018 at 02:53 AM.
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2018
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^+1 JT. It was the threaded holes, not the bolts on mine. They came out pretty stubbornly all the way like they were loctited, but really didn't notice until reinstalling and they wouldn't tighten. I'm thinking about a bolt, nut and lock washer set-up.
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post #13 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2018
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Just Tighten

I see some had problems with the radiator brace bolts removing and or installing them. My experience, FWIW

The three bolts on my 2009 3.5 impala LT came out no problems. When I reinstalled them different story. I used a 15mm 1/2" socket and ratchet (fairly large). The front two went in kind of hard, but I didn't tighten them until I got the stationary bolt (near strut tower) tighten first. The front two bolt holes on the brace are slotted, (hence the noise).

It took almost all my arm strength to tighten that bolt. The bolt fought me all the way. I can not believe it didn't snap on me. It took almost all I had to get that one bolt in tight, a lot of effort. But it didn't come out that hard?

Some strange backyard mechanic stuff I do. A few times a year (MI weather) I spray a bit of oil on bolts that look rusted. I know one day I may have to take them off. Just the bolts up top, like that brace. That's probably why my brace had dirt and stuff under it I cleaned off. The oil might have allowed me to do it without stripping the threads or snapping the bolt head off.

Question for all. Would it be a better idea for others who try this to just tighten the bolts down rather than remove the brace and put it back in.

Last edited by jamesm007; 04-20-2018 at 04:38 AM. Reason: Grammer
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 04-19-2018
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I wouldn't have touched mine if I wasn't swapping my battery out, but then again, I wasn't experiencing any popping/creaking sounds. No need to loosen/remove strut if just checking for snugness...
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2018
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Torque specs for the 3 brace bolts is 89 in lb or 10 Nm.
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