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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! :eek:k3: 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. :beer:

 

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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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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 :lol:
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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I registered here today just to post a huge Thank You for this thread.

:beer:

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.

:yahoo:
 

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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. :beer:

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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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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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...

Sent from my TbooK 16 Pro(E5C8) using Tapatalk
 

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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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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.
 

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Torque specs for the 3 brace bolts is 89 in lb or 10 Nm.
Not picking on mdubyk, but 89 inch pounds is only about 7.5 foot pounds, pretty weak, not the kind of torque I associate with structural fasteners. So I looked it up - I found my gen8 manual has the same, exact numbers.

But I still wasn't satisfied.

My gen7 manual says "25 N·m (18 lb ft) at the radiator support" and "47 N·m (35 lb ft) at the inner fender".

Those numbers make a lot more sense for structural fasteners. Given that the gen7 and gen8 bodies are very close, I'm thinking these gen8 spec's were a mistake that may have propagated thru multiple references.

HTH.

Doug

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I wouldn't have touched mine if I wasn't swapping my battery out...
What's funny is that, looking up the torque spec's for the diagonal, I saw where the battery replacement instructions say to not tilt the battery more than 40°. Ha! I thought. No way I've ever gotten a battery out of one of these without tilting it beyond 40° - more like 90!

Looking further, that was for the LZE/LZ4. For the LS4, there was no such restriction. It's clear the manual writers knew there was no way to do it without exceeding that spec!

Doug

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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.
Did you find out a method in securing the bars down? I am having a similar issue with the bolts not staying put.
 

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What's funny is that, looking up the torque spec's for the diagonal, I saw where the battery replacement instructions say to not tilt the battery more than 40°. Ha! I thought. No way I've ever gotten a battery out of one of these without tilting it beyond 40° - more like 90!

Looking further, that was for the LZE/LZ4. For the LS4, there was no such restriction. It's clear the manual writers knew there was no way to do it without exceeding that spec!

Doug

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in -40 degree indiana winter around 2014-2015 i had to stand it on end to pull it out of the hole when it failed to start at home before work. when i was selling the car the battery was failing (i was keeping it alive with a charger in the garage), i refused to replace that battery again. i just knocked some money off the sale to account for the battery and me not having to mess with that disaster of a design again lol.
 
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