QUESTION: HOW DO I STOP MY DOUBLE CAB’S SUSPENSION FROM SQUEAKING?

 

I’m hoping you can help…

 

A few years ago I bought a brand-new double-cab; the vehicle has never given a day’s trouble, but shortly after my first gravel-travel holiday the vehicle’s suspension started squeaking.

 

I can’t for the life of me determine where the noise is coming from, but it’s driving me crazy. It’s so bad that the vehicle can be heard from 50 metres away, even when I’m just cruising around a parking area looking for an open spot.

 

I realise it’s a double cab, and to some extent a workhorse vehicle, but I’m feeling a bit resentful that my half-a-million-rand vehicle sounds like it’s on its last legs.

 

I’m wondering if I can go berserk and spray Q20 throughout the undercarriage. Any chance that this may solve the problem?

 

Q20 stops squeaking suspension

 

ANSWER:

 

Before you blast Q20 in a hit-and-miss approach to lubrication, let’s first consider the usual suspects.

 

You mentioned that the vehicle started squeaking shortly after an off-road holiday, which is not surprising: this is a very common scenario.

 

Dust has an incredible ability to work its way into (and between) just about everything. This is particularly true for suspension components which tend to flex and shift independently from one another. As the suspension flexes, the dust may find its way in-between certain components.

 

Leaf springs (8 of 10)

Dust can work its way in-between the leaf spring blades, and lead to eventual squeaking of the suspension.

 

This is often the case with leaf-spring blades. Most leaf-sprung suspension is equipped with a series of anti-friction pads between each spring blade, but these pads don’t necessarily last forever. Once they wear out, the blades start to rub against one another.

 

If this is the case, you will often see light surface-rust forming in the groove between each leaf spring. This is a relatively easy problem to solve, and generally involves a liberal squirt of Q20 over the suspected area. Allow the Q20 time to penetrate the springs, and then spray a second application a few minutes later. (Make sure that you wipe the spring pack down with a rag beforehand; you want to remove any grime or sand before spraying Q20.)

 

Spraying Q20 on the leaf sprung suspension

 

You may have to repeat this process every couple of months if the squeaking returns. A more long-term solution would be to have the leaf pack stripped and to insert new anti-friction pads; however, Q20 will take care of the noise in the interim.

 

If the problem is unrelated to contact between the suspension blades, another culprit could be the u-bracket that holds the spring pack together. These brackets can sometimes work their way into an angle, so that the bracket itself comes into contact with the spring pack. If this appears to be the case, a light tap with a hammer should knock the bracket back into a square position, and stop any squeaking sounds.

 

Suspension clamp u-bolt

Another common cause of squeaking leaf-sprung suspension is a twisted clamp. Alternatively, the plastic sleeve that covers the clamp can wear through, leading to metal on metal squeaking.

 

Lastly, a worn shackle mount / bush could also be causing the noise. Again, a healthy dose of Q20 should stop the squeak, and (at the very least) help you to diagnose the problem area.

 

Happy hunting.

 

Leaf springs (2 of 10)

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