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Triumph TR3 - Creaks and Groans

Ok, squeaks aside, my car has always had a case of the creaks and groans from the suspension/chassis area. When making a turn, either slight or hard, the car emits low creaking sounds. When hitting a minor bump, I hear something of a clunking or knocking sound, like heavy parts, but it does not seem to be the suspension components.

Any suggestions on the creaking? I'd hate to think the body is going to slide off the chassis one day.

Many thanks,

Bill Stagg
1961 TR3A
Bill Stagg

All sidescreen TR's creak and squeak. At least mine does. If it's the front, it's the inner bushings in the upper and lower "A" frames (wishbones) where they attach to the frame. There are little round rubber "seals" that are supposed to be there to keep out the dirt. They fall off or rot so I use black "cable ties" that I pull around and tighten, than clip off the long end. They prevent you having to pull it all apart to replace a rubber ring that won't last a year anyway.

These bushes need to be sprayed with teflon aerosol spray lubricant to eliminate the squeaking. But if it works, the squeaks are back in a weak or less if you go through some rain.

As for the rear banging on gentle waves in the paved road, it has to be the mounting bolts for the rear shocks. They are hard to tighten but if you get a 1/8" drive 9/16" long socket with 12 points from Sears, you can reach the bolt head. What I did was buy bolts that are 1 and 1/4" longer and had a machine shop turn 4 spacers for me. These spacers, 1.25" long act like flat washers but they are very thick. This puts the bolt head out where you can get any mother of a socket on it and really tighten them. This re-tighteneing needs to be done every winter as routine. Bolts were never designed to work or to stay tight "in shear". Think of head bolts etc. They are in tension. What happens is the wheel rises on the wave in the road, the lever arm goes up. The whole body of the shock is rotating on the bolts and you hear the banging. You may find the holes in the frame support have become oval. This is no problem one you re-tighten them all.

Also check you rear bumperette brackets are tight.

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

Hi Bill-I found the usual culprit for squeaks from the front to be the lower inner pivots. They are nylon bushings and the sealing rings don't do much to keep the water out, as Don pointed out. A shot of oil will usually keep them quiet for a while. Another source of squeaks is the lower shock pivot, which is a rubber bushing. I would suggest using something that is rubber friendly on it, like silicone or teflon spray. The banging from the rear could be either the exhaust system hitting the frame or as was mentioned a loose rear shock. It has been a long time, but I think I a longer allen head (for easier access) bolt with a jam nut to keep it tight.
In reference to your posting about the squeak from the rear, probably a u joint or dry wheel bearing (there is a grease fitting on the bottom of the axle just inboard of the brake backing plate. Another source cold be the edges of the shoes contacting the drum. Happy hunting.

Bill-Actually, the pivot on the bottom shock mount is metal to metal. The rubber bushing in the bottom shock mount is just an isolator and has a steel sleeve in it. If that is the source of the squeak, remove the bolt and smear some grease on it. Sorry for the mis-information.

Don and Berry,

Thanks for the tips. I'm going hunting for squeaks and creaks this weekend. I'll let you know if I bag any.

Bill Stagg

Did you hear the one about the TR owner who went fishing in his front suspension. He heard there was a "creek" there ?

Just got back from 1,600 miles in the heavy rain for 8 days at VTR and the TRF Summer Party. With all that rain, I'll have to get the belt dressing onto my fan belt - boy it it ever squeaking !!!

Don Elliott, 1958 TR3A
Don Elliott

This thread was discussed between 02/08/2003 and 12/08/2003

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