Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes - Page 2
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Cadillac STS Forum - 2005 through 2012 Discussion, Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; Dealer told me it was a bushing, but that part is not serviceable so they replaced the whole control arm. ...
  1. #16
    KRSTS is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    Dealer told me it was a bushing, but that part is not serviceable so they replaced the whole control arm. I didn't care since it cost me my deductible either way.

  2. #17
    Lagging Larry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    I haven't been driving the car too much in the past 3 months, so it's been easier to ignore the noise instead of tracking it down and fixing it. I think my problem is more along the lines of what ishoothsts and Brent Messing describe -- The noise seems to go away when I put a drag on the brakes.

    If I read things right, the noise happened for KRSTS and EChas3 when they applied the brakes (and my noise goes away when I apply the brakes).

    I'm not saying the car doesn't have front suspension slop, as something has to wear out of spec after almost 9 years and 100K+ miles on some poorly maintained roads. But I'm still hoping the fix doesn't require major $$$. Weather has been very warm and dry out here in Northern California. Maybe I'll get around to re-greasing those caliper pins this week and see if it changes anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Messing View Post

    I measured the diameter on the new and old pins and there wasn't any sign of wear. I went ahead and replaced the pins and rubber rings anyway and used caliper grease during the install process. This didn't change the slop in the calipers and the noise has stayed the same. After that waste of time, I removed the caliper brackets and measured the inside diameter of the pin holes. It has in fact become enlarged and my next stop will be to order new caliper brackets.

    Brent Messing -- did you ever replace your caliper brackets? Did it get rid of your noise?

  3. #18
    Ludacrisvp's Avatar
    Ludacrisvp is offline Cadillac Owners Connoisseur
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    A clunk noise would lead me to believe the LCA (lower control arm bushing) issue, I had what I would call a crunch or a creak noise in mine which went away after I did a brake job.
    I replaced all pads and rotors and the rubber gaskets around the caliper pins and gave them a good lubrication and also applied this to the back (non-rotor side) of the pads and the noise has not returned.

  4. #19
    EChas3's Avatar
    EChas3 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    "Crunch" is the right word to describe the sound in my wife's car's front end under low speed braking, but deeper.

  5. #20
    Brent Messing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I have had both the issues with the lower control arms and the calipers. The easiest way to tell the difference is to softly apply the brakes over a rough patch of road. If the noise is goes away, it is probably brake related. If not, you probably will need to replace the lower control arm.

    I have two recommendations based on experience. First, if you have to replace on of the lower control arm, replace the both. That way you don't have to pay for and alignment twice. I wish I would have fine this because they wore out about 6 months apart. Second, you shouldn't have to replace the caliper brackets like I did if you just repack the caliper bolts with lots of proper caliper lube. I had more severe issues from driving and braking really hard.

    I hope this helps.
    KRSTS likes this.

  6. #21
    Lagging Larry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    Well, I finally got around to re-lubing the caliper pins. It does look like they were under-greased, as there was plenty of slop in the pins before I added more. So I'm hopeful that this will stop the rattle I was hearing.

    Unfortunately, I must have mixed the pins up when I originally changed the pads and rotors, as the one with the rubber ring at the end was in the top hole on one side, and the bottom hole on the other .

    Does anybody know which choice is correct? I tried checking ALLDATA, but the diagram didn't show which pin went where.

    Car's still up on jackstands, and I'll finish putting it together tomorrow. Hopefully somebody will have an answer before then so I don't have to guess which one was right

  7. #22
    Brent Messing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Rubber grommet goes higher all metal is lower.

  8. #23
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    I had my experience with that "clunking sound".
    On my 07 CTS it happened and I asked my mechanic friend about it. He put it up on the lift and took the tires off, fronts, and took the calipers off and used a needle gun to clean every bit of rust off the pads and backing plates, he even showed me a snot of rust that was probably the problem.
    It seems this is common at slow speeds, no disc is perfectly true, so when it tips a couple of thousands one way, then the other way as it turns, the pad and/or backing plate will rock ever so gently on the snot piece of rust.
    He added a small amount of squeak stuff to the back of the pads and problem solved.
    This may not be the answer to all "clunks", but just a reminder to clean well when doing your brakes.

  9. #24
    dmaxbowtie is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    This is some good info as I am having A high pitch brake squeak along with a creak in the front drivers side when braking. I feel the creak sound may be the bushings and I'll be needing a control arm. Is this common (my 07 awd has only 54k)

  10. #25
    Lagging Larry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Messing View Post
    Rubber grommet goes higher all metal is lower.
    Thanks Brent -- I managed to get your update before I buttoned things up.

    The area that made the most noise was the side that had the pins reversed. I don't know how I missed noticing that one of the caliper pins had a rubber grommet on the end when I did the brakes, but somehow I did.

    I now have the pins in the correct position, and they are loaded with grease (instead of just coated). So far, so good! I've put about 50 miles on the car after making these changes, and the noise seems to have gone away. Back to the nice old "caddy quite" while driving on a rough road.

    So, I made two mistakes when I originally did the brake job:
    • Caliper Pin in wrong place: I read in the forums that the caliper pins were different, but I didn't see that the difference was the rubber grommet at the end of one of the pins. So I reversed the pins on one side by mistake. The pin with the rubber grommet goes into the top-most location of the caliper bracket.
    • Insufficient grease on Caliper Pin: I didn't use enough silicone grease on the caliper pins. I should have realized that these pins float the same way that wheel bearing pins float -- not enough grease on them and your wheel would rattle. I added grease until there was enough back-pressure to push the pin back out about a half inch. Anything more and I couldn't compress it in enough to put the caliper back on.
    It's said that true knowledge comes when you learn from your mistakes. But somehow I don't feel very smart after this adventure.

    Thanks to all that gave me pointers along the way!

    Larry

  11. #26
    B1n2fra's Avatar
    B1n2fra is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Besides the dealer who sells the caliper bracket with the pins? Mines are stuck in the bracket.

  12. #27
    dannyquest is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    One of mine was stuck. Removes the rubber grommet. Sprayed some liquid wrench. Heat the bracket with a propane torch. Use a vise grip and twist. It should come out. Clean the pin with a wire brush if its not too rusted. NAPA has the pins, don't know about the bracket. Danny

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