Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes
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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; Looking for some comments or suggestions to help me track down and fix a problem. I replaced my brakes about ...
  1. #1
    Lagging Larry is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    Looking for some comments or suggestions to help me track down and fix a problem. I replaced my brakes about 9 months ago, and recently I started to hear a "clunking" noise coming from the front of the car. I followed what some others had suggested / done in some other threads here (see http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums...rakes-je5.html for one example), and put Hawks on the front and Akebono's on the rear. Used Centric rotors all the way around. I started noticing the noise a couple of months ago, and I was finally able to find the right "bumpy" road to do some testing. The noise goes away when I put a slight drag on the brakes, and comes back when I release the drag. So I went looking for the noise. I pulled the front wheels and did a visual inspection for loose parts, and found none. I then tried to rock the calipers, and saw that they had a fair amount of slop in them. I was able to rock them back and forth and get the "clunking" sound on both sides, but there seemed to be more play in the driver's side than the passenger's side. I've searched for people reporting similar problems, but no luck. Right now I'm guessing that I didn't put enough grease in the caliper pin bore when I put them back on, and loading up the bore with more grease should fix the problem. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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    Brent Messing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    I am actually having the same problem right now with my 05. It started on one if the front calipers and has spread to 3 of the 4 calipers. I am planning to replace the caliper brackets in the next couple of weeks. I think it is more of a design flaw than a lack of grease. The bracket is aluminum and the bolt is steel. Since steel is harder than aluminum, the bracket hole stretched open from heat and stress. I suspect that this will become a hot topic on this forum as more of these cars get higher in milage.

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    STSJr's Avatar
    STSJr is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Great to know. Thank you!

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    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

    Your guess sounds as good a mine, but we're both just guessing :-) .

    These are not new cars, and in my searches of this forum I didn't find any other reports matching this one. So I'm more inclined to think "user error" rather than design flaw, as I put the brakes on myself. As a shade-tree mechanic I'm not ruling out the possibility that I did something wrong.

    Hopefully we'll both get some pointers before we go randomly replacing parts. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I'll pull the front wheels and re-grease the pins to see if that changes things. Perhaps a little bit of my time and some grease will make the noise go away.

    (BTW, not sure which type of grease to use yet, but I'll add that when I update the thread with my results.)

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    trailbrake 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

    Mine has a clunk in both sides in the front at low speed going over uneven pavement, but has nothing to do with the brakes. It's apparently bushings at the bottom of the struts. I'll investigate more in the coming weeks.

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

    My wife's car had a low-speed noise after applying the brake but it turned out to need both lower control arms & one upper. It really sounded like a brake issue,

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    ishoothsts 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

    Having exact same issue. Can shake front calipers and hear metal to metal noise in them. Its more herd from the LF than anything. When over bumpy road the noise is there like a light metal loose component sound, slight drag on the brakes the noise is gone completely. I really think its the caliper bracket and pins are both worn. The play that the caliper has seems excessive. Car had just had brake job before I bought it, 2 months later the noise is there.

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    Ludacrisvp's Avatar
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    Re: Front end clunking noise on my 05 STS -- think it's somewhere in the brakes

    i bet they put the pins in the wrong holes...

    The upper and lower caliper pins are NOT the same.

    My creaking noises went away when i did my brake job, did all 4 wheels (rotors and pads).
    My pads also came with new rubber seals for the pins (the old ones were a b¡tch to remove) I did replace them and applied a generous amount of caliper pin grease and haven't had them make any noise since.

  10. #9
    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 Ludacrisvp View Post
    i bet they put the pins in the wrong holes...

    The upper and lower caliper pins are NOT the same.
    The postings that I used as references mentioned that the pins were different. While changing the pads / rotors I thought I kept track of which one when where, and put them back in the same place. But who knows .....

    Are there any markings on the pins that would help me to identify which pin goes where? What's different in the two pins (my recollection is that they looked the same to me)?

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

    all i remember is that one had a little black rubber ring at the end about 1/4" wide, I don't recall if that was the top or bottom pin though.
    Which brake package do you have? JE5/JL9/J56?

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    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

    JE5's. And like ishoothsts says, the "The play that the caliper has seems excessive."

  13. #12
    Brent Messing is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    This is not an issue with the pins or pin placement. When I first started hearing this noise, I actually purchased new pins and rubber rings from GM. 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.

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    valjan1 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 have the same problem with mine and dont even think of buying the bushings , NOBODY makes them and no aftermarket control arm. The only thing that can be changed is the ball joint period.

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    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

    Quote Originally Posted by EChas3 View Post
    My wife's car had a low-speed noise after applying the brake but it turned out to need both lower control arms & one upper. It really sounded like a brake issue,
    Just had my driver's side lower control arm replaced under GMPP. It would clunk when I first started out in the morning and applied the brakes. After a while it would go away. I also thought it was in the brakes.

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    CadiTamer 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

    I have a very slight clunk when i go over roads that are just right. It's easy to confuse with the usual sound of hitting bumps, but it's a bit higher in pitch. If it turns out to be brakes, that'll be great, but i'm feeling like i'll be putting a ball joint or bushing on it at some point...

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