The front end: a tale of many noises (1 Viewer)

Jul 9, 2017
Washington, DC
Just returned home from a road trip from DC to the Rockies and back.

I wasn’t wheeling, but a few forest service roads were rough, washboarded, rocky. After driving on one road, I noticed hard spots in the steering at 9 and 3 positions. Didn’t see any power steering leaks.

Here’s what I’ve found from poking around:

1) I noticed my passenger lower ball joint and tie rod end boots were leaking grease. So I injected grease and patched with silicone. Patches held up but grease leaking out again from top/bottom of boots.

2) front passenger sway bar bracket sheared off the frame (I just had the sway bar links and bushings replaced)

3) Fiberglass splash guard on passenger side missing two bolts, one appears sheared off in frame and other is gone along with a tab of the guard

4) intermittent creaky and clunky noises from front but they seem random when trying to replicate

So, I’m thinking I replace the lower balls and tie rod ends. Is it worth replacing the steering rack? I haven’t seen any leaks but I haven’t dropped the skid plates. I put Lucas leak stop in PS reservoir and after driving home about 1500 miles the 9/3 o’clock resistance seems gone but the steering might feel a little labored overall. I couldn’t see much play on lower balls with the tire wiggle test and with putting a pry bar under the tire. I’m assuming most of the noise is coming from my sheared sway bar bracket knocking against the frame and the torsion bar. Any reason to replace upper control arms or bushings??

I’ve searched through a bunch of threads on the front end stuff, but I’ve never done suspension work before and want to make sure I’m not missing anything.

PS - I just got brand new CV axles installed by OTRAMM so those are good to go. Truck is at 192k so I figure LBJ is a worthy preventative fix.



Feb 28, 2017
Redwood City
I just did LBJ's, make sure you have a 2 and 1/8" sleeve to press in the new lbj's. Might as well add new diff bushings to your list of work. When they go bad they can contribute to clunks and thunks...Get new extended sway bar links if you're lifted..


Waiting for Barn Time
Jan 11, 2015
Looks like you have corrosion also causing things to fail. I would inspect frame areas to see if there ar some potential failure points.
Mar 31, 2005
Raleigh, North Carolina
Not sure when you acquired your LX and your history with it, but at that mileage it sounds like the trip may have exposed the wear on the LBJs (perhaps UCAs as well) and tie rod ends (inners and outers) as you mentioned. Steering rack bushings may be a culprit as well. Check Cruiser outfitters for your needs and they'll hook you up. Good news is it brought you back home safe, sounds like quite the journey.:cheers:

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