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2002 Squeaks

This is a discussion on 2002 Squeaks within the Convertible forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; I bought a 2002 SS Convertible last Summer. It only has 9200 miles on it. It sits in the garage ...

  1. #1
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    Red
    2002 35th Anniv SS Camaro

    2002 Squeaks

    I bought a 2002 SS Convertible last Summer. It only has 9200 miles on it. It sits in the garage most of the time in the winter. This is my 5th Camaro of this generation and the second Vert.

    The last couple of times I have driven it, it has a lot of squeaking coming from the back. I cant tell if it's the hardware from the top, or the suspension or where else. I don't remember this on my old one. I am really partial to a quiet ride and don't want to put up with this. It may be due to the cold temps, but I have to fix this.

    It's definitely from behind the back seat or under the car. Any suggestions where to start looking?
    Thanks,
    Al

  2. #2
    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Navy Blue
    2002 Trans Am WS6 Conv

    Al,

    It is not going to be the convertible top. Most likely some of your suspension bushings are getting hard from sitting and causing the squeaks. Only thing worse than overuse is no use for some parts. You can get under there with a spray can and lube everything and see if that fixes it. As to what to use, you might want to post a note in the suspension section of the forum and see what is recommended. My 2002 is also still just under 10K miles and I don't have much in the way of squeaks but it wouldn't surprise me if I did. If you have an aftermarket exhaust, definitely check that for rubbing points as well. Have you installed sub-frame connectors? I put in a set of UMI bolt in connectors and it definitely seemed to help stiffen my car up a reduce noise from flexing.

    Steve
    Blackwing Lid, SFCs, Y-pipe, LM2, Frost Tune, Corvette N73 Magnesium Wheels, 4th Circle Designs Stripe and Overlay kit

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    +1 on subframe connectors. They will definitely tighten the car up, especially being a convertible.

    Also, lubing the suspension bushings is a good recommendation. New aftermarket poly bushings come with a real sticky grease. The closest substitute I have found is synthetic caliper grease that you can get at most parts stores. However, for a try at a quick temporary fix, a can of spray silicone is your best bet.

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    Red
    2002 35th Anniv SS Camaro

    Thanks
    I'll give it a try.
    Al

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    Former Mopar Man 2002ssslp's Avatar
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    02 Camaro SS, 04 GTO

    Hit all of your bushings with WD40
    My ride is a 2002 Camaro SS SLP #3296 with 30k, LTH, 3" Y, CME, Frost tune, K&N, ported TB, Blackwing lid, Bellows, MSD, Denso Iridium, and 85mm MAF, Bilsteins, Eibach springs, SLP strut brace, Adj. Panhard, TA Girdle, UMI, Pro 5.0, Nitto NT555
    My wife has a 2004 GTO with the rare SAP, 18" wheels, K&N Cold Air System, MSD, Ported TB, Frost tune, Denso Iridium, Flowmaster cat-back, 3200 Yank, 75k

  6. #6
    Moderator Firebirdjones's Avatar
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    What I've found with our 4th gen SS's, since they come with poly bushings in the sway bars from the factory, is that they will squeak over time. Every SS we've owned, that was the source of the squeak every time.

    The only real fix I've found that will last a couple years, is to pull the sway bar bushings apart and apply synthetic caliper grease as Jeff mentioned, and I've also used synthetic Green Grease that seems to stay put for a long time.

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    2002 35th Anniv SS Camaro

    I will try that. I would be concerned with WD-40 since I understand it will attack rubber and plastic. I think you need a non petroleum based product to be safe.
    I'll try the grease.

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    Although I have never had an issue with WD-40, that is why I recommended spray silicone. I actually use WD-40 extensively to clean plastic and rubber parts during restoration work. It is amazing how well it cuts through caked on grease and dirt -- much less harsh than a solvent and does a far better job than soap and water.

  9. #9
    Moderator 35th-ANV-SS's Avatar
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    WD-40, while it is a type of lubricant, has a very low viscosity so it only works well in certain applications.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    I will add a +1 for the caliper grease. I was having sway bar bushing squeak and that is what I used to isolate the squeak. I bought new sway bars and they came with new bushings. Now, however, they are squeaking again, less than a year later. Not sure if it's actually the sway bars, but the squeaks happen in all the same contexts, though they sound different (different bars, different bushings, different lube, so this may be the reason for the difference in sound).

    I did try spray silicone before using the caliper grease, and it had no effect on the squeak whatsoever.

  11. #11
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    2001 3.8 Black - sold
    2000 SS Black M6

    not trying to thread jack, but I have a really bad squeak in my rear end, especially if i go over a speed bump at an angle. I assumed it was shocks, but it wounds like yall are saying bushings, where exactly are these bushing?

  12. #12
    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spikito View Post
    not trying to thread jack, but I have a really bad squeak in my rear end, especially if i go over a speed bump at an angle. I assumed it was shocks, but it wounds like yall are saying bushings, where exactly are these bushing?
    Nearly all moving suspension parts are connected by or supported by a combination of bolts and rubber bushings. When new the rubber parts are soft and pliable and do a pretty good job of allowing the suspension components to move in relation to the chassis while dampening vibration and noise. As the rubber ages it will often get quite hard and begins to squeak and will not allow the suspension to work as designed. As it continues to wear the rubber will eventually begin to break apart. I've seen some suspension parts where the rubber bushings are partially or completely missing on older muscle cars.

    To fix some of the shortcomings of rubber bushings some people will replace those bushings with urethane or other composite materials that last longer and allow the suspension to work better but often as not squeak just as much as rubber if not lubricated. Look under your car at the sway bars and or upper and lower control arms. At each point where they are bolted to another part there is a rubber bushing. The sway bars also have support brackets along the length with bushings to add to their ability to control the body roll.

    If you have a squeak, first inspect everything to make sure you don't have loose hardware (in some cases too loose is just as bad as too tight). Look at the condition of the rubber parts, if it looks like the rubber is flaking or deformed it is time to replace. To locate a specific squeak you will have to go through a process of spraying one bushing at a time with a silicone or grease spray then taking a drive over a road surface that normally causes the squeak. When the squeak goes away you found the culprit. At this point, assuming it is in good condition, you can either plan on shooting it with the spray every couple of months or take the joint apart and do a more thorough job using something like the caliper grease recommended by other posters. Be very sure you know the proper torque to reassemble any suspension parts and do the final torque with the suspension loaded (vehicle supported by the tires on the ground or a lift).

  13. #13
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    2001 3.8 Black - sold
    2000 SS Black M6

    I have new LCAs on the rear with poly bushings...so i should check out my rear sway bar bushings?

  14. #14
    Member sjgreen6's Avatar
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    Definitely. Poly bushings are a bit more prone than rubber to squeaking which is one reason they are not generally used by GM. When you installed the LCAs I suspect there was a silicone grease packet provided to lube the bushings. That stuff has to be refreshed occasionally and it may involve taking the joint apart to get good coverage. Also, as I mentioned previously, I can not overstate the importance of tightening suspension components to the correct torque while the suspension is loaded. If you tighten down the suspension components while the suspension is hanging lose from the body you can pinch bushings and cause them to bind when the car is on the ground.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Yes.
    img_20120804_083322.jpg

    The bushings are the two like components at the top of the row, there. They will be found supporting the sway bar outside the center of the bar (on either side of the differential).

    Contrary to what sjgreen6 is saying, I was unable to isolate my squeak with silicone spray. White lithium did not work, either. ONLY the caliper grease was able to provide the right kind of lube to overcome the squeak in my case. It worked for a couple of days before the squeak started up again.
    Last edited by Naaman; 02-24-2013 at 06:36 AM.

  16. #16
    James Bond Spikito's Avatar
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    2001 3.8 Black - sold
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    yeah my LCAs are torqued right, they have roto joints on the axle end, it was a bitch getting everything lined up just right....72 lbs i think, they have poly mounts, with zerts, I lubed them with marine grease, but that's been about almost 18 months since i installed and lubed. Didnt realize it had been that long until just now

  17. #17
    Senior Member Naaman's Avatar
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    Another thing that may be relevant: I notice that my suspension is more likely to squeak in cooler (or just plain cold) temperatures. I'm assuming it has to do with the rubber hardening somewhat as temperatures drop. In the Arizona summers, (which is also when I fixed the initial squeak I was having), there are no squeaks, except for the first time I drive after the car has been sitting for over a week.

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