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Old 04-23-2013, 05:25 PM   #1
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Advice on Shock Bushings Squeaking

So..long story, long? I installed a few months back my Icon Stage 3 suspension. All was well for a few weeks until I began having a squeaking, more so a creaking noise coming from the back AAL area.

I thought this noise was coming from my AAL's and a few weeks ago took the wheels off and realigned, sprayed teflon lube, etc on my leafs and bolted it all back up. I also made sure to recheck torques on everything and make sure all was tightened down including shock mount points.

Well the creaking went away for the most part, especially on the drivers side but it came back a few days later worse on the passenger side.

My thoughts were that maybe some axle wrap was causing my leafs to slightly move and squeak. Gave it a few weeks hoping it would work itself out but the noise never went away.

Now the creaking isn't constant when I drive, or at least I don't hear it. It is most prominent when first getting going after the truck has set and restarted, 5 min, 5 hours, 24hours, doesn't matter. If I come to a stop and go it creaks and you can hear it in the cab really well. ..I am now annoyed by it. Pulling away from a gas station...crreeaakk creaakk. WTH...a little noise is OK but this is loud now.

So, sometimes before I leave the house I will jump up and down in the bed of the truck to cycle the rear suspension. Creak is loud first bounce and after a few bounces goes away. But driving slow through the neighborhood you can still hear it after awhile.

Keep with me here, I finally got fed up again and with some free time decided to take apart and lube the right rear leafs with some light grease at the sides of the leaf guides and on the wear pads thinking this is where the noise was coming from (didn't want to use grease this time but I was going on my last resort to find a cure). Got it all back together and started jacking the pumpkin back up only to hear the creaking. F***!!

After a little trial and error trying to find the source (seems to echo in wheel well and moving back to jack and back to wheel well, anyway...) I pinpointed the noise to the shock bushings at top of rear shock. Moved the shock by hand when loosened and not under load and was able to slightly reproduce the creaking that way.

So, how can I fix this? I didn't want to grease the rubber bushings fearing that might make it worse. I have the shock nut tightened down as much as I can get it without having to put a wrench on the shock tube as well. I have it down damn tight too, BUT the bushings still squeak.

Should I get new bushings? Loosen the nut up? How tight should the top shock nut be? Just enough to stay on or good and super snug?

Here are photos of my drivers side (not squeaking) and passenger side shocks (driving me nuts)

Driver Side Rear


Passenger Side Rear (Creaking/Squeaking Side)


I know nothing to me from the photos says much but maybe it will. Without pictures worthless right? Anyway...are my shock nuts too tight?

Thoughts? Icon chime in?
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:28 PM   #2
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Sub'd- I believe I have the same problem; passenger side, too.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
You can grease the bushings no problem. I use either a blue or green NGLI #2 to grease bushings and what not. I don't think that you have the shock mounting nut tight enough though. If all you're doing is tightening til the shaft spins, it's not tight enough. Use a box wrench, and looks like you need an allen wrench to get those nuts tight enough. Good luck
Can the shaft spin if the bottom is bolted? I did end up using a pair of channel lock pliers to hold the body but was afraid I would puncture the shock tube. I got it as tight as I could without breaking anything. I really don't know if I can get it any tighter without damage.

Are you saying I need to unbolt the bottom to tighten the top nut more? The bottom is bolted up so that doesn't make sense. BTW, when I tighten the top nut down, I am tightening until I cannot spin or budge the nut anymore (without using channel locks to hold the shock tube, but as previously stated I don't want to puncture that.)

I mean, I have the damn thing tight as it sits.

If greasing the shock bushings is OK then I will give that a shot another night. Should Super Lube be good?

I will try lubing the bushings at some point. I was questioning if I had over tightened the top nut or should back off on how much torque I had on that top nut and if backing off on the nut some was safe.

Edit: I did a search and my syn Super Lube is NLGI grade 2 rated.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKoda View Post
Can the shaft spin if the bottom is bolted? I did end up using a pair of channel lock pliers to hold the body but was afraid I would puncture the shock tube. I got it as tight as I could without breaking anything. I really don't know if I can get it any tighter without damage.

Are you saying I need to unbolt the bottom to tighten the top nut more? The bottom is bolted up so that doesn't make sense. BTW, when I tighten the top nut down, I am tightening until I cannot spin or budge the nut anymore (without using channel locks to hold the shock tube, but as previously stated I don't want to puncture that.)

I mean, I have the damn thing tight as it sits and I've done plenty of garage wrenching on cars and jeeps in my life.

If greasing the shock bushings is OK then I will give that a shot another night. Should Super Lube be good?
If you look at the top of the shaft, you will see a hex inside of it. This is where you insert the allen wrench to hold the shaft in place while you tighten the nut, instead of using channel locks. The stock shocks, you could use a crescent wrench to hold the top slots while you tighten the nut, but alot of the higher end shocks go with an allen to prevent slippage.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:56 PM   #6
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This is a theory. I dont have Icons. I have billies 5100's so sorry If I am way off.
Have you disassembled them and verified that the bushings are in the correct directions as per instructions provide by Icon? On mine the bottom bushing had a lip to fit in the mounting hole. This would face up. The top bushing had a lip that faces down. To fill the mounting hole from the top. These lips should center the top shock bolt. My thoughts are that the bolt passing through the mount hole is rubbing on the metal bracket causing your creak. Your bushings are not even compressed at all.
Just a thought.
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Old 04-23-2013, 05:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texoma View Post
If you look at the top of the shaft, you will see a hex inside of it. This is where you insert the allen wrench to hold the shaft in place while you tighten the nut, instead of using channel locks. The stock shocks, you could use a crescent wrench to hold the top slots while you tighten the nut, but alot of the higher end shocks go with an allen to prevent slippage.
The top of my shock nuts are smooth, no allen key..

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Old 04-23-2013, 05:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrPebkac View Post
This is a theory. I dont have Icons. I have billies 5100's so sorry If I am way off.
Have you disassembled them and verified that the bushings are in the correct directions as per instructions provide by Icon? On mine the bottom bushing had a lip to fit in the mounting hole. This would face up. The top bushing had a lip that faces down. To fill the mounting hole from the top. These lips should center the top shock bolt. My thoughts are that the bolt passing through the mount hole is rubbing on the metal bracket causing your creak. Also use the hex on the top to help tighten down the nut. Your bushings are not even compressed at all.
Just a thought.
Yeah, when I installed them I made sure the lip was inside towards the other lip. I will just have to take them back off again and lube them up. Such a pain the in ass to get the bolt started on the threads.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrPebkac View Post
This is a theory. I dont have Icons. I have billies 5100's so sorry If I am way off.
Have you disassembled them and verified that the bushings are in the correct directions as per instructions provide by Icon? On mine the bottom bushing had a lip to fit in the mounting hole. This would face up. The top bushing had a lip that faces down. To fill the mounting hole from the top. These lips should center the top shock bolt. My thoughts are that the bolt passing through the mount hole is rubbing on the metal bracket causing your creak. Your bushings are not even compressed at all.
Just a thought.
Sounds like a good thought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKoda View Post
The top of my shock nuts are smooth, no allen key..

Interesting, wonder how they expect you to keep the shaft from spinning?
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKoda View Post
Yeah, when I installed them I made sure the lip was inside towards the other lip. I will just have to take them back off again and lube them up. Such a pain the in ass to get the bolt started on the threads.
Bummer. That's all I got for now. Wish I knew more about the Icons! Your positive it is the shock thou huh? Have you removed the shock altogether and moved the rear end to completely rule out the leaf pack?
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrPebkac View Post
Bummer. That's all I got for now. Wish I knew more about the Icons! Your positive it is the shock thou huh? Have you removed the shock altogether and moved the rear end to completely rule out the leaf pack?
I am positive it is the shock bushings causing the squeak after my 2nd time around basically reinstalling the rear leafs on each side.

I just wanted to ask if, I had overtightened my shock nut; could run it looser, or was it OK to grease the rubber shock busing without creating future headache.

I am just going to take the shocks out, lube the bushings and reinstall. I did not know it was the shocks bushings for 100% sure until tonight.

Getting that top nut tread started is the kicker with these icons as the bushing when uncompressed leave no room to thread the nut so you have to Houdini the bushing with one hand and thread nut ahh, its just more of a pain than it should be.

Thanks for the replies everyone, If lubing them doesn't work I'll just order new bushings, maybe mine are just duds.
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Old 04-23-2013, 06:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKoda View Post
I am positive it is the shock bushings causing the squeak after my 2nd time around basically reinstalling the rear leafs on each side.

I just wanted to ask if, I had overtightened my shock nut; could run it looser, or was it OK to grease the rubber shock busing without creating future headache.

I am just going to take the shocks out, lube the bushings and reinstall. I did not know it was the shocks bushings for 100% sure until tonight.

Getting that top nut tread started is the kicker with these icons as the bushing when uncompressed leave no room to thread the nut so you have to Houdini the bushing with one hand and thread nut ahh, its just more of a pain that it should be.

Thanks for the replies everyone, If lubing them doesn't work I'll just order new bushings, maybe mine are just duds.
Well keep us posted on your findings. Maybe call Icon verify you got the correct parts. You spent good money on high end shocks. I think they should be able to help you in one way or another. Sounds like you are doing everything logical for your situation.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:12 PM   #13
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Update: I just went out and took the right rear shock top mount off and lubed the bushings up and reinstalled. The top nut wasn't such a pain as I remembered getting back threaded. Biggest pain was compressing the shock back down to get back in the hole. Anyway..

From what I can tell my "creaking" noise is gone. I jumped in the bed and no loud creak. I do have an ever so light squeak but that doesn't bother me. It was the god awful loud rubber under pressure creaking type noise.

I'll know for sure tomorrow if that solved the issue after the truck has sat over night. I'm not 100% as when compressing the shock body down I notice creaking from that. If it has the loud creak tomorrow I know its the shock itself and not the bushing. For now...problem is solved as I see it...

Edit: Thanks for the super quick replies and comments.

BTW: I folded laundry and took out the trash and did the shock before coming back to reply! I thought I was fast...
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:11 AM   #14
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Please keep us posted.....I have that same squeak and just thought it was the leafs!
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Old 04-24-2013, 06:03 AM   #15
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After my drive this morning I'd say it was 75% the source of my squeak/creaking.

I only lubed up the right rear top shock bushings last night; so the left rear may be making a slight noise and my shocks have a slight squeak. I'd say I addressed my issue by locating the loudest culprit to the shock mount bushings.

I may or may not lube up the other bushing depending on how this thing goes without the creaking noise returning. I hope to never touch it again until I need to service my shocks.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:00 AM   #16
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Super Update Problem Solved!

So it was my bushings causing the creaking/squeaking. However lubing them up only worked for half a day and it altered the sound of the noise to a lubricated squeak instead of a dry creak. It was less loud but still there.

This still irritated me as I knew I had located the source issue but hadn't fixed it, only band aid.

I thought about buying new bushings but first I would try the bushings from my factory TRD Sport Bilstiens that I still have boxed up. Got them out and of course the bushing hole was too small for my new shocks and the factory bushings don't fit.

But! I noticed something I had skipped before. There was/is a bushing isolator on the factory shocks. The hole was larger...would it fit???

So I again applied a little more lube this time and added the factory bushing isolator to the new mix (on top of bottom bushing).

I put it all back together and viola! Not even a peep. Drove it around and it sounded smooth like it came off the lot. Yahtzee!

Here is a picture of one of the bushing isolators on the factory TRD rear shocks on left. Right one is already installed on truck.


Here it is in my hand.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #17
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Super Update Problem Solved!

Here it is in my hand.
Any pics of it on added to the Icons?
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:20 AM   #18
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I have the same thing!!!! I got to check if I have those.
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:56 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maximus View Post
Any pics of it on added to the Icons?
I didn't take pic of them on; you can't see them on as the bottom bushing on the top and the isolator on top of that sit up under the frame shock mount. (see pics in first post for reference)

It goes like this on the shock from bottom to top : Shock > Metal Bushing Washer > Bottom Bushing > Bushing Isolator dohickie > into shock mount on frame > Top bushing > Metal bushing washer > nut.

I will add this, compressing my right rear shock down was a total PITA. Took all I had to get it to compress. My left rear drivers side was much easier to compress. ??
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Old 04-24-2013, 12:45 PM   #20
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Thanks. I will try lubricating the bushings first but if that fails, I'll give your method a shot. Just trying to avoid any unnecessary labor.

Great write up
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