Creak/knock from driver's side wheel when turning left.

jamesbeat

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There has been a new development. I went on a longer than normal drive, so the sound was happening pretty good by the time I arrived home. I also happened to have someone around to help me.

Again, it's difficult to pinpoint because the sound reverberates throughout all the suspension components, but it really seems as though it is coming from the outer tie rod at the ball joint. I'm very surprised about this, because as I mentioned above, the ball joint feels tight and the boot is intact. The ball joint has a grease fitting, and when I greased it, the old grease that was pushed out looked fine.

In any case, if it really is the tie rod end, it looks like a relatively easy fix. Going to replace it at the weekend and see if that takes care of it.
 

jamesbeat

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Just in case this helps someone in future, I can confirm that it was in fact the inner tie rod.
The ball joints for the inner tie rods had a liner of some sort of white plastic (I guess PTFE or delrin or similar). The joint was worn enough to be moveable by hand, but there was no actual play, and I don't think it was in danger of coming apart any time soon.

What was weird though was that the ball would sort of stick in the socket, and when I applied pressure to it, it would be very hard to move and then suddenly come loose and move smoothly. It would continue to move smoothly as long as it was kept in motion, but as soon as it stopped moving, it would stick again, and require a lot of force to get moving again.
As you can probably tell, I'm having difficulty actually putting it into words or even thinking of an analogy, but it seemed to be a function of the plastic liner, like it was slightly tacky or something.
I imagine that friction from a longer drive was causing the plastic to get warm and soften and/or swell, amplifying this effect. It was this that was causing the creaking/knocking sound.

I thought it would be prudent to replace both inner tie rods, and noticed that the other one had the same white plastic liner, though this one had not been making a noise. It felt much tighter, and did not seem to exhibit the same sticking issue that the bad one had.

Anyway, the replacement inner tie rods I bought have conventional metal ball joints, and now it has been several weeks since I replaced them, I can confidently say that the noise has stopped happening.
I'm not mad that I ended up replacing a few other things first, as they were on their way out anyway.
 

Duster

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Thanks for coming back to update and confirm resolution. Builds the knowledge base.

Often people don't do that and there's no solution after a lot of reading.
 
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