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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello, fellow Camry enthusiasts! I have a technical question regarding my 1990 Camry DX with A/T. There is a weird noise coming from my left front wheel/brake area. The ONLY time I hear it is upon light braking. If I either let off the brakes or push harder, it goes away instantly. I never hear the noise when turning in either direction or upon acceleration. It started a couple months ago but got a bit louder. I figured it had to do with the brakes, so I replaced all four pads on the front, plus installed a brand new rotor on the side making the noise (front driver's side). I also lubed both caliper sliders with white lithium grease. NOTHING helped. The noise is still there. It sounds like a scraping noise. It's extremely uniform (never changes tone or sound). Like a "goosh... goosh... goosh" or something. It's hard to explain.

I jacked up the car several times and ran it in drive. But I can't ever hear the noise! I've checked the wheel bearing doing the old "rock from top to bottom method" but it's tight. CV boot on that side is sealed, and not cracked and is dry on the outside.

This noise is really starting to bother me.:headbang: Mainly because I can't find it with the car off the ground, and only hear it when I'm slowing down while lightly applying the brakes. NEVER hear it ANY other time.

The ONLY thing I found when I've checked everything on that side is the axle seems slightly lose where it goes up into the transmission. Not really lose, just a bit. Can't find anything else.

My friend suggested I take it to an alignment shop and tell them I want to get an alignment but need to have it checked out to see if it can be aligned, then let them see if the shop finds out what it is.

Any ideas of what to check would be appreciated very much! I can tell you for sure what it is NOT:

1. Brake pads
2. Rotor
3. Thin metal backing plates

Could it possibly be a bad bearing or CV joint? If so, wouldn't I hear the noise at other times, like when I'm turning?

Oh, forgot to mention what I "thought" it was/could be: I kept thinking the tire was making noise like maybe it isn't properly seated on the wheel. Some friends don't think so, but the noise started shortly after I had these new wheels put on. They have some kind of black plastic "Toyota Adapter Ring" on each wheel, and I even wondered if that was the problem. So today I'm heading back to Discount Tire to have them rotate my tires and if the noise is suddenly in the back, I'll know exactly what the problem is: a tire! After all, it does kind of have the sound of "tire squish". I'll let you all know if this solves the problem. (But I doubt it.)

Thanks much for any opinion or advice!
 

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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
Joined
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
well, had tires rotated and the noise is still there, but at least I ruled out one more thing. This is such a mystery. Next I'm just going to replace the CV joint even though the boot is still undamaged. I'm thinking something inside it is messed up.

UPDATE: Still can't afford any axles since I'm only living off unemployment, so I haven't had mine out yet.
 

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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
Joined
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I think before I replace the axles, I'm going to try new wheel bearings in the next few days. I really don't think it's anything to do with the brakes. And the CV boot is fine. I've never heard of a CV joint going bad if the boot isn't cracked.

I'll let everyone know what I finally figure out.
 

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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
Joined
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Just found this info today...

I found in a brake service manual at the library and in the troubleshooting section it said that "Snapping or clicking noise when brakes are applied" are most likely caused by:

1. Loose or missing pad support plate. (Replace pad support plate.)
2. Loose installation bolt. (Tighten bolt.) - DUH!
3. Wear on slide bushing. (Replace slide bushing.)


UPDATE: Forgot to mention, I removed and lubed both slide bushings and found no signs of wear on the outer surfaces, and I'm guessing they don't mean the inner surfaces. But who knows, the inner part might be rubbing against the bolts. I'm still not sure.
 

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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
Joined
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
PLEASE: ask your Toyota friends. I need opinions here!

Still haven't removed and inspected my caliper (because I don't have a floor jack, a lug wrench, or torque wrench... only basic hand tools) but I'm going to do it today if I can at a friend's house. It's starting to make sense to me how it COULD be my caliper if perhaps the piston is getting dry on the inside part that slides. I'm sure there should be some kind of grease inside it so the piston slides back and forth. Am I correct? But oddly enough, my piston is returning fine or I would probably hear it dragging (I've had this experience in the past with sticky calipers). I've never rebuilt one in my life, just replaced a ton of them. Never messed with removing the piston.

So, I'm guessing nobody has a clue what my noise might be, so it looks like I'll have to check everything I can check. But the more I hear it (and yes, it's getting louder) the more the caliper makes sense. I say this because since the noise started a couple months ago, it has NEVER changed sound. Never make other noises with it, just the same repetitive "squish squish squish..." (which makes me believe it is NOT a bearing since the noise is so uniform.

And since over 140 members have read this thread but nobody has posted any ideas of what my issue might be or what to check, looks like I'm going to just start tearing out and check one part at a time until I find the problem. I'll start with the caliper.

Still banging my head on this on! :headbang:
 

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3s-gte in a Camry?!?
'89 Camry Alltrac
Joined
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8,791 Posts
I think we need more information about what the sound actually sounds like. Is it related to road speed? Engine speed?

Have you checked all the bushings down there too? I would assume any 'squish' type noise would be bushings or suspension...

-Charlie
 

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30 yrs of Car Photography
90 Camry DX 2.0L A/T
Joined
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536 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Good news!!! Figure out and eliminated noise today!!!

This might sound too good to be true, but it is! I found and cured the problem (AFTER going to the wrecking yard and getting another caliper for $13)! Before I replaced it because I thought it might be the problem, I decided to do some last minute checking of stuff. I removed the caliper from my car, then pressed the brake pedal down to see if I heard the noise. Nothing. Then I had my friend use his HUGE channel locks and squeeze it back in. Nothing. We did this back and forth. Nothing.

Then I got to thinking "it KIND OF sounds like a plastic or rubber sound", so I decided to check the "Toyota adapter rings" that Discount Tire put on each wheel when I got these mags. It was not only dry, but had rust on it from where it slid over the hub. I then removed the Torque Plate (the part that holds the pads and bolts to the steering knuckle) and removed the rotor. I then sanded the part of the hub that the rotor slides over and applied white lithium grease. I then removed the plastic rings Discount Tire installed (that cost me $15 in unexpected charges) and cleaned it and applied white lithium grease to the entire surfaces, inner (that contacts hub) and outer (that goes into rim). I put everything back together and of course torqued everything correctly.

BAM! NOISE GONE!


SO, I'm assuming it might have been that plastic adapter ring OR the rotor rubbing on rust on the hub, but I truly believe it was that plastic ring. All I know is I left my buddy's house who lives 5 miles from my house and drove home via quiet residential back streets so I could listen.

NOT ONE NOISE!!! IT'S GONE!

Well, it must have been that ring. I'm so glad it was nothing major! (And hey, I have a spare left caliper if I ever need one.
 
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