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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Helooooo,

2011 L322 HSE with mystery knocking in front end.

So, my wife and I live in the foothills of the Sierra's a couple of hours north of Yosemite. We were trying to get from one end of the county to the other the "short way", which was 40 miles of forestry roads through the mountains. Easy enough and this beast was handling it as easily as if it were driving on the highway. All of the sudden we get a suspension fault light and the air suspension goes flat... like nothing... slammed. so we limp home and I proceed to do some trouble shooting. The right front height indicator is shot (someone did a hack job and had taped it together previously - I am guessing they damaged it while working on something else?) anyway - replaced that. Also the front left airbag blew so I replaced both front airbags - given its age I am surprised that these were still the original bags. Easy enough and while I was there, replaced the sway arm links because I noticed that those ball joints had a lot of play.

Everything seems to be great! EXCEPT there is an occasional knocking noise from the front end. like something is loose and banging around. SOOO, I put the truck back on lifts and saw that the upper control arm bushings are pretty worn. after replacing them there is much less noise but still some knocking around in the front end.

My next thought is the upper control arm ball joint might be the culprit.

Does anyone have any idea after an air suspension failure what components might be most affected?

As much as I like working on this truck I would like to be done for a while.
 

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can you jack the body high enough to get the wheel(s) off the ground? pretty easy to find the loose stuff that way
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
can you jack the body high enough to get the wheel(s) off the ground? pretty easy to find the loose stuff that way
Hi - Thanks.
Yes... had to take the wheels off to remove and replace the air shocks and the sway bar links and the upper control arm.
Didn't really feel anything loose while doing that.

It makes the most noise when I hit the brakes.
Thinking maybe the ball joint on the upper control arm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Solved and posting to help anyone else who might have this.

Put the truck back up on jack stands to get full clearance on both front wheels at the same time.
I yanked and jerked the wheels while they were attached, nothing. Took the wheels off and grabbed the rotors moving them also.. nothing more than normal movement. Grabbed each of the control arms, sway bar link, everything that might potentially move while driving and still nothing out of the ordinary. Before reassembly I grabbed each component again, really out of frustration, and gave another yank. This time there was a slight movement and noise from the passenger side sway bar link. These were new sway bars and the joints were good. What had happed was this-
When I replaced the air shocks I ordered "economy" links from Rock Auto. I don't know if it was an issue with brand or "economy" but although the upper nut was torqued down, there was a gap of thread at the bottom of the bolt that kept the nut from fully holding the ball joint in place- so while it was mostly wedged into place, it would occasionally slip and move in the bolt hole... making a banging noise.

I could not remove the nut as the bolt had stripped at the bottom so I ended up having to cut off the bolt and replace the sway arm link. The new one came with a washer ensuring that there is no play. Torqued to spec and now there is no noise.
 

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I guess it’s not always “pretty easy” lol
 
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