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Front End Noise SOLVED

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Old 03-24-13, 06:46 PM   #1
MrBooby
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Default Front End Noise SOLVED

Update: Solution is in Post #19/20. It's the hood latch


This noise has been bothering me for months, and I have finally tracked it down. Here is how I did it. I've heard somebody describe it as "shaking the dice in a Yahtzee cup".

Step 1: Find a recording device, such as your phone.

Step 2: Purchase a small computer microphone (Zalman ZM-MIC1) with a long cord - 9.5ft in this case.
Amazon.com: Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone: Electronics Amazon.com: Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone: Electronics

Step 3: Purchase a headset splitter. If you don't have a dedicated microphone jack, such as on a computer, your device will think that you plugged in a set of headphones.
Amazon.com: StarTech.com MUYHSMFF 3.5mm 4-Pin to 2x 3-Pin 3.5mm Headset Splitter Adapter - M/F: Electronics Amazon.com: StarTech.com MUYHSMFF 3.5mm 4-Pin to 2x 3-Pin 3.5mm Headset Splitter Adapter - M/F: Electronics

Step 4: Connect everything and place the microphone near the suspected area.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 5: Go for a drive and hit Record at the right time.

Click the image to open in full size.

Step 6: Play back the recording to test your theory.
Repeat steps 4 through 6 until the desired outcome is achieved.


Zalman Microphone: $8.45
StarTech Headphone Splitter: $7.79
Painter's Tape: $0
The satisfaction of fixing your own car: Priceless!
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Last edited by MrBooby; 07-10-13 at 09:22 PM..
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Old 03-24-13, 07:51 PM   #2
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did you find some new mounts? Or just silicone/macgyver something?

cheers on the find!
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Old 03-24-13, 09:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 01LEXPL View Post
did you find some new mounts? Or just silicone/macgyver something?

cheers on the find!
Haven't figured out how to fix it yet. I was just super excited about finding the source. It's funny how it works. I'm okay with car problems, as long as I know exactly what's causing them. The unknown is what drives me crazy.

With this particular noise, I was afraid that it was coming from my newly installed suspension. I thought my old struts were making this noise, that's the main reason I replaced them. Come to think of it, they weren't bad at all, just needed new mounts.
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Old 03-25-13, 01:54 PM   #4
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Went out and took a closer look, today. It seems to be the driver side fan that's causing the rattle. The passenger side has some gasket material around the fan housing, but the driver side is lacking it. As a result, the fan's plastic housing is rattling against the metal radiator fins.
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Old 03-25-13, 08:16 PM   #5
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Congrats the feelings great when you solve the "mystery" sound. my cars started getting a really low , barely audible whine when accelerating. i need to hunt it down. i may use this mic solution.
I am hoping its just an accessory belt and nothing more.
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Old 03-26-13, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quick update: Applied foam to the fan housing - rattle is still there. Thought it might be the throttle cable cover, removed the cover - rattle is still there. Played around with some flimsy fuse boxes - rattle still there. Argghhh

I need to dig deeper. At this point, I think it might be an engine mount or the strut mounts. What else could be rattling under the hood like that?

Last edited by MrBooby; 07-02-13 at 02:41 PM..
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Old 03-26-13, 08:23 PM   #7
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Between the radiator and the radiator support across the top, should be a strip of foam for cushion. My car has it, but I don't see it on your car. If you have a piece of house door foam weather stripping the width of your radiator, you can tilt the radiator toward the engine and stick it to the radiator support to pad the radiator. Also the two rubber bushings around the top radiator mount pins tend to wear and allow movement. The foam should correct these issues.
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Old 03-27-13, 01:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moonphase View Post
Between the radiator and the radiator support across the top, should be a strip of foam for cushion. My car has it, but I don't see it on your car. If you have a piece of house door foam weather stripping the width of your radiator, you can tilt the radiator toward the engine and stick it to the radiator support to pad the radiator. Also the two rubber bushings around the top radiator mount pins tend to wear and allow movement. The foam should correct these issues.
I thought about the missing foam, so I'll give it a shot. What are the dimension for that strip of foam? I don't have any left to measure. Having said that, I tried shaking the radiator and it doesn't rattle like it did before I applied some foam to the fan housing. So it seems like the radiator is not the cause of it.
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Old 03-27-13, 03:01 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBooby View Post
Quick update: Applied foam to the fan housing - rattle is still there. Thought it might be the throttle cable cover, removed the cover - rattle is still there. Played around with some flimsy fuse boxes - rattle still there. Argghhh

I need to dig deeper. At this point, I think it might be an engine mount or the strut mounts. What else could be rattling under the hood like that?
Have you checked the sway bar end links?
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Old 03-27-13, 07:02 AM   #10
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The foam is light density, and measures 29 1/4" wide X 5/8" X 5/8". The foam contacts the plastic part of the radiator directly above where the aluminum and plastic are joined. Another thought is open your sun roof cover and push up on each corner to check for noise. I read a thread about someone having a rattle that turned out to be the sunroof mount being loose and the sound transferred to either the rear or front.
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Old 03-27-13, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbuc View Post
Have you checked the sway bar end links?
When I replaced my struts, I drove around without a front swaybar for about 2 weeks. I believed that the noise went away, but I could still hear some faint noises here and there - very rarely. That's why I thought that the strut replacement fixed the issue. Over time though, the noise got louder and more consistent. At this point, I know exactly when it appears - between 30 and 40 mph seems to be the sweet spot.

The first time around, I placed the microphone on the driver side coil spring, thinking it was the strut mounts, but all I heard was wind noise.

This second time around, with the mic on the radiator, I felt like I was much closer to the source of the sound, because that's exactly what I hear on the inside. That's why I'm a bit baffled by this noise. How would it be so audible at the front of the engine bay, if it was coming from the struts? Yet I couldn't hear anything with the mic a foot away from the sway bar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by moonphase View Post
The foam is light density, and measures 29 1/4" wide X 5/8" X 5/8". The foam contacts the plastic part of the radiator directly above where the aluminum and plastic are joined. Another thought is open your sun roof cover and push up on each corner to check for noise. I read a thread about someone having a rattle that turned out to be the sunroof mount being loose and the sound transferred to either the rear or front.
I'm gonna try to get more solid evidence tomorrow. Speculating is fun, but it gets me nowhere. I WILL find that noise.
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Old 03-28-13, 03:02 AM   #12
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Grab the sway bar end inks and move them around with as much force as you can. When the ball/socket joints get dry and loose they rattle like crazy. Usually the sond is much worse when you go over a bump. You say your noise gets worse at a certain speed range. Have you rotated tires? Had tires balanced recently?
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Old 03-28-13, 01:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by artbuc View Post
Grab the sway bar end inks and move them around with as much force as you can. When the ball/socket joints get dry and loose they rattle like crazy. Usually the sond is much worse when you go over a bump. You say your noise gets worse at a certain speed range. Have you rotated tires? Had tires balanced recently?
The sway bar(Whiteline) and the sway bar links(Moog problem solvers) are almost brand new. I shook them about a month ago and didn't hear or see any movement.

The tires are new as well. They are Michelin X-Ice Xi2's, mounted in mid November. The noise existed with the old struts, so I doubt it's any of those components.
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Old 03-28-13, 01:28 PM   #14
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i get this noise usually upon start up, when im pulling out of the driveway
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Old 03-28-13, 08:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBooby View Post
The sway bar(Whiteline) and the sway bar links(Moog problem solvers) are almost brand new. I shook them about a month ago and didn't hear or see any movement.
Sounds like you are probably good, but be aware the end link to sway bar can be a problem, especially with the aftermarket sway bar. I had to tighten the crap out of mine a couple time to quiet them down. Even if they are plenty snug, the end link stud can shift in the bore of the bar with suspension action, you'd never be able to check for it other than disconnecting the sway bar and taking a drive.
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Old 03-28-13, 08:51 PM
 
 
 
 
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97, end, es300, foam, front, inside, lexus, metal, mount, noise, rattle, shake, slight, strut, youtube

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