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Left Front wheel mysterious squeaking/chirping with 19" lobster fo


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Hi Everyone! New owner here and I have a problem that needs a bit deeper knowledge of wheel fitment and front suspension to solve. Car is 2000 Carrera

I am getting pretty loud speed-dependent rhythmic sound from the front left wheel - it starts after 1-2 miles of driving. Not humming like a bearing but squeaking/chirping kind of. So here is the situation:

- No sound when everything cold, it starts after few miles of driving

- Sound is not brakes-dependant, there is no change in tone/volume when you push brakes

- Sometimes it goes away for no obvious reason for a minute or two and then it's back. Cant relate it to any bumps on road

- When you come to complete stop, and then start moving sound disappears for 30 seconds or so

- Loudest at ~30-40mph

- Wheels are standard 19" lobster forks from 997 (would love to swap them back to normal 18" OEM's from 996)

- I started noticing sound after replacing rotors (with Zimmermans) and pads

Another very interesting observation: Right Front tire vs front strut clearance is ok, but Left Front is really tight and there was some traces of wheel rubbing the plate on which the spring sits when I removed a wheel. Something wrong / bent / misaligned in suspension?

Tried 5, 7, 15mm spacers with no effect. I appreciate any suggestions and help! Thank you!

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Hi vaulter,

The clearance should be the same on both sides. If not there is an alignment problem. The tire rubbing the strut would definitely cause a wheel speed rotation noise. This should be checked out immediately and if the side wall is damaged both front tires should be replaced. When the alignment is checked have the tech check the left front wheel bearing to make sure it is OK. Wheel bearing failure will always make noise at wheel rotation speed but the sound can range from a squeaking, to a harmonic ring to a rumble. The key is wheel rotation speed. Brakes usually squeak when they are applied. I would think that if a tire were rubbing the strut the spacer would have stopped it. Better check that wheel bearing.

Yes, 19" rims are too big for that car giving you a smaller side wall and a less compliant ride. Do get 18s when you get the chance. No reason to stick to Porsche wheels. There is nothing special about them and they are over weight and overpriced. OZ Alliggereta HLTs are great wheels for the money and something like 3 lb lighter than the stock wheels. Do not use more than a 5 mm spacer. Your wheels will not index the hubs correctly.

Edited by Mijostyn
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Hi vaulter,

The clearance should be the same on both sides. If not there is an alignment problem. The tire rubbing the strut would definitely cause a wheel speed rotation noise. This should be checked out immediately and if the side wall is damaged both front tires should be replaced. When the alignment is checked have the tech check the left front wheel bearing to make sure it is OK. Wheel bearing failure will always make noise at wheel rotation speed but the sound can range from a squeaking, to a harmonic ring to a rumble. The key is wheel rotation speed. Brakes usually squeak when they are applied. I would think that if a tire were rubbing the strut the spacer would have stopped it. Better check that wheel bearing.

Yes, 19" rims are too big for that car giving you a smaller side wall and a less compliant ride. Do get 18s when you get the chance. No reason to stick to Porsche wheels. There is nothing special about them and they are over weight and overpriced. OZ Alliggereta HLTs are great wheels for the money and something like 3 lb lighter than the stock wheels. Do not use more than a 5 mm spacer. Your wheels will not index the hubs correctly.

Thank you so much for your reply! I am going to swap front wheel for a spare and see whether sound goes away. But unfortunately it looks more and more like a wheel bearing. Thank you for wheel recommendation - I am driving a lot (DC to NYC) and comfort of a ride is very important to me, so I am definitely going to swap these wheels.

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  • 1 month later...

Wanted to provide an update:

Got completely fed-up with the sound and inability to pinpoint it, ordered bearing and tool for install. Realized that tool will take forever to arrive since it needs to be made I guess (still in mail lol)... Bought a whole front left wheel carrier assembly with bearing from low mile Boxster for only $125, installed it in one hour (very easy to do) and NO MORE NOISE!!! It was a bearing, and the sound it made was just chirping...

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Wanted to provide an update:

Got completely fed-up with the sound and inability to pinpoint it, ordered bearing and tool for install. Realized that tool will take forever to arrive since it needs to be made I guess (still in mail lol)... Bought a whole front left wheel carrier assembly with bearing from low mile Boxster for only $125, installed it in one hour (very easy to do) and NO MORE NOISE!!! It was a bearing, and the sound it made was just chirping...

awesome :thumbup:

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  • 2 weeks later...

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