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3rd door 'creaking' in 1996-98 chevy pickups

franzenwyofranzenwyo Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Chevrolet
I purchased a 1996 Z71 ext cab 1500 with the 3rd
door option in May 1996. From the day I bought it
whenever I drove on an unlevel surface the 3RD door
would start creaking. After numerous attempts to
get this fixed at the dealership it was never
repaired, the only response I get is 'We will
notify you if the General Motors sends us a service
Now I have just grown accustomed to it.
Help a guy out here!


  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I have the same problem with my '97, but I get "stress" noise. Even if the road is smooth when I get into a turn I hear the noise. First we thought it was the running boards, so I welded the connections.
    If you use some "white lube" on all the hinges on the doors the noise is less and may even go away for a while.
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,786
    I've heard similar complaints regarding the 3rd door on GM pickups. I wonder, has anyone with 3rd (and 4th) doors on Dodge and Ford extended cabs experienced the same problem?

  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    Finally, this is what I want to talk about. I
    purchased a little over 6 months ago a new 1998
    Chevrolet Ext Cab 3rd door Silverado. I actually
    had to trade it in for a another 1998 exact same
    model but with Z71 since the third door was to unbearable for me to listen to anymore. Now, my newer 1998 has the
    same problem with the third door. I think I will
    eventually get rid of this for just that same
    reason if the new 1999 pickups come out. I have
    contacted numerous Chevrolet dealerships and have
    tried many times with different dealerships to fix the creaking, popping, flexing third door. To no aveil, sometimes they have lessoned the noise, but it is still there. One dealership after three unsuccessful attempts told me: "Go find another dealership, we can't help you". Talk about loyal GM dealerships. I don't think there are any out there. That dealership even told me that they are aware of the problem and cannot do anything about it unless GM issues a recall on third doors (highly unlikely since it is a strong selling feature). All they care about is making money. I should know, I had to work with GM dealerships for six years and finally got sick of kissing up, so I quit. Anyway, then I contacted GM Customer Assistance and talked to one of there so-called trained staff and they told me the third door noises were what they call "design characteristics". To me, that means they are suppose to flex and make all kinds of noises. If you ask me, that is [non-permissible content removed]. Make all third doors structurally sound and silent. End of story. If anyone out there disagrees, to bad, I am right. If anyone finally gets there third door noises resolved, please do not hesitate to e-mail me and find out what the dealership has done to resolve this very annoying defect in the third doors.
  • petespetes Posts: 15
    I have a 1998 third door S-10. I have the same problem with the third door. I have had it back to five different dealers for a total of ten times. Just got it back this past Saturday and the third door still makes noises. For this reason I will never have another third door Chevy and the next vehicle that I buy will have a Toyota name plate on it. If anyone solves this problem, please is very nerve racking.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    As a body tech in a GM dealership we have about three of these complants a week. To date neither GM nor any tech i have ever talked to have been able to solve this problem. Know we just have our salesmen warn people of the noise before they buy. When and if I hear of a solution to this problem I will post it imedeitilly.

  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    Thanks Bigfur for offering your help. Is there
    anything you can do thru your dealership to tell
    GM directly that they have a MAJOR defect/recall on their hands? I don't think they will listen, but at this point, nothing can hurt. I'm going to sell my truck again if nothing can be done about this in the next few visits to a GM Dealership.
    I'm a loyal Chevrolet owner, but have become less and less satisified with the quality they are putting into their new vehicles nowadays. My best car owned to this date has still been a 1978 Buick Skylark when they actually put metal into the dash and not plastic, among other things.
  • davepercdaveperc Posts: 76
    Are your salesmen actually telling customers about this before they buy? If so, I am impressed. I have never heard of the sales team be up front about problems that could cost a sale.

    My guess about all the creaks and rattles you folks are talking about are due to the way these doors initially designed. Not that I know what was put into the preproduction engineering, but it appears as though the cab stiffness was sacrificed. This is based on the "after the fact" data. The structural regidity of the cab was initially designed with a solid box at the rear of the cab, then they removed the side(s). A convertible has the same situation when the roof is removed. Extra stiffeners are added to restore the stiffness lost by removing the roof. Do any of you notice any added stiffeners or structures that are not on the models without doors? I am not posative, but I don't think any of the manufacturer's that have extra doors launched this with a redesigned body, but added them to existing designs.
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    I'm pretty sure you are correct. Neither Ford or Dodge, and for sure Chevrolet, gave it much thought about re-designing the side pillars to accomodate the third doors. They just said, "Hey, lets slap a third door on and make money. Who cares about structural integrity"!
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I have a chevy and it does have extra reinforcement running in the middle of the cab (at least there is a bulge in the headliner). But I still have the rattle.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    To all,
    To answer a few questions here: yes most of our salesmen do tell the customer of the complants only the new ones don't, they just don't know about it, I tell them. My service manager(and MANY others) have called GM about it, but they are more perplexed then we are. They just design the truck they don't drive'em, I'm not sure if they even care. I know this is a sad fact, but for the most part they just want to make money like everybody else.
    My 2 cents
  • jim2jim2 Posts: 43
    I've had my '98 Chevy K1500, Z71, 4x4, third door for about three weeks and have 1,300 miles. I've driven empty and pulled my 5,000 lb boat. I have not been off road with the truck and have not driven on any very rough roads. So far, no rattle or squeaks in the third door. I will be taking it out into some sand dunes tomorrow and will see if this creates the rattle.

    When has the rattle showed up and under what circumstances? My truck was built at the Oshawa plant in Canada. In which plant were your trucks built?
  • petespetes Posts: 15
    Has anyone tried popping the window on the third door side to see if this squeaking, rubbing noise would settle down. I discovered today that when my window was open (popped out and locked in position) that my truck was dead silent. I tried this on some very rough roads and could not believe what I just discovered. As soon as I closed the window and locked it in position, the squeaking rubbing noise came back. I am going to report this to my dealer tomorrow to see if he has a fix for this. Please post if anyone else found this to be true with their truck. Good luck
  • jim2jim2 Posts: 43
    Drove my K1500 w/third door 200 miles to the beach and drove on the beach and in the loose sand dunes. Bounced the truck around in 4x4 for 2 hours in the dunes, spent some time in the water with my kids and then drove back home. Next day pulled my 5,000 lb. boat to the lake and back.

    The truck performed great and remains very quiet and rattle free in the cab. No squeaks or rattles from the third door. Either I just got lucky and got a good one or the rattles are yet to come.

    Have any of the trucks with rattles been built in Canada? I would also be curious to know if Chevy uses more than one plant or supplier for the parts for the third door. Have the design specs changed from 1997 to 1998?
  • petespetes Posts: 15
    The S-10 trucks are built in two different locations. One is, NJ and the other location is LA.. I have not ridden in an NJ truck that has a third door, but if you look at the overall quality between the two trucks, you come to the conclusion that the NJ plant has much better quality control. I did own a 1996 standard cab S-10 and it was rattle free. It was made in NJ.. The truck that I own now is a 1998 third door S-10 made in LA.. Not only does the third door rattle but the dash rattled so bad that it sounded like it was going to fall out of the truck. The dealer(s) finally found most of the rattles in the dash. The truck still has rattles in the third door area. I believe that now the noises are around the popout window in the third door. I still have to have the dealer check it out. I will keep everyone posted of the results.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    My rattle did not begin until about a year (and 30K miles) after I got the truck. All of that miles is on highway with no towing.
    Also I am unable to keep the side windows open, because the latch is not strong enough on highway speeds.
  • stevekstevek Posts: 362
    I opened my window on the third door of my K1500. It did not make a difference, it still rattled.
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    I have owned now two 1998 Silverado Extended Cabs. Both of the third doors creaked/popped/flexed even over normal highway/city driving. I can't even come to a complete stop by braking without the third door making noises. Both of the 1998's were built in Oshawa Ontario Canada. I think they have a definite quality control problem at that plant. Both of my trucks started making creaking noises at around 3-4,000 miles. Not when they were brand new with no miles, but after a month or so of normal highway driving. I'm taking it back in yet again at another dealership next week to see what they find out. I was told by a couple dealerships their is a little bit of adjustment that can be made on the hinges and other connecting parts, so I'll have to wait and see yet again. Most likely, the dealership will make the noises become worse, not better. Typical GM quality?
  • rshollandrsholland Posts: 19,786
    I'm courious. I s this strickly a GM problem? Anybody out there with 3/4-door Fords or Dodges having this same problem?

  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    I can't speak from experience concerning the Superduty since my *%!#@$% truck has arrived yet, but the Truckworld article seemed to indicate that Ford put some thought into their four door Supercab to avoid rattles and squeaks. Remember this info pretty much comes directly from Ford, so it could be market hype. Still, here is a brief synopsis of what they said about it.

    There are no B-pillars to hinder loading. They did not want to extend the cab length by adding another set of pillars. They used a hidden hinge to provide maximum door opening. They added extra strength by using vertical beams with a cross brace where the front and rear doors meet. The vertical beam makes the door more rigid, which improves the structural integrity of the cab. This should sharply reduce the possibility of wind noise, water leaks, and squeaks and rattels that might normally occur when the two doors come together.

    Remember this is what the Ford boys said about the Superduty Supercab, so take with whatever grain of salt you feel is appropriate.
  • BrutusBrutus Posts: 1,113
    Of course, I meant to say that my truck has NOT arrived yet.
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    We knew what you meant
  • glenn2glenn2 Posts: 39
    You mean you folks expected QUALITY???
  • petespetes Posts: 15
    Just got my truck back from the dealer for the umpteen time. The service manager told me that he lubed the window latch with engine oil and lubricated the seals with silicon from GM. He also told me that he adusted the hinges on the third door and lubricated them with engine oil. I have drove the truck over two hundred miles since i got it back and over some pretty rough roads. I would guess that probably 99% of the squeaks and rubbing have disappeared. On a really bad bump you can hear a chirp coming from somewhere. The drivers side mirrow buzzes (Image not noise) indicating to me that the door is still moving around, However I don't hear any noises. How long this will last is anybodies guess.
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    Petes: I doubt the third door squeaks are going
    to be gone forever, unless the dealer did a really
    good job adjusting the hinges. If they will be
    gone permanently, congratulations. You might be
    one of the few lucky ones. Has anyone else called
    up Chevrolet Customer Assistance Center and
    complained? I have and all they do is set up
    a case # for you and that's all. They just say
    they have to rely on their certified GM Dealers
    to diagnose and repair the problem/s. Looks like
    my case# might be on their books indefinitely
    about the third door!
  • glenn2glenn2 Posts: 39
    Not even Mr. Goodwrench can fix 'em, how sad....
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    If Mr. Goodwrench had desiegned them and not some stuffy old fart in a three peice suit, i bet Mr. Goodwernch could fix them. I'd like to know what these people would do diffeantly if THEY had to fix'em. DONT BLAME MR.GOODWENCH BECAUSE HE CAN'T FIX'EM, BLAME GM FOR A HORSES#$T DESIGN.
    P.S. I have to deal with a;most four or five of these problems a week as a GM bodytech.
  • cookie1cookie1 Posts: 68
    To Bigfur:

    Are most of the third door trucks you have to try to fix built in Canada or
    in the U.S.? Both of my new 1998's I have had with
    the faulty third doors were built in Oshawa Ontario Canada. The vin of the vehicle starts with a 2 not a 1. 2=Canada and 1=U.S. built
  • bigfurbigfur Posts: 649
    not sure, never really looked that closely at them. i will pay more attention to this and get back to you so you people will know if it the plant or the design. Of course now i wont get any in to look at.
  • petespetes Posts: 15
    After four hundred miles or so, the rubbing sound is back. However it is not in the third door. It is the window in the third door. I am going to take it to another Chevy dealer to see if they can correct the problem. If they cannot, I will call the customer service number in the manuel. If anyone has any suggestions...please post.
  • glenn2glenn2 Posts: 39
    Petes my suggestion is trade it.
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