How to fix squeaking/clicking longboard trucks
Squeaky or clicky longboard trucks is a more common issue than you might realise!
Neither problem is something to really worry about, but we get asked about it often enough for us to write a quick explainer.
We find that squeaking or clicking trucks is not really noticable once you're up to speed, but we also know how annoying it can be if you're skating slower and you like you board as dialled as possible.
Take your trucks apart
To fix either of these issues, you're going to need to take your trucks apart.
This is really easy. You can leave your trucks on your bard, and all you need is a 9/16ths or 15mm spanner/socket, or a skate tool.
Start off by undoing the kingpin nut and taking it off.
Next, take the top washer and bushing off.
Lastly, lever the hanger out of the pivot in the baseplate.
You now have a fully disassembled truck! You'll need to take your trucks apart like this to change your bushings too. And it's probably a good idea to just check the bushings and make sure everything is clean and tidy while you're at it.
Stop your longboard trucks squeaking
99% of the time, squeaking trucks are caused by your pivot.
Yes that's right - your pivot! NOT your bushings. Don't ever lubricate your bushings - they're made of self lubricating polyurethane, and if you lubricate them then you will affect the way they interact with the bushing seats in the hanger and the bushing washers.
NOTE: Here in the shop we have noticed recently that more and more truck brands are shipping their trucks with plastic pivot cups, filled with grease. This especially seems to be a problem with trucks that are shipped on complete boards.
We think this is really rubbish. Grease in a pivot cup skates awesome when the board is shop fresh, but that grease quickly turns into a "cutting paste" made of dirty grease and road debris, which will quickly eat your pivot cup and damage your truck pivots.
Not only that, but plastic pivot cups don't last anywhere near as long as urethane.
If you have a relatively new board, take the trucks apart and get rid of any grease you find in there ASAP! Clean everything out and lubricate with the dry lubes we suggest below and you should be golden.
When it does come to replace your pivot cups, make sure you choose urethane ones rather than stock plastic!
Step 1 - Clean the pivot and pivot cup
Squeaking trucks are almost always fixed by cleaning both the hanger pivot and cleaning the pivot cup out. Give this a go before you try anything else.
Use a bit of rag or some bog roll, and try to remove any dirt or debris that has build up in the pivot cup and on the hanger pivot. You can use a lightweight cleaner like isopropyl alcohol if you really want - just make sure that whatever you use doesn;t leave a residue.
Try putting your trucks back together and see if they problem is solved. most of this time this is all you need to do.
Step 2 - Lubricate
If this hasn't solved the problem, you need to get a bit of lubricant in between the pivot cup and the hanger pivot.
The trouble is, your truck pivots are in a very dirty place on your skateboard. And if you put a grease or oil or any "wet" lubricant in there, you run the risk of attracting more dirt and debris and shortening the life of your pivot cups.
A further problem you have is that some higher-end trucks come with urethane pivot cups, which don't like oil-based lubricants very much.
So our advice is firstly - don't lubricate unless you have to. Trucks still squeaking? Go back to Step 1 and get your pivots really, really clean first.
However, if you're still finding that your trucks are squeaking, the best thing to use is a dry lubricant rather than oil or grease.
Things you can try are:
- Soap Shavings. Get a bar of hand soap and shave a few slices off with a knife or potato peeler.
- Pencil Lead Sharpenings. Graphite is a really good lubricant. You can easily make some by rubbing a pencil on a bit of griptape or sandpaper.
- PTFE Spray You know the stuff that dries leaving a teflon residue? Works well for trucks. Unfortunately it's REALLY bad for the environment - so we recommend that you find a nicer alternative without any PFOA's in. Make your current can of WD40 or GT85 your last, that shit is evil!!!!
Just stick a tiny amount of your preferred lubricant in your pivotcup, and reassemble your trucks. Voila!
Step 3 - Buy some new pivot cups
Pivot cups do eventually wear out - they have all your weight on them, they're right in the firing line for dirt and crap, and they're a constantly moving interface.
If you have a decent set of trucks from a reputable brand, you should be able to buy replacement pivot cups for your trucks, which can often make a real difference.
Stop your longboard trucks clicking
Clicking trucks are usually caused by badly fitting washers hitting the kingpin as the truck trucks.
Unfortunately there's not much you can usually do except buy some better washers with a closer tolerance to the kingpin.
We've found that a surpising number of what we thought were decent trucks ship with crappy washers, which is why we offer our own. Check them out here!