Owning a skateboard requires some maintenance that many people may not realize. Squeaky trucks are an annoying noise problem that have an easy fix with a simple solution, one that may be a surprise, soap! Bar soap, or liquid soap can be applied to the pivot cups of the skateboard trucks to get rid of annoying loud squeaky noises when skateboarding.
Table of Contents
- 1 Causes of Squeaky Skateboard Trucks
- 2 Eliminating That Annoying Squeaky Trucks Noise
- 3 Removing the Kingpin Nut
- 4 Adding an Application of Bar Soap
- 5 Lubricating the Pivot Cup
- 6 Take Time to Clean Your Bearings
- 7 The Finishing Touches
- 8 Taking Your Skateboard for a Ride
- 9 What About Another Sound?
- 10 Frequently Asked Questions About Board Noise
- 11 Conclusion
Causes of Squeaky Skateboard Trucks
Squeaky trucks are inevitable. At some point in time, as a rider you’ll be moving along on a longboard deck, and hear a loud “squeak, squeak” sound. Most people get worried and upset that something is very wrong with their skateboards but it’s honestly the pivot cup that is causing the squeak you hear. The pivot cup is located at the bottom of the trucks hanger where it sits in the baseplate. When there is friction in that location, it puts pressure on the baseplate with heavy turning and can start to squeak.
What surprises people even more with skateboarding is that it’s not always worn out longboards that have issues with loud squeak noises, in fact new longboards can experience a squeaky sound as well.
We’re going to discuss how you can remove the hanger of the trucks and attached parts such as the rubber bushings, kingpin nut, washers, screws, wheels, or even the axle to fix and eliminate the squeaky noise.
Eliminating That Annoying Squeaky Trucks Noise
The first step to this fix and to eliminate the noise is to gather everything you will need to remove all the important parts. You will need a crescent wrench (typically ⅜” size).
Removing the Kingpin Nut
Now it’s time to remove the first part, the kingpin nut. Use the crescent wrench to do this. Next, remove the washer that is located between the kingpin nut and the rubber bushings. Make sure to note the direction in which the washer is facing, as this is vital in reinstalling it in the same direction later on. Remove the white rubber bushings and place them in a safe location. Remove the hanger from the pivot cup and from the kingpin bolt, which is the horizontal bar which is attached to the wheels.
Adding an Application of Bar Soap
Now it’s time to grab the soap and get ready. Scrape off a small amount of bar soap, really all that is needed is a few shavings. If bar soap is not readily available, you can use paraffin wax as a replacement.
Do NOT Use Liquid Soap
If you remember anything at all, do not use bar soap to lubricate the pivot cup. Liquid soap can turn into a sticky gel material after it begins to dry out. This will cause that annoying squeaky noise to return with a vengeance. Bar soap and wax can sit out in open air and retain the same lubricating properties which make them the best candidates for this fix. If you find that you do not have any bar soap or wax available, you can use olive oil to lessen the squeak in the meantime until you can get some soap or wax.
Lubricating the Pivot Cup
Place whichever item you choose, whether it’s soap, wax, or oil, into the empty pivot cup and distribute evenly with your pinky finger or the pivot of the hanger. It’s important to make sure you use just a little bit because using too much lubricant can make for additional problems, putting your skateboard deck and wheels in danger of becoming too worn in the future.
Take Time to Clean Your Bearings
While you are doing some maintenance on your skateboard deck, you should probably take advantage and give your bearings a good cleaning as well. To clean your bearings, you will need to gather a few supplies, these supplies include:
- Skate tool
- Razor blade
- Solvent (isopropyl alcohol works best, but gasoline works too, as a last resort)
- Silicone based lubricant
Remove your bearing shield and throw the bearings into a mix of isopropyl alcohol for a few hours. You may have to re-soak your bearings if dirt is still visible. It’s important to make sure to remove all the dirt from the bearings as this can make turning difficult. Dry off the bearings individually with a paper towel before replacing the bearings shield.
Place the hanger back on the kingpin and straight through into the pivot cup. You may need to wiggle or move it around a little bit to help spread and distribute the soap in the pivot cup evenly. Place the rubber bushings back on the kingpin bolt, and then the washer.
The Finishing Touches
Ensure that the washer is screwed tightly in place; loose screws can attract dirt into the crevices that can cause the liquid soap or other lubricating solutions to not work properly and in turn not eliminate the annoying squeaky noises.
After the washer is tightly in place, screw on the kingpin nut and tighten it to personal preference. The tighter the nut is, the stiffer the board’s turning abilities while you skate. Now it’s time to take your skateboard for a ride and see if the squeaking is gone and how it feels in general.
Taking Your Skateboard for a Ride
Pay attention to how the trucks turns and the actual pivot when riding. If you notice that you have put on too much soap in the bearings and the skateboard doesn’t feel stable when standing on it, you can clean out the pivot cup with a paper towel or other absorbent material. To do this, just remove the wheels, bushings, nut, washer and other parts following the steps listed above.
Don’t forget once you start to put everything back together to ensure you tighten everything nicely back into place. Loose screws, a loose nut, loose bushings, cup, and even the wheel being loose can cause squeaking or other noise when you ride. These issues have an easy fix; simply make sure things are tight!
What About Another Sound?
If it’s not board squeaking or another squeaking sound you hear coming from your skateboard, it’s time to investigate more. One of the other common types of sounds that may come from skateboard trucks or wheels is a clicking sound.
Clicking typically comes from the washers or even the kingpin nut moving around. Most commonly the issue resides in the top washer sticking to the kingpin nut, kind of like that of tectonic plates. There are a few different ways to fix this issue. Ensure you have the proper bushing alignment and they are not slipping out from under the washers when you are turning your wheels.
Another solution is to make sure you have the proper washers for your longboard bushings. Cone styles use small cups, and barrel styles use large flat spots, or flat washers. If you have a wedge or eliminator style, a large cupped washer works best.
As a last resort only, you can scrape the bottom of the kingpin nut against the grip to help create less surface area when it contacts the washer. This will remove the stickiness that is between the both of them.
Frequently Asked Questions About Board Noise
Why Do My Trucks Squeak?
Skateboard trucks typically will squeak when the bushings or nuts get dry or are damaged. Also, when you use the skateboard for a lengthy time without replacing your bearings or nuts the trucks can become loud.
Why Do My Skateboard Wheels Squeak?
Your wheel or wheels could be squeaking due to dry bearings. A board has four wheels and each of the wheels has a bearing inside of them. When these bearings become dry they start to become loud and make a noise.
Why Do The Bushings Squeak?
Bushings can become squeaky when they begin to wear out or become dry. This happens when you use a skateboard too long without replacing the bushings. Typically, bushings that are worn out can cause more movement first, and don’t tend to squeak until later on.
Remember that no skateboard will ever be entirely silent. There are many moving parts that may make noise when you’re riding. Just ensure you inspect your deck every once in a while to determine if it’s time for some much-needed maintenance. The better you maintain your skateboard, the better it will ride for you and the longer it will last.