Sorry, I just remembered what it reminds me of: using a hydraulic jack that has a weeping seal, and the jack creaks as it creeps downwards ...Thanks Old Pug 👍🙂
Re the "creaking noises" - first, let me say I'm a complete cherry with these axles, so I'm in no way doubting what you say, and of course, it's the obvious thing on these, so, not by way of arguing, but offering further description which may confirm what you suspect:
- Nothing sceintific, but I can't see anything more than 0 - 1 degree camber looking at the rear wheels from behind
- I can get no play whatsoever out of the radius arm - I've even had someone waggle side to side and in and out ("check wheel bearing style") while I put my fingers across the join between the arm and the tube, and I can't even "feel" anything...
- the "creaking noise" sounds to me not like "metal on metal" but rather like dry rubber bushings that are too tight being twisted and the sensation of the radius arm "juddering" up and down (but not in a notchy, metallic way I would expect from a failing bearing) - hense why I suspected the (obvious old and knackered out shocks - you can tell by driving it they are cooked. I could well believe they are empty.
- the creaking doesn't happen when the car has it's feet on the ground, during normal driving, only when it's jacked up and the weight of the wheel drops it down.There are no "graunching noises" or knocking from the back end (which is what I would expect, but then as said: I'm a cherry on these)
From my point of view the shocks need changing - while I'm taking them half off to see if the creaking disappears, I may as well just throw a pair of new ones on anyway. (She will need them whatever the axle is like) and the bushes also. Both are preferable to an axle rebuild at this time of year...
However, if what I've written makes you feel even more certain, perhaps it's worth me trying to drop the swing axles out while they are still creaking and regrease them as a temporary measure, rather than wait until the bearings destroy themselves from running dry?
Be interested to hear your opinion.