I've an MOT coming up and a worying creaking noise I can't get to the bottom of. The noise is slow creak or cracking sound (crack crack crack) which happens when slowly turning the steering wheel and over a few degrees of turn from central. It can be felt in the steering too like a sort of "stiction". It's only slight but slowly getting worse. It's noticable when driving slowly but can sometimes be recreated when stationary. At speed I can't hear it.
At first it sounded like it was something in the steering colum or high up in the dash but when I had the window open I could hear it was coming from outside. Crouching by the front wheel, with the engine running and with my arm through the window to turn the wheel, I can cause it by turning the wheel back and forth slowly. Then it sounds like it's coming from the wheel. At the same time I can feel the top of the strut but I can feel no vibration there in the spring.
I've checked the lower ball joint nuts and I've just replaced the rack end tie/track rod. The rubber bushes in the track control wishbone seem fine as do the ARB bushes. Nothing seems loose that I can see. Could it be in the rack? Sticktion in an end bush - lack of grease perhaps? Has anyone come across this before?