Fox TALAS Fork -- Creaking Noise in Fork Crown?



I have a 2004 Santa Cruz Heckler which came with a Fox TALAS fork. I
had some creaking noises coming from the front end during hard (front)
braking and during hard turns in rock gardens where the tire gets
pinched between rocks.

I thought the creaking sound was coming from my stem where the
handlebars mount because the bars were carbon fiber and the stem is
aluminum alloy. I did not want to overtighten the carbon bars. I
switched the bars to aluminum but had the same noise. I cleaned, lubed
and tighten the headset, stem and bars but could not eliminate the

I found that the sound occurs when I brake hard on pavement using only
the front brake. Of course this puts a good bending load on the fork. I
also found that I can create the noise by standing in front of the bike
(facing the bike), clamping the tire between my knees, and then turning
the handlebars from left to right.

>From this, it appears that the noise is coming from the joints between

the upper tubes (stanchion tubes) and the fork crown, or possibly the
joint between the fork crown and the steer tube.

I flipped the bike upside down, applied some penetrating oil to these
joints, and tried to work it in by twisting the fork back and forth. It
seems to have reduced the noise slightly but not completely.

Has anyone else experienced this condition? I have read where some
"cryo-fit" forks have come loose at this location. Is it something I
should just live with or is this more of a safety concern?

Thanks in advance for your help.