Popping noises in front end. Please help!


Old 11-28-11, 10:00 AM
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Popping noises in front end. Please help!

Hi all,
Posted something similar last week but didn't get a lot of responses but here is more. I pulled the left ( driver side) steering knuckle a week ago on my 2002 pt cruiser so the shop could install a new press in bearing for me. I got the knuckle back on and know I have some popping going on in the same wheel which was never there. The noise happens only when I turn right into a parking lot or driveway and the right wheel goes up a bit followed by the left. When the left wheel goes up the bump there are two fairly loud pops that I can feel on the floorboard with my left foot. The popping noise is similar to the sound a thin sheetmetal enclosure would make if the side was flexing and you pushed it in, you would here a pop as it goes in then again as it comes out. So it is not a knock. I made sure all the bolts were tight and the only concern I have and not sure if this is normal is with all the movement taking the knuckle on and off, there was grease oozing out from the ball joint itself. So not sure if the ball joint is now bad. Also, I wondering if the ball joint stud could have worked its way out of the knuckle. I tried to make sure the stud ( which has a notch in it ) was inside the clamp and the bolt went through the notch to hold the stud in place to the knuckle. Anyways not, sure what else could be making such a dull hollow pop sound. Almost like someone is hitting the control arm with a metal hammer. I am going to look at it tonight if get a chance so any feedback would be great. Thanks
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Old 11-28-11, 10:58 AM
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I think you are in the right vicinity, as the ball joint will do like a shoulder with bad rotator cuffs. Pop and stuff. It is possible the ball joint stud nut is not tight, or the ball joint is bad. With the grease oozing, it ain't a nice picture.
Old 11-28-11, 12:44 PM
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You have not mentioned anything further in regards to the sway bar bushings, and or possible worn out sway bar links which almost always cause these same kinds of noises and in the same driving scenarios. The ball joints on the links wear out just as other suspension ball joints can loosen up. At the very least this is something that needs to also be eliminated as the cause.
Old 11-28-11, 04:20 PM
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well, without reading other posts..
pop while turning, with wheel going down into say a pothole, or pulling into traffic of sidewalk, is usually a sign of bad ball joint on my book.
Old 12-02-11, 04:41 PM
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Front End Popping noise

I just replaced two tie rod ends that made a noise like that. Did you look at those?
Old 12-05-11, 04:33 AM
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I went back under and torqued on the clamp bolt on the knuckle for the ball joint stud to make it a bit tighter and the noise went away. However, now I am up against this. I noticed the inner CV joint was leaking a bit of grease which it didn't do before I took knuckle off. It looks like I will need to replace the whole axle. CAn anyone advise what the symptoms are going to be if it goes bad. won't be able to change for a month or two. Also, how hard is it. I had it mostly free when the knuckle was off but how hard is it to get ourt of the differential. Looks like a crowbar will pry it out, any tricks on getting it out. Also, how does the new one go in, do you tap it in with a soft hammer?. Thanks

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