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Old 02-13-2012, 09:47 PM   #1
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Angry The popping is back

After being quiet for over a month, the random popping noise from my left front wheel has come back.

Here'* a video from the first time it happened. You can hear it popping twice as I accelerate.
[yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y132kJyMOnw[/yt]

When it pops, it feels almost like the car is slipping on ice. I don't think it'* slipping out of gear, because the tach doesn't bounce. (You see the RPM'* drop, but that'* because I immediately took my foot off the gas.)

I would think it'* a bad CV joint, but the boot isn't torn, there'* no grease anywhere, and this has happened when driving in a straight line.

No check engine codes, but later, I turned my key to run, and the gear indicator light on the (floor) shifter began blinking. I didn't catch the pattern and couldn't make it blink again.

My guess is on the axle itself.

Don't ask me to replicate this. It happens at random.
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Old 02-13-2012, 09:51 PM   #2
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hmm od a buddy of mine had balljoints so bad that when he turned it felt as if it was tripping over itsself..Is that the feeling?
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:09 PM   #3
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hmm od a buddy of mine had balljoints so bad that when he turned it felt as if it was tripping over itsself..Is that the feeling?
That'* exactly what it feels like, but when I took the wheel off and checked for play after that drive, nothing wanted to move.

Wouldn't bad ball joints make noise during turns or over potholes? When it happened today (three times), I was going at highway speed in a straight line.
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Old 02-13-2012, 10:18 PM   #4
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Hmm yeah it doesnt sound like balljoints then...Its a scary thought but have you checked your front subframe bushings..Seems they would make noises turning and at bumps to but ya never know..It could be an axle but man that is a loud pop..
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Old 02-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #5
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Hmm yeah it doesnt sound like balljoints then...Its a scary thought but have you checked your front subframe bushings..Seems they would make noises turning and at bumps to but ya never know..It could be an axle but man that is a loud pop..
Would I check subframe mounts like this guy checks ball joints? Just shove a screwdriver in between the frame and subframe and try to make it wiggle?

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Old 02-15-2012, 01:02 AM   #6
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I guess you could do that or have someone watch the rear portion of it while its running as you (with foot on brake) go from park to drive or park to reverse and see if there is movement..
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Old 02-15-2012, 08:05 AM   #7
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Other things to wiggle test would be sway bar(end links too) struts, and tie rods. Grab your CV shaft in the middle and push pull from 12-6 and 9-3, that will tell if your joints are bad.
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Old 02-16-2012, 12:41 AM   #8
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I should mention that I'm looking at only the driver'* front tire during all this, because that'* where the popping is coming from.

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I guess you could do that or have someone watch the rear portion of it while its running as you (with foot on brake) go from park to drive or park to reverse and see if there is movement..
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Other things to wiggle test would be sway bar(end links too) struts, and tie rods. Grab your CV shaft in the middle and push pull from 12-6 and 9-3, that will tell if your joints are bad.
Well, I took a very large screwdriver (which doubles as a small pry bar) and started trying to force things apart: ball joints from control arms, tie rod end from control arm, end links from control arm, sway bar bushing from frame, subframe from frame. The only thing that happened was that I bent my screwdriver.

Grabbed the tire and tried to rip it off. No significant movement in any direction.

Dakota: I'll try the "have a friend" test this weekend, when I have a houseguest who'* 100% sure I wouldn't try to run them over.

Mike: I'm long overdue for struts, but minus an occasional small squeak from the passenger front over bumps at highway speeds, they're still silent. Anything specific I can try?
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:18 AM   #9
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I still think that it is a ball joint. The sway bar "loads" the joint when you jack the car up by the frame. You then need to "unload" the lower control arm with another jack sowly & check the wheel assembly for play. Another method is to remove the sway bar link which will free up the lower control arm from any pressure pulling or pushing the ball stud into the ball joint seat, thne check for play.

It is pretty tough to overcome a 25mm+ sway bar.
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Old 02-16-2012, 04:22 AM   #10
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Left front ball joint is bad since you were turning right when it was "popping". Mine was a right ball joint when making left turns.
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1997, 1997 se, 4t60, axle, cv joint, rebuild, se, transmission

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