Weird suspension problem, can't find issue

Discussion in 'Suspension and Brakes' started by Royal96, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Okay so let me start by saying this all started about a month ago when I blew my front left tire on the interstate.

    The car is taking bumps very oddly on the front left now. Extra hard, extra noisy. I'm hearing bumps in the road that I can't even see, there is a popping feeling in the floorboard over hard bumps, and a faint "clicking" feeling through the pedals, even on a flat stretch of road. On the way home with the donut on the day I blew the tire, it definitely felt rougher, but I chalked that up to simply being because it was on the donut. But now with new tires on, it's just getting worse.

    The balljoints (Steeda X2's, if it matters) seem fine to me, and there isn't any play in the wheel bearing (at least last time I checked, which the issue has gotten worse since then). I even replaced the relatively new struts, which I thought at first fixed the issue, but after driving the car for a little while, the issue just continued to get worse. I tried checking the A-Arm bushings, but there didn't seem to be any play in the arm, nor did the bushings look damaged, but I admittedly am no expert on those. Tie rod ends (bumpsteer kit) looked fine.

    Tonight while in my school's parking garage, I noticed a clicking noise definitely coming from the front left while making sharp left turn. Then it banged and popped like crazy on the way home, I had to pray the whole wheel wasn't about to go flying!

    I'm just kind of at a loss for what to look for right now, and unfortunately this is my only vehicle at the moment, and I just need to make it work for another month or so (at worst) before I get my new dd.

    So does anyone have any idea of what could be causing this?
     
  2. DKblue98GT

    DKblue98GT Well-Known Member

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    How old are the X2 ball joints? The clicking and popping makes me suspect them. A number of people myself included have not had very long life out of them. I replaced mine with Moog Problem solvers.
     
  3. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    About 2.5 years. I originally suspected them as well but the only thing that has me doubting it is the fact that the balljoints they replaced were in obviously wayyyyyy worse shape (solid half inch of vertical play) and even they didn't ride as bad or noisey as this is.

    I'm thinking about getting these and killing two birds with one stone (or 3, if you consider the possibility of a bent/tweaked a arm, not that I think this is the case), but I'm afraid to spend the 100 bucks to find out its a bad wheel bearing or something, but I'm unsure of what else to try at this point.
     
  4. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    How do your tires look? Any uneven wear? Your calipers are bolted on tight? Have you checked the sway bar end links, bushings and strut mount bushings?
     
  5. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Tires are fine, been keeping a close eye on them since theyre new. I havent check my calipers, but would that cause a ridiculously rough ride? I glanced at the sway bar end links and bushings and they looked fine, and as for strut mount bushings I have CC plates with spherical bushings.
     
  6. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    Like an idiot I overlooked that... No I dont think it would cause any driveability problems but it would make noise. Is there any way of recreating the sound with the car parked? Im having a similar problem but mine happens predominately on startup, sharp bumps and turning the wheel from side to side sometimes. I can also recreate it by lugging the engine with my foot off the gas and slowly releasing the clutch. Take a look at your k member brace. Mine is bent to the point where it almost hits the transmission and Im starting to get suspicious of it.

    Another possibility is that its something with the tie rods or steering knuckle area since an unbalanced donut caused the problem to get worse. Did you check your front suspension while it was loaded or unloaded? Does your car wander or pull? That cluncking sound without pulling sounds like a bad end link. Maybe even recheck the torque on your lug nuts and caster camber plates.
     
  7. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    I can't seem to recreate the sound while parked, though I haven't tried after last night when it was really bad. Oddly enough, I have also had another clunking sound in the drivetrain when I let off the clutch when moving at low speeds, but that's been going on for a lot longer than this suspension issue, and when I looked into it everyone seems to says its normal (Which admittedly doesnt make sense considering I've owned this car for nearly 5 years and have never noticed until recently), so I just assume it to be unrelated.

    I've checked the bumpsteer kit and the spherical bushings seem to be operating fine, and they haven't appeared to skip a thread or anything. I've checked the suspension both loaded and unloaded. No wandering or pulling (Which is funny considering it wandered to the left a bit before this all started happening). I haven't checked the torque on the cc plates but I have verified that they were tight.

    I've actually got the day off of work after class today so I'm gonna pull the wheel off and check everything out again and see if there is anything new.
     
  8. lwarrior1016

    lwarrior1016 Moderator Staff SN95 Supporter

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    Bad wheel bearing? The clicking would make me think its rotational.
     
  9. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    Im starting to think we have a similar, if not, the same problem. Its hard to say with any certainty what it is. Check the boots on your ball joints and outer tie rods. If torn, they are most likely bad. Both of my outer tie rod boots are torn but theyre solid when I try to wiggle them. Im becoming suspicous of them. Have you checked your motor and trans mounts?

    That clunking in the driveline is most likely bad u joints. Do you have a heavy clutch? If so that can exacerbate the clunk. My clutch is pretty heavy so I can get some clunking.

    Wheel bearings are definitely something to look into as well.
     
  10. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Well, funny story. Before I checked everything and nothing seemed broken. I just got in from double checking and EVERYTHING seems broken.
    The brake caliper actually wasn't tight. The top bolt was not tightening all the way, and as a result the caliper moved a lot. I had to run a thread chaser on both the bolt and the hole to get it to tighten properly.
    I decided to double check the A-Arm bushings, and again, I am no expert, but these look like they've seen better days after all:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    As for wheel bearings, I can't be positive they're causing this, but when I spin the wheel by hand there is a faint clicking sound. Almost sounds like something is hitting something else as the wheel goes around, but I've checked and checked and can't find anything that may be hitting.

    Now the balljoint, there is a significant amount of in and out movement when I move the top of the tire. Not the worst I've ever seen, but it's there.

    Does anyone sell a complete spindle/hub assembly new? I tried looking around but can't find any on LMR or CJP. Because at this point I'd be willing to throw a set of new lowers (with new balljoints and bushings) on and a new spindle on that side to avoid the possibility of a bad wheel bearing.(EDIT: Nevermind, didn't realize replacing the bearings on these cars was so easy)

    Balljoint boots are fine, tie rod ends are a bumpsteer kit with spherical bushings, so no boots. I checked the trans mount, but I can't seem to see to check the motor mounts.
    I considered bad u joints for the driveline clunk but the clunk almost sounds like the trans hitting the tunnel, which is why I checked the trans mount to begin with. I have an FRPP clutch, which doesn't seem much heavier than stock, if any.
     
  11. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    I can see those a arm bushings causing play and noise. I would replace those asap along with your balljoints. There shouldnt be any play in them. Id look at the motor mounts before the trans mount. Did you check your lower engine/k member brace?
     
  12. 9838stang

    9838stang Well-Known Member

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    When I do the swap with my car I was having tons of issues prior to the swap with road noise as far as creaking and funny noise and popping in seems like metal on metal sound but didn't squeak like metal on metal sound more like boat in the ocean rocking back and forth. Anyways after I started doing the swap I thought why not since I have everything taken apart replace the control arm bushings which I did. Got everything back together. Before doing the Tron bushings I clean out the steel ball joints, I cleaned out the control arm bushings or the factory set up as well as make sure that the Caster camber plates were clean both top and bottom and there wasn't any grains of sand or anything underneath. Once I get the new control arm bushings in there the noise went away the car is smooth and feels great down the road I'm using the same bump steer kit as before the same ball joint as before the same shocks as before the same spring setup as before the only thing I changed in this whole setup from before this one up to now were the control arm bushings
     
  13. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    I'm gonna save myself some time and get new assembled lower control arms and throw them in. That'll have ball joints and bushings.
    Assuming you mean the bar that runs from one side of the k member to the other that sits basically right between the engine and trans, I looked at it, and it doesn't seem bent or look like it would hit the trans in any way, and it should be tight from where I replaced the clutch earlier this year.
     
  14. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    Just ordered a new wheel bearing and control arms, so we'll see how it works out. Rockauto is awesome, saved me almost a hundred bucks compared to CJ or LMR, and thats with me buying moog.
     
  15. 07GtS197

    07GtS197 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good man. Yes you got it, its just below the bellhousing by the rear of the motor. Does your car wander at all?

    I like rockauto too. I remember a thread on modded about rockauto a while back where pretty much everyone hated them. It was like "their prices arent good" or "shipping offsets any savings you get. I was like really guys... I need a new alternator connector for my 98 p71. At autozone it was about 23 bucks, rockauto its 8.xx before tax and shipping. And thats before my 5% off.
     
  16. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    No wandering.

    I used to always brush them off because I'd heard 1 too many horror stories of people being sent the wrong part, I figured their prices weren't that much better than the local stores, and I didn't want to wait for parts. After realizing that their name brand parts are often times less than half the cost than at the local stores, I changed my attitude pretty quick and decided it was worth the wait and the small chance they send me the wrong part lol. Shipping is kind of annoying but it's still way cheaper.
     
  17. Frank.JD.Perez

    Frank.JD.Perez Well-Known Member

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    i vote ball joints. sounds pretty similar to my "loud popping issue from front" thread. they could have failed with the constant hitting. i would suggest replacing those guys and i wouldnt be surprised if they kinda just fall out when you use the tool from autozone/oriellys
     
  18. Royal96

    Royal96 Active Member

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    I'm just replacing the whole a-arm with one with bushings and ball joint pressed in already. I don't have the patience to press them in and out again lol.
     
  19. chris91

    chris91 Well-Known Member

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    You say you hear a clicking when turning the wheel? Your car have ABS? Might be something stuck to the sensor being it's magnetic. Worth looking at. I know it won't cause handling problems but it'll cause a clicking noise for sure.
     
  20. DKblue98GT

    DKblue98GT Well-Known Member

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    I think the new a arms will probably solve your problem. I'll bet your control arm bushings are split. Changing the ball joints is pretty easy with the borrowed tool, I did it day before yesterday. I like Rockauto, as long as I order the right part I get the right part...