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Unread 11-30-2009, 10:13 PM   #1
southbound
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I keep hearing a popping/clanking sound when turning...

I'm getting a popping sound when I turn. It is only noticeable while moving. It reminds me of the sound a bad shock makes when it is flexed (that stuttered clunking noise). It seems to be coming from the front drivers side. My first thought was that I got a bad shock with my lift that I installed a few months back. I went around the Jeep and (carefully) jumped on each corner on the edge of each bumper. No popping sound. The sound is really noticeable when turning either way and I usually here 1-2 clanks/pops etc with each turn...

Anybody have any ideas? I'm really hoping it's something simple like a shock, but I'm highly doubting it due to the fact that I have practically brand new OME's on there and I can't recreate the sound unless the vehicle is actually in motion (no amount of wobbling the Jeep while its parked or turning the wheel makes the sound). I also put on a new SS while I did the lift, so I don't think it could be at blame either. I'm really hoping my steering box isn't shot or anything, so any help would greatly be appreciated.

Thanks ,

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Unread 11-30-2009, 10:19 PM   #2
kidddhawk
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Axle shaft Ujoint out by the hub maybe? When you are stopped, it is stationary even when you jump and bump the jeep around, but when you are moving it is rotating and maybe has enough play in it to clang around a bit. Maybe give your ball joints a good look too, like jack that wheel up off the ground and try to wiggle the top and bottom back and forth and see if there is excessive play. Just tossing some ideas out.
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Unread 11-30-2009, 10:29 PM   #3
southbound
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kidddhawk View Post
Axle shaft Ujoint out by the hub maybe? When you are stopped, it is stationary even when you jump and bump the jeep around, but when you are moving it is rotating and maybe has enough play in it to clang around a bit. Maybe give your ball joints a good look too, like jack that wheel up off the ground and try to wiggle the top and bottom back and forth and see if there is excessive play. Just tossing some ideas out.
I don't think it's the ball joints. I just had 4 Moog's installed about 2 months ago as well.

Is there any way to check the axle u-joint without disassembling the hub?
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Unread 11-30-2009, 10:50 PM   #4
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You might be able to turn your wheels all the way to the left and gently pry with a big screwdriver in the area around the ujoint to see if it gives you any play. Or you might even be able to use your hands. I had all my needle bearings vanish on mine once, and there was enough gook and mud in there to kind of hold it in place most of the time, then my friend just happened to be looking once and saw it move funny so that's how we found it was bad.

Also, I hear moog makes some good stuff.
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Unread 11-30-2009, 11:17 PM   #5
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do you still have the front track bar????
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Unread 12-01-2009, 05:52 AM   #6
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My guess is the axle u-joint, since mine was doing the exact same thing. put the jeep in 4wd, cut your wheel a little so u can get a good clear view of the u joint and just move the jeep by pushing on the tire with your hand rocking it back and forth. you should be able to see if its slack (there should be zero play). I just replaced my drivers side u-joint yesterday, very simple job turned pita due to seized u joint caps but it was nothing a couple hours of hammering couldnt fix!

-remove tire

-remove brake caliper (2 bolts) and slide of rotor

-remove hub (3 12pt bolts on backside of hub, no need to remove large axle nut)

-whack hub assembly with a hammer a couple of times to break it free and slide out hub/axle

-heres how to replace a u joint, its an old FJ-40 but procedure is the same... expect the "tap it with a hammer" part to be "beat the living sh.. " while u get the idea

Pirate4x4.Com - Installing a Ujoint
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Unread 12-01-2009, 05:58 AM   #7
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I am going to vote for track bar mount popping if you still have it. A U joint would most likely be a continuous sound, not just 1 or 2 times.
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Unread 12-01-2009, 06:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rustywrangler View Post
I am going to vote for track bar mount popping if you still have it. A U joint would most likely be a continuous sound, not just 1 or 2 times.
Yea I still have it in. I will go out and take a look at it today. I know everyone here is going to say that I should take it off, but I simply don't have the time to do that and will not until I get some time off a Christmas. Is there an easy way to check the track bar to see if it has play in it?
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Unread 12-01-2009, 06:51 AM   #9
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U-joint doesn't have to be continuous noise. Mine would pop and creak only in moderate to tight turns.

Try twisting the front driveshaft and watching the u-joints. There should be NO noticeable play between the inner and outer yokes. If it's bad, you'll likely see movement, or hear a clunk from the joints. ANY play is too much.

Quote:
-remove hub (3 12pt bolts on backside of hub, no need to remove large axle nut)

-whack hub assembly with a hammer a couple of times to break it free and slide out hub/axle
If you're planning on re-using the hub, there is no need to remove the axle nut (Although it may be easier to position the axle for hammering with the hub out of the way). If you're planning on replacing the hub, remove the nut.

For removing the hub - Apparently in most areas of the country, they pop right out, but where I am, it's easy to spend all day beating on it with hammers and chisel, and get nothing more than bruised/bloody knuckles, and a ruined hub assembly. If a couple sharp blows with a hammer don't work, try this: Turn the wheel so the outer u-joint yoke is horizontal. Get a 2 1/4 - 2 1/2" bolt, bar, or something, wedge it between the outer u-joint yoke and the axle tube. Crank the steering wheel a bit, and the hub assembly will pop right out. There is a picture linked in my sig that explains it better.

Easiest way I've found to remove the u-joint caps when they are rust-welded (without the benefit of a large press) is to slice up the spider (torch, angle grinder) and work on one cap at a time, punching it in, rather than trying to drive it out.
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Unread 12-01-2009, 07:45 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southbound View Post
Yea I still have it in. I will go out and take a look at it today. I know everyone here is going to say that I should take it off, but I simply don't have the time to do that and will not until I get some time off a Christmas. Is there an easy way to check the track bar to see if it has play in it?
yea lay under there and have someone else move the steering wheel while the jeep is on you will be able to see if there is any movement/binding and the next chance you get you should remove it. My money is on that is whats causing the issue
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Unread 12-01-2009, 08:53 AM   #11
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Ok, thanks for the help. I'll go take a look when I get a chance today.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 03:52 AM   #12
94yjsahara
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did you ever figure out what the problem was? mine is starting to make this noise
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Unread 11-05-2010, 03:21 PM   #13
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Mine does the same thing now. Turning the wheel at slow speeds, to park the jeep, or whatever, and it clunks in the front end while turning the wheel. It actually seems like shifting as well because the front end jolts a little, it moves from the binding, or whatever happens I am not sure. I was under my jeep as well for some time yesterday looking for any type of damage, anything broken or worn, jacked up each side, checking to shake the wheels for play from a bad ball joint. I could not find it, could not find why its doing this. I am wondering now if a binding, or damaged u-joint could do this even though the front drive axle is not engaged. I am currently at a loss myself, I don't know what it is. I have 2.5 emu lift, no track bars, or sway bar attached.
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Unread 11-05-2010, 03:39 PM   #14
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Mine doesn't actually make the noise because of turning the steering wheel, it makes the noise when the tires are turned in either direction and is moving.

no noise when its going straight though, only during turns.

I've found lots of threads on popping and clanking but nothing definitive
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Unread 11-05-2010, 03:57 PM   #15
moonshinefuel
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Mine does the same thing, not just because of the turning, but while simply being on a turn on a corner it can do it. Seems pretty similar. My thinking is, if the ball joints seem ok, they are not moving from so far what I can tell, would a binding u-joint actually cause my front end to shift the way it is when the ball joints are holding tight. I guess that's what is confusing me. I certain things, but certain things like this can keep me guessing. As bad as it sounds, I am waiting for whatever it is that's doing it to break, that way I will find it for sure.
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