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 Do ball joints "pop"?

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97rivsc
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:05 pm

are alignments expensive cuz i need one really badly anyway
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:08 pm

They can be... depends how much else they have to fix first. Usually around $50+- for just an alignment depending on where you take it.
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:40 pm

is it hard to diagnose/install new ball joint, control arm bushing, or tie rod. im thinkin its either the ball or tie but most likely the tie
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:39 am

Start by reading this thread from the beginning.!
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Wed Oct 22, 2008 6:08 pm

ok i replaced sway bar links on both sides(figured i better do both to keep the wear even) and popping is gone! and handling has improved too big time. wow am i glad that i did this. so much more fun to drive
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:35 pm

forgot to add this part. THE LEFT SWAY BAR END LINK SNAPPED IN HALF! pretty sure that actually sucks for handling. so its like day and night when i did the install. my car feels and drives amazing!!!!! and the repair only cost me like 17 bucks for the pair of premium links from napa.
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:39 pm

Moog link = $7
Sawzall = Priceless

Have a jack handy to help stabilize and move the sway bay. Very easy replacements
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Thu Oct 23, 2008 11:44 pm

i definitely agree with you on that one. i had to cut out the old rusted ones with a dremel and had two jack stands and a floor jack. real easy once you figure out what the heck you're doing.
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:44 pm

ewolfe0050 wrote:
...Only turning out or in a parking place. slow speed and sharp wheel angle.
This is exactly what is happening to me.
Rickw wrote:
Jack up front of car on the side you want to check with floor jack. Jack it so as to leave the lower control arm hanging. Jack just high enough to get a crow bar or other suitalble bar under tire. then lift up and down in a quick motion. If balljoint is bad you will feel the play (shouldn't be any) and possibly hear it. Also, while wheel is up off the ground grab tire at 3 and 9 o'clock position and move left to right, back and forth. This can expose a bad tie-rod and even a bad control arm bushing. It helps to have a second person on the ground looking at each component with a flashlight to see if anything moves an excessive amount. You really don't want to be able to see any play in any of the mechanical joints.
I did all that and I don’t see any play anywhere?
97rivsc wrote:
ok i replaced sway bar links on both sides(figured i better do both to keep the wear even) and popping is gone! and handling has improved too big time. wow am i glad that i did this. so much more fun to drive
I am thinking and hoping that this too will solve my "pop" sound. But my sway bar links are not that rusty or cracked. So will changing them make a difference? By the way, what should be supported when replacing the sway bar links to avoid any sudden expansion?
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:47 pm

BMD wrote:
ewolfe0050 wrote:
...Only turning out or in a parking place. slow speed and sharp wheel angle.
This is exactly what is happening to me.
Rickw wrote:
Jack up front of car on the side you want to check with floor jack. Jack it so as to leave the lower control arm hanging. Jack just high enough to get a crow bar or other suitable bar under tire. then lift up and down in a quick motion. If balljoint is bad you will feel the play (shouldn't be any) and possibly hear it. Also, while wheel is up off the ground grab tire at 3 and 9 o'clock position and move left to right, back and forth. This can expose a bad tie-rod and even a bad control arm bushing. It helps to have a second person on the ground looking at each component with a flashlight to see if anything moves an excessive amount. You really don't want to be able to see any play in any of the mechanical joints.
I did all that and I don’t see any play anywhere?
97rivsc wrote:
ok i replaced sway bar links on both sides(figured i better do both to keep the wear even) and popping is gone! and handling has improved too big time. wow am i glad that i did this. so much more fun to drive
I am thinking and hoping that this too will solve my "pop" sound. But my sway bar links are not that rusty or cracked. So will changing them make a difference? By the way, what should be supported when replacing the sway bar links to avoid any sudden expansion?

I have copied everything that you responded to above.
Yet you sya that all the checks that are recommended are not the source of your problem.

To be honest, I don't know what the source of your clunk will be if you have truely done the front end checks with someone else looking for movement of the bushings and or joints that we are talking about.

One or more of these have to be worn to create the noises you say you are experiencing. Also, are you feeling sloppy steering or balljoints by driving over rough roads.? If so, look again.
And look again more closely with a prybar and a friend to either operate the crowbar or look for the loose bushings..
Good Luck,
Rick

p.s. Ball joints do pop under certain circumstances but not all. Look at the Cradle bushings and washers that hold them on.
I take care of my car but found two of the six cradle bushing washers were missing yesterday, causing a noise.
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:40 am

Quote :
ewolfe0050 wrote:
...Only turning out or in a parking place. slow speed and sharp wheel angle.

This is exactly what is happening to me.
Is it a single, heavy "bump", or is it a repeating "bump, bump, bump" as you turn the wheel? Does it happen when steering while the car isn't moving?

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
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EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:04 pm

I can't really isolate it because it doesn't happen that often. As ewolfe said, it usually happens when I have to cut it sharp to get in a tight parking spot and if the area isn't exactly flat. It happened this morning. I got out of the garage with a sharp left and moved the car about 15 ft, then upon straightening the wheels I heard it. But right now I need some input as to what should be supported while doing the sway bar links. I am going to do the front brakes this afternoon, and I also picked up the sway bar links so I figure I will do that at the same time, thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:42 pm

if you jack the front up and grab the wheel and pull on it,you can feel the ball joint move. that could be it. inner tie rod can make a clunk noise as can the outer. the front cradle bushings can also sound off in certain manoeuvres. did you check all those?
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 pm

You want to do the links with both sides lifted, preferably with springs compressed - this is so the link bolts won't contact the axle. Support car with wheels on ramps, or without wheels jack up both control arms under the ball joints. There will be no tension when removing the links, so they will not expand with any force. The sway bar is only under tension when only one side of car is compressed. I don't think the sway bar or links would generate the sound you're describing. More on links here:

http://rivperformance.editboard.com/brakes-suspension-f6/write-up-stabillizer-anti-sway-bar-link-upgrade-t7376.htm

If you've never replaced struts, the strut bearings could cause the noise.

If the rear trans mount is shot, it will also make a noise like this.

Cradle mounts are also a real possibility.

I had a badly failing ball joint, and it made absolutely no noise at all. Just happened to discover when car was on the lift.

_________________
'98 SC Riviera • 268k miles • 298 HP/370 TQ • 0-60: 5.79s • ET: 13.97 @ 99.28 • 4087 lb • 20.1 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:30
3.4" pulley • AL104 plugs • 180Ί t-stat • FWI w/K&N • 1.9:1 rockers • OR pushrods • LS6 valve springs • SLP headers • ZZP fuel rails
KYB GR2 struts • MaxAir shocks • Addco sway bars • UMI bushings • GM STB • Enkei 18" EV5s w/ Dunlop DZ101s • F-body calipers
EBC bluestuff/Hawk HP plus • SS lines • Brembo slotted discs • DHP tuned • Aeroforce • Hidden Hitch


'05 GTO • 49k miles • 0-60: 4.8s • 16.9 avg MPG • Nelson Ledges Lap: 1:26
Because fun
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PostSubject: Re: Do ball joints "pop"?   Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:15 pm

BMD wrote:
ewolfe0050 wrote:
...Only turning out or in a parking place. slow speed and sharp wheel angle.
This is exactly what is happening to me.
Rickw wrote:
Jack up front of car on the side you want to check with floor jack. Jack it so as to leave the lower control arm hanging. Jack just high enough to get a crow bar or other suitable bar under tire. then lift up and down in a quick motion. If balljoint is bad you will feel the play (shouldn't be any) and possibly hear it. Also, while wheel is up off the ground grab tire at 3 and 9 o'clock position and move left to right, back and forth. This can expose a bad tie-rod and even a bad control arm bushing. It helps to have a second person on the ground looking at each component with a flashlight to see if anything moves an excessive amount. You really don't want to be able to see any play in any of the mechanical joints.
I did all that and I don’t see any play anywhere?
97rivsc wrote:
ok i replaced sway bar links on both sides(figured i better do both to keep the wear even) and popping is gone! and handling has improved too big time. wow am i glad that i did this. so much more fun to drive
I am thinking and hoping that this too will solve my "pop" sound. But my sway bar links are not that rusty or cracked. So will changing them make a difference? By the way, what should be supported when replacing the sway bar links to avoid any sudden expansion?

IF you have the OE links you could have one broken and not know it. I will try to explain briefly.

The OE links are little metal rods in plastic sleeves. They do not both break at once in my experience. With me, one broke and I did not know until while replacing my exhaust and had the car on jackstands wheels hanging (the '95 - '99 Riv's exhaust routing is such that the suspension position isn't an issue). With the car up like that when I was jacking up a wheel by the pad on the control arm to take it off the stands I found the broken link. Got a pair of Moog "Problem Solver" links from the local NAPA to fix that one.

Because of the husky plastic sleeves the links never look broken and under a lot of conditions probably sit right when actually broken. The links are usually under compression, you see, so the plastic sleeves perfectly hide a broken link. It is only when the links are under tension (pulling apart) that you're gonna ever find a busted one -- and getting one link under tension for diagnostics is a mean trick. Worse, if only one is broken depending on how you jack the car up you still may not find the broken link. For instance if you put the car on a lift both wheels droop down pretty much the same and the good link will not let the bar move in such a way as to disclose the bad one.

When it is down like that, if you have a broken sway bar link you could find it by bending up on the sway bar. If they are both busted it will pivot up and away without a whole lot of effort. If only one is busted you *really* have to bend it hard to disclose any problem because the system will work as designed and staunchly resist your twisting. I suspect in your case you have only one busted, or maybe a chewed mount, or maybe maybe a loose brake caliper.

So you're doing the links at the same time as the brakes? You will have the car on stands-not ramps-and the wheels off, so you might want to use a second stand of some sort to move the control arms up enough to get the link bolts away from the axle. This is easier to see when you're under there than describe, and since the jackstands are holding the frame up there's not that much weight to deal with to do this -- you'll find that a stack of blocks cut from scrap 2x4s, or the scissor jack from the trunk, or something else appropriate you have on hand will be enough to hold the suspension in position firm enough and long enough to get the links out. You may want to use a Dremel to cut the bolt ends off rather than try to unbolt them if they are very rusty. You will likely be dismayed at how rusty the metal link is that's inside the plastic sleeve.

If it is the strut bearings causing the noise, you *might* find out, before you jack the car up and start wrenching, by opening the hood then bouncing the car by the bumper while watching the tops of the struts and listening for the noise. Look closely at the mounts to see if the rubber is cracked or chunked off; if so you might/should plan on mount replacement. Consider getting the Monroes because they come along with the extra dished metal washers you will need if you are also repairing or replacing the strut bellows/bumpstops.

lotsaluck

Albertj
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