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Popping/Creaking in Front Pass. Wheel

Discussion in 'Shocks, Suspensions, Lift Kits' started by Triton46, October 8, 2002.

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    1. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      This just started yesterday. Whenever I go over a bump (speed bump, large rut, etc) or coming off an exit ramp there are popping creaking sounds from my front wheel well.

      The noise does not surface during highway travel and if I am stopped I can turn the wheel either way without making the sound. If I get out and push up and down on the front passenger side, the sound returns. At this point, I am guessing it is the spring.

      Do new springs come with new mounts? How hard are they to replace?

      I checked all over the spring but I do not see any signs of breakage or stress cracks. My shocks are new and were put on 8 months ago.
       
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    3. Blaine122300

      Blaine122300 Elite Non explorer owner

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      the exact same thing happened to me when I put on a new set of skyjacker springs. Every time I went over a bump, got a creak/crack sound.
      This is what I did.
      Look at your spring and make sure the top is in the upper mount correctly. Mine wasn't. it is kinda grooved to fit the top of the spring. just turn your spring so the top fits into its "pocket" not really a pocket, but more of a space it fits into nicely in the upper spring mount. Give this a try before you go spend a bunch of money on new springs.

      Andy
       
    4. MrShorty

      MrShorty Explorer Addict

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      Check the radius arm bushing in the same way you tried testing the spring. They are a common problem on 1st generations, especially on the passenger side where the bushing is close to the exhaust system.
       
    5. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Update:

      I went to Goodyear the weekend before Thanksgiving. They called me back and said they wanted to repack the wheel bearings because they were full of clay and there was a couple of inches of play in the passenger wheel. I went back and they showed me the rotor was moving back and forth. I told them to retighten the two nuts for the manual hubs as I could see they were loose (not even hand tight on the passenger side).

      A few days later the crack/pop returned so I dropped it off at my mecahnic the Thursday before thanksgiving to get them to replace my leaking power steering pump as well as look at the pop.

      I talked to him this morning, here is what he said:

      1)He checked the wheel and found that the bearings did have some clay in them (note: I have not been offroad since I repacked them 8 months ago, not sure how that got there, maybe it splashed up from the road).

      2)He said there is some play in the wheel, in fact one of the wheel bearings on the passenger side had unseated. He reseated the bearing and tightened the manual hub back on.

      3)On a test drive later, the car began pulling hard to the left. He pulled to the right but it would not turn. He said it was so bad he began braking because a truck was coming in the other lane. Finally there was a loud POP and the car pulled straight. As evidence of how hard he was turning, he said when it popped he almost hit the curb on the right.

      4)After that he took it to a suspension shop to check it out (springs, shocks, bushings, etc). This is a reputable shop in town. They could find nothing wrong.

      5)He got it back and said it still makes a popping noise at low speeds in tight turns like something is under load.

      What could this be? I suspected a cracked/misplaced coil spring but I never had it pull hard to the left when I was driving it. I suspect that reseating the bearing has made the problem more obvious. He does not suspect anything is wrong with the bearings themselves. Over 35mph there is no popping/creaking present (he also verified that). Anyone have similar problems with a 91 - 94?
       
    6. B94Sport

      B94Sport Well-Known Member

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      I can't help you, but I am having the same problem with my '94 on the driver's side. I'll be anxious to see what you find out.
       
    7. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      Sounds like broken gear in gear box causing it to lock up on you, I had that once on an old ford pick-up, it only wanted to steer to the left, scared the crap out of me, ended up replacing the box.
       
    8. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Do you mean the transmission? That was rebuilt about a year ago by my mechanic. This popping/creaking is definatley coming from the passenger side wheel...just not sure what. The pulling is new to me.
       
    9. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      sorry steering gear box., If you haven't changed the coils then maybe your pivot arm bushings are going, giving you play in the suspension, also check those mounts for stress cracks. Remember sound travels, the problem may be on the other side. The steering box would be an extreme problem, my first reply was for another thread, but for yours to pull that bad, you have a bushing or bearing that is bad allowing your front suspension to travel to far both ways.
       
      Last edited: November 30, 2002
    10. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      My bushings were checked by the suspension shop and found to be fine. My mechanic has ruled out the bearing as they do not make the noise unless you put some type of load on the wheel (back up, stop, turn at slow speed).
       
    11. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      Okay, after reading your post again, I saw where you say that pushing the vehicle up and down, sound returns, what about your shocks? Easy check, take off mount and pull it out of the way, and check again by trying to bounce it.
      Now I am getting somewhere, mine did that too, I had to add another washer to the top of the top mount, nut was bottoming out before it tightened properly. Sorry I am not thinking too quick today.
       
    12. gwt

      gwt New Member

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      I have been fighting the same problem for years. It is really bad in the summer when it is hot, thats why I think it's fluid breaking down causing parts to move more freely? I can push up and down on my front bumper and it just makes popping sounds. When Im driving I can feel it in the sterrring wheel and even on the drivers side floor board. I have had this in every shop and they all just shake thier heads. I often wonder if the 90 weight is breaking down causing the axels to float? I have had every thing change on the front end so Im at a loss. FORD has to know whats wrong but they wont say It is so bad in the summer that it feels like the sterring shaft is going to break even after I have had that changed. I wish you luck.
       
    13. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Me mechanic mentioned a similar problem on a Jeep. They changed out this 80's Jeep with the steering box from a 90's jeep and still had the same problem even though he had tracked it down to the steering box. It must be a noise that is transferring from somewhere else.
       
    14. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      On mine it was front shocks, bushing had gotten hard and no spring left in them, I pit a couple of washers on top of the shock stem, and this eliminated that noise.
       
    15. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      The shocks and bushings are about 6 months old, but the nut on top could be causing some noise.

      However, that doesn't answer what would 'bind up' the steering enough to pull it to one side then when it POPS cause it to unload?

      This is a very odd problem.
       
      Last edited: December 1, 2002
    16. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      I think mine at the time were monroes, they came on the ex when I bought it, I only found out later after I had installed coil spacers, that I had lost one of the washers, I put one on and tightened all yhe way down, and developed the same noise as you, so I put a couple of washers in I had in the garage and noise went away. On top of the shock stem the threads for the nut only go down to a certain point, on mine it was like a 1/16th on an inch too short. Every time I hit a bump or something you could here a knocking on the passenger side.
       
    17. Jason94sport

      Jason94sport Well-Known Member

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      My front end on my 94 was making some popping noises too. I though it was the radius arm bushings. But the were fine. I had all the bushing lubed really good, & so far the popping has stopped.
       
    18. wonsek

      wonsek New Member

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      I have the exact same problem. Same side front. Its very noticable in the car when braking going slow foreward but not backwards or going over a bump. Braking foreward would load the shock/spring so the noise could be coming from there but then why not going over bump? Maybe fast, short compressions don't effect it as much? Also, when you get out and push bumper down, it creaks and pops.

      Very strange.

      Mines going in next week to shop. See if they can track it down.
       
    19. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Well, the jury is back...bad wheel bearing. He said he cleaned everything (ball joints, rack, etc) and while he had it all apart he took the wheel bearing and race (what the hell is the race anyway?) out.

      After cleaning the grease off of the wheel bearing he found that it had grooves cut in the bearings. I asked if he thought it had occurred from falling off and he said no. So, it had some small grooves in it and all the grease did not help quiet it down. So he put a new one on, greased it up and BINGO no more clicking or popping.

      I'm at a loss on how grooves could cause the creaking popping noise? I mean, the noise I had sounded like a spring had cracked and was rubbing against itself whenever you go over a speed bump or slightly smaller. My thoughts are that all the cleaning and reseating of the bearings fixed it. At anyrate, I go to pick up my beast tonight. :)
       
    20. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Well, its about 70% gone. I still think the shock or the spring is loose. I'm going to take EXPLODER-1's suggestoin and try a few washers even if it can go lower, that grinding has to have warn the threads down in that area. The noise is very irritating.

      I'll let you guys know what happens.
       
    21. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      Well while you are adding washers, I wil be changing wheel bearings. Mine isn't popping, but they have a ton of miles on them, as far as the grooves, probably made by one bad bearing or peice caught in between the race, and bearing. The race is a machined metal ring that the bearing rides on.
       
    22. AZ Exployer

      AZ Exployer New Member

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      Popping?Creaking?

      My EX has been doing the same thing ( I think). In reverse, you crank the wheel to the left almost all the way and sometimes POP! and now its doing it on the right side. I took it to a FORD dealer and they said aggghhh duh I dont see a problem with anything. Great human beings the best I can find representing FORD motors in AZ. I believe its only inherent in the 91-94 models. Ive got brand new wheel bearings. So what gives?
       
    23. X-1

      X-1 Elite Explorer

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      That sound isn't always caused by the bearings, more often it is the bushing, first gen ex's are now old enough that these parts need replacing, I have replaced every bushing in my ex and at 178,000 miles I have no popping or creaking.:D
       
    24. Mike

      Mike Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      well i have the same thing on my 2001 and its going in to the dealer for it.. i will let you know what they find..
       
    25. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Well, I went out and cranked the nut down on the shocks until the bushings are almost squeezed out the side and I am still getting the creaking noise. All you have to do is push up and down on the front passenger side and it is there. How far down should the nut on the top of the front shock be anyway?

      I can't figure this one out. Suspension shop said everything as far as bushings/springs/shocks/etc were fine.
       
    26. Triton46

      Triton46 Active Member

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      Update:

      Just went out to the store in our Winter Wonderland here in NC. I rode around with the manual hubs locked and had to put it into 4x4 here and there to get up the icy roads. When I got back I went to back into the driveway, with 4x4 off, and the passenger side bound up then went POP really loud. I unlocked the hubs and moved forward and all was fine. What is this?
       

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