popping sound in front left suspension area | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
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popping sound in front left suspension area


Active Member
May 18, 2002
Reaction score
City, State
Tempe, AZ
Year, Model & Trim Level
92 XLT 4WD
it only makes a popping sound when i travel over speed bumps or pot holes. i thought it was the shock, but when i took it off, the shock was fine. it is only a month old. i drove over some speed bumps without the shock and it is still making the popping sound. i took it to big-o today to get my wheels rebalanced. while i was there, i had a mechanic check it out. the only thing that he saw wrong was the front left wheel bearing loose. could that be my problem? i didn't know that wheel bearings could make a loud popping sound. any other suggestions?

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popping sound

Try looking at the front bushings, chances are the radius arm bushings need replacing, maybe even the pivot bushings.

I agree with EXPLODER-1 mine has the same problem:D

Ditto, radius arm bushings. Those are a pain in the a$$. Do a search on them for more information.


I replaced all of mine, and yes it was a pain in the rear, but no more popping sound. If your radius bushings are bad, that causes the arm to move around inside mount causing the noise you are hearing.

Dont let them go to long ,I had to replace the whole radius arm support in my old ranger after it rusted out from bad bushing working away at it.

how difficult is it to replace the radius arm bushings and pivot bushings? the daystar bushings seem really reasonably priced. any other bushings that you guys recommend? anything else that i should replace while i replace those bushings?

thanks a lot guys.

It's the bushings, my 94' did the same thing when I hit the speed bumps in our community, it would sound like the suspension was loose and made popping/banging sounds. It ended up being the radius arm bushings (weakness on just about every truck) but they ended up replacing all the bushings on the truck anyway, came out to a couple hundred dollars total (mostly labor). But they told us not to worry about it, all I had to do was pay for the bushings and they didn't charge us labor, saved me a couple hundred $'s:).

Ok, my 98 explorer does this too, but only on big bumps.


On the 91-94 explorers you have the radius arm bushings, pivot arm bushings, and sway bar bushings. I replaced all of mine, not only eliminated the noise but improved the handling dramatically. If you are replacing the pivot, and radius arm bushings, then spring for the sway bars as well, not that much more. Talk to Hank, he'll hook you up, :D thats where I got mine from. On the newer explorers, I believe they have control arms, and the control arm bushings can wear just like the first gen explorers, I would start there for noises on the newer explorer. Check with Hank on the daystars for newer explorers, I think he can get those. If you go with the Daystars you will end up with better bushing for the money.:)

i'm debating on if i should upgrade my swaybars to the explorer express setup for the front and rear. that's the only reason why i don't think that i will replace the swaybar bushings. other than that, i do plan on replacing everything else. i'm calling my mechanic tomorrow to see how much he will charge for labor.

Yeah, mine's doing this too and I figured out it's the swaybar bushings. If you have a lift and start hearing the clicking, try just pushing it back and forth while someone is underneath to see what's clicking. I'll be upgrading to poly bushings pretty soon..

looks like my mechanic can do it for $130 to replace the radius arm and pivot arm bushings. i called a few other places and they all told me $200-300. they all said that it was a good 3 hour job. is that really how long it'll take to do this job? they said they pretty much have to take apart the whole front suspension. anything thing else i should do while they do this work? is this something that's worth me to save my money and do it myself or just have someone else deal with the work?

thats great! mines been making that sound since i got it and it pisses me off royally, plus its embarrassing. i replaced the right side already since the exhaust made it brittle. i will try replacing the other side and see if it makes any difference.