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Old 03-12-2011, 07:47 AM   #1
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


People,

I have been chasing this for weeks and nothing. After I make a turn, and straighten the car out, I get a loud knock from suspension area. Upon repeated inspections, I found nothiung. I did the ball joint test (rock wheel first at 12 oclock/6 oclock position then 3 and 9 oclock, and wheel is tight- no slop.

Then also took crow bar and nudged gently with lever action the control arm bushings- both on each side appear tight. No rubber rot apparent. Man, what could it be?

I recently replaced a leaky steering rack thinking that was it but no chance.

Thanks!

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Old 03-12-2011, 09:30 AM   #2
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


sorry to pinch your pride, but none of those was ball joint test. you did tierod end test and hub bearing test, assuming it's a front wheel drive vehicle. as you provided no info to The People.

you get a loud knock from the front. car is a metal box, metal conducts noises very well, so it is very hard to exactly determine where it's coming from.

in general:
  • Noises while turning a corner:
    You notice a knocking, clunking, and/or squeaking noise while you turn a corner. Everything else seems to be fine except for the noise. The problem seems to be getting worse over time.

    Possible causes:
    1. Something is rubbing against or hitting the steering column: Locate the interference and repair.
    2. The steering gear needs to be lubricated or repaired: Lubricate or replace steering gear parts as required.
    3. Parts of the steering linkage are loose and need to be tightened: Tighten or replace loose parts as required.
    4. Your tires are hitting or rubbing against something: Locate the interference and repair.
    5. You have worn suspension parts: Replace suspension parts as required.

    but that's WHEN TURNING. you have clunk AFTER you turned. now, just to make sure, you had that noise BEFORE you replaced rack n pinion?
    well, you still need to do ball joint test, but i doubt, as ball joint shows itself when you turn and wheel goes down or up, like when you enter a street off parking lot, wheels are turned to the right, and you have to traverse that transitional area between curb and street itself. here's a maybe strange suggestion for you. engine mount. one or all. see, powertrain moves actually quite a bit when you turn front wheels. so, a busted mount can easily cause this type of a noise.
  • next, if you have mcpherson struts in the front(as People don't know) an upper strut plate can do this easy; also, a loose strut spring can move on the lower plate, just a bit, making nasty click related to turns.

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Old 03-12-2011, 10:11 AM   #3
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


well, apparently rocking non-weight bearing wheel at 6 and 9 IS a ball joint test in this country, though it is also test for hub bearing:

If you jack up the car and get the tire off the ground, does shaking the tire with one hand on the top and the other hand on the bottom shake the whole wheel, produce little clunking or clicking sounds? That's typical for a failed lower ball joint. Ball joints look pretty much like the name, it's just a captured ball with a post sticking out the top or the bottom, which moves (very stiffly) in its housing. If you wiggle the grease fitting and you get movement, the ball joint is shot (unless the grease fitting happens to be breaking off). The lower ball joint is the main connection holding the steering knuckle (and thus the wheel) onto the car. The other steering knuckle connections are more about control and alignment. If the rubber boot on the ball joint is broken and it hasn't been greased on a regular basis, it's probably bad.
Return to Steering Diagnostic Chart
Is the tie rod loose? With the car sitting on the ground, can you shake the tire left to right, and feel looseness with a soft clunking or ticking noise? With the car jacked up and the tire off the ground, does shaking the tire the left to right produce more looseness and clinking than shaking the tire from top to bottom? The left to right looseness is a sign of a worn component in the steering linkage, which is what controls the wheel movement in the left-right direction. It could be the tie rod end, which connects the tie rod to the steering knuckle through a ball joint, it could be the inner tie rod joint, which attaches the tie rod assembly to the piston end coming out of the rack, or it could be looseness in the rack itself. I have an illustrated page with photos and videos for diagnosing tie rod problems, and replacing the tie rod end or the inner tie rod.
Replacing the inner tie rod usually requires a special tool, but it's only around $50, or you may be able to borrow or rent one from your local parts store. The real problem is that you may have to remove the rack in order to replace the inner tie rod, if it is staked or pinned to the shaft. There's generally not enough room to swing any tools around the inner tie rod joint, but you may be able to get it if you have large a large crows foot and a couple feet of extension for your ratchet. The job isn't that complicated, but any time you remove the outer tie rod, you should count the exposed threads or take a good picture first so you can reassemble it to exactly the same length - otherwise you'll change the toe and need to realign the the wheels.



so, let me try to tell you how it's done in the old country.
jackstand the front end wheel in question, so that tire is off the ground. turn wheel all the way to one side, which ever way it exposes ball joint the best. now, what you need is a pry bar. test is little tricky. you need to get flat side of the pry bar between control arm and ball joint head. there's not much room there and boot gets in your way, so do your best. now, try to move pry bar up and down. if you can move parts against each other, that ball joint is shut.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:21 AM   #4
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


Thanks a bunch, UK. Yeah, that test was specified in a few manuals. Now, remember, I did replace the steering rack, so I doubt thats it. Struts are new. BUT, I will take another loo at them, like you said.

I will study more what you advised above. Lots of info, and I appreciate it big time.

Oh, its an 88 Pontiac Sunbird....I should have mentioned. New link pins. rubber boots on the ball joints are looking bad. I will tug on the grease fittings like you said.......
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Old 03-12-2011, 04:53 PM   #5
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


sorry, i could not correct it earlier, i had home network installed.
you get pry bar between the control arm and lower knuckle on the hub. my bad, sorry.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:06 PM   #6
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


is it just a single knock or multiple?

does it do it when turning either direction?

can you make it do it multiple times by turning, straightening and turning again all within the same turn?

does it act any differently if you accelerate as you turn or coast while you turn?
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:41 PM   #7
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


well, if you had struts replaced, that normally involves springs removal and re-install. springs have to sit just right on lower support plates, mating with notch for the spring end, or it will move and click when you turn steering wheel.
i'd never ever do any strenuous pull or push on grease fittings. never.
try grabbing your engine valve cover and rocking it back and for. you may get lucky and reproduce the clunk. now, with that being 88, i betcha engine mounts are shot. honestly, for the year, there might be somany different areas it can clunk....
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:16 AM   #8
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


Quote:
Originally Posted by nap View Post
is it just a single knock or multiple?

does it do it when turning either direction?

can you make it do it multiple times by turning, straightening and turning again all within the same turn?

does it act any differently if you accelerate as you turn or coast while you turn?
Yes, does it while either turning L or R. Also, new engine mounts 2 yrs ago.

Will have to see next few days if your idea of the car doing it wwwwwhile either accelerating or coasting.........
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:18 AM   #9
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
well, if you had struts replaced, that normally involves springs removal and re-install. springs have to sit just right on lower support plates, mating with notch for the spring end, or it will move and click when you turn steering wheel.
i'd never ever do any strenuous pull or push on grease fittings. never.
try grabbing your engine valve cover and rocking it back and for. you may get lucky and reproduce the clunk. now, with that being 88, i betcha engine mounts are shot. honestly, for the year, there might be somany different areas it can clunk....
Thanks again, UK. I made sure to install struts the RIGHT way.....I kinda obsess over stuff like that. Still, cant rule anything out yet. very elusive, this clunk/pop

Again, new mounts as mentioned above.......
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Old 03-13-2011, 09:19 AM   #10
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


Quote:
Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
sorry, i could not correct it earlier, i had home network installed.
you get pry bar between the control arm and lower knuckle on the hub. my bad, sorry.
No problem. So, you must mean put the tip of the crow bar lever right at the ball joint, as thats wwhere the control arm ends- at the joint, eh?
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


control arm end is mated with knuckle via ball joint. some have ball joint bolted into control arm, some have it pressed in. ball joint knuckle is conical and permits some clearance between control arm and hub knuckle. usually, it is covered with ball joint rubber boot.
that's the gap you want to get into. you will have to work in a very small area, as ledge on the hub knuckle is usually only 3-4mm wide. strong flat head screwdriver works very well for this.
why don't you list ALL the suspension parts that were replaced so far?
clicking is "something is catching on something, then released" type of noise.
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Old 03-13-2011, 01:56 PM   #12
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


hey, just a quick word. that part was replaced does not mean that it will work well and for long time. many aftermarket parts are, basically, junk, and it takes a lot of School of The Hard Knocks education to know what to buy and who not to buy from. i had three out of the box alternators bad one night from Al's Auto Supply here. then again, some aftermarket parts are better quality and design than OEM ones.
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Old 03-13-2011, 05:08 PM   #13
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


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Originally Posted by ukrkoz View Post
control arm end is mated with knuckle via ball joint. some have ball joint bolted into control arm, some have it pressed in. ball joint knuckle is conical and permits some clearance between control arm and hub knuckle. usually, it is covered with ball joint rubber boot.
that's the gap you want to get into. you will have to work in a very small area, as ledge on the hub knuckle is usually only 3-4mm wide. strong flat head screwdriver works very well for this.
why don't you list ALL the suspension parts that were replaced so far?
clicking is "something is catching on something, then released" type of noise.
oK, UK. Tanks. Yes, it is the type that bolts on the control arm- with 3 bolts. I get it- put the pry bar/tool/whatever at that point and gently pry.......

Hopefully, I have no junk parts. Youre right though, Ive sen reman stuff from china....just resprayed with black paint.

I wil get back to you. Thanks. Might be 2-3 days.......
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Old 03-13-2011, 06:40 PM   #14
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


Make, model, year of car and mileage, please.

Oops! an 88 Pontiac Sunbird... Probably over 100K... first guess, sway bar bushings... Jack up car's front end, get both wheels off the ground, support the car on jack stands, start it, turn the steering wheel. If sound is gone, it's suspension wear, if it's still there, it's the steering system, maybe a binding/flexing inner tie rod. Check the boots for wear/twisted rubber.

Last edited by Bigplanz; 03-13-2011 at 06:46 PM. Reason: correct error
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:31 PM   #15
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Mystery - car suspension knock after turning


Quote:
Originally Posted by noquacks View Post
oK, UK. Tanks. Yes, it is the type that bolts on the control arm- with 3 bolts. I get it- put the pry bar/tool/whatever at that point and gently pry.......

Hopefully, I have no junk parts. Youre right though, Ive sen reman stuff from china....just resprayed with black paint.

I wil get back to you. Thanks. Might be 2-3 days.......

sure. we'll get it. forums are great helpers for descriptive and persistent members. i had one guy that spent hrs and days with me, chasing my septic problem. we got it.
big is also right. sort of interesting, as i had just posted a similar suggestion in another forum:

get her on jackstands, so that wheels are off the ground, lock rear wheels, start the engine, and get her into drive. so that wheels spin. then turn wheels left and right. if it does it with wheels in non-weight bearing, it's prolly driveaxles. if it does not, then it's suspension elements. struts, maybe ball joint. either way, it might be easier to locate the noise origin.

but he definitely has merit to it.

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