: Is this my ball joints or something else?



megatron
07-03-07, 11:44 PM
I have a '93 fleetwood brougham and upon coming to a stop I hear this loud popping/clunking type of sound. It also happens when I take my foot off the break from a dead stop to go,right after I take my foot off the break I get a "clunk" sound. I've been told this might be my ball joint,sterring stabilizer bar (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/#) or perhaps a front strut on that side going bad? Its coming from the driver's side front tire area. Thanks for any help guys.

caddycruiser
07-04-07, 12:18 PM
Very likely candidate, yes.

For quite some time, we had a terrible creaking and popping in the front end of our '93 FWB w/ 105k on it approximately, which I noticed most frequently under the same maneuvers--coming to a stop and then starting out again, mainly. Essentially, that was because of the lift and drop of the front end suspension at those times.

Wasn't sure what it was from looking, and at the same time the roll bar bushings were clearly shot (still are, but that's beside the point), then found in the service manual how the ball joints should look (I think it's like one of the lower things still protruding). The one looked okay, but the other lower one (there's upper and lower joints) on the other side looked askew. Not exactly a driveway job we wanted to try, and my father only wanted to get the one bad one fixed, so he had the local Chevy dealer replace just that bad one and all has been SILENT and smooth ever since.

So yeah, I'll bet on that, based on what you've said. As these cars get older, there's a lot of common suspension wear issues, noise, etc., but this was one of my experiences so far. I'm trying to find a copy somewhere of a similar write-up on what to look for...

88landyacht
07-04-07, 12:25 PM
Another way to tell, is to jack up the front on that side, grab the bottom of the tire (make sure E~brake is set, and tires chocked) and wiggle the tire back and forth, there should be very little movement, and anything over a 1/2 inch is BAD, also with tire up in the air, VISUALLY check the ball joint, it should be TIGHTLY seated in the control arm, when they break, it isn't fun, especially at 75mph!! (personal expereince!!)

megatron
07-04-07, 02:24 PM
OK so can I just have the bad joint(upper or lower which ever it may be) on the driver's side replaced is that ok? I ask because the local shop said I had to replace upper and lower on boths sides or it wasen't worth doing is this true?

caddycruiser
07-04-07, 06:28 PM
OK so can I just have the bad joint(upper or lower which ever it may be) on the driver's side replaced is that ok? I ask because the local shop said I had to replace upper and lower on boths sides or it wasen't worth doing is this true?

A lot of places (like we found out) only like to do them in pairs, either both lower, both upper, or both on one side at a time, but not all. There's really no need to, if only one is bad, it just makes some sense I guess to eliminate needing more work on the other in little time. Most people still do them in pairs, just so the full job is taken care of in one swoop.

But, still, like we did, if they're all fine aside from the one, just replace that one and you're good to go. One dealer would only do them as a pair, and the other would replace whatever single thing we wanted, so that was just how it worked out for ours.

The Ape Man
07-04-07, 07:32 PM
You must support the lower control arm in order to check lower ball joints properly on these cars. You can stick a floor jack under it or lower it onto some wood while lifting the car elsewhere. Leaving the front suspension hanging will keep a load on the ball joint that can mask the wiggle test.

88landyacht
07-05-07, 01:31 AM
You must support the lower control arm in order to check lower ball joints properly on these cars. You can stick a floor jack under it or lower it onto some wood while lifting the car elsewhere. Leaving the front suspension hanging will keep a load on the ball joint that can mask the wiggle test.

I am used to my old Beretta, which only had one ball joint on either side and one A-Frame (control arm), and once in the air, you could wiggle test it, thank you for the correction..............

FWD is way different than RWD!! :thumbsup:

The Ape Man
07-05-07, 02:47 PM
I am used to my old Beretta, which only had one ball joint on either side and one A-Frame (control arm), and once in the air, you could wiggle test it, thank you for the correction..............

FWD is way different than RWD!! :thumbsup:

Yup. The last guy you see on the road with a RWD car will be old man Apeman. What's a Macfrustration strut anyway?