: Clunking and Popping in Front Suspension



rzambrano
03-10-11, 03:06 AM
So my problem (http://www.cadillacforums.com/forums/cadillac-sts-forum-2005-through-2010/221893-crackling-sound-front-suspension.html) has progressed.

I now have clunking on both sides of the front suspension. At times, there is also a audible pop. A mechanic suggested the upper control arm/strut mount combo as the culprit. Any suggestions?

If it helps, this all started after I was heading up to the Griffith Observatory in LA, going about 40 MPH, I hit 2 speed bumps HARD. Since the road was at grade, I went against decelerating since after I was going to have trouble putting the Caddy up the hill.

rzambrano
03-10-11, 05:24 PM
No one has any suggestions?

KRSTS
03-10-11, 05:37 PM
Hitting speed bumpa at 40MPH I think you broke something:tisk:

jimmbo
03-10-11, 06:57 PM
Can the doors still open? Hitting speed bumps at 40mph? I'm sure several suspension parts are loose especially the nut behind the wheel

chazglenn3
03-10-11, 09:17 PM
Can't you just feel the love :D I would get under the car a have a good look...it may be that something obvious broke.

rzambrano
03-11-11, 02:50 AM
I am doing my oil change tomorrow afternoon. About 5,050 miles since the last one...OLM at 41%. So while its up on jackstands, I am going to have my mechanic look at it. I hope its something obvious because most parts for this car are special orders from GM only. Most auto parts suppliers here dont carry anything. The bad thing is, GMPartsDirect takes forever. Hopefully its something simple and easy to fix.

Yes the doors still open perfectly fine, why do you ask?

Anything in particular I should look at?

chazglenn3
03-11-11, 11:51 AM
I would look at the strut mounts and the stabilizer bar brackets.

rzambrano
03-11-11, 04:11 PM
I would look at the strut mounts and the stabilizer bar brackets.

Strut mounts would require me to pretty much take apart the whole thing right? (compress springs, etc.) Stabilizer bars are the small wishbone shaped parts right?

chazglenn3
03-11-11, 04:29 PM
If you grab and tug on the struts, you will see if they have any play in them, I think (as long as the wheels are off the ground). I think the parts you are describing are the control arms. The stabilizer bar runs front one wheel to the other.

rzambrano
03-11-11, 05:10 PM
If you grab and tug on the struts, you will see if they have any play in them, I think (as long as the wheels are off the ground). I think the parts you are describing are the control arms. The stabilizer bar runs front one wheel to the other.

I meant the stabilizer bar links. Well I took a look and found this. The left ball joint does not look normal. Do you guys think this might be the part at fault?

http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h186/rzj90059/c59e282c.jpg
http://i64.photobucket.com/albums/h186/rzj90059/5ee78ccd.jpg

I have read through this page (http://www.ehow.com/how_5478695_ball-joints-bad.html?ref=Track2&utm_source=ask) and symptoms 1-3 match my car's symptoms. 4 & 5 I have yet to try. Although it seems likely.

If these are indeed bad, should I replace them as a pair?

CTBB
03-11-11, 07:23 PM
You stated that the noise was coming from both sides right? What does the passenger side look like? If it appears intact and the suspension on that side doesn't seem fuxxored when closely examined with the wheels off the ground you might get away with replacing just one. However, considering the age of the car, mileage, etc. I would consider doing both. Just my opinion.

Glenn

rzambrano
03-11-11, 07:34 PM
Glen, thanks for the input. The one on the right looks intact, although would much rather replace as a pair. Another thing, when I drive I can feel the clunks in the gas pedal. Just thought I'd throw that out there.

CTBB
03-11-11, 09:04 PM
Do you feel it (clunk, knock) all the time, or just when a wheel passes over any imperfection in the road, tar-strips, bumps, ruts, and especially when turning? I just replaced BJ's in one of my other cars, and it was especially bad pressing hard in a sharp turn. If you're feeling it all the time I'd get it to a pro asap. The parts shouldn't be too steep. Mine were under $40/per side from the dealer, BUT it's not a Caddy. I'm sure someone will jump in with real experience with this car. Mine isn't showing much wear yet, with only 46K miles.

Glenn

SlickCityStan
03-11-11, 11:30 PM
Sounds like you need to take your car to a shop and put it on a lift, trying to diagnose suspension problems with a hydrualic jack and jack stands can be dangerous and ineffective because the pulling, pushing, and tugging needed to duplicate the problem may cause the car to slip off the support or not enough force can be applied because of the fear of the car coming down. Check your motor mounts also!

rzambrano
03-12-11, 12:55 AM
Sounds like you need to take your car to a shop and put it on a lift, trying to diagnose suspension problems with a hydrualic jack and jack stands can be dangerous and ineffective because the pulling, pushing, and tugging needed to duplicate the problem may cause the car to slip off the support or not enough force can be applied because of the fear of the car coming down. Check your motor mounts also!

I just replaced my motor mounts back in November, and yes I did take a look at them and they look good. I am going to look for a local suspension shop to see if they can diagnose. But clearly, do you guys think that BJ is really done for or not?

rzambrano
03-12-11, 12:55 AM
Do you feel it (clunk, knock) all the time, or just when a wheel passes over any imperfection in the road, tar-strips, bumps, ruts, and especially when turning? I just replaced BJ's in one of my other cars, and it was especially bad pressing hard in a sharp turn. If you're feeling it all the time I'd get it to a pro asap. The parts shouldn't be too steep. Mine were under $40/per side from the dealer, BUT it's not a Caddy. I'm sure someone will jump in with real experience with this car. Mine isn't showing much wear yet, with only 46K miles.

Glenn

I usually only feel it with imperfection son the road.

I already ordered them from my local O'reilly, and they were $36 each.

CTBB
03-12-11, 03:31 AM
The Ball Joint you pictured is most certainly shot. I agree you're doing the right thing replacing both of them. If they remedy the problem, I'd say you're getting off lucky!

Glenn

rzambrano
03-12-11, 02:39 PM
The Ball Joint you pictured is most certainly shot. I agree you're doing the right thing replacing both of them. If they remedy the problem, I'd say you're getting off lucky!

Glenn

Glenn, thanks. I will be picking these parts up later tonight and hopefully swapping them also. I'll update you guys with the results.

rzambrano
03-18-11, 05:42 AM
Ok so I havent done the job yet because all the instructions I get confuse me. Somehow I think something here is wrong. My control arm is installed different than the pictures.

http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/ZZdaryl/2010-01-23_195842_ball.pdf

SlickCityStan
03-18-11, 12:30 PM
I checked alldata and their diagrams and instructions appear to be identical to the one's you are using. What is different? Can you post pics for comparison?

05_STS
03-18-11, 10:13 PM
Glenn, thanks. I will be picking these parts up later tonight and hopefully swapping them also. I'll update you guys with the results.

don't forget an alignment after you're finished...

rzambrano
03-19-11, 05:14 AM
don't forget an alignment after you're finished...

Of course, I'm still within the 90 day alignment warranty at Pep Boys so I better hurry up and get this job. I was planning on doing it this weekend, but we are suppose to have alot of rain here is SoCal the next few days.

As for the poster before you, I guess I was confused because most cars have the ball joints pointing downwards, while these STS's have them upwards.

z06bigbird
03-21-11, 12:25 AM
Before you touch your ball joints, look at the sway bar extensions. (I forget what else they call these 10--12 inch long parts.) Each side has a long thin bar that goes from the sway bar up to the strut on each side of the vehicle. Price is likely $30 to $40 per side. Nylon/teflon bushings wear out on these, and they will make noise while going over bumps at 25 mph. Same problem with Fords and GM products. Easy to install.

CTBB
03-21-11, 03:41 AM
I believe the ball joint pictured is definitely toast. Inspection of the sway-bar links could certainly be done while the car is up for ball joint work. Be sure to let us know how this goes!

Glenn

rzambrano
03-21-11, 04:30 AM
I believe the ball joint pictured is definitely toast. Inspection of the sway-bar links could certainly be done while the car is up for ball joint work. Be sure to let us know how this goes!

Glenn

The SB were what I thought the first problem was. But it is on my list of things to fix.

Unfortunately I wasn't able to the work today (Sunday). Los Angeles got pounded by rain ALL day long. Maybe tomorrow.

torogt
03-21-11, 09:18 AM
I usually only feel it with imperfection son the road.

I already ordered them from my local O'reilly, and they were $36 each.

That's interesting, NAPA does not show the ball joints available and GM only sales it as a complete lower control arm assembly and the instructions show pressing out the ball joint then removing the whole control arm?:hmm:

z06bigbird
03-24-11, 02:32 AM
The Ball Joint you pictured is most certainly shot. I agree you're doing the right thing replacing both of them. If they remedy the problem, I'd say you're getting off lucky!

Glenn

You sure?? Rubber grease boot has deteriorated, but I am not sure that bjs can be diagnosed by looking at them. Signed, bad eyes.

CTBB
03-24-11, 10:49 PM
You sure?? Rubber grease boot has deteriorated, but I am not sure that bjs can be diagnosed by looking at them. Signed, bad eyes.

LOL! OK, rubber boot is what I would call "severely deteriorated" and I believe any auto tech worth his salt would recommend replacement, as if it is not failed now, will be very shortly. This rain is getting us all down and definitely frustrating anyone trying to do car work without a garage.

Glenn

rzambrano
05-04-11, 07:04 PM
So after a long wAit I finally got this fixed. It ended up being my front brake calipers. I had them replaced, rotors turned, and new brake pads. It is now very quiet. The mechanic said the ball joint was still good since it had grease even if the boot was torn. Idk

CTBB
05-06-11, 12:48 PM
You and me both 'bro. :helpless: The boot is there to keep the grease in, and clean. If the boot is toast there goes the grease and welcome to the sand/rocks/etc. counting down the days until failure. Glad you got rid of the noise!

Glenn

rzambrano
05-06-11, 03:37 PM
You and me both 'bro. :helpless: The boot is there to keep the grease in, and clean. If the boot is toast there goes the grease and welcome to the sand/rocks/etc. counting down the days until failure. Glad you got rid of the noise!

Glenn

Eventually I will change the ball joint but I have had so much trouble trying to fix it. I have ordered several ball joints which supposedly fit but don't. I ordered a pair of control arm that supposedly had good ball joints but weren't good. I've looked at junk yards and have found nothing. I looked on craigslist and nothing either.