Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end! - Page 3
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Suspension, Brakes and Tires Discussion, Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end! in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; Glad to know. I looked at my ball joints the last time I was under, I didn't see them sunk ...
  1. #31
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Glad to know. I looked at my ball joints the last time I was under, I didn't see them sunk in, but I also didn't pry on the wheel (it was on a ramp). The next time I am under I will be looking again as close as I can.

    Thanks for the follow up!!!

    the lower ball joints are load bearing, the uppers are just keeping things there. They don't have the forces of the springs on them and the weight of the car. They do get plenty of force, but not as much as the lowers.

  2. #32
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    After so many people here said "ball joints" and I read about them and how to check them in the service manual I KNEW that was at least part of what it had to be.

    Still can't rememer if it's the lower or the upper, but I guess it would be the lower on that side.

    So, based on the symptoms of the loud creaking when the nose of the car moved vertically, would a shot ball joint be the noisey culprit? Or does it seem like something else? I'm still wondering why it would be so bad for even weeks at a time, then, out of the blue, seem fine and not make one peep or one clunk.

    I'm also curious to see how the Chevy dealership's work is, since it'll be the first time we've ever taken a car there. Doesn't seem like too hard of a job, but still....

  3. #33
    N0DIH's Avatar
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    The front suspension on all 71-96 B/C/D cars is and all 70-81 F cars, and 73-77 A/G cars are all virtually identical. So I would say the dealership has nothing to do with it, just the mechanic doing the work. Pretty straightforward job, no real tricks and the dealer will have all the right tools to do it right.

    You can thank Herb Adams for this front suspension, he was the suspension guru who was key part in its design. I have never heard of the creak issues till the 94-96 cars, so sounds like something changed. And in 96 the HD/Commercial chassis (9C1, Limo, Taxi, etc) got a HD 5/8" ball joint installed to eliminate the creak issues and breakage issues in HD use. The swap is easy, but needs new joints and new spindles. So it can get $$. But if you are nutty about factory stuff and need HD, that is the way to go. Honestly, that swap is for all the ccars I listed above, which on those others, will also upgrade them to 12in brakes. They just need 1LE rotors from the 3rd Gen F cars to complete the swap. (5 x 4.75" bolt pattern)

  4. #34
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    It is possible that the shims (spacers) for the upper control arms have come out. If this happens you will have play in the control arm and can cause a popping sound when you turn. Pop the hood and look down at where the upper control arm bolts to the ear on the frame. If there is space between control arm shaft and the ear then some of the shims have fallen out. Just a possibility.

  5. #35
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Quote Originally Posted by fltwd93
    It is possible that the shims (spacers) for the upper control arms have come out. If this happens you will have play in the control arm and can cause a popping sound when you turn. Pop the hood and look down at where the upper control arm bolts to the ear on the frame. If there is space between control arm shaft and the ear then some of the shims have fallen out. Just a possibility.
    Nope, don't think that's an issue, at least after looking it over once or twice. I only ever really got a pop/clunk when turning the wheel on occasion once or twice, so that really wasn't the problem. The main problem was the creaking/popping sound I'd get just going down the road at slower speeds sometimes, and ESPECIALLY when braking or accelerating at low speeds.

  6. #36
    brougham is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    I guess you never bothered getting a garage to look at it. It would be easy for them to find a problem like that and it would have saved all of us from reading about it again and again. Even The Ape Man thought thats what the problem was in one of the first posts and told you how to check it

  7. #37
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    Talking Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Mine for the most part doesn't do it anymore, just once in a while. Only change I did was grease the lower ball joints. So I am leaning that way. Once I get some $$ I will get another set of arms and rebuild them and just do a swap session. My neighbor junks cars often, so I will have him look out for a set for me. He has the fire wrench to make quick work of it....

    Maybe I will keep an eye out for a junked 9C1 or 9C6 or a Limo and get the whole front suspension and go with the 5/8" ball joints.

    http://www.theherd.com/articles/susp.html

    Then I can take the Cad parts to put on the T/A after I rebuild them and make it 12in front brakes....

  8. #38
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Thanks for the article link--interesting information.

    This car doesn't get driven or used enough to warrant changing anymore than what is obviously wrong/bad, so no mods here....

  9. #39
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Mine sees 27K+ per year, but not driven hard, but driven a lot. Don't know if I will drop that kind of $$ into it. I do like the idea of the stiffer bushings in addition to the larger ball joints.

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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Quote Originally Posted by N0DIH
    Mine sees 27K+ per year, but not driven hard, but driven a lot. Don't know if I will drop that kind of $$ into it. I do like the idea of the stiffer bushings in addition to the larger ball joints.
    I would too, especially if more mileage was put on the car. From a power, braking, and size standpoint, I absolutely love this car--BUT, with examples like my mother's Suburban that is huge AND still feels like driving a small car because of it's relatively firm ride, handling, and steering settings, I've always imagined what the FWB would be like if I not only still had that same size, style, and power, but matched to an overall crisper, more solid, and easy handling beast.

    Specifically pertaining to the issue of the bigger ball joints and stiffer bushings, that alone would probably make quite a noticeable difference in the car, probably a lot more in mine than yours since you already have the "stiff" (I use that term loosely, because, well....) setup, but would nonetheless make a noticeable difference.

    Based on that article alone, it kind of struck me as odd that the problem with ball joints was so common, especially in the police packs, but seemed to go on for quite some time before any real improvement--and even then, just before the cars went out of production. Weird, but it is GM after all...they seem to have a track record with making moves like that.

  11. #41
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    Quote Originally Posted by caddycruiser

    Yep. Just what you here said, and I've been telling him for several months. Claimed he's "Never had a ball joint go bad on ANY car" and just didn't think it could be that.
    In my experience, anyone who uses the word NEVER in any conversation involving auto mechanics should not be taken too seriously.

  12. #42
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    Re: Clunking,banging,popping,creaking...and that's just the front end!

    The oddity, is until the 94-96 run, I have NEVER heard of this problem on any of the variants of this front suspension:
    70-81 F Body
    73-77 A Body
    73-77 G Body
    77-96 B/D Body
    71-76 B/C/D Body

    And of course the messed up version of this suspension, the 78-88 A/G Body.

    I haven't heard of issues, and honestly, I likely would have noticed over the years. I'm not in the business, but likely you hear things.

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