1996 Suburban front end pop / click / clunk


1993Suburban
11-16-2008, 01:07 AM
I love the Burb but unfortunately it creaks and squeaks and clunks and farts all the time. I'm used to it except it has started to develop a weird popping noise, or loud clicking noise, in the front on the drivers side. Take a look at this thread as it explains my symptoms almost to a T.

http://www.automotiveforums.com/t380579.html

I can't really feel it through the steering wheel. I can hear it and feel it slightly in the floor pan. I can feel it sometimes when I am applying the brake pedal while traveling around 30 MPH or so. I feel it about 1 second after the car starts moving from a rest upon acceleration. It is not the slip yoke clunk, this sounds more like a loose mount or some suspension thing. It doesn't change in 4 wheel drive either. You know the sound the car makes when you put it in park and then the vehicle rolls back and the stop gear (or whatever it is called) in the transmission makes the click sound? It sounds similar to that except louder and coming from the front driver side of the car. It seems to make this noise when the car starts to move. I wonder if the brakes would make a sound like that? I have replaced the pitman and idler arm. The shop said the ball joints and everything looked good, but that was almost a year ago. Thanks for any help!

j cAT
11-16-2008, 11:32 AM
I love the Burb but unfortunately it creaks and squeaks and clunks and farts all the time. I'm used to it except it has started to develop a weird popping noise, or loud clicking noise, in the front on the drivers side. Take a look at this thread as it explains my symptoms almost to a T.

http://www.automotiveforums.com/t380579.html

I can't really feel it through the steering wheel. I can hear it and feel it slightly in the floor pan. I can feel it sometimes when I am applying the brake pedal while traveling around 30 MPH or so. I feel it about 1 second after the car starts moving from a rest upon acceleration. It is not the slip yoke clunk, this sounds more like a loose mount or some suspension thing. It doesn't change in 4 wheel drive either. You know the sound the car makes when you put it in park and then the vehicle rolls back and the stop gear (or whatever it is called) in the transmission makes the click sound? It sounds similar to that except louder and coming from the front driver side of the car. It seems to make this noise when the car starts to move. I wonder if the brakes would make a sound like that? I have replaced the pitman and idler arm. The shop said the ball joints and everything looked good, but that was almost a year ago. Thanks for any help!

the pop sound is usually ball joints...grease ball joints if the noise changes or goes away for a while then you know...these parts will rapidly wear/rust out if not greased....drive thru flooded roads lately..?

1993Suburban
11-17-2008, 08:25 PM
Well I stopped by my local shop. They said all the ball joints look good and tight and the rest of the steering components look fine. I mentioned the clunk to them and the only thing they said they could guess is the control arm bushings, as they seem to be pretty rotted / worn. If they were worn it would seem they would make the noise, correct? It sounds like a deal where I will have to use special tools to do it myself, and it might be kinda pricey to have the shop do it. My calipers need replacing as well, but I don't think those would make this sound, but I don't know. It seems to make the sound when the movement of the vehicle changes, whether from a dead stop, or braking from a cruising speed. It would make sense to me that it would make noise if the control arm was moving around just enough. What do you guys think?

j cAT
11-17-2008, 08:48 PM
grease all fittings and lube with oil all the control arm bushings spray with wd 40 so that the 30wt non detergent oil will penetrate the joints...


how often do you grease the front end???? did you ever lube the control arm bushings...?

since this a 96 you got wear... what is needed is lube so that these componets will slide easy

1993Suburban
11-17-2008, 09:29 PM
Thanks j cat. I have greased all the front end fittings and I will spray the bushings with WD-40. The previous owner neglected these types of things so of course that helps accelerate these types of problems. I've owned it for a little over a year and I grease the fittings every other oil change.

j cAT
11-18-2008, 10:30 AM
Thanks j cat. I have greased all the front end fittings and I will spray the bushings with WD-40. The previous owner neglected these types of things so of course that helps accelerate these types of problems. I've owned it for a little over a year and I grease the fittings every other oil change.

the clicking noise maybe the caliper...the caliper has pins with rubber rings it is possible the caliper moves too much and this is also making the pop sound..

1993Suburban
11-20-2008, 07:34 PM
Interesting....well I supposed I will find out if it is the calipers or not when I replace them. It really is an intermittent thing however it seems to make the noise after the vehicle has been warmed up / driven for a little while.

j cAT
11-20-2008, 07:44 PM
Interesting....well I supposed I will find out if it is the calipers or not when I replace them. It really is an intermittent thing however it seems to make the noise after the vehicle has been warmed up / driven for a little while.

if you do this work get a C clamp and push the pistons back then try to rock the caliper ....when you install the new calipers do the same test ...this way you will know how much these should move and the forces required......
good luck.

1993Suburban
12-31-2008, 01:02 AM
Well sorry to revive an old post, but I felt like I needed to post a follow-up for the problem. I replaced my calipers and rotors and pads, still made the noise. I just dealt with it for a while because it didn't seem to effect anything. Well I just embarked on a 500 mile trip to Spokane. At 65 MPH the car would make a terrible noise (like driving over the rumble strip) and vibration that would be felt in the floor pan right above the transmission. Well the vibration got worse and worse as the trip progressed. At the end of the trip, as I got off the highway and onto the residential streets, I noticed it would sometimes make this clunking noise, except it would be 4 or 5 clunks after another. Well we decided to have it checked out before traveling home. It turns out, one of the u-joint C clips weren't seated correctly and had popped out, causing one of the U-joint caps to become loose. This created enough slop in the driveline to make the vibration, and to make the clicking noise. The u-joints are new, ( I replaced them last month), but I didn't double check the little C clips to make sure they were snug. Working great now! This darn little clip cost me a lot of time and trouble! It's just another lesson I've learned about repairing cars. Take your time and if something doesn't feel done to your satisfaction, ( I remember worrying about the clip while doing the u-joints), then take the time to double check! :grinno:

j cAT
01-02-2009, 10:08 AM
Well sorry to revive an old post, but I felt like I needed to post a follow-up for the problem. I replaced my calipers and rotors and pads, still made the noise. I just dealt with it for a while because it didn't seem to effect anything. Well I just embarked on a 500 mile trip to Spokane. At 65 MPH the car would make a terrible noise (like driving over the rumble strip) and vibration that would be felt in the floor pan right above the transmission. Well the vibration got worse and worse as the trip progressed. At the end of the trip, as I got off the highway and onto the residential streets, I noticed it would sometimes make this clunking noise, except it would be 4 or 5 clunks after another. Well we decided to have it checked out before traveling home. It turns out, one of the u-joint C clips weren't seated correctly and had popped out, causing one of the U-joint caps to become loose. This created enough slop in the driveline to make the vibration, and to make the clicking noise. The u-joints are new, ( I replaced them last month), but I didn't double check the little C clips to make sure they were snug. Working great now! This darn little clip cost me a lot of time and trouble! It's just another lesson I've learned about repairing cars. Take your time and if something doesn't feel done to your satisfaction, ( I remember worrying about the clip while doing the u-joints), then take the time to double check! :grinno:

so the pop click clunk was the U joint ? this was your original post.

1993Suburban
01-03-2009, 01:11 AM
Yes it was the u-joint. It was the C clip that holds the caps on. The u-joint was apparently fine they said. It was the C clip that wasn't in the groove properly, so one of the four u-joint caps wasn't tight.

010175
01-06-2009, 10:06 AM
Thanks for the update...It might help someone out. Dave

maxwedge
01-06-2009, 03:49 PM
Another example of how we are handicqapped trying to diagnose noises of this type from here.

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