Popping Noise from Front Suspension

mister_hAugust 14, 2007

I have a 79 Dodge B300 1-ton 2WD van with 130K miles and when I try to make either a left or right sharp turn while parking (so moving very slowly), a popping noise can be heard from the front suspension area. Just once (popping) and that's it. If I drive straight or make wide turns, no noise at all. A long time ago I had the same noise coming from my 84 Mazda truck in a similar condition - which I never fixed and sold. Can anyone tell me what I should check on my Dodge van for the popping noise?


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Without hearing the noise myself, I can't tell what it might be. There are so many possiblities. I will list a few below:

1. Badly worn ball joint.

2. Dry joints needing lube.

3. Loose steering box bolts.

4. Loose and dry wheel bearing.

5. Brake parts.

6. Wheel cover (hub cap). A weak or cracked rim can flex enough to cause a 'scrunching' noise from a poorly fitting (metal) wheel cover. Once, I had such a wheel cover and did not discover the noise source until one day while driving with the window open and passing a short wall, I head the sound reflecting off the wall. One of the friction tangs on the wheel cover was scraping back and forth as the wheel rotated and flexed.

7. Separated engine mount.

8. Dry shaft at rear of transmission. This splined shaft is supposed to be lubed to allow a small amount of sliding of the drive shaft.

9. Worn out holes around the lug nuts.

  1. Dryed out steering damper. ( This is a samll shock absorber fastened to the steering rods.)

Let us know what you find. You may need an observer standing outside the truck while you produce the noise.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 3:50AM
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Thanks for giving me the list of things to check...
Since it is a metallic rather loud (not super loud) noise, like breaking a wood stick, I am thinking it is either a suspension like a ball-joint or steering related part problem. I will post once I find what it is but it could be a while.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 11:49AM
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sorry to intrude mister h. maybe jemdandy can help me with my problem. i have a 1999 neon dodge that makes a high pitch squeaking sound on my left front wheel, driver side. this happens when i go 20-40mph.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2007 at 11:13PM
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denver 111 replace the front brake pads. mister h replace the upper ball joints both sides.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2007 at 12:20PM
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thanks, the brake pads are only about one year old. the pads are in good condition when i checked the other day. do you think they put a cheap pads in my car? should i spray the rotor with some kind of cleaner?

    Bookmark   August 20, 2007 at 12:03AM
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Check your front brake pads for a squeaker finger. It should have been adjusted to touch the rotor after the pad is about 2/3 gone. Sometimes these fingers are maladjusted especially on replacement pads. Maladjusted fingers may scrape the rotor when the pad is only slightly worn, but worse yet, these can be bent away far enough to be ineffective. Also, you may find that on replacement pads, there are no fingers.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 1:29AM
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thanks for the info, if the replacement pads doesnt have fingers would this still squeak? a little confuse on your last sentence.do you know if this squeaker finger can be adjusted easily or do i need to take this to the shop?.if i need to take the pads apart i guess i have to see a mechanic to have them do it for me. thanks again


    Bookmark   August 22, 2007 at 11:55AM
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got the car fixed bearings was the problem. brakes were ok,see you guys later.. thanks

    Bookmark   August 24, 2007 at 7:23PM
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