Something has to be loose - how do I check?

Suspension, Steering and Chassis

  1. ESP47

    ESP47 Well-Known Member

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    I've got a 71 Duster with manual steering. I rebuilt the suspension about 5 years ago and everything was fine. Lately I've been hearing a fairly loud knocking sound when making right hand turns. I thought it was the wheel bearings, so I changed those and it didn't help anything. I've been under the car wiggling everything and so far nothing seems loose. I tried wiggling the tires up and down and left to right and there is no movement at all. Yet when I make right turns, I can hear clanking around down there.

    There isn't much slop in the box. I can turn it back and forth quickly and its fairly tight. One weird problem is that I'll turn it say 2 turns to the left or right and wiggle it back and forth and at that point you can hear a little knocking. Do you guys think that could be my problem? Its just the knocking I hear when driving sounds way too loud to just be the steering box.

    What are some ways I can go about testing the suspension for loose components other than just wiggling stuff around? I already had a helper turn the wheel back and forth while I was under there and I didn't see anything loose. Another weird thing is that both of the lower ball joint rubber cups seem to be "blown out". I'll have to replace the rubber, do you think that could be the problem? I'm just taking shots in the dark at this point.
     
  2. Divenut

    Divenut Well-Known Member

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    Just grasping at straws here, but you may want to check the mounting bolts on the steering gearbox to make sure they're nice and tight.

    (Another weird thing is that both of the lower ball joint rubber cups seem to be "blown out".) Guessing that could resiult in some noise if the lube's not on/in the joints.


    Hope you get her sorted out quickly.

    Pat
     
  3. wjajr

    wjajr Well-Known Member

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    A dry worn ball joint will make all sorts of noises, and most likely needs to be replaced asap.

    To check lower ball joints for play:

    Jack up car suspend with jack stand at frame.

    Lift lower control arm with jack high enough to unweight lower ball joint, and lift tire off of ground. Fashion a fulcrum and lever place it under tire with enough purchase to be able to lift tire enough to move the lower ball joint.

    Look for any vertical, and or horizontal movement of lower ball joint. Less than 0.05”vertical or axial travel, it is ok per FSM. 0.05” ain’t much movement, just the thickness of a freshly minted dime, and any horizontal movement is unacceptable.
     
  4. RedFish

    RedFish Well-Known Member

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    If it helps... I had a loud knocking noise in hard right turns under acceleration. The left strut rod bushing had failed letting the rod bounce in the hole through the K.
    I suppose a stabilizer bar would have kept more load on that side and prevented some of the bounce and noise.
     
  5. 6pk2goDemon

    6pk2goDemon Mopar Mod Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Check the 4 cam bolt nuts on the upper control arms. If U find one loose, tighten and test drive again. If that fixes the noise, U should have the alignment checked.
     
  6. 70Duster440

    70Duster440 Well-Known Member

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    Put a 1/2" 12 point socket back on those steering box bolts and make sure they're torqued to 80 ft lbs.
     
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