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  • Front-End "Pop"

    Starting a couple of weeks ago, somewhere in the frontend of the XJ, a popping noise has been making itself known on braking to a stop and take-off.

    Lately, this "pop" has gotten worse. No so much in it's decibel level, but it's frequency. Jenn hears it more than I, as my daily driver during the week is her Camry due to the miles I drive to work. She says now it'll pop 2-3 times during braking/take-off and has now started to pop when hitting bumps in the road.

    I climbed under the heap tonight to see if I could feel any loose steering/suspension components. Nothing that I could tell. Maybe this weekend I'll jack it up and wiggle the wheels to see if I get any play. I did install that front-end skid, so I'm gonna go back and hit those bolts again to make sure none have worked loose. The sound seems to come more from the central of the front, but it is hard to tell.

    Anybody have any ideas?

  • #2
    could be ball joints ive heard of some of them getting noisey when they start going bad

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    • #3
      Check to see if your shocks are loose! I had one that made a ton of noise when I bent the bar-pin and it was really loose. Every time I hit any slight bump they would pop really loud.

      It was hard to figure out what it was, cause it wasn't speed/engine specific, just very random. Once I figured out it was the shocks, it made perfect sense.

      The metal bushing in my track bar bushings have made noise in the past as well, might want to check those.

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      • #4
        Good chance it's the brake pads. Had it, seen it. The pad retaining springs loose their tension over time. When you apply the brakes they slip enough and the motion is enough that they slam into the caliper causing a clunk. Since the caliper retains a small amount of pressure on the pad, when you accelerate, they slam in the opposit direction. That's why it's one of those all of a sudden noises.

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        • #5
          I'm gonna check my ball joints this weekend.

          I attempted to wiggle the shocks last night. Couldn't get any movement out of them. I do know they need replacing, but that shouldn't be making any of that noise, right? But it is 146K on OE shocks...

          I replaced my pads about 7-8K miles ago. Could that still be the problem? Is that spring part of the pad or part of the caliper? I'm guessing you mean the prongs on the pad that hold it to the caliper?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by renegadestang
            I replaced my pads about 7-8K miles ago. Could that still be the problem?
            Yes
            Is that spring part of the pad or part of the caliper?
            Pad
            I'm guessing you mean the prongs on the pad that hold it to the caliper?
            Yes. Not all springs are created equal.

            While it could be something else, just pointing out it is also a possibility.

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            • #7
              I reckon I'll pull the wheels and check those too. Is it hurting much to be doing that? Like any scuffing to the rotor or anything? I'm actually going out of town this weekend. 4 hour round trip.

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              • #8
                I've never noticed any problems other than the annoying sound. My rear did that for about 5000 miles then when the pads were close enough to change, I changed them.

                Thinking back, the set I purchased was a cheaper brand and the ones I have now were a better quality.

                I presently have it in my right front and mostly notice it when backing up.

                I can't say I've spent any time trying to solve it, other than replacing the pads. My XJs got so many noises that as long as something isn't broken or falling off, I just let it make noise.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rstarch345
                  My XJs got so many noises that as long as something isn't broken or falling off, I just let it make noise.
                  That's the way I think. Unfortunately, Jenn doesn't feel the same way...

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                  • #10
                    My 88 pops too, front, was right side, now both. I'm thinking control arm bushings as that is all that I found with play in it. I agree with the wait and see method of diagnosis as long as it runs and stops good.

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                    • #11
                      Check the control arm bushings

                      If it isn't the brakes I would check the control arm bushings. I have a 3" lift and 31's. The stock ones in mine were fine for a while but then the tires took there toll on them. I had all kinds of pops from them. I replaced them with new ones and it all went away.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by N2DEEP
                        If it isn't the brakes I would check the control arm bushings. I have a 3" lift and 31's. The stock ones in mine were fine for a while but then the tires took there toll on them. I had all kinds of pops from them. I replaced them with new ones and it all went away.
                        Did you notice any play in your control arms? Was it the upper, lower or both? I wiggled at'em a little bit, but couldn't feel any movement. I'll try those again later too.

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                        • #13
                          What about the u-joints on the front axle? Mine were making a loud clunk and popping sound when they started going bad. When they were toward the end of the failure process, they started sounding like they had sand in them when I would turn.

                          My $.02

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                          • #14
                            This sound isn't very loud. It's fairly noticeable, just enough to drive ya a lil' nuts!

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                            • #15
                              I'd check the brakes before your trip. I had one pad actually slide 1/2 way out and lock up the front tire. (yeah, bad maintianence on my part) I've also come across missing tension clips/springs on certain types of calipers, cuasing noise like that. Just some ideas, Good Luck.

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