Popping and clunking from front of car - Chevelle Tech
Brakes, Suspension & Steering Conversion questions & more.

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 19, 6:32 PM Thread Starter
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Popping and clunking from front of car

Hi all,

Lately I've been noticing popping and clunking from the front of my '71 chevelle. It often happens when braking (the harder the braking the more likely a noise will be heard, but it doesn't have to be hard braking), gently accelerating forward from a stop with the wheels turned in either direction, and hitting light bumps at moderate speeds. Some months ago I had a reputable front end shop do an inspection to see whether anything obvious was loose. They found nothing. The noises have continued to grow more frequent since then.

I'm not a suspension expert at all, so what I'm asking is for suggestions for stuff to look at. One thing that worries me is that my mother had a '68 cutlass, and the frame broke somewhere along the left side towards the front of the car. This was in the early 80's, and she was simply backing out of the driveway when it happened. I'm assuming the frame of my car and hers are very similar if not identical, so is this a known problem with these cars? If so, where do they tend to crack?

'71 chevelle, 468, TH400, 12 bolt posi w/3.08's, drinks a lot of 87 octane.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 19, 7:28 PM
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Hank
 
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

If you have front disc brakes it could be the pads shifting back and forth in the calipers seeing you had a front end guy look at it already.
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71 Malibu, Cottonwood Green, 396 BBC, AutoGear M22W 4 speed, 12 bolt 3:55 posi.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 19, 7:57 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

On mine, I lost one of the rubber bushings on the upper A arms and when I braked, the whole car made similar type noises. Once I figured it out and replaced with a new bushing, all was good. There is a dust flap on the inner fender that you can lift up and look at this situation. My whole front would drop a tad as well when I hit the brakes hard. Took awhile to figure out and notice it was gone
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 14th, 19, 8:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

Good ideas, thanks! I'll check those things out.

'71 chevelle, 468, TH400, 12 bolt posi w/3.08's, drinks a lot of 87 octane.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 9:13 AM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

Quote:
Originally Posted by v8440 View Post
Good ideas, thanks! I'll check those things out.
Let us know what you find out.
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66 SS-396/425 - M22 -3:73 -12 bolt
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 9:17 AM
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Eric
 
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

Have you checked the wheel bearings? I would also check body to frame mount bushings. You would think that a reputable front end shop did its job.

Your just jealous because you can't hear the voices!

1967 Olds Cutlass 468 BBC/T400
1963 Plymouth Fury 440/Torqueflite
2007 Ford Mustang GT (momma's car)
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 9:36 AM
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rick
 
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

A arm bushings and sway bar bushings would be the first thing I'd be checking


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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 12:05 PM
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Greg.
 
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

With mine it was one of the Upper Control Arm Bolts that a Nut that had backed off/loosened of where the Shims were

Tightened everything back up and then Double Nutted all Suspension Bolts
problem fixed
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67 Chevelle Malibu SS Cdn
Born 283 / PG / A51
468/TH400 2,500 stall/ S60 3.70 Gs
Prev Best on M/T ET S/S #3454 street Tires/Dress 2018/05/20
60' = 1.664
1/8 = 7.532 et / 91 mph
1/4 = 11.814 et / 115 mph
NEW Best with 3,500+ Stall TC 2019/09/08
60' = 1.547
1/8 = 7.311 et / 91.76 mph
1/4 = 11.595 et / 114.28 mph


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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 12:43 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

On my 71, Nomad Sta. Wgn. ( it has 70 parts on it) One of the lower arm bushings was GONE, The lower arm was riding on the metal shell, VERY CLOSE to touching the lower arm. ( Rubber was gone). Everything in my front suspension looked just FINE....................... I about $h!t... when I pulled all four arms off.
Went to the parts store and came home with a Big BOX of " MOOG " parts.
Sent it all to Glen Lever for powder coat and install the MOOG parts.
Now I am a Very Happy Camper.
I will say again, My front end looked like everything was A-" OK ".... Drove just fine NO issues! After that front end issue,,,,,, If you find NOTHING and everything looks just fine ???? My next step would be " pulling the uppers & Lower Arms ".
Your issues may be different than mine! With Klinking and Klanking ( Remember Col. Klink?) going on, Get to bottom of this NOW ! Or Insure your Life & Car for more money !
Bob


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 12:57 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

It could also be just a bushing bolt thats not tight enough and allows the bolt to pop loose and turn as the suspension moves.


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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 2:05 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

The only way to find out whats wrong is to jack it up at the lower control arm,right under the spring pocket.This will allow you to check the upper and lower ball joints the upper control arm bushings and the steering linkage too. That is the best way to check your suspension.It may help to have a second pair of eyes but it's usually right there in front of you when you check it.
Make sure to check both sides because when a noise may sound like it's on the right side it may actually be on the other side.
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406 SBC M21 3.31 12 bolt
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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 4:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

Hopefully one evening this week or coming weekend I'll be able to jack it up and check. Thankfully, the car is parked until then.
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'71 chevelle, 468, TH400, 12 bolt posi w/3.08's, drinks a lot of 87 octane.
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 6:41 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

My 72 has the same problem. Check your core support bushings. Mine were completely GONE. I havent had it back on the road yet but Im pretty sure that was my problem.

Mike Smith
72 Chevelle, LS 6.0 LQ9 4l80e
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Sep 15th, 19, 7:29 PM
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Re: Popping and clunking from front of car

Check your motor mounts also.

1970-LS5, #28- Fathom Blue,TH400, original motor car.
1970- NOM, 496, M21, #48 Forest Green.
1972- Malibu, 350. TH350- original motor car, #43 Gulf Green.
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