That ****ing Popping sound - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 09-27-2005
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That ****ing Popping sound

Well i've been trying for months to track down this popping noise under the front of my truck. I first thought it was the lower ball joints because they had some play so i bought some new moog joints and installed them. It was still there so I decided to change the uppers since they had loads of play. To my surprise the noise was still there. I've lubed every bushing I can think of and my sway bar links look fine. My wheel bearings where a bit loose so i snugged them up so the wheel doesn't wobble anymore. I still have the noise. You can feel it in the steering wheel when you hit a bump. It's small but there. It's most noticeable when you start from a stop. You can hear it pop a few times and then it's fine. I'm at a loss. I'm gonna repack my wheel bearings this weekend and see if that solves the problem. I'm outta idea's though.... Anyone have any ideas???????????
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Old 09-27-2005
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I know it sounds silly -- but are you absolutely sure it's from the front? Have somebody move your truck while you ride or run along beside it.

Sometimes, you'd SWEAR a noise is in the front when it's not.

Check your motor mounts also. Shocks and mounts, and swaybar links.

Could be more, somebody else may have a better idea.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Are your brake calipers loose?
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Old 09-27-2005
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Well i'm almost positive it's the front. If I lay under the truck and push it up and down you can hear it pop. It's sounds like the front but i may be crazy. It's not the shocks because I undid them and it still popped. The caliper bolts are tight but there is a bit of play in the caliper if you try and shake it by hand. I did the brakes and rotors almost 8,000 miles ago and they look fine. It's one of those things that'll drive me nuts.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Sounds to me like a U joint.
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Old 09-27-2005
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There was some rust on my front hub nuts that I took off with steel wool and that stopped a clicking noise from my front end.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Sway bar or link....
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Old 09-27-2005
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My 01 Ranger 4x4 makes a popping sound in the front, around the steering column it seems. I can almost feel it in the steering wheel. Its not loud, but kinds like something is sticking.

Is that kinda what you hear?
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Old 09-27-2005
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does it feel like it's coming from the brakes CLean? because mines been doing it lately, almost like the pads are sticking a bit...
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Old 09-27-2005
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Same thing happens on my truck, and it's the tie rods (at least on mine, and it sounds very similar to what you're talking about). The steering on our trucks has been known to go out and wear very fast compared to other models and makes. I still hear it even when just starting off, someimtes not even turning. Check that and see if they're worn down at all.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rev
Sway bar or link....
That would be my first guess.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLean
My 01 Ranger 4x4 makes a popping sound in the front, around the steering column it seems. I can almost feel it in the steering wheel. Its not loud, but kinds like something is sticking.

Is that kinda what you hear?
That's just like mine. I'm gonna give the tie rods a closer look this weekend and change them if needed. It is wierd that i can feel it pop through the steering wheel.
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Old 09-27-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy_spl
That's just like mine. I'm gonna give the tie rods a closer look this weekend and change them if needed. It is wierd that i can feel it pop through the steering wheel.
If it is tie rods it wouldn't be weird for you to feel it through the steering wheel.They are what steer your truck.I just replaced mine(inner and outer)the other weekend because they were a bit loose and I would get a popping sound every now and then.It would do it when I would accelerate from a stop.Must have been because the front end lifts up a bit when you take off.Anyway,it hasn't done it since I changed them.
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Old 09-28-2005
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I will check on that. Mine is a State Vehicle, so I am really not allowed to do any work myself. not even change a flat.

although I did tighten the Torsion bars yesterday on it to see how it worked. AAnd it it worked fine, i was going to do the same to my Mazda. And after about 200 miles, I can already hear the front squeek when I rock it. is that normal??
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Old 09-28-2005
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It is normal. When you increase the spring rate you're going to have more stress in those bars and they are going to make all kinds of funny noises because of it.
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Old 09-28-2005
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You arent really increasing the spring rate.. just the preload...
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Old 09-28-2005
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Correct.

It is possible to have more stress on it though from this standpoint: when they are preloaded to change the resting position, there is more uptravel available before you hit the bumpstop. That extra range represents much more energy twisted into the bars and correspondingly higher forces on the a-arm and t-bar tower. From that point of view, there is more stress that can be applied, even though the spring rate doesn't change.
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  #18  
Old 09-28-2005
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No, it strengthens spring rate AND preload. Your bars get tighter when cranked, thus increasing spring rate. This makes the bars more progressive in a sense as well (by the rate of how the spring functions), moving first from slow, easy movements with less resistance (less spring rate) to a lot more resistance in the bar's final arc (increased spring rate).

But hey what do I know, I just work at a fab shop, .
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Old 10-22-2005
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Update on the Popping noise.

It turns out it's the rack and pinion. There is some play in the rack. I put it up on a lift and checked the steering linkage and theres no play. You can actually hear the rack popping. It's like 375 cdn for a new reman rack so i'm gonna hold off till it gets worse since it's not leaking yet either. I'm gonna pickup a bottle of lucas power steering stop leak. It's suppose to work wonders and maybe it'll get alittle more life out of my rack. Apparently this is a common problem on rangers with rack and pinion steering. The ranger is a great truck it's just to bad ford didn't engineer the front ends alittle tougher.
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Old 10-22-2005
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Good to hear you found what it was. New rack and pinions are a lot, I'd be the same way you are.
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