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Rear end "popping" noise during bumpy turns

1289 Views 37 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  marksbug
Last weekend I started getting a popping noise from the drivers' side rear end when turning while going over bumps. I'd never heard it before then, so I immediately picked up on it. I continued driving figuring it wasn't a huge deal. Over the week, the noise got progressively more pronounced, more frequent, and easier to invoke.

It sounds like it's coming from the wheel or some part of the suspension. I'm also led to think it's that because the noise is amplified the most when combining bumps and turning at the same time. The sound is similar to when the security seal on a jar is open and you press the lid in. A "popping" noise if you will. I include a sample of it in the below video.

All this said, I feel I know less about suspension than anything else about cars so I now beg for help from y'all :LOL:

I tried jacking up the car and jiggling the LR wheel that sounded close to the noise and it didn't have any more play than the others. I pulled the wheel off to jiggle the different suspension parts around and see if I could find anything visibly broken but otherwise didn't know what's normal and what's not.

In the video I wiggle the tie rod followed by the sway bar links. The links seem to have more play than I would expect (and probably need to be replaced regardless) but I'm not sure if this would cause the sound I'm describing. Does anyone have any guesses on what the issue could be?


I'm worried that if I take it to a mechanic I'll get a "your whole suspension is trashed and needs to be replaced" diagnosis (which is probably true) and quote to match but I'm curious if it's something that's an easy home fix.

Thanks so much for any advice! 馃檹

EDIT: I should mention there is no difference in feeling/sounds from the steering wheel. All feels 100% normal. I saw some people mentioning this usually comes with tie rod issues, though I'd imagine that applies more to front tie rods than rear.
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if there is any play/gap in the sway bar bushings they tend to make thump/bang noise.same go's for the links. also...have you checked in the trunk for something you may of left in there like that jar of pickles or can of beans...... :eek:
or possibly jumping jacks..
I'm not sure it's feasible for you but I did watch a video where the owner of a 06 Solstice fastened his GoPro to the bottom of the suspension. In that instance, it was to document the infamous differential clunk of his 06 car.
Hmm that sounds like it'd help if I had a GoPro... I'd be buying one just for this and returning it though :ROFLMAO:

I also wasn't aware of an infamous diff clunk on the '06, but I do experience some sort of drivetrain clunk sometimes. I always just figured it was the aftermarket clutch being not as balanced as the original.
I'm not sure it's feasible for you but I did watch a video where the owner of a 06 Solstice fastened his GoPro to the bottom of the suspension. In that instance, it was to document the infamous differential clunk of his 06 car.
Where did you see this video? Curious how his sounds
if there is any play/gap in the sway bar bushings they tend to make thump/bang noise.same go's for the links. also...have you checked in the trunk for something you may of left in there like that jar of pickles or can of beans...... :eek:
or possibly jumping jacks..
Haha yes checking the trunk was on my list before reaching out to reaching out to the forum - I should've mentioned that. But I have basically nothing in the trunk ever and currently is no exception. A blanket and the tire pump which is properly secured.
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So I ordered the replacement bumpers for both L+R rear struts and they should be here in a few days. I plan on replacing just those since I can see they're destroyed, and while I'm in there see how the boot is supposed to be secured (since I think that's the cause of the popping noise, it sounds even more obvious off the car).

I actually can't find any video or documentation of people attaching the boot in our cars and I don't really see a place where a zip tie/fastener could go along the top of it... but this is my first time doing any suspension stuff so maybe I don't know what to look for. Once I get it apart it'll be easier. Since I'm new to this I made a mistake (maybe two) along the way.

Firstly, after I disconnected the nut from the ball joint bolt attached to the upper control arm, I pried the control arm up to make way to remove the suspension. It took a lot of force but I pushed past it since that's what I saw people doing in videos of the replacement. Later I watched a more generic ChrisFix video where he said that lifting the arm without first loosening the bushings can mangle/destroy them. Now I'm worried I damaged the upper control arm bushings and can't find where to buy them :oops: Doesn't look like RockAuto has them other than those included with new entire control arms. Can't find them anywhere online. Only this post from '09 and I'm hoping things have changed since then: Control Arm Bushings... what do we need?

Secondly when I went in to use the MacPherson spring compressor to safely take my springs off the shocks, I noticed the metal cone around the shock going into the bearing(?) plate at the top is prying away on one side despite me tightening both the compressor on both sides as evenly as I can, going back and forth. Not sure if this is normal but it didn't look right to me. Also pictured is the nasty adhesive that I'm not sure was supposed to pry apart during compression. If it is I'm not sure what to replace it with now that it's separated.

Tire Automotive tire Vehicle brake Motor vehicle Alloy wheel
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Gear Bicycle part Alloy wheel


I clearly have a lot to learn about suspension but I'm glad I'm doing it
;)
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Where did you see this video? Curious how his sounds
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Sounds just like mine when shifting. Good to know that鈥檚 normal for them. Also the underside of his car looks just like mine鈥 rust everywhere! 馃槃馃榿

Thanks for linking!
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So I ordered the replacement bumpers for both L+R rear struts and they should be here in a few days. I plan on replacing just those since I can see they're destroyed, and while I'm in there see how the boot is supposed to be secured (since I think that's the cause of the popping noise, it sounds even more obvious off the car).

I actually can't find any video or documentation of people attaching the boot in our cars and I don't really see a place where a zip tie/fastener could go along the top of it... but this is my first time doing any suspension stuff so maybe I don't know what to look for. Once I get it apart it'll be easier. Since I'm new to this I made a mistake (maybe two) along the way.

Firstly, after I disconnected the nut from the ball joint bolt attached to the upper control arm, I pried the control arm up to make way to remove the suspension. It took a lot of force but I pushed past it since that's what I saw people doing in videos of the replacement. Later I watched a more generic ChrisFix video where he said that lifting the arm without first loosening the bushings can mangle/destroy them. Now I'm worried I damaged the upper control arm bushings and can't find where to buy them :oops: Doesn't look like RockAuto has them other than those included with new entire control arms. Can't find them anywhere online. Only this post from '09 and I'm hoping things have changed since then: Control Arm Bushings... what do we need?

Secondly when I went in to use the MacPherson spring compressor to safely take my springs off the shocks, I noticed the metal cone around the shock going into the bearing(?) plate at the top is prying away on one side despite me tightening both the compressor on both sides as evenly as I can, going back and forth. Not sure if this is normal but it didn't look right to me. Also pictured is the nasty adhesive that I'm not sure was supposed to pry apart during compression. If it is I'm not sure what to replace it with now that it's separated.

View attachment 130034 View attachment 130035

I clearly have a lot to learn about suspension but I'm glad I'm doing it
;)
The bumpers are here but I'm not sure whether I should move forward with compressing the springs and installing them instead of returning since I'm worried I could break things further.
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Did a little more research and found some info on a Jeep forum, but same issue: Is this goo a melted spring isolator?

I鈥檝e never heard of spring insulators before this but I guess that's what I'm looking at the remains of. I need to figure out if getting new ones is necessary and where to source them if it is. I can't find them on RockAuto/in a Google search.
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the a arms go up& down every time you use the car. unless you relly move them way past thier normal operation range you should not have any issue with the a arm bushings..but as I recall vette and a cadie used the same ones. also ball joints. the goo may be addhivsive gm put on to hold the spring&retainer in place for easyer instlation. or somebody else may of done it. but also somebody may of sprayed somethen and it's eating at the rubber. thats for you to determine.my coupe dosent have anything on it's front shocks,I just looked. of coarse...it may be dead shocks and the oil squirted up and got there and is eating away at the ruber locator... all my coupes shocks are leeking down ward, but I reckon with your discintergrating bumpers it may of got to the shock seal and caused some to squirt up instead of a slow leek. ebay had some low mile gxp shocks for $164 a pair springs&everything.
when you get the springs off you should be able to tell if the shocks are dead or not.
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the a arms go up& down every time you use the car. unless you relly move them way past thier normal operation range you should not have any issue with the a arm bushings..but as I recall vette and a cadie used the same ones. also ball joints. the goo may be addhivsive gm put on to hold the spring&retainer in place for easyer instlation. or somebody else may of done it. but also somebody may of sprayed somethen and it's eating at the rubber. thats for you to determine.my coupe dosent have anything on it's front shocks,I just looked. of coarse...it may be dead shocks and the oil squirted up and got there and is eating away at the ruber locator... all my coupes shocks are leeking down ward, but I reckon with your discintergrating bumpers it may of got to the shock seal and caused some to squirt up instead of a slow leek. ebay had some low mile gxp shocks for $164 a pair springs&everything.
when you get the springs off you should be able to tell if the shocks are dead or not.
Thank you for your reply! This is all really helpful to know. I didn't push them beyond the wheel well so we're probably okay. Just following how I saw others do it in videos of a Sky suspension swap. He didn't have any issue so I think I'll be ok

Is anyone able to tell me what the circled part is called? Everything I can think of searching doesn鈥檛 give any correct results. There鈥檚 two: a top and a bottom. The top came off when removing the bracket but the bottom is stuck in place and doesn鈥檛 want ti budge even with a mallet. Was trying to research ways to get it off but finding it hard to do without the name.
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View attachment 130153
Is anyone able to tell me what the circled part is called? Everything I can think of searching doesn鈥檛 give any correct results. There鈥檚 two: a top and a bottom. The top came off when removing the bracket but the bottom is stuck in place and doesn鈥檛 want ti budge even with a mallet. Was trying to research ways to get it off but finding it hard to do without the name.
Got it off with enough vice gripping and rubber malleting.
when you get the springs off you should be able to tell if the shocks are dead or not.
Done. What am I checking for to see if they鈥檙e dead or not? Looking for the right amount of force needed to actuate or something?

btw for comparison, here鈥檚 the new vs old bumper. I鈥檝e literally lost half of it to disintegration, I had no idea how bad it was till I put them next to each other. If the bumper is the only thing that鈥檚 supposed to keep the boot from sliding all the way down the shock then I bet that鈥檚 why I鈥檓 getting the noise.
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gas shocks usualy can not be compressed by hand at all. if they can be compressed with a good amount of force they should return by them self kinda slowley. not just snap back. but in reality a shock dyno would be the only way to check them all. rock auto does have some inexpensive ones , Gabrial shocks. Im thinken about a set of those for one of my cars.
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gas shocks usualy can not be compressed by hand at all. if they can be compressed with a good amount of force they should return by them self kinda slowley. not just snap back. but in reality a shock dyno would be the only way to check them all. rock auto does have some inexpensive ones , Gabrial shocks. Im thinken about a set of those for one of my cars.
I was able to get them to be compressed and they had about the same amount of return force as others' I've seen online so I think all is good with 'em
I can't for the life of me figure out how the boot is supposed to be secured though. It looks like in most cars it just goes around a flange up top and that holds it in place preventing it from getting too low. Other cars use a zip tie around the top to keep it in place. Ours, however, I can't see a way to do either of those. Anyone know if they just sit loosely on top of the bumper and that's the only thing preventing it from falling down?
remember they should have resistance force going down too, not just the gas force. it has up& down valving, one could be damaged without the other being damaged. but most of the time it's the seal that dies first. if you know witch side made the noise...swap sides with the shocks and see if the noise go's to the other side..if it comes back at all.hopefuly it wont come back.
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