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Left Hander = *POP*


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Hey, so whenever I make a semi-sharp left hander (steering wheel is turned about 90 degrees or more), the suspension and/or steering rack on the passenger's side front makes a a nice loud pop, noticable enough for my friend to think something just fell off the car. I've examined the bushings on that side, and they're worn, but not destroyed. Also the steering rack boot is cut on that side, could these be clues? I also have the MSA swaybars, but I'm not sure if they could be contributing.

The noise occurs as soon as the steering wheel reaches the greatest angle rotation of the steering wheel, meaning as soon as the maxumum weight (for a given turn) is transfered to the right side of the car, the noise happens, so I'm temped to think the sound is some sort of stress being released once the weight has shifted to that side and begins to ease.

Hope this helps narrow it down.

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Some things to check:

Is there abnormal tire wear?

Is it felt in the steering wheel when it happens?

Did it start after the sway bars were installed?

Does it only do it with the added weight of a passenger?

Since you have added new sway bars I would check the sway bar and see if there is any indication that the tie rod is hitting it on that side first. Then I would get real serious about finding the problem, something like this isn't a minor problem. Things I would check even though you should have other symptoms would be tie rod ends, ball joints, torsion rod bushings/frame mounting area for rust/cracks for a start. The problem may be on the left side causing an excessive weight swing to the right. Good luck, ones like this are usually hard to find because they don't show up in a static sitting in the driveway mode, only while moving.

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Yeah, I hear ya. I can feel it slightly through the steering wheel, and it DID start right after I put in the swaybars (could be coincidence?). I sprayed a little WD40 on the joints to see it it would change anything, but nope. It ONLY makes the noise when I turn left, nothing when I turn right, passenger or not. I was kinda suspicious of the bushing between the control arm and the strut housing.

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Well, I greased up everything, we'll see if it helps, but I just noticed something:

My front suspension only has grease fittings on one side!!!

What is going on? Am I going nuts? What's wrong with my car? The grease fittings which are on the bottom of the main ball joint and on the side of the steering arm cup are not there on the drivers side front! Has something been replaced before I got the car? Do these parts need to be greased? Should I post pictures?

...Help...

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My ball joints have a bolt rather than grease(Zerk) fitting. To grease you jsut remove the bolt and install a grease fitting. You'll find the same thing on the steering rack as well. No need to worry.

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just replaced both ball joints with new Beck Arnley parts. out of the box, one came with grease fitting, one without. WTF

i thought all aftermarkets came with a fitting and thought about drilling and tapping before i installed them. didn't bother since the Z is not a daily driver and won't have a ton of miles put on it.

so it's possible that they were both replaced already, but then again, at least one might be original.

since the noise started after your sway bar install, i'd start looking for a problem there first.

i seem to remember reading something about the length of the new swaybar end links causing interference with the control arm. someone else might chime in or try a search for 'end links' to get the exact post.

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Not all Ball joints / Tie Rod Ends have a grease fitting or even a provision for one (hole with bolt). OEM parts and higher quality ones WILL have them, but some of the lesser quality aftermarket parts WILL NOT. The manufacturer/distributor will tell you they are "Lifetime Lubricated" or some such thing. Believe them if you want.

Someone, sometime replaced parts on one side of your car.

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Oh, and about the noise coming from the front right. I wonder if it could be the inner ball joint on the tie rod, where it connects to the rack. This might cause the *pop* when I turn left, and the noise might be the joint re-seating itself. What do you think? I probably shouldn't autoX it huh? hehe. The car steers perfectly besides this noise. I'll also check to make sure the swaybar link is tight.

Edit- kinda suspicious of the outer tie rod end too, the ball joint spins pretty freely in the cup on the tie rod...

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You could lift the rubber boot on the outer tie rod. When I did that it was plainly obvious what the cause of my "pop" was. Big chunk of metal was missing from the cast housing and pulverized into the grease contained within.

I'd think the inner tie rod would be less likely to be the cause, but any of the tie-rods, ball joint, or the anti-roll bar links could be a cause.

Examine it all.

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