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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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Popping in front end.

I recently bought a 2002 Intrepid and there was a popping under the front end. The guy who sold it was straight up about it before I even test drove it. After I got it home I started shaking around the suspension and found that one of the CV joints was terribly loose. I replaced it today but the popping persists. It occurs more on bumpier roads/driveways. What is it most likely going to be? Also, does anyone have a diagram of the rack and pinion for this model car? I searched and all I could find was the 1996 diagram. Seems to me where the tie rod connects to the rack and pinion is one of many possibilities.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 11:39 PM
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The FSM (Factory Service Manual) is what your after which can be found here > 2004 service and diagnostic manuals in PDF format

If you look behind the motor, you will see the rack and pinion secured near the upper firewall. The tie rods meet in the center and secure to the rack and pinion by one bolt per a side. The bushings at this location can be the cause of sloppy steering etc. So check them out when your digging.

As for the noise. I'm gonna guess it's a thump or thud that happens if the visualize the suspension reaching the top and bottom ends of vertical movement?

Jack up the car, remove each front tire, place a jack under the wheel assembly (ball joint, wheel hub) and jack it up (essentially compressing your strut). As you raise it, grab ahold of the sway-bar link which comes off the strut, and down to a curved bar that runs to the other side of the car (swaybar) and try and shake it around.

When you reach that sweet spot that releases the tension to that swaybar, you'll either have play (which is a loose bolt or failed joint) or no play at all.

Swaybar links are the main thing that goes on these cars, thankfully they are inexpensive and easy to fix in the driveway.

I suggest you have air or electric impact tools handy, as the bolts rust and can be an enormous bitch to remove. Plan be if hand and electric/air tools fail, pull out a grinder with a cutting wheel.
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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-05-2013, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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That's for a 2004 service manual, is that going to work for a 2002? I'll try that first thing in the morning, I've already got the tires back off anyway. Any other suggestions are also greatly appreciated.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 10:10 AM
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check the strut end caps, I had a similar thud in my '01 and that turned out to be part of the problem. They were loose and free-spinning when jacked up.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 12:16 PM
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In addition to what SRT6Interpid said (inner tie rod bushings and sway bar end links - both are high probabilities), also could be sway bar bushings. The bushings are inexpensive, so if you replace the end links, I would do those at the same time. Those three parts (inner tie rod bushings, sway bar end links, and sway bar bushings) are definite wear-out items.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raytheon View Post
...found that one of the CV joints was terribly loose. I replaced it today but the popping persists...
I know this doesn't help you now, but if the looseness was at the inner axle joint on the passenger side, there likely was no problem - the play is not in the joint itself and is normal due to the way the passenger side stub shaft support is designed, and if you check for play the same way with your new axle, it will be the same.


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Last edited by peva; 01-06-2013 at 12:26 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 12:32 PM
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^^^ x2 on Peva's suggestion.

Also, as far as most suspension is concerned, any '98 - 2004 service manual will work.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 02:33 PM
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Possibly the ball joint(s).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 04:11 PM
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I'm getting the same... also when I brake I get a clunk sound. I know I need new pads, Rotor and Calips were just replaced...I've checked the inner, outter, & Rack mounts and everything is in good order but I'll try the jack trick and check the sway.

Thanks for posting that SRT
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-06-2013, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wishihadacharger View Post
I'm getting the same... also when I brake I get a clunk sound...
If there's a single clunk when the brakes are applied, and then doesn't occur again until the car is accelerated and brakes applied again, you may simply need to torque the control arm-to-cradle bolt to the correct torque specs. I helped a guy diagnose this - he couldn't figure out why he got a clunk whenever brakes were applied after accelerating. Turns out he had recently replaced one of the control arms. The control arm bolt was slightly tight, but not torqued to spec. The play (diameter) between the control arm bushing, bolt, and cradle was causing the clunk as the control arm suddenly twisted when brakes were applied. Torqued that bolt to spec. - problem solved.

Also could be tension strut (AKA strut rod) bushings.


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