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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 08:50 PM Thread Starter
 
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Question Very loud popping after accelerating

I'm at loss... I'm no newb to fixing problems, I've destroyed enough things in my firebird, swapped motors, transmissions, rear ends, suspension etc... but this has me and all my friends stumped. I'd be very grateful if anyone could suggest something I haven't thought of yet so thanks in advance for any suggestions...

when accelerating at a decent pace (half throttle maybe? maybe a bit more) you can hear VERY loud popping from the front, Steering wheel shakes a little as well. As if something was binding, possibly slipping and grabbing. It's a mechanical sound such as gears slipping or something along those lines. It's coming from the front, either right dead center or possibly more on the drivers side of the car. Once the car is rolling it doens't do it again, just the initial acceleration overcomes something mechanical and causes it to pop. (makes no difference if turning or going straight).

so far I've replaced... (some stuff for other reasons, but at least they are new)

inner tie-rods
outer tie-rods
WHOLE CV half-shafts, both left and right side (so both inner/outer joints and shafts)
front brakes
did a nice tune-up
engine runs great
transmission runs fine other than sometimes when downshifting at higher speeds the car shakes a little, but all gears work and don't seem to slip any (fluid smells good too and is nice and red).

my ideas: while changing the dr. side cv half shaft we were unable to pull the inner side of the inner joint off the transmission axle. It's just a hunk of metal sitting right on the axles splines. After using a 4 foot prybar and two people we gave up and basically left it there, disassembled the new cv half shaft and just slipped it into that metal end. At first I thought maybe the splines on that drive axle are shot and that side wheel is "slipping", but then I would think the half shaft would come right off or I'd at least see metal shavings aorund that area. It's just "frozen" stuck and nothing will make it move.I have not yet tried marking both the shaft and inner joint with a marker to see if they truly are slipping, but I don't think they are.

any ideas ??? car's not worth taking it somewhere to get it fixed, Especially when I'm leaning to the conclusion that it's transmission related even though I fail to see how that's possible when there are no other transmission problem going on.

It's a 1995 Intrepid with the 3.3L engine btw and obviously automatic transmission.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-29-2004, 08:52 PM Thread Starter
 
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on a side note, balljoints don't look all that great either, but somehow I don't think it's them either although if enough people think so I will replace them.

struts are ancient as well, but car rides very well, not rough and has had a very easy life.

120k miles on the drivetrain.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 09:05 AM
 
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Wow! Makes my head hurt this early in the AM...(just kidding!-I like the T/S challenge)
Uh--You've done everything! How about wheel bearings? Seems like that would make
noise most of the time,tho...I've heard bad races make loud popping sounds, especially under load.
If you jack up the front end,you might see what happens when you run through the gears with no-load on the wheels..
How did the rotors look with regard to run-out?
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 09:35 AM
 
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i had a problem with my torque converter making a poping kinda noise. You can take of the two steel mounts near the bottom of the bell housing and remove the bellhousing cover , Intrepids are common for loose torque converter bolts
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 02:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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front brakes are new, new rotors & pads that is, car stops perfectly straight 100% of the time so calipers aren't sticking either or doing any other funky things.

friend of mine also suggested wheel bearings or pretty much the whole hubs. I may plonk down $300 and replace both hubs plus both balljoints. After that I burn the car down, lol

good idea on the torque converter bolts, that'd be a bad thing. Kind of like when a friend of mines flywheel broke in several pieces, just not a pretty sight. I'll make sure to check that out.

keep them coming, I will post an update this weekend when I tear the sucker apart again

thanks so far!
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
 
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btw just to add something, the pop is audible from probably 20 feet way, lol. It truly is a loud ass obnoxious pop/bang. So I also thought of maybe transmission mount/engine mount being broken, but this pop repeats if you stay on the throttle.

I don't want to try it, but if you went WOT I bet it would pop until 3rd gear (or maybe finally break whatever is popping... lol)

I just don't want anyone thinking that it's not a loud noise like what a balljoint may do.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 04:43 PM
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How about engine/transmission mounts
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 05:26 PM
 
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one other thing .......check your differential box.......its on the passenger side of the 42le trany.....you may have a broken tooth on one of the gears.....the differential can be serviced without removing the trany, just make sure you drail the gear oil first. just in cause you don't know the drain is on the bottom of the case and hase a 1/4 inch female socket plug. I have an extra gear set if you need one ....just pay the shipping and i can send it to you.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 05:27 PM
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A couple possibilities come to mind with this explanation....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZROUT
When accelerating at a decent pace (half throttle maybe? maybe a bit more) you can hear VERY loud popping from the front, Steering wheel shakes a little as well. As if something was binding, possibly slipping and grabbing. It's a mechanical sound such as gears slipping or something along those lines. It's coming from the front, either right dead center or possibly more on the drivers side of the car.

1. Struts
2. Ball joints
3. Steering rack bushings

Just some guesses....maybe something to look into.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
 
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thanks guys, I have a few things to check for this weekend. I'm thinking I'll spend $500 or so more bucks on it and then it's going to get traded in for something else (and I get to bend over and take it sideways with no lube, but that's for another story... lol)
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-30-2004, 11:05 PM
 
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I had same problem

I had the same problem and I took it to a local shop and they replaced the cv joints and wheel bearings I think it was...and it hasnt done it ever since!
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 12-01-2004, 09:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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I'm leaning towards wheel bearings as well at this point.

torque converter bolts I think can be ruled out, it would definitely be doing it at high speeds as well.

engine/tranny mount is probably not the culprit, they create one loud bang as the engine or transmission lift up due to torque and smack something.

struts? eh, don't think so. Car would ride very harsh if they were shot that much.

wheel bearings.... could be as the popping translates into steering wheel shaking (slightly).

but I'll be checking all of these out anyway...
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