Popping / knocking noise (ball joints / tie-rod ends?)

LittleGiant

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I’ve replaced all 3 tie rod ends and the track bar that has a joint at the end. Still have a popping creaking and cracking like crazy. I’ve jacked up the Jeep and don’t have any movement in the tires side to side or up and down but the ball joint “boot” is busted. My Jeep place told me I need new ones.

My concern:

I bought Spicer ball joints but I’m hearing about spacers. Is this necessary?

What if I replace the ball joints and I still hear these noises?

Do I need to have these components configured differently with only a 2 inch body lift? Could the lift already busted the new tie rod ends I put on? When I replaced them the noise was gone then came back after a couple of days.

I’m lost on this.
 
is it happening when going straight or turning ? I don't think i'd use SLICER ball joints those sound dangerous !

*Spicer haha.

I hear the pop when hitting the gas from the gas from a stopped position. I hear everything else the other times, especially when turning into the driveway.
 
and when your in that deep for a couple dollars you mine as well do the axle u-joints .

That’s a good point. I found Spicer u-joints for only $80. I woukd have guessed a few hundred. The process seems pretty quick and easy too. Thanks for info! I’m heading out of town this weekend so I’ll tackle this Monday or Tuesday next week and keep you posted. Much appreciated.
 
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That’s a good point. I found Spicer u-joints for only $80. I woukd have guessed a few hundred. The process seems pretty quick and easy too. Thanks for info! I’m heading out of town this weekend so I’ll tackle this Monday or Tuesday next week and keep you posted. Much appreciated.

how many miles are on your Jeep ?
 
What did you find when you did a steer test with the engine running?
 
What should I be checking for and how?

With the engine running, have a helper turn the steering wheel side to side between 10-2. You reach in and feel each and every steering and suspension connection you can think of. Listen and feel for these clunks and pops.
 
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Try the "dry steering test" which will probably help you to isolate where the noise is coming from. Do this with the tires on the ground with all the Jeep's weight on them and without the engine running so you can hear the results as well as see them.

Have a helper do repetitive quick short turns with the steering wheel while you closely watch and listen to the steering system from the front. Look for sideways slop/movement at all the rod-end joints including the track bar, drag link, and tie rod. Sideways slop is bad at joints and where they are bolted together but it's normal for there to be rotational play as you rotate the drag link or tie rod with your hands. That's because they're mounted on ball joints so they can rotate as the suspension moves up and down while driving.

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I’ve replaced all 3 tie rod ends and the track bar that has a joint at the end. Still have a popping creaking and cracking like crazy. I’ve jacked up the Jeep and don’t have any movement in the tires side to side or up and down but the ball joint “boot” is busted. My Jeep place told me I need new ones.

I'm a little anal on the boots, but a cracked boot isn't in and of itself a reason to replace a ball joint from my experience.

Others have given you what you need, I'd use Spicer as they stated, and I'd change the axle U joints. DON'T use the same tool. The Ball Joints, use the rental too etc. To change the axle U Joints, look up how to do that with a big hammer. That and vice grips get the job done.
 
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Installed the new u joints. For some reason the one side isn’t fully flush. I’ve tried getting it flush from both sides but it just keeps coming out the other end. Is this too much too be concerned with?

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