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Discussion Starter #1
I was trying to track down some noises this morning and noticed some play in the driver's side wheel.

If I grab it on both side and try to move it back and forth there is almost no play.

If I grab it on the top and bottom and try the same thing there is more play and a clunking sort of noise when pulling on the bottom/pushing on the top. I'm thinking this is not normal.

Any ideas? Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #2
Nope. Not normal. It sounds like you need to repack and properly tighten your wheel bearings.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Sounds to me perhaps like a worn out balljoint.

My car has gone through both uppers in a little over 30 000 kilometers.

Something to check.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
Dang man, both uppers that quick? You've got something seriously wrong.

Another option is to make sure your shims for your upper arms are there. Its not uncommon for them to fall out. It wouldn't hurt to check your wheel bearings like Erik said and your ball joints.
 
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Discussion Starter #5
Checking and replacing upper ball joints is not too bad if you know a few tricks. Jack the car up and support with jack stands placed as close as possible to the lower ball ball joint. With weight of car supported by these jack stands grasp the top of the wheel and pull out from centerline then push in in same area. .125 inch is max, 1/8 of an inch. not much.
Its much easier to do if you have a partner push and pull while you watch for slop on the back side and estimate slop involved by placing fingers in the area of the grease seal for the upper joint. The factory service manual calls for doing the measurement with a dial indicator and if replacing to drill out the heads of the old rivits first by counter drilling from underneath with a 1/8 inch bit and then then cleaning off the head with a 1/2 inch bit untill you touch the upper control arm. My method was too chisel them off but you had to be real aggressive with the hammer and chisel otherwise all that would happen would be the rivet would work harden and become impossible to either chisel or drill. Use a hand sledge a large chisel and support the control arm with a block of wood between the frame and the control arm. Use enough force to clean off each rivet head with 3 or 4 blows. the new ball joints go in with nuts and bolts. To get the stud out of the spindle arm I use the two hammer method, loosen the big nut about 1 or 2 turns after removing the cotter pin. Place a block of wood between the frame and control arm so that the upper control arm is under tension with the front spring when the car is supported from the frame. With a hammer in each hand and with a horizontal motion smartly wack each side of the spindle where the ball stud passes thru the spindle. Do this correctly and 1 wack and the ball stud is ready to remove once the spring and lower control arm are again supported. Check to see if the space under the ball stud nut is still there and if its gone then your ready to reposition the jack under the spring, lower control arm.
Robert
 
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Discussion Starter #6
I would also check your upper control arm bushings. Mine were missing when I got my car. The other side is all cracked up.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Erik - I think your assessment is right. It is definitely when I rock the rotor and the noise is NOT coming from the ball joints. Looks like another Saturday morning project in my near future! Thanks.
 
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Discussion Starter #8
-Park it until you fix it. Your problems could get worse.

Do I sound like someone who knows?

-Jay
 
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Discussion Starter #9
Originally posted by dbonser:
Erik - I think your assessment is right. It is definitely when I rock the rotor and the noise is NOT coming from the ball joints. Looks like another Saturday morning project in my near future! Thanks.
If it only moves when you grab it top and bottom, and not side to side, it's not your wheel bearings.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I agree with Erik. Tightening a wheel bearing isn't much tougher than removing the wheel, anyway, so I would give that a shot first. In my experience it is usually easier to see the play in a bearing top to bottom. JMO
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Nah, its just what happens when you use cheap whitebox crap that's supplied with your car when you buy it.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Moose LT1 - I'm assuming you mean the stock ball joints, etc.? I replaced the upper & lower ball joints with the appropriate Moog counterparts a little over 2 years ago. Of course, that doesn't mean they could not have worn out though.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Grabbing the wheel at the top and bottom and rocking it back and forth is the basic check for loose wheel bearings. That's why I suggested it. It'll take no more than a few minutes a side to readjust them (longer if you repack the bearings), so that's where I'd start myself. If that doesn't do the trick, move on from there. Anyway, I hope I'm right. It's cheap to deal with and I just like being right.
 
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Discussion Starter #14
Look at my sig. Get it fixed. My frame snapped around the A-Arm area after neglecting to get it fixed (shims were missing).
 
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