1. Front End Popping Issue

    I have a stock 97 Wrangler Sport, that has not seen any 'real' off road. Within the last few months have developed a popping sound in the front when hitting small bumps in the road, paved or non in 2wheel drive.

    Yesterday I went up a fairly smooth fire road not exceeding 15mph, popping got worse, turned around and headed back to the pavement. Now any bump causes loud popping sounds.

    Before I go to the mechanics, trying to find out what this is most likely from... Ball joints, sway bar linkage, etc.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Santa Clarita ,ca

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Possible loose shock???

  3. #3

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Possibly... I have stood on the front bumper and got the front of the Jeep bouncing up and down to try and re-create the issue, but nothing!

  4. #4

    Front End Popping Issue

    Possibly a worn swaybar links, ball joint, tie rod or loose trackbar.
    Confucious says: Don't eat the snow where the huskies go!

  5. #5

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Having a similar popping sound from the front end of my '87 Comanche...

    Jacked the entire front end up this weekend. All the ball joints looked tight, shocks were not loose, and the steering functioned fine...but noticed my sway-bar connect on the drivers side had broken and worn out bushings which need replacing.

    Best thing you can do is safely jack up the front end on both sides (using good jacks, and jack stands). Visually inspect the steering components, shocks, etc.

    Have someone turn the steering wheel completely both directions while you look for anything unusual underneath.


    1995 Wrangler YJ
    1987 Comanche MJ

    Freedom Is Never Free!


  6. Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Along with checking your steering check your unit bearings up front. It could also be a bad bushing on your UCS/ LCA.

  7. #7

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Had similar popping issue since lifting mine and putting on an aftermarket skid plate (that mounts to the lower control arm mounting points). Looked at all the suggestions above at some point or another, and found I just have worn bushings on the control arms. Was told they could be greased, or would have to replace the bushings. Personally, I'd rather replace worn parts than just 'cover up the symptoms'.

    Maybe try to grease the control arm bushings to see if that solves the noise. If so, you can keep them greased or replace them.
    2013 Moab Edition Jk (3.5" lift, AEV Savegre rims, 35" BFG MT's, Fox shocks)
    2012 Sahara Unlimited (2" lift)

  8. #8

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    The control arm bushings are a fixed core, flexible rubber joint. They should not be greased in any way. You CAN grease the bolts during assembly so they don't rust in place. I had a loud cracking or popping sound when flexing off road or turning real tight on road. It was hard to find but it turned out to be a slightly loose track bar bolt (front track bar) . The track bar would pop or snap in its mount when the Jeep put force on it. It was a loud cracking pop sound like if you hit the frame hard with a small hammer. Best of luck - John

  9. #9

    Re: Front End Popping Issue

    Ah, good call. Now I know not to listen to the ones who told me to grease the bushings.
    2013 Moab Edition Jk (3.5" lift, AEV Savegre rims, 35" BFG MT's, Fox shocks)
    2012 Sahara Unlimited (2" lift)

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