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'76 450 "clicking noise" when turning

Started by bfam4t6, 30 August 2011, 02:33 PM


Hi all,

To start, this car has sat idle on and off for the past decade, so please assume the worst.  It only has 86,000 miles on it, but mother nature can be harsher than mileage.  I'd prefer to chase around a gremlin that doesn't exist than I would overlook something and wind up stranded on the highway during rush hour. 

So, as of this weekend, my car "clicks" when I turn swiftly.  If I'm going less than 5 mph, or not turning very sharply, I usually do not hear it.  I normally drive alone, and I first noticed the noise with two passengers in the car.  Now it does it all the time, passengers or not.  I have hung my head out the window/door and cannot tell whether its coming from the front or the rear.  By the time I reach enough speed the wind noise muffles everything.  Logically, I'd say its coming from the front, however this little devil on my shoulder says it's the rear.  Like I said, I only hear the clicking when I'm moving at a fairly good speed.  Also, I know that I need new tie rods as my steering will occasionally jiggle while on the highway, and a mechanic told me so. 

So, is this just the next step in the degredation of my tie-rods?  Or, have I let something go too long and now I'm paying with damage to other suspension/wheel parts?  Let me know what you all think.  My living situation demands that this car continue to function as a daily driver for another good year or so, and I want it to be least as safe as I can afford at the moment.


Does the click vary with speed?

Louder when turning one way than the other?

The noise I call a click is usually a wheel bearing (front or rear), doubt it would be tie rods.

Have you checked the tyres for stones (or worse) embedded in the tread?

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!


Quote from: koan on 31 August 2011, 01:59 AM
Louder when turning one way than the other?

Exactly the question I was going to ask, my click was the left rear axle on it's way out, the more weight the worse it was, got worse over time.

Didn't have the time due to using the thing for work to fix it, ended up real bad, sounded like a horse galloping on tiles when driving out of parking garages. Used to drive into s-bends at full pace and then have to drive out of them like an old lady.


As Koan suggested, check your tyres for anything embedded, your hubcaps for stones and your wheel arches for anything stick in there. I've remedied "issues" in the past by checking these areas out.

I doubt any suspension components would be clicking. Suspension tends to clunk and crash when it's up to no good.
+1 for Wheel bearings being a likely source.


Thank you guys for all of the swift replies!

Let me go into a bit more detail...

I have never heard the noise while moving in a straight line at any speed.

My original estimate of hearing the noise when traveling >5mph is probably incorrect.  I have to be moving more like 15 mph while turning, or I if I punch the gas while in the midst of turning to hear the click.  I wouldn't say it gets louder with speed, but the frequency depends on my speed.  The faster I go, the faster it clicks.  It sounds like someone is banging on the bottom of the floorboard, and it stops as soon as my wheels straighten back out.  I know that identifying the noise as coming from the front or rear would help, but honestly it sounds like it's right in the middle of the floorboard.  Would a differential ever make noises but only while turning?

I'll go home and give the underneath a good look through to see if I can find any sticks or what not that are out of place, but I can't say my fingers are crossed. 

Scraf, your response has me worried.  The primary reason for my anxiety regarding this noise is that my first car, a 1982 w126, had a rear control arm unexpectedly snap in half not long after purchasing it.  Needless to say, it was not a fun repair for the mechanic OR for my wallet.  I hope it's much simpler than that.  With less than 90,000 miles could an axle be bad already?

Thanks again for all the help. 


Bit of difference between a click and "banging on the bottom of the floorboard".

Going for drive with a passenger hanging out the window or in the back seat might help in locating source of the noise.

Boogity, Boogity, Boogity, Amen!