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Popping noise in rear end 96 C4

Old 11-16-2018, 07:54 AM
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jerryg01
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Default Popping noise in rear end 96 C4

From time to time I notice a popping noise in the rear end of my 96 C4, mostly after a turn or just starting out. Not real loud, and sounds more like a loose wheel or something, but all wheels are torqued. Was wondering if this could be posi clutches catching in the differential. Also, is there any posi additive that might be added to the differential for posi tractions?
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:13 AM
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81c3
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Originally Posted by jerryg01 View Post
From time to time I notice a popping noise in the rear end of my 96 C4, mostly after a turn or just starting out. Not real loud, and sounds more like a loose wheel or something, but all wheels are torqued. Was wondering if this could be posi clutches catching in the differential. Also, is there any posi additive that might be added to the differential for posi tractions?
Could be an axle U-joint. Could be backlash between the ring & pinion gear.
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Old 11-16-2018, 09:17 AM
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MatthewMiller
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Agreed. It could be a few things, but I think most likely is that one of the halfshaft u-joints is dying. If you jack the rear up and leave the car in gear (or only jack up one side at a time), you can try to turn the wheel by hand. You shouldn't have much play at all. If a halfshaft u-joint is bad, you'll probably be able to rotate the wheel an inch or two forward and backward, and if you look at the halfshaft while you do that you'll see the u-joint getting "kinked up" and off center.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:04 PM
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VikingTrad3r
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had this on my 87. the inboard passengerside half shat ujoint literally fell apart needles raining all over my face as i uninstalled it.
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Old 11-17-2018, 01:40 PM
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MatthewMiller
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Originally Posted by VikingTrad3r View Post
had this on my 87. the inboard passengerside half shat ujoint literally fell apart needles raining all over my face as i uninstalled it.
Yep, FWIW the two half-shaft u-joint failures I've experienced were both inboard ones as well, and equally spectacular in nature. Not sure why the inboards are most vulnerable. Maybe they get more road grime, or more exhaust heat? Or maybe our sample size of failures just isn't big enough and they aren't more prone to failure.

Anyway, check all four. If you have to replace them, it's best to get the ones with coated caps to guard against corrosion of the steel caps in the aluminum yokes. The consensus is that the best u-joint is the Dana-Spicer Life Series 53615X, and second best is probably the Moog 231C. I wouldn't waste my time with anything else.

Last edited by MatthewMiller; 11-17-2018 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 11-18-2018, 10:52 AM
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BillDurant
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I had to replace my right rear axle U joint
made noises starting out and 1st to 2nd gear
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Old 11-18-2018, 12:50 PM
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Look up teflon washers, Use the search feature on this forum. Good Luck!
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Old 11-21-2018, 04:28 PM
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Wheel hub bearing assembly might just be your problem. I had a similar noise before on the drivers side. So I replaced the gear oil and additive. Then I replaced a half shaft "U" joint on that side. Noise was still there. It was hard to diagnose. Finally I replaced the wheel hub bearing assembly on that side. I started with the cheap repairs first with no luck. After the bearing assembly was replaced, the noise was gone for good.
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Old 11-22-2018, 07:12 PM
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Theres a well known rusty axle spline/rear hub issue on some of the c4ís.

basically when car sits overnight some rust forms, when you first go to drive it/back it out of garage, you hear a pop.

its annoying but easily fixed by removing the wheels/hub nut down to the axle stub ends, and then coating the rear axle stub ends with anti seize

im amazed noone else has suggested this bc its pretty common.
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