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texas1al 04-15-2002 04:51 PM

AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
I know some of this was discussed in a recent post about signs of AMC 20 failure, but I'm still a little confused.

My rear end has been clunking/popping when I start from a stop, especially if I'm making a turn. It's been doing this for 10K miles and it's not too loud. Someone suggested in the earlier post, that the nut be tightened. What nut, is it obvious with the wheel off? Is this sound a signal the axle is failing or could it be something else?

Thanks for any help.

WILL 04-15-2002 04:54 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
Did you check your driveshaft u-joints? That sounds more likely.

Jim_Lou 04-15-2002 06:14 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
The prelude to axel failure is better described as a click, and it obviously comes from one side or the other, or both I guess. U-joint clunking comes from the middle.

texas1al 04-16-2002 08:46 AM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
Thanks for the info guys. I'm just worriesome about driveline issues. I'll check the U-joints.

Just out of curiousity, what causes the clicking sound that preludes a 20 failure? About how long will this clicking be present before failure, assuming all on-pavement driving?

fullygruntled 04-16-2002 01:49 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
In addition to the u-joints, you may also want to pull the diff cover and check the state of the teeth. I had a Chrysler 9-1/4" making sounds just like you describe... clunk from start and especially in turns... turned out the diff gears were eating themselves, several had completely broken off.

Hell, of nothing else, good excuse to go to a D44.

**DONOTDELETE** 04-16-2002 02:48 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
you may have spun the hub. The AMC20 has 3 piece axles...thats why there is a big nut on the end. What happens over the years is the splines in the hub and the axleshaft decide to no longer be friendly, and eat each other. When this happens, the shaft spins in the hub, expecially when startting from a stop or on turns (torque bias) You may been some 1-piece shafts......


85Jeepny 04-16-2002 03:20 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
Mine died last year....It clicked and popped when I sped up to didn't speed up! So I parked it, Gave her some gas and dropped the clutch. you guessed it, no moving and shaking wheel, upgrade to Superior 1 pc.

texas1al 04-16-2002 09:28 PM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
Thanks for the help guys. I had the top off today and did a lot of stop and go driving and I nailed it down a little better. I noticed the clunking/clicking noise originates from both wheels, usually not at the same time, but depending on which wheel is outside on a turn.

The thing is, it's been making the noise for a year, but now it's getting more frequent. Obviously, I need to fix this. Since I don't have any cash, I'm trying to figure out if there is a dead give-away a failure is coming soon.

Jim_Lou 04-17-2002 07:30 AM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
At this point it could happen at any time you apply a good amount of torque. Or it could be good for another 10K miles.

The first thing to do is tighten the nuts. Pop off the little hubcap. You'll find about a 1 1/4" nut under there. The spec for tightening the nut is 250 foot pounds. Loosen the nut and tighten it to spec. If that cures the clicking, great. If not, tighten the nut some more. If you get it too tight you'll strip the nut or break the stud off the end of the axel.

Remember, that one nut is all that holds the wheel on, so PAY ATTENTION!

texas1al 04-17-2002 11:29 AM

Re: AMC 20 - Clunking/Popping.
Thanks Jim,

I'll tighten those nuts and pray.

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