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Forum nameHandling/Suspension
Topic subjectFront suspension clunk. Cant track down
Topic URLhttp://forums.2gnt.com/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=33700
33700, Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Hey guys, Need some help tracking down a suspension clunk issue. In the last few months I heard the suspension clunk a few times during an auto x event. Then I heard it again a few weeks later when hitting a big hole with the front right tire. It was really loud, my buddy in the car behind me heard it hit. I got out and checked the car, checked bolt torques to verify nothing was loose. Heard it again last week and now Im determined to get to the bottom of it. I have taken the front right suspension apart and check all the ball joints. The have no movement in their sockets even when prying on them. Wheel bearing is good, all of the bushings are there and dont seem to be in bad condition. Didnt find any loose bolts.

The car needs some maintanence work and I want to fix this at the same time but Im not going to rebuild the entire front end if it doesnt need it.

Parts Im replacing:

Outer tie rods, they arent bad but the boots are torn
Inner tie rod boots, they are ripped but the joint is tight
Driver side wheel bearing
New pads and rotors with SS lines

The struts are tokicos and have probably 50k on them, anything Im missing that could be the cause of this clunk. Its starting to piss me off that I cant track it down.
33701, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by 2point4, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Sounds like a cv joint to me... I'd bet.
33702, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
CV joints normally click or pop when turning, I havent ever seen one clunk when the suspension cycles. Could be wrong, Ill check it out when I pull things apart again. Not sure how to tell if its bad or not. I know the boots are not ripped I just checked them
33703, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by iamnotwhoiam, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
What about the sway bar end links and bushings against the body? I have a clunk issue on my drivers side that I suspect is the bushing and hope to look at it further soon. I plan on upgrading my front sway soon anyhow as well.
33704, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
I forgot to add that I have already ordered a new set of endlinks. The bushings didnt look to bad. They were still there so I dont think thats it. Im hoping to find it when I start tearing the car down, trying to make a track day in less than a month and dont want the tire falling off.
33707, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by iamnotwhoiam, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
From this past weekend I replaced the inner/outer tie rod ends and also upgraded my front sway bar to the RMDSM with the upgraded bushings and still have a clunk... my final suspicion... upper ball joints.

I never really checked them, but I ordered a replacement set and will replace them as soon as I get them and hope that gets rid of my clunk.
33708, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
That sucks, I have checked all of my ball joints so I dont think that is the problem. I have the whole front torn apart now, going to check the struts as well to eliminate them. If I cant find it I may just have the alignment shop check it out. Next autox is in 3 weeks and dont have time to try and track this thing down anymore
33713, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
That damn front clunk noise is still there after replacing all of these parts and inspecting everything in the front end. Took the struts and spring apart, everything looked good, ball joints where fine, didnt see where there was metal contact on the control arms.

Only makes a noise when hitting large holes and I heard it on a first to second hard shift. Car is getting an alignment today so Ill have those guys take a look at it and see if they cant figure it out.
33714, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by 740 turbo brick, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Check your front sway bar bushings. Believe me, I feel your pain. I replaced EVERYTHING in the front end, only to find out after the noise persisted, that it was just worn bushings, allowing the sway bar to bounce back and forth in their mounts. Replaced them with ES bushings and quite suspension once again.
33715, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Well the shop couldnt find it either, Im not sure how hard they tried, they blamed it on the exhaust tapping on the body. Which it does but thats a different sound. I might just replace them for the hell of it to eliminate that.
33718, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by blindboarder_02, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
I had a clunk in the front end that I found to be the bushings on the top of the struts.

I checked every ball joint, every bushing and every bolt. Still couldn't find it. One day I was outside and noticed a slight squeak when I would get out of the car. Put more weight on the car and couldnt' hear it. Drove down the road, hit a pot hole, *bang* heard it again.

Put the car up in the air, grabbed a block of wood and a long handled maul. Block on the ground, handle underneath the wheel and gave it a little leverage. You could see the whole suspension unit shift a ways. Took the load off of the front, dis-assembled the damper fork so I could get to the bushing at the top. It had cracked and was allowing metal on metal. Replaced the bushing, sound went away.

This was my noise, yours could be different, but it's worth inspecting.
33719, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Yea I thought about those as well, When I had the front end torn apart I removed the springs and struts to check those out. They are still in good shape. Keep the ideas coming guys, there has to be something Im missing. Im gonna go ahead and replace the sway bar bushings
33720, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by electrohead, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
I'm inclined to think it's one of your ball joints. You should be able to move them when they're not attached to the knuckle. They'll be tight, but should move by hand. If not, they could be binding up and freeing up only when under a heavy load, meaning moisture got in and everything is corroded. And I know I don't have to explain how dangerous bad ball joints can be.
33721, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by freelancefool, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Did you check the rubber bushing that sits on top of the spring and under the top hat? These can degrade over time and cause noise as the spring moves in the top hat. There is also a rubber bushing at the top of the shock where the shock bolts to the top hat.

As far as ball joints go, if you have them unbolted from the front end and you put a nut on them, you should need ~23 ft/lbs of force to rotate them. If you need substantially less force than that to rotate them, replace.

The front upper ball joint is the same size as the ball joint on the rear toe control arms. You can buy the rear arms for less than you can buy the ball joints. If you check CAPS, the part numbers for both ball joints are the same.
33722, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Yea I check all of the rubber on the spring and the strut. The ball joints werent super hard to move. There also wasnt any free play in them which I would think would have to be the case with a clunk.

Timing belt idler just took a shit so I have to do a timing belt job before trying to figure it out anymore
33726, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by wolfspyder, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
IT'S the lower control arm 4sure...my made popping sounds off and on especially at stops at take-off, and also noticed it while driving slow turns as in parking situations. I let it go on for about 2 months, and then while parking at work, the whole front corner fell ontop of the tire. Lucky for me (a blessing from God), i wasn't on the street or godforbid the highway when it broke. It got towed to the shop and today i found out the tab is running me $386, which includes a 15mile tow charge.
Good Luck Silvreclips
33731, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by Star Turbo Talon, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Edit: removed.

Since your not going to take advice then its pointless to try and help you.
33732, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
All the motor mounts are poly, I dont think its the mounts making noise. My roomate said he can feel it in the passenger floor board when it clunks. I hit some bumps the other day and it made the noise under acceleration, coasting, and braking. Im going to swap the struts and see if the noise is coming from those.

I pryed on all the control arms trying to flex the bushings, didnt find anything that looked like it would hit, tryed to move the subframe and that seemed solid as well. I really have no idea
33733, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by freelancefool, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Swaybar bushings?
33734, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
I thought so at first but I disconnected the sway bar and drove it around and still heard the noise. I strapped my gopro to the upper control arm and tried to catch any noise or movement in the suspension, couldnt even heard the clunk and the control arms didnt seem to move a significant amount that would lead me to believe it was the bushings either.
33735, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by freelancefool, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Check the rubber bushing on the lower compression arm. You can't replace it with poly.
33736, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by Star Turbo Talon, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Obviously the problem is right in front of you if its that loud. If you not going to take peoples advice then dont ask. Its wastes our time, you seem to know everything so just go fix it.

33737, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by SilvrEclips, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
Originally posted by Star Turbo Talon
Obviously the problem is right in front of you if its that loud. If you not going to take peoples advice then dont ask. Its wastes our time, you seem to know everything so just go fix it.


Dude whats your problem, the pop is insanely load and I would figure it would be an easy find, however this has not been the case. I have had the front suspension apart probably 5 times now beating on parts and prying on the control arms. What exactly have I not checked that was recommended.

If you dont want to help then dont reply, you dont have to be a dick
33738, RE: Front suspension clunk. Cant track down
Posted by admin4, Dec-31-69 06:00 PM
If your not going to take peoples advice that know more than you or have more experience than you, do not ask for help. People go through the trouble to explain things and help you and when you do not take that advice and just arbitrarily tell people thats not the issue then all your doing is aggravating members in the community. Then you want to get upset because you think everyone is a dick? nope not around here, this is now locked.

If you pay attention to those who are posting problems, you will notice that the senior members here arent posting for help. That's not because they arent working on their cars, its becuase they have the knowledge and experience to the point they dont need the help. Those same members take the time to come here and help others and teach other members topics they do not have a lot of experience with.

Admin4
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