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Front end clunking noise


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Redhat

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:37 PM

Only when driving over the lawn or similar rough terrain. Both sides,.. sounds like it's coming from the struts but after inspection.. can't find where. CV's are good, ball joints good.. control arm from steering good.. tops of struts (the three bolts under the hood) all good, no rust. What else can go 'clunk'..? It's both sides and sounds like it's about a foot inside of the tires. Clunk.. clunk clunk as I'm driving slowly over the lawn. '96 legacy wagon.

Thanks for any help.

#2 Olnick

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 04:59 PM

Sway bar? Or sway bar links?

#3 Redhat

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 05:06 PM

For some reason I spaced that... would I check with wheels under load or off the ground?

#4 Olnick

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:00 PM

Hope some suspension guru chimes in here! I guess I'd try it both ways and look for any broken or disconnected parts.

Good luck--and let us know what you find.

#5 newsoobdude

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:45 PM

I have the same problem on mine and I replaced the struts all around as well as the transverse link bushings on both sides as they were oozing. I feel it I "think" in the steering wheel if I'm going slow enough but not sure. All is tight but ..... I was thinking it might be the rack bushings but I haven't bothered with it.

#6 tcspeer

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:48 PM

I had a long time clunk that turned out to be (not tie rods) but the steering rack itself. You could grab the cylinder coming out of rack and wiggle it by hand.

Also you said you checked the control arm did you take a look at the big bushing on the rear of it. It bolts under the car near the front of door if you see grease leaking out of it, then it will clunk also but most noticable on turns.

#7 tcspeer

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:51 PM

I have the same problem on mine and I replaced the struts all around as well as the transverse link bushings on both sides as they were oozing. I feel it I "think" in the steering wheel if I'm going slow enough but not sure. All is tight but ..... I was thinking it might be the rack bushings but I haven't bothered with it.


Did you check the u-joint that connects the steering wheel to the rack.

#8 doc526

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:56 PM

I saw you mentioned that your ball joints were ok. How did you test them? I had the same issue when I went in and out of my driveway over the curbing.

Turns out the passenger ball joint was bad. I could grab the bottom of the tire when it was in the air and pull it up and down and see movement. Did that and the thump stopped.

I also wound up replacing both inner tierods, outer tierod joints and passenger wheel bearing due to more movement after that. :-\

#9 Redhat

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Posted 05 July 2011 - 07:10 PM

Tomorrow I'll get after it again. Something is definitely clunking. I'm assuming it's best to check what's left to check with front wheels off the ground.

Thanks for the help.

#10 Redhat

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 07:18 PM

Okay, after a good look, all I see is a little oil coming out of the steering rack. The reservoir is still full. With the wheels off the ground and turning the steering wheel back and forth I think I can get it to clunk.. not exactly sure if it's the same as when driving over the lawn. Could part of the rack be clunking? Yanking and pulling on everything from under the car, all looked tight.

#11 Rooster2

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 08:49 PM

Spray some white lithium grease around the top of the strut mounts, where the rubber meets the metal tower. My wife's 98 OBW was making that clunking noise. It did not immediately quiet the noise, but after about a week, the grease worked its way in and around the strut mount, and the clunking noise went away.

#12 Redhat

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Posted 06 July 2011 - 09:05 PM

I'll try it. Thanks

#13 Ricearu

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 09:30 AM

simple simple. check your ball joints. they clunk wierd like going across uneven terrain or only once when turning into a inclined driveway.

sometimes they will only have movement front to rear, or even like another person said, up and down but not in and out. they are weird. they are also pretty cheap...:)

#14 cagranitz

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Posted 07 July 2011 - 11:44 AM

On my wifes 2000 OBW, the front end was clunking over rough road. It turned out that the rubber bushings for the sway bar were dried out and shrunken a little allowing the sway bar to knock around. I installed new bushings and now it's quiet.

There is still a clunk over rough road but only if the steering wheel is turned very far to the left or right. I suspect that may be the strut tower bearing, but I'm not worrying about that one. It rarely occurs.




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