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Clunking noise after changing struts


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15 replies to this topic

#1 dmanaenk

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 10:37 PM

Changed old shot struts for some medium milage used ones. Now getting clunking/knocking sounds in the front left wheel going over even the tinies bumps and road imperfections. Incidentally, left strut to knuckle bolts were the hardest to break loose.
Noise does not depend on wheels being turned. Does not clunk if I just brake/accelerate/turn on a smooth surface. Struts seem to dampen fine, no noise if I just push them down while parked.
What could I have damaged while installing struts?
Sway bar bushings? Shouldn't these clunk if I just turn or brake hard?
Control Arm bushings?
Top mounts? Shouldn't these make noise if I push that corner down?

#2 tcspeer

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 01:17 AM

Did you change the whole thing as a unit, mount, spring and strut? If you did I would guess the strut mount is bad. If not make sure to seat the end of spring in the little slot at bottom, also the two little holes in the top hat must face to the outside. Also did you make sure you torqued that nut on top of the strut with the car on the ground, off of the jack?

Changed old shot struts for some medium milage used ones. Now getting clunking/knocking sounds in the front left wheel going over even the tinies bumps and road imperfections. Incidentally, left strut to knuckle bolts were the hardest to break loose.
Noise does not depend on wheels being turned. Does not clunk if I just brake/accelerate/turn on a smooth surface. Struts seem to dampen fine, no noise if I just push them down while parked.
What could I have damaged while installing struts?
Sway bar bushings? Shouldn't these clunk if I just turn or brake hard?
Control Arm bushings?
Top mounts? Shouldn't these make noise if I push that corner down?



#3 dmanaenk

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 01:28 AM

I changed the whole assemblies, there was no obvious slop in topmounts. And like I said - shouldn't they clunk if I jump on the suspected corner?

#4 Manarius

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 10:32 AM

Still smells like tophat to me.

#5 soloracer34

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 12:40 PM

I found I had one bad lower balljoint on my left front when I did my strut swap. It causes an occasional clunk, primarily coming in and out of my driveway. It's easy to check, jack up that corner and push and pull on the wheel, or remove the wheel to check. Mine had noticable play.
if that's not the case I agree that the strut tops are the next likely culprit. Also make certain you put the spacer back in between the top hat and the spring perch, that sometimes gets left out and can cause clunking as well. Some models have one piece top hats and this may not apply

#6 dmanaenk

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Posted 02 September 2006 - 05:21 PM

So I pulled the wheel, banged on everything with rubber mallet, pulled and greased sway-bar bushing, inspected ball joints, and doublechecked from below that two holes in topmount face outwards. Retorqued topmount nuts and strut piston rod nut. The only thing that made noise similar to what I hear when driving - is if I directly bang the coil spring, and seems to be coming from the top of the strut, so seems like you guys are right - should be a bad topmount.
The question is - which ones should I get and how many (just one or two?)

#7 bejizimit

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 10:28 PM

I changed the rear struts on a '90 legacy. About a month later, the left rear started to squeak like 100 mice stuck in a trap! Every little bump in the road.

I check the TSB's, and found one that mentions a redesigned top mount.

I asked the local sub dealer about ordering one, and mentioned the TSB, and they asked me to bring the TSB in, they didn't know what I was talking about!

My question is, is there a good parts supply out there, besides trying to go thru the dealer?

BTW, I heard Subaru was supposed to be bought by Toyota. I'vebought Toyota parts thru the dealer with day turn-around.

For the same '90 legacy, I ordered the mini e-brake shoes, and it took 8 weeks to get them in!

#8 soloracer34

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:12 PM

Don't know how price compares but TireRack.com sells top mounts in their suspension section.

#9 dmanaenk

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 01:59 PM

I ordered some groupN sti topmounts :)
And those were cheaper than kyb ones tirerack sells.

#10 jamal

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Posted 09 September 2006 - 03:38 PM

I changed the rear struts on a '90 legacy. About a month later, the left rear started to squeak like 100 mice stuck in a trap! Every little bump in the road.

I check the TSB's, and found one that mentions a redesigned top mount.

I asked the local sub dealer about ordering one, and mentioned the TSB, and they asked me to bring the TSB in, they didn't know what I was talking about!

My question is, is there a good parts supply out there, besides trying to go thru the dealer?

BTW, I heard Subaru was supposed to be bought by Toyota. I'vebought Toyota parts thru the dealer with day turn-around.

For the same '90 legacy, I ordered the mini e-brake shoes, and it took 8 weeks to get them in!


Toyota owns a little over 8% of FHI and is going to or already does use the Indiana plant to make Camries.

Anyway the TSB might have been about the change in tophats from 91-92. The springs also changed so if that's the case they are not compatible.

#11 dmanaenk

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 06:54 PM

So I changed a tophat on the noisy side. It helped for a few days but the noise came back today. Does it mean strut itself is bad? Or it could be something else?

#12 tcspeer

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:08 PM

I changed all four struts on my Legacy wagon and also changed the two strut mounts on the front. I also have one that is clanking, mine is the front right the one that I put the new strut mount on, I dont have any idea why, so I plan to buy a whole unit from wrecking yard and changing it out and see if it stops. I dont know if this sound was in the car before, as I had just bought it and had not really had it on the places where it clanks now. I think mine is bottoming out from a weak spring.

So I changed a tophat on the noisy side. It helped for a few days but the noise came back today. Does it mean strut itself is bad? Or it could be something else?



#13 dmanaenk

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 09:14 PM

I think mine is bottoming out from a weak spring.

Yours would do it for different reason then. Mine knocks/clunks on tiny bumps, so no way for a spring to bottom out. If I track this problem down - I will have a set of original struts with ~110k, which I will give away for free :).

#14 tcspeer

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 10:05 PM

Did you check the big bushing at the back of the control arm? It will have two large bolts on it, if grease is leaking out then they are no good, and after they get dry from no grease they also will make noise.

Yours would do it for different reason then. Mine knocks/clunks on tiny bumps, so no way for a spring to bottom out. If I track this problem down - I will have a set of original struts with ~110k, which I will give away for free :).



#15 dmanaenk

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 10:23 PM

Did you check the big bushing at the back of the control arm? It will have two large bolts on it, if grease is leaking out then they are no good, and after they get dry from no grease they also will make noise.

Yeah, i did, even before changing the tophat. I also banged control arm with a rubber mullet from below..no sounds at all.

#16 tcspeer

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Posted 28 September 2006 - 10:33 PM

One other thing to check is where the bottom ring of spring sets in the bottom flange, look to see if any part of the last coil of the spring is shiny if so that means it is rubbing or hitting on it. You can put a little grease there and tap the flange a little tighter to the spring. if that dont quite it then use a large screwdriver and pull the flange just a little away from the spot that is rubbing.

Yeah, i did, even before changing the tophat. I also banged control arm with a rubber mullet from below..no sounds at all.






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