Things to check if you hear clunking from your suspension - Page 2 - TCCoA Forums

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post #31 of 187 (permalink) Old 11-13-2005, 10:44 PM
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my strut rod bushings are pretty worn and i notice a slight clunky feeling every now and then, is it madatory that I replace them or its not a huge deal?

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post #32 of 187 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 12:36 PM
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Someone had posted this before, but it has a great picture at the bottom.

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBr...3d8014f268.jsp
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post #33 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-14-2006, 01:40 AM
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Another cause of clunking is those shoddy blue plastic strut rod bushings. I got fed up after 3 pairs of the front ones (at the K-frame) failed and I had to get an alignment each time. The Ford parts are much beefier and better designed, with a thick metal piece against the front face of the K-frame and a stout two-piece, flanged ferrule. I put silicone grease on all the contact surfaces, and the car feels much smoother and tighter.

I'm thinking about replacing the Moog bushings on the LCA end, too, because they increase the distance from the front face of the LCA to the flange on the strut. This moves the strut forward, causing you to run out of threads at the front end at about +5 degrees of caster. It also keeps the nut at the rear from threading on all the way--not a great idea.

I think the factory used just a single rear strut bushing, put in from the rear of the LCA with a washer against the nut. The front face rides directly against the strut flange, and it doesn't stick out too far from the LCA when the nut's cinched up against the ferrule. I'm guessing about 3/4" less than with the Moogs. I think if I put these in, the nut would turn down like it should, and the K-frame would be about in the middle of the threaded part of the strut at +5.5 caster.

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post #34 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-15-2006, 01:34 PM
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I don't feel so worried now after reading this thread.

My 95 LX is making a clunk from the passenger side, at total random intervals going down the highway, more often when going over bumps.

When I push down on the front end of the car you can hear it when it comes back up.

Thing just passed a safety (legit one) last week, and it drives and handles perfectly.
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post #35 of 187 (permalink) Old 05-01-2006, 08:19 PM
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my car is making clunk noises when i let of the brakes if im in drive, also i get a noise from the rear when i accelerate from a stop. and is it normal for the car to jerk when i let off the throttle, not a gentle rock like it is in my moms ga, but this one has a little bit of force behind it, almost like im slappin the brakes awee bit
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post #36 of 187 (permalink) Old 07-08-2006, 02:54 AM
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Let me add my long story to the mix...

I had a couple of bad ball joints, so I went hog-wild and replaced the following:
Upper and lower arms on both sides
Upper spring perches on both sides
Front sway bar links
Strut rod bushings with the Moog pieces
Bearing/hub assemblies
Outer tie rod ends

About 5000 miles later, I had a clunk that was traceable to the steering rack. So I replaced the steering rack. That clunk was fixed, but another one popped up. It was as many have described, while backing and turning, and occassionally while on a steep driveway approach.

I was stumped on this one. None of the front end parts had more than 10,000 miles on them, and they all appeared perfectly fine. I broke down and replaced the Moog strut rod bushings with the Ford pieces, and still had the clunk. I torqued and re-torqued every fastener. I even loosened a lot of the fasteners, and retorqued them with the car on the ground putting weight on the parts.

With nothing left to try, it occurred to me to check the torque on the K-Member bolts. Two of the four bolts on the driver's side were slightly loose. They needed less than half a turn to re-torque. That fixed it.
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post #37 of 187 (permalink) Old 11-03-2006, 04:57 PM
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Hey wassap. i have one thing to add to this. Front or rear wheel bearings?

Kevin

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post #38 of 187 (permalink) Old 11-04-2006, 06:43 PM
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I went through ALL of the usual clunk fixes on my daughter's 91 T Bird. Included: rack and pinion, upper and lower ball joints all new poly strut rod busings, new sway bar end links, etc. Clunk was much worse than ever, especially when you hit the brakes. In fact it got real bad after the parts were replaced. Turned out to be the 8 bolts were loose (4 per side) that bolts the subframe to the front frame. They had all backed out about 1/2 turn each. Tighten them all to 100 foot lbs like the books says. Clunks' totally gone! That's the #1 cause as far as I am concerned. They take a special socket that Snap On makes. Phil

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post #39 of 187 (permalink) Old 12-11-2006, 05:00 PM
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97Bluebird or Tobey, do you know what the special socket is called or size for the frame bolts?
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post #40 of 187 (permalink) Old 12-11-2006, 05:25 PM
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Don't remember what it is called but my front end guy bought one from the Snap On truck that drives around business. I am told some others make them but be sure to get the 1/2" drive version so it doesn't break off. Also, some people try a regular socket and get it to somewhat fit. My advise: DON"T DO IT!!! Get the right tool for the job. Better yet all I had to do was talk my alignment guy into buying one. Once you tighten them up good, I doubt if you will ever have to do it again. Phil

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post #41 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-02-2007, 10:20 PM
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Allright, after reading all that, dont think I saw this one;
While changing my suspect ball joints, I noticed that on both sides, the clamp style housing which bolts the upper control arm to the steering knuckle was loose.
I also discovered that my tire iron was a perfect fit for the bolt (which made torqueing it on and off alot easier) On the driver side I could actually compress the shaft into the clamp. These where the cause of a LARGE amount of my what was then constant clonking.
I still have a slight clonk while braking hard, acceling hard, or turning hard, mostly while turning full radius at a standstill in either direction.
But I felt it was helpful to mention since the bolts can be tightened without even removing the wheel (at least on my 91 t-bird)
I have no freaking clue where to look next, but Im gonna go ahead and replace the stabilizer links since my boots are worn (and I think they are squealing) and then Im on the hunt for loose bolts (all over the damn car it looks like?)

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Last edited by Distortion 5.0; 02-04-2007 at 04:17 PM.
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post #42 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 06:09 PM
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If it were me, I would check the subframe bolts next. This will require that you obtain the proper torx socket first. Make sure your socket is 1/2" drive, not 3/8" because they require over 100 foot pounds of torque. If you change the strut rod bushings, use rubber, not polyurethane like I did. They squeak like crazy.
Phil

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post #43 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-03-2007, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97Bluebird
If it were me, I would check the subframe bolts next. This will require that you obtain the proper torx socket first. Make sure your socket is 1/2" drive, not 3/8" because they require over 100 foot pounds of torque. If you change the strut rod bushings, use rubber, not polyurethane like I did. They squeak like crazy.
Phil
Those are on the list

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post #44 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-04-2007, 04:15 PM
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Well, I found my culprit. It's the lower balljoints. I put all my bodyweight down on the steering knuckle and heard a 'clink'.
Aimed my head down for a better view of the lower joint and did it again,
and BAM, low and behold it is indeed moving up and down!
Still, the brand new upper arms and stabilizers look good in there, and once I replace the lowers and get it aligned I'm sure I'll be riding smoothly.

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post #45 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-04-2007, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Distortion 5.0
Well, I found my culprit. It's the lower balljoints. I put all my bodyweight down on the steering knuckle and heard a 'clink'.
Aimed my head down for a better view of the lower joint and did it again,
and BAM, low and behold it is indeed moving up and down!
Still, the brand new upper arms and stabilizers look good in there, and once I replace the lowers and get it aligned I'm sure I'll be riding smoothly.

Don't be so sure that this fixes all. I went through the same steps first. Even felt a clunk noise in the upper ball joints but it still didn't fix it. Still clunked after changing all that. The subframe bolts finally quieted it down. I am sure all these items were contributing to the clunk(s). Go for it.

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post #46 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-04-2007, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97Bluebird
Don't be so sure that this fixes all. I went through the same steps first. Even felt a clunk noise in the upper ball joints but it still didn't fix it. Still clunked after changing all that. The subframe bolts finally quieted it down. I am sure all these items were contributing to the clunk(s). Go for it.
I was still gonna pick up one of those sockets and throw the impact wrench on those, but I took a gander and they looked nice and snug. But I'm sure only a large amount of torque application will prove if that's true.
Amazingly though, changing the link stabilizers completely irradicated the rattling sound I was blaming on my struts.

I did the jounce test, and the struts are definatley shot. It didn't even bounce once, when I pushed down, it just slid back up to where It started. The rear bounced more that the front did, and I was pushing down on the hood!

I can tell from what I changed so far that I have improved the cars handling dramatically.
I can how ever still feel a little bit of drift, especially on the highway. I am assuming thats from the play in the lower balljoints.

Also still getting viberation on the highway at higher speeds, which I am attributing to the combination of worn out struts not absorbing normal road viberation, and the ball joints jiggling around as a result of the aformentioned.

Cool thing is, Autozone gave me a full lifetime replacement plan on all these parts, so I'm gonna cash it in about once a year just to keep this stuff in good shape.

I'm fairly happy with the performance of the stock suspension components (when they are all working properly) and don't have much need to upgrade to Moog or other such after market stuff. And I'm not thrilled with the idea of checking the specs on parts that I buy to make sure they aren't the wrong size. (read some disturbing posts about 'universal' parts needing trimming or shimming)

I will post one last time with the results of my Lower Ball Joint/ Strut replacement.
Hopefully doing these things will get me ready for the skid pad! lol j/k


~Distortion

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post #47 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-04-2007, 09:28 PM
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[QUOTE=Distortion 5.0]I was still gonna pick up one of those sockets and throw the impact wrench on those, but I took a gander and they looked nice and snug.

You definitely don't want to take an impact wrench to these bolts. Use a half inch torque wrench and tighten them to 110 lbs. You also cannot tell by how they look. They need to be torqued properly on all older cars. They do work their way loose over time.

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post #48 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-05-2007, 02:33 AM
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I'd stay away from the Moog strut arm bushings. They were the cause of major clunks on my '91 because they were cut to the wrong lengths and couldn't be tightened enough to keep the arm from shifting fore and aft. The "improved" version was no better. I went to the (much stouter, better made) Ford rubber bushings and have had no trouble.

One other thing to check--on the rear susp. Luckily, it usually shows up when the alignment place can't get the rear toe within specs. The front inner corners of the upper A-frames attach to toe links. When the soft bushings on these wear out, the rear wheel toe-in changes every time you brake, corner, hit bumps, etc. And this constant change in the rear toe (which may be worse on one side) can steer the car enough to make it wander. Easy to overlook when you're thinking about all the stuff up front.

Last edited by justmike; 02-05-2007 at 02:46 AM.
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post #49 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-09-2007, 01:52 PM
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The Torx bit for the Sub Frame Bolts is an E 18 Female.
Thought I'd save others the trouble of buying a set like I did.

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post #50 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 11:14 AM
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could worn springs be the source of my rattles on my front right tire. I have replaced UCA, LCA, Tie rod ends, stabilizer end links, struts, strut rod bushing. everything is greased good and tight. still rattle over bumps, worse when it is cold. also, pictures of sub frame bolts?
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post #51 of 187 (permalink) Old 02-10-2007, 08:53 PM
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Subframe bolts got it done for me.
Last of it was coming through as a "Crinkle" while turning and the occasional clunk.
Only one bolt on the right side was truely loose, but I gave them all a good snugging.

No more clunks!!!
Yay!!!
Now I can't wait till the back starts doing it.

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post #52 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 09:05 AM
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I have a noise under my Mark VIII I am about to start chasing. Sounds like the subframe bolts, from what people have described here. I get it mostly when making a sharp turn either way. Time to see if anyone here has one of those E18 sockets.

Drive it like you stole it!
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post #53 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 05:06 PM
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when I aggressively turn right into a parking spot, and hit the brakes at the same time, I get a popping, or higher pitched clunk from the left front. The calipers are tight, so are the strut mounts, and the struts are new, as are the springs. all of the bushings look ok. the only thing that looks a little questionable is the tie rod end. Is it probable that the tie rod ends are my problem?
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post #54 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 05:50 PM
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That sounds like my noise. My tie rod ends, rack, UCAs are less than a year old.
My struts are remans that are about a year old. One side has new strut rod to control arm bushings and one new sway bar link. I am guessing mine is loose bolts, or the strut rod bushings, although you never know.

Drive it like you stole it!
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post #55 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-14-2007, 05:52 PM
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I didnt think of the rack, I hope its not that
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post #56 of 187 (permalink) Old 03-15-2007, 10:25 AM
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I am hoping the same thing.

Drive it like you stole it!
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post #57 of 187 (permalink) Old 05-19-2007, 09:20 AM
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My girlfriends 94 SC has a loud clunck coming from the front end when you back up. You start to back up and get one loud clunk and that's it. Sometimes it makes a slight noise when you put back foward but not always. I replaced the swaybar endlinks and the UCA's on both sides, they were wore out bad, but that didn't fix the problem. I'm not sure what to check now.

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post #58 of 187 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 01:10 AM
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front end noise

You might check the UCA bushings, especially if the strut rod bushings have ever been loose. When my Moog strut rod bushings failed, the rod could move back and forth at least an inch. I suspect that in just a day or so, that squashed the UCA bushings (which are only designed to twist a little as the wheel goes up and down.) With the strut rods not locating the front wheels, a lot of the fore-and-aft loads from braking, bumps, etc. got transferred to the UCA's. Anyway, the bushings were so far compressed they left end play even with the bolts tightened. That's what was causing a clunk, and also letting the wheel alignment change all the time.
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post #59 of 187 (permalink) Old 05-20-2007, 09:56 AM
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Unfortunaly when it comes to suspention parts most of the terms are greek to me. A picture would be worth a million words to me in this case. Are you saying I should get under there and look for smashed bushings?

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post #60 of 187 (permalink) Old 05-21-2007, 05:52 AM
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bushings

Sorry--I'll explain a little more. The upper control arms (UCA) are forged pieces that look like wishbones, and they carry the upper ball joints at their outer ends. The UCA bushings may not be causing your clunk, but because they're easy to check, they're a good place to start looking. If you look over the top of the tire, you'll see the UCA. The two bolts go throgh the bushings and are nutted under the hood.

But you don't need to take these bolts off--just pull the wheel and then take the bolt that holds the vertical stem of the upper ball joint to the spindle all the way out. Be careful, because the rotor, spindle, hub, etc. will drop down when you take the bolt and ball joint stem out. It's a good idea to support this weight first, either from underneath or by tying it up to something.

Once the ball joint's free, grab the two branches of the upper control arm and try to turn them side to side. You shouldn't feel any play--the ball joint should stay in the same spot no matter how hard you try to turn the UCA horizontally. If you feel slop, check to make sure the nuts under the hood (2 each side) are tight. If they are, and you can still feel play, the UCA bushings are bad. In that case, buying the whole UCA ($60 or so each) is probably a better bet than trying to replace the bushings.
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