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Right Front Noise with Specificity

 
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  • 2 Post By Busted_PT
  • 1 Post By BereanPK

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Old 02 Jan 2013, 04:57 am
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Default Right Front Noise with Specificity

Hello everyone,

First time post, and looking for thoughts from other Cruiser owners...

Our Cruiser (it's my wife's actually) is an '03 GT Turbo with a bit over 110K miles (thanks to annual vacation trips back & forth between western PA & eastern Long Island).

We just got state inspection completed and passed, but I asked the shop where I took it (well-known national and has done a great job for our 3 cars over the years) to check on a clunking noise we've heard for a while.

Signs & Symptoms:
* the best way I can describe the sound is like a metallic "doink" similar to a quick slamming closed of a metal filing cabinet drawer - very short and distinct.
* location sounds like the right front, as if it was being resonated by the wheel well, but it's difficult to pinpoint while driving (if I had to hazard a guess I'd say it sounds like it was coming from a point on a vertical line below the inner edge of the right front wheel well.)
* timing: it only occurs at two distinct times: 1) when beginning acceleration from a DEAD stop (approximately when we've hit about 15-20 MPH) and 2) when decelerating to a stop (again about that same speed range). Hitting the brakes does not seem to be directly associated with this noise; e.g., I can allow the car to slow to a near stop without braking, and sometimes I will still hear the noise prior to hitting the brake to completely stop.
* consistency: happens about 75% of the time, nearly always when the roads are wet, sometimes when roads are dry (though when we do hear the noise in dry weather, it's much more muted). I can sometimes not make the noise happen if, from a dead stop, I accelerate very slowly past the 20 MPH or so mark.

In the process of getting the state inspection done, the shop installed a new left control arm bolt/bushing that was worn, and took apart and reinstalled (in the correct order) the sway bar links and bushings that the mechanic said were put on by the same shop (by a "new" mechanic he claimed) in the incorrect order. The mechanic said he was unsure of whether these issues were causing the right front noise (and obviously not, since we still heard it on the drive home from the shop yesterday).

I'm rather stumped by this issue, since I've looked under the car and I don't see anything grossly out of sorts, broken, or out of alignment.

I've searched this forum and have seen some posts with associated noise problems, but nothing this specific. So, I'm hoping someone here has had a similar issue in the past, and/or can point me in the right direction.

Thanks!
Vince "BereanPK"
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 05:14 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Swaybar mounting bushing can make that noise. Motor mount, upper motor mount bracket bolts, on the shock tower get loose, and the shock pivot at the top of the shock. Just some things to look at.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 08:50 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Thanks for the reply.

After getting home from work this morning, I crawled around and checked the items you've mentioned. The upper motor mount center bolt seems to me to be just a bit forward of dead center, so I'm not sure if that could have something to do with it.

I also happened to glance at the tie rod end on the right side, and comparing it to the left side, noticed that what looks like a really sagging/cracked (?) dust boot... correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the tie rod ends are grease-able (if that's a word), so I should not expect to see a big bulging rubber ring where the tie rod end bolts into the steering knuckle, correct?

Is it also possible a failing tie rod end could cause that type of noise, or am I off on a red herring there?

Thanks,
Vince "BereanPK"
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 10:32 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Your observations are right. Although the cracked boot is a problem. Or soon to be. Also the bolt off center may be correct if measures out per the adjustment spec for that mount.
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Old 02 Jan 2013, 06:28 pm
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

a cracked boot will cause clunks and clicks, Inside the boot there is a bunch of axle grease that grease up the parts, when it cracks that grease dries out, which makes metal to metal contact :-)
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Old 04 Feb 2013, 09:57 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Sorry for the long delay, folks... that's what working long hospital stretches does to ya!

Anyway, I did go ahead and replace both tie rod ends (using Moog BTW), and all seems OK so far...

Incidentally, grease boot on the passenger-side tie-rod end (the one that was noisy) was a shambles when I inspected it after taking it off, it's no wonder the noise was there, if our collective theory is correct...

Thanks all for your thoughts, and I'll keep everyone posted if this wasn't the answer after all... but I think we're spot on.

~ Vince
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Old 04 Feb 2013, 10:44 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

That's the stuff the mechanic should have noticed right off! If it was not torn up in the replacement process.
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Old 04 Feb 2013, 10:49 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Yep - noticed the ripped-up boot right away when I first looked for what could be making the noise before I wrote on the forum here. I rolled my eyes myself when the mechanic didn't think that could even remotely be a cause of or a contributor to the noise... thank God I decided to do it myself... a few minutes, some marking paint, a tie-rod end puller, and a bit of muscle and voila!

~ Vince
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Old 04 Feb 2013, 11:33 am
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Quote:
Originally Posted by BereanPK View Post
Yep - noticed the ripped-up boot right away when I first looked for what could be making the noise before I wrote on the forum here. I rolled my eyes myself when the mechanic didn't think that could even remotely be a cause of or a contributor to the noise... thank God I decided to do it myself... a few minutes, some marking paint, a tie-rod end puller, and a bit of muscle and voila!

~ Vince
As a used car lot I have to fix what someone paid money to fix then traded it off because it still has the problem. After I get all the bad fixes off these cars I end up with a decent car to sell to my customer. While they are driving a new car payment around that could have waited a while.
Good job.
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__________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ___________Performance, Body and Service, OEM

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This is a great read from one of our own! Badglas
badglas.blogspot.com
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Old 04 Feb 2013, 08:16 pm
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Default Re: Right Front Noise with Specificity

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busted_PT View Post
That's the stuff the mechanic should have noticed right off! If it was not torn up in the replacement process.
agreed.

Hell in maine that would have failed the inspection 1st thing before they even got to tire tread depth.

When i got my sticker last month the mechanic pulled my PT into the bay and the second he got out he said "i heard your lower control arm clunk when i went over the lip, so im gonna fail you before i even put it on the lift and save ya the $12" low and behold my arm bushing was torn to pieces when i jacked her up lol
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