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Front End Clunk

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 28 Mar 2016, 09:10 pm
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Default Front End Clunk

Officially today marks the day when every last moving part in the front suspension of my wife's PT has been replaced. The clunk remains.

Yes, I've also replaced the torque struts, top and bottom.

So, here are the symptoms:

1) It clunks when steering right to left (or opposite) quicky at low speeds. It also clunks when going over bumps, like when pulling in/out of the driveway.

2) Depressing the brakes makes no difference.

3) Noise definitely coming from the upper, right-hand corner.

4) Clunk is heavy metal sound.

My most recent replacement includes steering rack (had a leak) and struts (140k miles on originals). When I had all this stuff out of the way I had a good opportunity to inspect the K-member, front frame, and shock towers. There were no cracks, etc., visible to the naked eye.

Thoughts?
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Old 29 Mar 2016, 07:14 am
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

When you replaced the struts, did you do it yourself and if so, what did you do? I mean, did you use a quick strut assembly or did you just replace the struts alone? If you used a spring compressor and did the struts yourself, did you also replace the top strut mount bearings? Those wear out and can clunk. About the only other thing I can think of is the wrong size sway bar bushings may have been used as there's both 22 and 24 mm sway bars on these PT's. How about the sway bar end links? Have you replaced them?
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Old 29 Mar 2016, 03:12 pm
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Tie bars. Outers. You can usually tell by kicking your wheels on the side where the outer tie bar connects and if it's the tie bar clunking you'll hear it when you kick the tire. Inspect the cv joint too.

Last edited by cloudhidd3n; 29 Mar 2016 at 03:39 pm.
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Old 30 Mar 2016, 01:01 pm
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Let's see...

Charlie, they were quick struts.

I will clarify regarding what has not been replaces, suspension wise. I have not changed the wheel/hub bearings. They were fresh when we bought the car last year and I've never heard of a wheel bearing causing a clunk that did not fail shortly thereafter. No failure after 17k miles, so ruled out.

Ever other suspension part, bushings included, has been replaced, some parts twice4 as they seemed likely candidate (e.g. lower control arm assemblies and sway bar bushings).

Other threads mention engine mounts. While I have replaced both upper and lower torque struts, the actual mount (center piece through which the T-55 bolt passes) has not been touched. I plan on rechecking this in the next few days, but my hopes are not high that the bolt has loosened.

Hmmm.
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Old 30 Mar 2016, 02:41 pm
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

I see sway bar bushings, but how about the sway bar end links? You know, the ones that attach to the lower control arms. If all of that has been replaced, then I really can't suggest anything else other than go back over all if it and check the torque on every part. Maybe something is just loose enough to make the noise and not visible to the naked eye.
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Old 02 Apr 2016, 07:27 am
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Went through it all again yesterday and found two lesser clunks. Brake caliper guides had a little slop and the axle bolt was allowing a slight movement of the shaft. Still have the original clunk.

Going to head to pick-n-pull today and grab an original control arm bolt. The one running up through the rear (vertical) mount had a cracked washer. I put on a non-original replacement early on but see zero movement that might cause a clunk. I'll try anyway.

Fingers firmly crossed.

Hmmm. Maybe I should take more tools and grab the rear hatch latch and carpeting while I'm there.
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Old 03 Apr 2016, 06:16 pm
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Okay, so still coming up blank. Is it possible that ...

The wrong size bearing was installed at some point and ...

What would happen if it were?
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Old 03 Apr 2016, 07:03 pm
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Try putting the front up on jack stands, turn the steering wheel from side to side to see if you can hear clunk...grab each front tire & push, pull, wiggle to see if you can hear clunk.
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Old 09 Apr 2016, 06:41 pm
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Exclamation Re: Front End Clunk

The mystery is going to remain a mystery. The clunk is gone.

1) Completely disassembled RH suspension (again) - less pressing out the bearing.
2) Reassembled less sway bar.

Drove w/o clunk.

3) Reinstalled sway bar WITH LOAD on suspension (i.e. car on ramps).

Still drove w/o clunk.

Some might suggest the position of the sway bar while tightening the end links was the problem. Could be, but I remain skeptical.

Did I mention the clunk is gone?
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Old 10 Apr 2016, 07:14 am
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Default Re: Front End Clunk

Woooo hoooo! You da man! Congratulations and let it remain a mystery. Bottom line is that it's gone, right?
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