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Rear Clunking

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 16 Oct 2012, 05:38 pm
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Default Rear Clunking

First off I would like to say that I love this site. Although this is my first post, I have read many and the info has been extremely helpful in diagnosing and fixing my own issues.

I have an 07 Touring with 90k that is mostly stock except for a few minor upgrades and cosmetics.

About 8k miles ago I replaced the rear shocks. They went on with no problems whatsoever. A few hundred miles later I started to notice a clunking coming from the rear whenever I would drive over bumps, holes or otherwise rough roads.
The clunks seemed to be coming from the rear drivers side and almost sounded as if it was in the cargo area and not underneath. My first thought was that the upper shock mount on that side had worked loose a bit but found that not to be the case.
I have checked the exhaust, rear brakes, springs, shocks, lug-nuts, and spare tire. Inside I have checked for loose nuts, bolts, screws, panels, and even the rear seat back latches.

After some googling and reading a few posts here, I am now focusing my attention on the watts link. But... that leads me to my real question.

Could the clunking resulting from a bad watts link sound like it is coming from the drivers side, up high as opposed to the center, at axle level?
I know that one of the tie-rods attach in that general location, so is that a possibility?

I appreciate any suggestions you might have.
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 07:48 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Most likely the watts linkage and bell crank. All the last numbers are listed in the watts link sticky. I would recommend replacing all of it. Plus I think it's easier than trying to separate the two ball joints on the bell crank. When I changed mine I was surprised how much tighter the rear of the car was.
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 09:21 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

I am having the same issue with my wife's pt

We changed the rear shocks as well a few months ago and started getting the same type of noise.

I find it odd that this occurs after changing shocks.

Maybe nitro can help out, scary similar post, wow
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 09:25 pm
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Smile Re: Rear Clunking

Hey their Tobi585,

Welcome to the Forum.

My first thought if it were mine and I heard a clunking noise coming from the rear would be to open the trunk and see if I might have left a mechanic or buddy in the back somewhere.

Just kidding.

I am by no means a mechanic so....but my guess, maybe one of the rubber gourmets on the top of a rear coil spring might have come dislodged or out of place and didn't seat right. I know that metal on metal sound can produce a pretty good clunking sound when going over bumps. Maybe something else to knock off the check list if the Watts Linkage looks okay.

My two cents anyway. Now if you ever have any cosmetic questions, paint, body, interior, detailing and whatnot I am the go to guy anytime.

Other than that, go easy, and hope to see ya around.
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Generally if after changing rear shocks on high mileage vehicle the noise culprit usually points to the watts link. The stock piece is not a very well engineered part considering the load it undergoes during its normal operation. But its all we have readily available for now.
The new rear shocks place the rear suspension in a better stabilized position close to what the stock suspension was like new in. This changes where the load wear is on the watts link and a new wear pattern begins on an already worn watts link. So generally soon after changing rear shocks you will hear it clunking around letting you know its time to retire it for a new one. The upper and lower bars usually do not need to be replaced as they get less load than the watts link. Once you have them off you can carefully examine them for any sign of wear. If there is any now is the time to replace them.

As far as the spring isolator concern it would not have become dislodge from merely changing the shocks. And if it had it is doubtful it would make the noise you are describing under normal driving activities.

One other note about the watts link. It may not be obvious about the wear and you might even apply force to see if there is any play and there may not be any, but the only way if it not plainly obvious or visible is to measure the inside with a micrometer.

IMO just change it!







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Last edited by NitroPT; 16 Oct 2012 at 10:45 pm.
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 10:51 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Great, how much is one of those!
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Oh I forgot to add this about solo sound detective work. Sounds that echo, reflect,bounce and any other term you can think of producing wired sounds when you are the driver and trying to triangulate where the sound is coming from does not really work well. And more then 50% of the time you are mistaken where you think the sound is coming from. Even driving along side a cement wall does not always yield the Gremlins of sound travel. You have to have an assistant to either drive while you try to listen hopping over seats, rolling up and down various windows, doors or hatches close to where you think the sound is coming from. I once tried hanging out of the door while slowly driving down a residential street only to get pulled over by a police officer who was amazed at the circus act he just witnessed me do. When I explained what I was doing he said it was the best story he had ever herd and it earned me a warning only!

The point hear is it really is much easier to get the car up on the racks when trying to diagnosis and locate most unusual sounds.
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Old 16 Oct 2012, 11:03 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa_Powered View Post
Great, how much is one of those!

There may be cheaper ones but I have dealt with these guys on e-bay before. $23.81 free shipping. In fact I have one sitting on my shelf in case I need to change one on someones PT.
It is a Doorman carded part which only means that they have been in the fastener and widget car parts for so many years I can't even remember when I first saw them. I think most everybody has the same quality they are all cast.

Three Guys Auto
Dorman (OE Solutions) 905-201 Watts Link | eBay




There is a couple of companies offering a billet CNC machined watts link but they are ridicules in cost...400+$$$$..Ya right! And who and why would you buy one of these??


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Last edited by NitroPT; 17 Oct 2012 at 08:45 am. Reason: forgot to add link to 3GA
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Old 17 Oct 2012, 08:15 am
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Busa_Powered View Post
Great, how much is one of those!
Rock Auto (RockAuto Auto Parts) shows them for about $23.
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Old 17 Oct 2012, 04:55 pm
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Default Re: Rear Clunking

Thank you everyone for the quick responses and great advise.
Candyman, you are obviously the "go-to" guy for cosmetics based on what I have seen in your gallery.. very impressive!
I have an idea in mind for my PT but I wont even begin anything like that until at least spring. I love the rat rod style and was imagining my car in flat black rolling on red powder coated steelies, chrome center caps, extra wide white-walls, and a low aggressive stance much like yours. And... if i was feeling REALLY ambitious, I was drooling over the SRT-4 engine swap.
I usually get similar reactions from everyone I tell my ideas to. they say "that sounds cool, but why... its ONLY a PT"
I say SO WHAT, why not?

And Nitro,,, thank you.. not only do I thank you for your response to my post but the time, attention, and detail you put into every post I have read of yours. you have been a wealth of knowledge for me. Countless times I have come here with my own issues and within a few minutes of searching I find someone with similar issues. Almost always it has been your responses that have given me my answer or at least put me well on my way to finding it.
You should teach a class... not necessarily about the art of mechanics but on the lost skill of communication.
I am no mechanic but am certainly no dummy and you, with your impressive and extensive credentials, manage to explain things in a way that feels more like a conversation with my neighbor.

so again I say, I love this site. Until my PT has been recycled into milk jugs and beer cans, I will continue to soak up all the knowledge that all you guys here have to offer.
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