Clunk in front end when hit bump while turning


dlbdata
06-21-2011, 05:04 AM
95 Escort LX 180k. I guess maybe 6 months ago I started hearing a slight clunking sound coming from the fron end when I hit a bump while turning. Most noticeable when going slow, and it is starting to get louder. I jacked the car up and tried pulling on wheels top/bottom & fore/aft, did not feel anything loose. Any ideas what might be cauing this?

AzTumbleweed
06-21-2011, 07:30 AM
My car did this and I went nuts trying to figure it out. I'd jack the wheels up and everything felt tight. Could never reproduce the sound while jacked up. It turned out to be the struts. The 'rod' that goes in and out of the strut was bumping against the housing whenever it went in.:2cents:

dlbdata
06-21-2011, 08:16 AM
My car did this and I went nuts trying to figure it out. I'd jack the wheels up and everything felt tight. Could never reproduce the sound while jacked up. It turned out to be the struts. The 'rod' that goes in and out of the strut was bumping against the housing whenever it went in.:2cents:

Interesting, I was wondering if the struts could somehow be causing it. The boots on the struts are all rotted and hanging all over the place. Maybe that means more dirt and stuff on the shaft, resulting in more wear/play. I've never replaced the front struts so they are probably due anyway. I did the rear struts just recently when I realized both coil springs were broken. Thanks for the tip.

AzTumbleweed
06-21-2011, 08:25 AM
The hole the rod goes in and out of was a 'wallered' out allowing for side to side play. This was my first time with struts. I bought them at AutoZone and they loaned be the spring compressor.

ScorpioRabbit
06-27-2011, 01:34 PM
Have you ruled out the CV joints? Tehy make noise in turns and bumps.

dlbdata
06-28-2011, 04:18 AM
Have you ruled out the CV joints? Tehy make noise in turns and bumps.

What is the best way to check the CV joints? Thanks.

ScorpioRabbit
06-28-2011, 10:20 AM
I put the front end in the air, put car in neutral(block the rear, safety first) and spin tires by hand with steering turned all the way. I usually try it turned all the way in both directions, but you will usually find it pretty quick. There are probably better methods out there, but this has always worked for me.

dlbdata
06-28-2011, 01:20 PM
I put the front end in the air, put car in neutral(block the rear, safety first) and spin tires by hand with steering turned all the way. I usually try it turned all the way in both directions, but you will usually find it pretty quick. There are probably better methods out there, but this has always worked for me.

And when you do that what result indicates that the CV joint is bad?

ScorpioRabbit
06-28-2011, 02:32 PM
You should hear the clunk come from one of the cv boots. It's best to have someone help so you can pinpoint which boot.

Intuit
08-04-2011, 09:56 AM
My car did this and I went nuts trying to figure it out. I'd jack the wheels up and everything felt tight. Could never reproduce the sound while jacked up. It turned out to be the struts. The 'rod' that goes in and out of the strut was bumping against the housing whenever it went in.:2cents:

Similar story. But it turned out to be a shattered ball-joint in my case.

Initially, maybe the first several months, it was just the noise. Later, it wasn't just noise though. At some point the car would on occasion, wonder a little bit as well.

Funny how I replaced the OEM ball joints at well over 200k, not because they were bad, but because they had so many miles on them, only to have one of the NEW ball joints fail in like 10k. :roll:

AzTumbleweed
08-05-2011, 07:53 AM
Good point, Intuit. I should have pointed out in my post that the first thing I did was check the ball joints and tie rod ends.

dlbdata
08-09-2011, 03:38 AM
There doesn't seem to be any play/noise in anything when I pull and poke around on everything. The boots on the struts are rotted away into chunks. Who knows if this is contributing at all to the noise. I replaced the rear struts several months ago, may do the front soon and see if that takes care of the problem. AZ, did you use the complete strut/spring or just strut on the front?

AzTumbleweed
08-09-2011, 08:33 AM
There doesn't seem to be any play/noise in anything when I pull and poke around on everything. The boots on the struts are rotted away into chunks. Who knows if this is contributing at all to the noise. I replaced the rear struts several months ago, may do the front soon and see if that takes care of the problem. AZ, did you use the complete strut/spring or just strut on the front?

I just bought the strut for financial reasons but I bought them at AutoZone and they loaned me the tool to compress the springs for changing. It was my first 'strut job' and it went well :-)

Intuit
08-09-2011, 09:38 AM
.............. The boots on the struts are rotted away into chunks. Who knows if this is contributing at all to the noise. ...............
It isn't. The boot has been gone on my front struts for as long as I can remember. I assume you're NOT talking about the strut mount bushing at the top. If at the top, by all means, get that replaced.

...... I replaced the rear struts several months ago, may do the front soon and see if that takes care of the problem. .........
A strut may squeak, but never heard of one clunking before.

BTW, I at least annually, hit all the visible rubber parts in the vehicle with silicon lubricant. Hoses, door seals, roof rails, front strut mounts. I also spray the strut-bar where, the lubricant will stream down and hit the strut's seals.

dlbdata
08-10-2011, 04:15 AM
I just bought the strut for financial reasons but I bought them at AutoZone and they loaned me the tool to compress the springs for changing. It was my first 'strut job' and it went well :-)

Same thing I was thinking, the strut by itself is a lot cheaper. I dismantled the old rear strut assemblies after I replaced them just for familiarity, and with a decent spring compressor it's no problem. Advance Auto also has loaner tools.

dlbdata
08-10-2011, 04:24 AM
It isn't. The boot has been gone on my front struts for as long as I can remember. I assume you're NOT talking about the strut mount bushing at the top. If at the top, by all means, get that replaced.
A strut may squeak, but never heard of one clunking before.


Yes I was just referring to the rubber boot. Mine have been rotted for ages also.
So how did you find out you had a shattered ball joint? Did you have to actually remove it?

AzTumbleweed
08-10-2011, 07:45 AM
"A strut may squeak, but never heard of one clunking before."

I'll try to explain it. There is a rod that moves in and out of the strut assembly as you go over bumps. That rod goes in and out of a hole in the strut. On my car that hole had enlarged due to wear. So the hole was bigger around than the rod. So the 'clunking' sound was caused by the rod moving around (back and forth) as it moved in and out of the hole.

Intuit
08-11-2011, 02:46 PM
I'm surprised the strut didn't leak... rendering it ineffective. (meaning that corner of the car would go bouncy-bouncy)

Here's a cross-section of an oil based strut (http://www.google.com/imgres?q=cross+section+oil+strut&um=1&hl=en&biw=1107&bih=541&tbm=isch&tbnid=nyuUzdsQdOOlFM:&imgrefurl=http://www.hugginsgrenada.com/auto/nissan_parts/frame_pg.htm&docid=1aa-khFZLJBX_M&w=1034&h=1187&ei=CDJETv2OO8XOgAeCp8HKCQ&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=175&page=1&tbnh=124&tbnw=108&start=0&ndsp=15&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&tx=65&ty=54) design.

Looks like there should be a bushing or seal for that rod. That's probably what failed.

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