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Clunking noise after new struts installed

03-19-2008, 11:17 AM
Hi folks,

I have a 1998 Grand Prix GTP which had new front struts put on them yesterday. The guy at the shop said said that since the suspension is now tighter again, I was going to hear some creaks for a couple days until they are broken in.

That's okay, I can deal with that. But once I drove off, I heard this horrible rumbling/clunking/rattling sound every time I would hit a bump or pothole in the road.

I turned right around and drove back and told him that it's more than just a "creak," and it just doesn't seem right. Again he said that they heard it when test driving it and things are tight and might need a break in period. If it didn't go away, then I could bring it back and they'll grease up the bushings or something like that.

Now while the guys at this shop do great work and I trust them, this just doesn't seem right. Are they feeding me a line, or does this clunking sound normal for new struts on an old car? I've heard about loose strut plates but don't know if that's part of the strut assembly.

If anyone could offer any thoughts I'd appreciate it.



03-19-2008, 12:43 PM
Welcome to AF.

There is no reason you should hear a clunk. If you didn't replace the upper mounts when you replaced the struts, that's probably your noise issue. There is a bearing in the upper mount that the strut pivots on, and they will grind when bad, and the rubber parts of the strut mount wear with age and can cause a clunk noise.

Another possibility not related to the strut is the lower control arm bushings and/or stabilizer bar, 2 common issues on these cars. The bushing in the lower control arm that the bolt runs through vertically is the one that normally wears out. The stabilzer bars are hollow, and are known to crack/break, which will cause bad noises as the suspension moves.

03-19-2008, 12:51 PM
Thanks richtazz! I will bring the upper mounts to their attention. It does seem like the clunk is coming from a point higher in wheel well. Unfortunately I can't do it til Monday.

Would the fact that I never heard the noise before they did their work rule out the control arm bushings and stabilizer bar or could this have surfaced because of their work?

thanks for your advice!

03-19-2008, 02:19 PM
You're welcome. I would say since the noise wasn't there before, then the strut mounts are a pretty good bet.

03-20-2008, 10:25 PM
You're welcome. I would say since the noise wasn't there before, then the strut mounts are a pretty good bet.

Richtazz... You were absolutely correct. It was the strut mounts. Although they weren't bad...they were loose!!!!

I opened the hood and found them both to real loose on the upper side of the wheel well where they bolt on. I tried tightening them myself, but the just kept turning and turning and wouldn't tighten, so I took it back to the shop and they used their impact wrench and voila!

Thanks for the tip!


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