Clunk from front end

Discussion in 'Wheels, Wings, Mud, and Water' started by skippy_ps, May 18, 2017.

  1. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    24,204
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    2000 Mountaineer/Explorer AWD.

    When going over one of those speed bump things, I'm getting a clunk from the right front or at least is sounds like from that area. Not a metal on metal sound but with a little thud sound mixed in.

    I've already replaced upper and lower ball joints, upper control arm bushings, sway bar bushings/links, and inner and outer tie rods on both sides. Shocks are new too.

    Only things left are the lower control arm bushings and the wheel bearing/hub. I don't think it's the bearings as they don't make any racket. It's pretty hard to see the bushings as they're too close to my face when I'm crawling around under there.

    Any thoughts on this? It's a fairly big job replacing the bushings as you gotta take the torsion bars out.

    Some pics.

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    Last edited: May 18, 2017
  2. jlh3rd

    jlh3rd Active Member

    Messages:
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    You covered pretty much everything....my bet is the lowers.....
     
  3. Wildcat

    Wildcat Spring ain't here... Subscriber

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    The lower control arm bushings on our older Civic are dried up and worn out (13 years/235k miles). Over the right bumps, they do make a bit of a loud clunking sound, as the rubber is pretty much gone. In that car, though, the bushings are part of the lower control arms, and it is easier and less expensive just to replace the whole control arm. (My only hesitation is that my patience has worn thin, and the working quarters are rather tight under there.)

    Had a wheel bearing go bad, twice, in the crap Malibu my other half owned. It made more of a humming/growling sound.
     
  4. NH-MAN

    NH-MAN AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    337
    All I can say is California roads are like glass (i lived there) compared to here in northern NH. I have the same front end as you on my 99 Mazda B4000 p'up with 230k of rust and constant bashing my lower control arms did not make noise. I replaced the lower arms just because I am picky The bushings were worn some but no noise. I would check body mounted components, Inner fender and air box for example. Of course recheck at the bolts and studs on the ball joints ect. The inner control arm bolts could be loose (upper) (for proper ride these need to be tightended as if the vehicle is sitting on the ground in a relaxed position) hard but necessary. also these front ends had harmonic issues and improper toe can make the front end kind of (crash) hitting things like a speed bumps holes ect this will be worse with any toe out. they like a good amount of toe in at least 1/8 total or a little more if you have a little bigger tire. Check the air box and the inner (Upper)control arm bolts as they are hard to tighten
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
  5. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    I think I'd confirm the ball joints again, just in case. Jack under the lower arm and pry up under the tire to see if it moves. Usually when control arm bushings go, they don't clunk but it just gets vague feeling. If they're bad enough to make noise you should see them looking obviously off-center and damaged.

    Do these use torsion bar bushings or mounts with rubber bits in them? Those might be bad.
     
  6. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    24,204
    Location:
    Palm Springs, CA
    Thanks for the replies.

    For the record, I just replaced the upper control arm bushings and ball joints, lower ball joints and the inner and outer tie rods. Replacing the lower ball joints is a lot of work but the rest of it was not too hard. For those interested, 36mm wrench or crowfoot for the inner tie rods. Torque 80 ft lbs. Yes, I greased everything. :)

    I replaced the fixed camber shims with the Moog adjustable ones - K8674, torque to 100 ft lbs on the bolt with the vehicle weight on brake disc hat. New shocks and sway bar and link bushings.

    The clunk was there before and it's still there.

    Replacing the entire lower control arm is probably the way to go but they're about $125 or so and since I've already replaced the ball joints, I'll just replace the bushings.

    Just need to do it.

    Murray
     
  7. KingBubba

    KingBubba "Too Much Stuff" Subscriber

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    Have you considered the CV joint? Try doing a full hard right and hard left turn and see if you get clatter.
     
  8. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Oh, the torsion bar is just metal on metal where it goes into the front of the control arm. You can see it in the third pic above.

    Murray
     
  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    What about the frame end? S10 Blazers mounted solid through the lower arm like that, but the back end at the frame used a little dogbone looking thing to connect the torsion bar to the frame mount. When the rubber in those gets bad, the front end clunks. Older F series trucks had a big rubber bushing back at the frame where the torsion arm went through. I don't particularly know the Explorer other than it's 5.0 engine is desirable.
     
  10. Hajidub

    Hajidub He's a beast! Subscriber

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    Compliance bushings, strut mounts, and/or engine mounts are the only thing left.
     
  11. quaddriver

    quaddriver 120 What's per channel Subscriber

    sure it aint the torture bar bushing rather dry? 2000 = 17 years. Id not stress to much over it, you did a proper front end rebuild. I know its one of those annoying OCD things but like ourselves, they get old and make ruder noises...
     
  12. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Git 'er dun. Left side, anyways.

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    grillebilly likes this.
  13. NH-MAN

    NH-MAN AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Got to love the salt, your old control arm looks as clean as my new ones lol
     
  14. skippy_ps

    skippy_ps AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No salt but the sun bakes the everything into submission here. I was working on the other car during the summer and could only stay outside for 15 minutes at a time, lol.

    Getting ready to put some pre-load on the torsion bar. Blue thread locker applied before screwing down.

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    130 torks to control arm bolt.

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    NH-MAN likes this.
  15. djnagle

    djnagle Lunatic Member

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    Location:
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    Stop running people over!!!
     

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