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2G Help identifying suspension noise

aaronth777

Proven Member
76
16
Apr 12, 2015
Roseville, California
Hello all, this feels like a noob question as opposed to a handling tech question so I'll post it here.

My drivers side front wheel is making a worrying noise that is especially apparent when I'm making right turns and going over a rough surface. The best way I can describe it is a clunking sound that aligns with going over bumps on the road. Occasionally I'll feel a pop when turning the wheel as well. I should note that I can hear the sound and feel it in the steering wheel as well.

I've jacked the car up and checked for play in the wheel (both up and down, and left and right) but it's very solid. I checked around on the suspension for any loose parts or damaged ball joints but didn't find anything. The only thing that moved slightly is the axle between the grease boots, I can move it in and out a couple millimeters at most, but it's the same as the passenger side so I don't think that's the issue.

My steering rack is leaking a ton of fluid which I'm about to fix soon, but would that be causing the clunking noise? It would make sense since on a right turn, the rack is extended on the drivers side wheel.

I can usually figure these things out myself but I'm stumped here, any help is appreciated.
 

MJcanada

Proven Member
3,127
57
Jun 25, 2011
Inman, South_Carolina
A sudden pop noise is normally a ball joint. Jack the wheel off the ground. Grab front and rear of the tire and turn it back and forth, this check tie rod/rack play. Grab top and bottom and push/pull in and out, this checks wheel bearing play. Push/pull quickly in and out from just the top only to check the upper ball joint/control arm. Do the same on the bottom to check lower ball joint. Use a long pry bar or board to quickly pop up and release on the bottom of the tire as another check on the lower ball joints. Use large channel locks to squeeze the ball joints in their respective arms as another check for ball joint play. Remove both sway bar end links and test drive see if the noise goes away. When you jack the car up and release the weight from the strut mount see if the rubber is torn or if you can grab the strut and move it around in the upper strut mount.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,100
2,344
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
A popping noise while turning can also be a CV joint on the axle so its possible yours has gone bad. Grab the axle while the cars is jacked on axle stands and see if you can move the axle at all in/out or side to side. If you get ANY play apart from the small amount they allow you and i mean small sometimes none then yoir cv joint is likely gone.

As for the rest of the suspension check all joints with a pry bar and see if any lift up and dont forget the lower and upper shock bushes. The top hat bush can go bad and you may be hitting metal on metal under a bump so for this you may need to remove tue shock to see it more clearly
 

aaronth777

Proven Member
76
16
Apr 12, 2015
Roseville, California
The top hat bush can go bad and you may be hitting metal on metal under a bump so for this you may need to remove tue shock to see it more clearly

We have a winner here, I believe it is the front-most top hat bushing. It wouldn't make any noise when I shook the wheel on jack stands, but when I grabbed the upper control arm directly and put some weight behind it, it moved around and made a clunking noise. I'm going to order a new moog upper control arm and see if that fixes it, I'll post back here with results.
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,100
2,344
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
We have a winner here, I believe it is the front-most top hat bushing. It wouldn't make any noise when I shook the wheel on jack stands, but when I grabbed the upper control arm directly and put some weight behind it, it moved around and made a clunking noise. I'm going to order a new moog upper control arm and see if that fixes it, I'll post back here with results.
i ment the shock top hat not the inner wishbone arm but i will take it if its a win LOL
 

aaronth777

Proven Member
76
16
Apr 12, 2015
Roseville, California
i ment the shock top hat not the inner wishbone arm but i will take it if its a win LOL
Oh well it's still a win haha. I have Tein coiovers that are only about 2 years old so they're unlikely to be bad, but I'll check there next if the noise persists after changing the upper control arms.

Side note, are those 2 bushings on the upper control arm called tophats or did I just completely make that up? Lol
 

ec17pse

Freelancer
5,100
2,344
Nov 1, 2008
London, UK, Europe
Oh well it's still a win haha. I have Tein coiovers that are only about 2 years old so they're unlikely to be bad, but I'll check there next if the noise persists after changing the upper control arms.

Side note, are those 2 bushings on the upper control arm called tophats or did I just completely make that up? Lol
I think you made that up but im not sure on their real name. Front upper control arm bush most likely
 

roadsalt

Proven Member
37
10
Sep 11, 2016
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
My front balljoints were blown from shit roads so I just ordered all new front suspension arms (with new joints) and sway bar endlinks complete kit for front both sides was like $200 but worth it for the safety IMO
 
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