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Old 05-15-2012   #1 (permalink)
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Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Hi,
Recently, I noticed a clunking noise that seems to be coming from the front of the car, precisely on the driver side.

I've replaced about a year ago the lower control arm bushings with ES poly bushings and recently replaced the ball joints and the sway bar links thinking the noise was coming from theses parts, all have been done on both sides.

Now that leaves the tie rods, the strut mounts and probably the shock absorbers itself, going to replace them pretty soon, all worn out now. Tie rods end seems to be visually in good shape, boot not broken, no grease coming out. I can't stay much about the strut mount.

About the noise itself, I can hear it when making right turns because the weight of the shifts to the left, the driver side, of the car. It happens mostly when there are bumps on the road.

Car is a Civic 2004, around 115k miles now, bought last year.

Thanks
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Old 05-16-2012   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Clunking noise over bumps sounds like bad shocks, especially since you changed the ball joints already.

Push the front of your car down at each point, see if it springs back up and stays up.

If it bounces up and down a bit before stopping they are bad.

Also sometimes a visual inspection of oil leaking out of the shock works.

However just because they dont leak does not mean they are not bad.
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Old 05-16-2012   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

It clunks over bumps AND turning right at the same time. I don't hear it on every single bump. I did the bounce test both front shocks and it passes, it bounce once and stops. But like someone told me, that only means the shock aren't totally bad but worn out. I visually inspected the shock, no leaks, nothing. There isn't any noise when pushing on the shock itself.
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Old 05-16-2012   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

In that case check your axles. Check the boots to make sure they are not ripped and make sure there is no excessive play. I think since it makes noise turning right then your left axle would be the suspect.

Jack the car up and get under there shake the wheel at 12 and 6 and 3 and 9 oclock. Shake the struts to see if they are loose but I doubt it. Shake whatever you can, its best way to diagnose.
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Old 05-16-2012   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

When I was working on the front end of the car, I've been checking many times the CV joints and they looked in perfect shape, no ripped boot, no play.

But I will try to see if there is any play in the suspension component.
The noise sometimes occur when running over bumps and not turning, but it does not occur at every bump.
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Old 05-27-2012   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I've had the exact same problem ever since I replaced the front shocks with KYB Gr-2s.

I have replaced the lower control arms (with new bushings), tie rod ends and strut mounts. The ball joints were done 25K miles before the shocks, and the sway bar has been removed completely.

I even removed the rubber bump stop on one side, and apart from reducing some of the squeaks, it made no difference.

I also hear the springs popping on occasion when i turn the wheels over a bumpy surface.

The axles do have play as I can grab them and move them in and out of the tranny, but f you look closely at the suspension geometry you would understand that the axles need play so the suspension can travel up and down. Like yours, the axle boots look perfect and I don't hear the typical bad CV joint click click while driving through turns.

The only thing I can think off is that the springs have sagged and keep changing their correct index until the suspension unloads over a bump during a turn.
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Old 05-27-2012   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

After doing some research, I found out that maybe my problem isn't the strut mount itself, but the strut bearing that is located inside it.

Perhaps you have the same problem? Because when I looked at my strut mount and when I grab the strut and try to shake it, it doesn't move, no play at all. The only thing I can think of is the strut bearing, the ball bearings inside starting to wear out and jump inside when I go over big bumps and when turning right.

About the axles, mines too have some play to them, but I think it's normal, it's just a little play, but excessive.
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Old 05-27-2012   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I'm having the same issue. I just replaced everything on the front end of my car this past week- LCA bushings, tie rod ends, control arms, struts and the strut mount bearings. Everything was fine..took it to get aligned, and now when I turn the wheel left or right (not rolling), I get a pop from the front end. So frustrating. I'll be working on it again tomorrow.
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Old 05-27-2012   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Woah now I'm speechless and clueless!
You replaced every single suspension component on the front end and there is still this popping sound?

For my part, I only have the tie rod ends, shocks and strut mounts that haven't been replaced yet.
I also remember once that I heard a popping sound even without rolling, it occurred while I was parking my car.

Are you sure you tighten every bolt correctly?
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Old 05-28-2012   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaik View Post
Woah now I'm speechless and clueless!
You replaced every single suspension component on the front end and there is still this popping sound?

For my part, I only have the tie rod ends, shocks and strut mounts that haven't been replaced yet.
I also remember once that I heard a popping sound even without rolling, it occurred while I was parking my car.

Are you sure you tighten every bolt correctly?
yea, I checked and double checked. The car was fine until I got it aligned. Now the car makes the pop when turning right or left when I'm parked, not moving.
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Old 05-28-2012   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaik View Post
After doing some research, I found out that maybe my problem isn't the strut mount itself, but the strut bearing that is located inside it.

Perhaps you have the same problem? Because when I looked at my strut mount and when I grab the strut and try to shake it, it doesn't move, no play at all. The only thing I can think of is the strut bearing, the ball bearings inside starting to wear out and jump inside when I go over big bumps and when turning right.

About the axles, mines too have some play to them, but I think it's normal, it's just a little play, but excessive.
I replaced the strut mounts (with new bearings) with the struts. It did not make a difference. Unless the strut mounts I got were cheap. They were from NAPA.

I pulled the driver side wheel off today and with both hands if I pulled on the spring away from the car with a lot of force, I could get it to pop, once. Then I realized I could have easily pulled the car off the jack stand and stopped messing around. I'm beginning to suspect the springs more.
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Old 06-09-2012   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I just replaced 2 days ago my front struts and strut bearing. I did not replace the mounts as they seemed in good shape. I thought the problem was solved but, then when I drive, it does pop from time to time, but a lot less often.

The only thing I haven't replaced was the tie rods, but inner and outer, but I've tried shaking them and moving them around, no play at all.

I guess I'll just forget about it now and drive, if it does get worse, it will probably easier to found out.
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Old 07-16-2012   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

That popping sound when turning right or left with the car parked is usually related to a bad CV joint, have you guys tried replacing that yet?
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Old 07-17-2012   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I would rather say that it is a popping noise instead of a clunking one.
When I do a lot of steering work such as making a U-turn and there are some bumps it makes a big "POP"! It doesn't seem to be a rotating noise like a CV joints. The CV joints looks brand new, no leaks, no tear.
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Old 07-18-2012   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I've isolated the sound in my car to strut mounts or bearings. I jacked the front end up, removed a wheel, removed tied rod end and rotated the entire strut as if the wheel were turning until it reached the turn limit. Then I pushed the strut real hard further against its turn stop and the mount would make the same sound pop/clunk every single time.

I can also replicate the sound if I center the steering wheel and turn it very rapidly back and forth one way then the other, just enough so that the wheels barely move. Its makes the same clunking popping sound but its hard to pinpoint where the sound is coming form while I'm turning the steering.

The strut mounts and bearings are new. This pisses me off.
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Old 07-19-2012   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I've also replaced my strut bearing but not the strut mount itself. Strut, ball joint are new, LCA bushings replaced with ES poly ones, outter tie-rod ends are still good and so are the CV joints. I was starting to suspect the inner tie rod ends, but after reading what you wrote and assuming it is the exact same noise. I no longer know what to think of LOL
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Old 07-19-2012   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

got the exact problem and changed everything except my springs...
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Old 07-19-2012   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

You guys got the exact same noise?
What a mystery...

C'mon ezone, come out and help us with your godly knowledge xD
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Old 08-06-2012   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

UPDATE***
Now it's not a popping noise, it has become a really loose regular, clunking noise.
It doesn't happen on smooth bumpy roads, in other words, it does not happen when the tire grips tightly with the road, even if there are lots of undulation. It is very noticeable on uneven surface like gravel or construction roads where the asphalt has been removed. This now happens when driving straight. Sometime, there's a little popping noise when turning, but it's becoming less noticeable, not as loud. It's as if the popping noise was something being unscrewed and getting loose. But because it is now much looser, the popping noise isn't that apparent.

It's really getting worse, I can even feel it in the steering wheel and on the floor when the car is stopped and I play with the steering by moving back and forth. It's like : CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK.

I have no idea what it could be.

Struts, ball joints, LCA bushings, strut mount bearing replaced. Outer tie-rods, strut mount (rusty but not cracked) and CV joints all seemed in good shape. I'm suspecting the inner tie-rod ends. Anybody replaced those and what were the symptoms?

Thanks
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Old 08-07-2012   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaik View Post
UPDATE***
Now it's not a popping noise, it has become a really loose regular, clunking noise.
It doesn't happen on smooth bumpy roads, in other words, it does not happen when the tire grips tightly with the road, even if there are lots of undulation. It is very noticeable on uneven surface like gravel or construction roads where the asphalt has been removed. This now happens when driving straight. Sometime, there's a little popping noise when turning, but it's becoming less noticeable, not as loud. It's as if the popping noise was something being unscrewed and getting loose. But because it is now much looser, the popping noise isn't that apparent.

It's really getting worse, I can even feel it in the steering wheel and on the floor when the car is stopped and I play with the steering by moving back and forth. It's like : CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK.

I have no idea what it could be.

Struts, ball joints, LCA bushings, strut mount bearing replaced. Outer tie-rods, strut mount (rusty but not cracked) and CV joints all seemed in good shape. I'm suspecting the inner tie-rod ends. Anybody replaced those and what were the symptoms?

Thanks
lug nut tightness. Inner tie-rods have minimal movement. I replaced my steering rack last year and the inner tie rods don't move very much at all. Outer tie-rods and maybe outer CV joint at this point.
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Old 08-07-2012   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

When does one knows when to replace the steering rack? Did you replace it yourself and how involving was it? Big job?

It's not that I intend on replacing mine, just for my information.
Don't CV joints make a constant clicking noise increasing with speed ?
My noise happens when there is lots of vibration transfered to the car,
whether the car's going fast or slow.
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Old 08-07-2012   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaik View Post
UPDATE***
Now it's not a popping noise, it has become a really loose regular, clunking noise.
It doesn't happen on smooth bumpy roads, in other words, it does not happen when the tire grips tightly with the road, even if there are lots of undulation. It is very noticeable on uneven surface like gravel or construction roads where the asphalt has been removed. This now happens when driving straight. Sometime, there's a little popping noise when turning, but it's becoming less noticeable, not as loud. It's as if the popping noise was something being unscrewed and getting loose. But because it is now much looser, the popping noise isn't that apparent.

It's really getting worse, I can even feel it in the steering wheel and on the floor when the car is stopped and I play with the steering by moving back and forth. It's like : CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK CLUNK.

I have no idea what it could be.

Struts, ball joints, LCA bushings, strut mount bearing replaced. Outer tie-rods, strut mount (rusty but not cracked) and CV joints all seemed in good shape. I'm suspecting the inner tie-rod ends. Anybody replaced those and what were the symptoms?

Thanks
I'm pretty sure you and I have the exact same problem, especially after reading your description about uneven road surfaces and moving the steering back and forth.

I don't think it's the lug nuts, I always use a torque wrench at 85 foot pounds. Plus I can replicate the sound with the car on jacks and the wheels removed.

And yes I do feel it through the floor at times. I'm beginning to wonder if any of the K-member bolts are coming loose.

What brand struts do you have?
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Old 08-08-2012   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Finally found a thread that matches my issue, although I own a 2000 Civic. All ball joints, bushings, axles, and whatever look fine. The struts idk so much about.. they have been on there a while (most likely the originals, bought the car used). The noise I hear is a definitive pop that can be felt through the wheel and the floor board. At least one time I was able to hear the slight vibrating sound of the Spring immediately after I heard the pop as if it were bound up some and released. So that has me thinking struts, more specifically, maybe strut bearings. I am still not 100% sure though. The pop comes at random times, normally when the car has been parked for a while, and I back out or take off forward while turning the wheel some. It has also popped a few times just going straight but over a slight bump in the road. Never pops at hwy speeds, usually only between 1-30mph. Other times I can hear a slight rattling noise (sounds like bad motor mount noise in a way) coming from the driver side. All motor mounts have been replaced btw..
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Old 08-09-2012   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

ANOTHER UPDATE***
LAST UPDATE WAS A LOOSE OUTTER TIE ROD ISSUE (NOT RELATED)

I just found out what was the noise I described ealier in the last update.
It's not the same issue. I just discovered it's the passenger side outter tie-rod end that is loose due to the thread being stripped. When I tried tightening the nut, it kept spinning forever and the tie rod stud wasn't moving. I even could remove a spring-like shape metal, that was the tread.

I'll have to buy new outter tie rod ends, I'll buy both of them since they would need to be replaced anyway in the future. Any brands you guys recommend? Moog from Energy Suspension?

The popping noise is still there, but I don't believe it's related to the tie rod, it was already there before the tie rod started to become loose. It's a different noise. I'm starting to suspect the inner tie-rod, I don't see anything else or maybe something inside the steering rack? For that, I'm just guessing, I know nothing about the steering rack, don't know how it's made inside. Popping noise definately comes from near the firewall. Like I said, I can feel it through the steering wheel and through the floor when the popping occurs.
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Old 08-09-2012   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thaik View Post
ANOTHER UPDATE***
LAST UPDATE WAS A LOOSE OUTTER TIE ROD ISSUE (NOT RELATED)

I just found out what was the noise I described ealier in the last update.
It's not the same issue. I just discovered it's the passenger side outter tie-rod end that is loose due to the thread being stripped. When I tried tightening the nut, it kept spinning forever and the tie rod stud wasn't moving. I even could remove a spring-like shape metal, that was the tread.

I'll have to buy new outter tie rod ends, I'll buy both of them since they would need to be replaced anyway in the future. Any brands you guys recommend? Moog from Energy Suspension?

The popping noise is still there, but I don't believe it's related to the tie rod, it was already there before the tie rod started to become loose. It's a different noise. I'm starting to suspect the inner tie-rod, I don't see anything else or maybe something inside the steering rack? For that, I'm just guessing, I know nothing about the steering rack, don't know how it's made inside. Popping noise definately comes from near the firewall. Like I said, I can feel it through the steering wheel and through the floor when the popping occurs.
I replaced my outer tie rod ends with Duralast brand from Autozone. They're made by MOOG and are better quality than the OEMS.
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Old 08-09-2012   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

thaik, your thread about engine moving around during shifts even after new engine/trans mounts makes me suspect subframe or something similar going out. Also, your suspension harshness threads leads me to believe you need to check it. could even be chassis. have someone inspect the car throughly.
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Old 08-10-2012   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I was hoping not to hear that. Subframe? Damn.
But when cruising at highspeed on the high way, I've got no vibration problem at all. Car ride is only harsh on really bad roads. I believe gearbox when he said there's a chance I need new better and soft compound tires.

Can a subframe really go out?

About the engine moving, I might not have mention every thing.
The moment I replaced the side engine mount, the feeling when shifting felt rock solid, no movement. That cheap aftermarket mount is probably worn out already. I just want to spend money by replacing all non-OEM mount by original parts, especially when I'm not sure.
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Old 08-10-2012   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

see my explanation in here (for the sake of the others that did not look in that thread )
Engines movements when shifting

and this is the reason i think it could be something else - i did not notice anything extraordinary, except for the eventual "clank" noise when going through some expansion joints or similarly high small bumps.
When i got the car in the air, i found this:
Click the image to open in full size.

no strange feel, or flex or anything else than that clanking noise that happened very rarely....

heck, you mioght even find out that the chassis spot welds are coming apart, like a friend of mine found out. or some of the cars that are famous for cracking front suspension towers.

lift and inspect the car. throughly.

easy for me to say, i have spare cars to ride when one is down, but it is important to go through it now.

may you find the answer like i did.
g' luck
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Old 09-18-2012   #29 (permalink)
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Re: **UPDATE**

I just replaced both outer tie rod ends few week ago.
Noise is still there, inspected the inner tie rod ends with someone
wiggling the steering back and forth with engine off (no power steering).
Inner tie rods very tight, no play.
Noise is really noticeable. Like clunk clunk clunk.

At first, it was really knocking often after I replaced the tie rods on all sort of bumps. But after I did a toe alignment, steering was much smoother and knocking is much less noticeable.

So now, the only way to reproduce that noise is by wiggling the steering wheel back and forth when the engine is off, which means without have the power steering, more resistance = more noise.
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Old 11-26-2012   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Suspension front clunking noise, strut mounts?

I'm having a similar crackling noise when turning right at low speed in parking lots. After i changed the drivers side driveshaft it makes the noise on both left and right side when turning.

I will put back the old driveshaft and see what happens.

Both end link has been change earlier this year.
I have changed both outer tie-rod end and passenger side ball joint.

sdaidoji is that the passenger or driver side lower control arm that you replace?

2001 Acura EL 1.7 185K
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