Front end Clunking

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by shadow99, Dec 20, 2006.


  1. shadow99

    shadow99 New Member

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    I just bought this 96 LX from a car dealer and took it back to have a clunking in the front end checked out. They replaced some bushings and both struts. Nice of em but the noise remains. Low speed over bumps you can hear it and when the car is off and I lightly turn the steering wheel back n forth I can hear it. And if I grab a front wheel, especially the left one and pull side to side I can hear it. There is some play somewhere. Doesnt seem to be tie rods so whats the next likely cause?

    Gotta wonder why they'd change the struts, they didnt seem bad. Unless they're trying to take my mind off more serious problems? I'll be seeing what they say but what's your guys thoughts on the noise?
  2. shadow99

    shadow99 New Member

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    On a second look I'm leaning towards tie rod end on the driver's side. They're the originals too, no grease nipple. It's got 150,000 kms/94,000 miles on it.
    I also have a boot thats beginning to show wear with some surface cracking but not thru yet. I hope it lasts a few months til warmer weather!
  3. major

    major New Member

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    It's a good idea to go ahead and replace the I/O tierods and ball joints on both sides so you know you won't have to worry about it for a long time. It will need a re-alignment anyway. Your axle boots will be alright for a while, they surface crack with heat and age. As long as they're not busted. Good find!
  4. highanddry

    highanddry New Member

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    Some replacement tie rod ends come with grease nipples; some do not. That is no way to tell if they're original.

    You can count on having to replace outer tie rod ends every 80,000 km or so. I've changed so many, I can't count that high and I don't drive like a maniac.

    They only cost $30 each and you can change them in 30 minutes. Do it. I'm 100% positive that's your problem.
  5. zzyzzx

    zzyzzx FEOA Member

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    Also check to see if the front sway bar is loose. Mine was.
  6. shadow99

    shadow99 New Member

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    Thx guys. I'll be buggin the dealer to do some more warranty work next week. Seeing how i just got 2 new struts I have my doubts. If they wont do it for nothing I'll do the tie rod ends and check the sway bar bushings myself.

    Either way I figure the dealer was good giving me the struts :)
  7. shadow99

    shadow99 New Member

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    I drove to the dealer this morning to get a tech's opinion of my front end rattle. The tech said he could feel a bit of play when he twisted on the wheel but that it wasnt bad at all and gave me the option of buying the part for $20 and they'd put it on. I got the feeling they thought I was nuts or was being too picky. I waited while they did it and even checked out the old tie rod end after it was removed and it felt pretty good to me.

    But once it was done and I drove it it is much better! Goes to show that it doesnt take much wear on those things to make noise and bother a picky driver. I'll do the other side once it warms up here and get an alignment, which still feels pretty good considering it's had struts and a tie rod replaced recently.

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