Sandwiched between the trans and the crossmember/factory skid plate, right where the trans mount is, there is an arm parallel to the x-member with the exhaust mount on one side (ahead of the convertor), and a set of bushings on the other. These bushings have a stud through the center that mount directly to the x-member.
Is this the torque arm?
I thought a torque arm is a bar that links the trans to the rear diff, and the only diagram showing this in the FSM is for a 4.0 engine. The bushings on mine are rotted out and the stud through the center just spins. I am hoping this solves a knock whenever I change directions. These things are pretty cheap, but I only want to buy them once!
I had to replace mine (95 with a 2.5 also) because the nuts on mine are would just spin and wouldnt tighten. I thought that was my problem, and it partly was, but i also had a bad motor mount that caused similar symptoms that you described. Might be worth checking that then too.
Good. Quadratec has them for 5 bucks a pair. If it doesn't fix the clunk, at least it isn't a wasted effort. I'm not big on having loose mounts!
If anyone else is looking for these things, here they are:
No one is questioning the 'why is it there' issue. Why does the 4 cyl have a torque arm and the 6 cyl not. That is actually the first one I have seen on any engine actually. I can not imagine 6" arm heavily rubber mounted can do much to stop anything. We think nothing (apparently) of removing sway bars and track bars, yet this thing has to be there? I would 't bother with it.
Actually, according to the FSM, the 6 cylinder has it, and a 4 banger doesn't. But on mine, which is a 2.5, there it is! I'm hoping that the popping noise I hear when I let the clutch out after going from reverse to 1st gear, is this stud being pushed and pulled through the bushings due to the torque from the engine.
U-joints are good, tranny shifts good, transfer shifts and works good. Everything has had an oil change, and I didn't drain out any chunks. The only mount I can see that looks damaged is this one. I've been driving it like this for the last 10 months since I bought it, and except for the noise, it doesn't have any other symptoms.
My 2.5L AX-5 has it too. it's loose also, but doesn't clunk yet.
i seem to remember reading somewhere that they're supposed to be a little loose and that the bushing cushion the arm when it stops to keep it from clunking. at least that's what the archives are telling me i don't have one so can't tell you for sure.