Front end clunk, Any ideas? - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-07-2017, 05:59 PM Thread Starter
Ravenbar
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Front end clunk, Any ideas?

When I got the Jeep, it had a clunk from the front end. Previous owner attributed it to control arm bushings. I've had all 4 control arms off and replaced any bad ones and bushings(only bad one was upper drivers side, replaced control arm and pressed new bushing into axle).

Clunks still there. Also replaced drag link ends and sway bar links. Shock bushings look fine although I'll be swapping them out with some 1 year old used ones from my parts Jeep. With the vehicle on a 4 post lift(weight on wheels), we've pried on all the moving parts and haven't found any unusual movement(only play found was a tiny bit in the track bar).

Noise seems to be a clunk-clunk as the suspension goes over bumps, I'm assuming it's at the changes in the up-down direction. each side seems to make the noise at different times and it varies as to which side the noise seems to come from.

Any ideas? I'm thinking it's either shocks, sway bar mount bushings, or the track bar.

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post #2 of 18 Old 03-08-2017, 01:41 AM
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I just had the same problem and it wound up being the tie rod ends.. but could also maby be the top/bottom ball joints
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-08-2017, 04:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by TROUBL3D View Post
I just had the same problem and it wound up being the tie rod ends.. but could also maby be the top/bottom ball joints
Also have checked the balljoints and no tire wiggle. boots on the tie rod ends are torn but not a lot of play there either(I have all those parts, Previous owner had a death wobble repair kit he included. I figured out the death wobble was just badly balanced tires.
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-08-2017, 04:44 AM
grayWJ4x4
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You said shock bushings looks fine but did you check the nuts on top of them?
They tend to come loose time to time happened to me a few times , went and got some locking nuts and all has been fine since.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-10-2017, 01:47 AM
L00senut
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I also go the worn bushings on top the front shocks in engine bay. Mine clunked and the PO owner also said the clunk was control arm bushings

I will also take two sets of the death wobble repair kit, please.
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-11-2017, 11:27 AM
Rottidog
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Mine has a rattle/clunking from the front end. Turns out the PS lower rad shroud bolt right in the 'frame' notch was missing. Very small area to get at. I had top heat & bend a 10mm combination wrench to get it back in with many many 1/8 turns. The shroud was making the noise. Check all the plastic fasteners up front as well, they're known to break or come loose.
Shock mounts are another consideration. The cross-wise bottom pin style has wearing issues I've heard.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-08-2017, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
Ravenbar
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OK, so an update. Clunk is still not gone.

So far, I've swapped out the front shocks,drag link ends, track bar.

This weekend, weather permitting, I'll be replacing the rear upper control arm, installing 2" IRO lift springs and Pro Comp shocks. I'm also planning on replacing the tie rod ends and if time permits, I'll do the ball joints as well.


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post #8 of 18 Old 05-08-2017, 07:32 PM
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Check your exhaust
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-17-2017, 04:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jra8858-2 View Post
Check your exhaust
Exhaust was checked and not problem there.


I did finally resolve this issue, after 6 months(night before last). As I'd replaced every likely candidate other than balljoints and I had a full new set given to me by the previous owner(part of a death wobble repair kit he'd got and included. His DW turned out to be out of balance tires, which I solved as week after getting the Jeep, so I never installed. Drivers side ball joints didn't seem bad. Passengers side was another story. I was expecting the lowers to be bad as I've read a few places they can go bad without showing any sign. The upper was the culprit. Once I'd got the knuckle off, I whacked the threaded part with a 3Lb hammer to adjust the angle to get the press on, It wouldn't change angle, It did however move up 3/8" vertically. Guessing it was bottoming out causing the clunk going over bumps.

I've still got an occasional minor clunk when I hit a good sized bump but I'm going to call that a normal thing.


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post #10 of 18 Old 05-18-2017, 01:25 PM
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The upper ball joints are supposed to have up and down play in them.

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post #11 of 18 Old 05-18-2017, 03:12 PM
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get under there and have someone else rock the Jeep back and forth. look at every join, bushing, basivcally every point where one piece connects with another. see if anything has excessive play. If the hoise is as bad and presistent as you describe, there should be some sign of wear also

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post #12 of 18 Old 05-18-2017, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MadCharger View Post
The upper ball joints are supposed to have up and down play in them.
Interesting, but thinking on it, it makes since as both tapers need to seat properly and that probably wouldn't happen if neither joint could move up and down.

Anyhow, replacing the passengers side ball joints resolved 90+% of the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.J._2000WJ View Post
get under there and have someone else rock the Jeep back and forth. look at every join, bushing, basivcally every point where one piece connects with another. see if anything has excessive play. If the hoise is as bad and presistent as you describe, there should be some sign of wear also
Had the vehicle on a lift shortly after I got it and went through everything. Couldn't finds anything amiss. Had some slight flex at one of the trackball ends but the mechanic said that was normal. Changing the trackbar didn't help.

Issue was resolved by replacing passengers side ball joints. Had replaced drivers the night before to no affect.


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post #13 of 18 Old 05-18-2017, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenbar View Post
Exhaust was checked and not problem there.


I did finally resolve this issue, after 6 months(night before last). As I'd replaced every likely candidate other than balljoints and I had a full new set given to me by the previous owner(part of a death wobble repair kit he'd got and included. His DW turned out to be out of balance tires, which I solved as week after getting the Jeep, so I never installed. Drivers side ball joints didn't seem bad. Passengers side was another story. I was expecting the lowers to be bad as I've read a few places they can go bad without showing any sign. The upper was the culprit. Once I'd got the knuckle off, I whacked the threaded part with a 3Lb hammer to adjust the angle to get the press on, It wouldn't change angle, It did however move up 3/8" vertically. Guessing it was bottoming out causing the clunk going over bumps.

I've still got an occasional minor clunk when I hit a good sized bump but I'm going to call that a normal thing.
Check the upper mounting point of your rear coil spring,there is supposed to be a round plastic spacer between your coil spring & the chassis that meets top of the spring,the spacer deteriorates with age,I had similar experience with my wj 2003,replaced spacer & rear clunky noise after entering in & out of bumps disappeared.

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post #14 of 18 Old 05-19-2017, 04:01 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elekimainne1 View Post
Check the upper mounting point of your rear coil spring,there is supposed to be a round plastic spacer between your coil spring & the chassis that meets top of the spring,the spacer deteriorates with age,I had similar experience with my wj 2003,replaced spacer & rear clunky noise after entering in & out of bumps disappeared.

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The little clunk that's left sounds to be coming fron the front. I ordered new spring isolators, top and bottom last week and they came in yesterday. I'm planning on picking them up today. I'm currently amassing a pile of suspension parts, hopefully those are the last. 2" lift springs, new shocks, spring isolators, and upper control arm replacement are planned for Memorial weekend. I'm also going to be cleaning all the rust(not much to start with) I can off the body around the rear suspension and giving it a coat of NAPA's own version of POR15 that's supposedly less fussy to get good results.
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-19-2017, 04:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravenbar View Post
The little clunk that's left sounds to be coming fron the front. I ordered new spring isolators, top and bottom last week and they came in yesterday. I'm planning on picking them up today. I'm currently amassing a pile of suspension parts, hopefully those are the last. 2" lift springs, new shocks, spring isolators, and upper control arm replacement are planned for Memorial weekend. I'm also going to be cleaning all the rust(not much to start with) I can off the body around the rear suspension and giving it a coat of NAPA's own version of POR15 that's supposedly less fussy to get good results.
From the front most prominent clunk is from the drivers side or both sides sometimes,there are two rubber bushing as spacers at the top attachment point of the shock strut to the airframe,it plays loosed when either the nut is not properly tightened or the rubber bushing are too worn & therefore causing play,if this is the cause,it will be more noticeable with low fuel quality in tank which tends to give slight nose down effect and subsequent clearance frm the front shock mounting.

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