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Old 02-12-2008, 08:34 PM   #1
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Default suspension "clunking"

Has anyone else heard of this?

My suspension 'clunks' when I autocross.

"It is very common for the control arms to rattle back and forth in their mounts if the eccentric bolts are not *very* tight. They need to be torqued to about 150-180 ft/lbs to keep this symptom from happening, especially if your control arm bushings are worn out.

Most alignment shops only hand tighten them to about 70-80 ft/lbs. Whenever we get an alignment, we always drive the car home very carefully and then put the car up on ramps and tighten the bolts further with a breaker bar we made (be careful not to move them and mess up your new alignment). If we don't do this then the clank appears on the first hard corner and the nice alignment we just got will be off. (Thanks to Randy Stocker for this tip.)

Editor's Note: Factory spec for alignment bolts is 69-83ft/lb in the front, and 54-70ft/lb in the rear. Use this suggestion at your own risk. "

I think this may be where my front end suspension noise is being generated from, but should i take it back and get it re-alligned (been over a year) or just tighten them and keep on driving?
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:11 AM   #2
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I have been thinking the same thing about my suspension "clunk", plus the first time it started doing it was after an alignment. But I am a little worried about ******* the alignment if I screw around with the bolts. Are they referring to both the top and bottom arms?

Maybe next time I get it aligned I will ask them to over tighten the bolts, but the fact that my control arm bushings probably have close to 130,000 on them doesn't help matters. Plus I think a lot of places will be reluctant to do that for liability reasons.

For now I am just driving my car as it is, but in your case you are due for an alignment anyways. Does it sound like someone tapping a hammer on the side of the engine bay/driver's foot well?
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:06 AM   #3
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If the control arms are rolling around on the camber bolts, you'll notice some funky handling. Another option is a loose shock nut that allows the rod to slide up and down in the hat. Of course if it's done that a few times the threads are gone. But you can usually stack up some washers under the nut.
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Old 02-13-2008, 04:35 PM   #4
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binding sway bars will also pop/clunk. take them off and grease the hell out of the bushings. see if that fixes it. I usually torque my control arm bolts to 125 Ft*lbs after alignment as I've had the alignment slip before when torqued to stock spec.
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Old 02-13-2008, 05:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkmage View Post
binding sway bars will also pop/clunk. take them off and grease the hell out of the bushings. see if that fixes it. I usually torque my control arm bolts to 125 Ft*lbs after alignment as I've had the alignment slip before when torqued to stock spec.
God the swaybars clunking are annoying as ****.
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:11 PM   #6
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How loud are the swaybar clunks? I think I may replace my bushings and brackets as I think the wrong brackets may be on the car.

My suspension clunk is loud enough for my friend to hear it from outside of the car, about 100 or so ft away.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedf50 View Post
How loud are the swaybar clunks? I think I may replace my bushings and brackets as I think the wrong brackets may be on the car.

My suspension clunk is loud enough for my friend to hear it from outside of the car, about 100 or so ft away.
sway bars can be pretty damn loud. mine sounded like a 2 lb rock hitting the inner fender at speed.
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Old 02-13-2008, 07:42 PM   #8
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am i the only one thinking 150-180 ft lbs is nuts, i always feel like i'm gonna break something when i go anywhere near that tight, only do 75 on my lug nuts
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Old 02-13-2008, 08:00 PM   #9
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I had my '90 and '92 in at a suspension shop for an alignment. They were having problems getting the alignment right on my '90. This was after I replaced the bushes with Super Pros' They did some investigation and they found that Mazda had modified the eccentric bolts at some point. They ordered in the new ones and fitted them. Have not had a problem since. I have also since fitted the new ones to my '91 while I was dong the bushes.

J
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:10 PM   #10
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just a question... what year is your car??? i've had a clunk in my suspension during hard canyon runs that i realized was due to a loose bolt in the chassis brace (NB)
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Old 02-13-2008, 10:48 PM   #11
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This can also be from springs not seating correctly, when they're unloaded they will clunk.
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Old 02-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #12
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well i went under there and tightened the control arm bolts once and it solved the clunking for a while, but now its back. Anyone had clunking with sudden braking? I did notice it after i changed the struts, but i don't think it is the springs seating improperly
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Old 09-22-2009, 01:56 PM   #13
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Now I have the dreaded loud clunking!

Clunks once as the car approaches apex (cone). Most disconcerting and seems to kick the back out before I apply the right foot!

Control arms and sways are do not appear loose or broken.
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Old 09-23-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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I also have the clunk i have stance gr+ in a 94 just flipped 110k i do need to get my car aligned i think i will worry about it then.. It might be the swaybar... not sure though it normally occurs after i have had the wheel cranked fully to one side(parking etc..)
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Originally Posted by mazda/nissan View Post
well i went under there and tightened the control arm bolts once and it solved the clunking for a while, but now its back. Anyone had clunking with sudden braking? I did notice it after i changed the struts, but i don't think it is the springs seating improperly
When i suddenly brake this also occurs for me only every now and then though

Last edited by TimR; 09-26-2009 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 09-23-2009, 10:21 AM   #15
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I read somewhere that the endlinks can clunk when they are worn or binding. I get a nice clunk whenever I turn left full and then again when I turn back. I haven't checked the endlinks though because I plan on putting in a larger front bar and adjustable links soon anyway.
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Old 09-23-2009, 12:55 PM   #16
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Check the mounts for your sways to the body. Mine were completely cracked through in the spring, so the sway was basically doing nothin'. <G>

Dave,
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:48 PM   #17
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My car does it and i'm sure its the swaybar binding. I am at 12" front ride height and the stock endlinks aren't going to cut it anymore. I expect when I install adjustable endlinks to dial out the pre-load my problem will be solved.

Of course, I could be completely wrong...
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:52 PM   #18
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only clunk I have it the exhaust hitting the PPF on extreme corners.
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Old 09-23-2009, 03:35 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne_curr View Post
My car does it and i'm sure its the swaybar binding. I am at 12" front ride height and the stock endlinks aren't going to cut it anymore. I expect when I install adjustable endlinks to dial out the pre-load my problem will be solved.

Of course, I could be completely wrong...
I'm in the same boat, though I didn't realize the binding was part of the cause, I just blamed the end links being loose, which they are. I guess I will grease the bushings up again and tighten the shitty stock end links, since I can't afford good end links right now. Going over bumps now sounds like the suspension is held together with zip ties.
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Old 09-25-2009, 11:39 PM   #20
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hm didn't know this thread came alive again. I have no front swaybar, so my gremlin persists. Sudden braking only brings it about for me.
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