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Old 11-20-2009, 07:04 PM   #61
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What was your problem?
I thought my clunking issue was worn out bushings. I still haven't really tracked it down, though about the only suspect left is something in the steering system. Over sharp bumps I get a clunk and can sort of feel it in the steering wheel. Hell, I've only spent about $3,000 attempting to fix it with the clunk being my primary goal, and still it remains...

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Old 11-20-2009, 07:05 PM   #62
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What have you changed so far? Tie rods/ball joints are my guess. Diagnosing annoying little things like that are always fun
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:09 PM   #63
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Everything but anything related to steering

Shock mounts, shocks (twice), bushings, sway bars and sway bar bushings, a bunch of other little things, and have added a good bit of stiffening parts to hopefully reduce the clunking, which is hasn't. Some other stuff I know I am forgetting. All of the suspension has been removed and stripped down twice, which leads me to believe even more that it is steering related and not suspension. My steering has no slack in it though, it feels very tight. I can't really afford to do any more parts throwing right now, so the clunk will have to stay since I am a full time student again and don't currently work. It's OK now though since I couldn't hear the clunk over all of the goddamn interior panels and the top frame squeaking and popping over every time crack in the road.
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Old 11-20-2009, 08:31 PM   #64
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downpipe on the steering?
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Old 11-20-2009, 09:38 PM   #65
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Endlinks? Try removing the Stab Bar and LInks and see if that helps...(for diagnosis purposes only..lol)

Nomie

Slightly off topic, is there any other way to lower the rear of the car about 1/2" without buying coilovers or bushings? Ive got springs and shocks already..
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:40 PM   #66
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downpipe on the steering?
I doubt it, since I'm still breathing atmosphere.

Could anything in the rack be worn? Surely the gears couldn't be slacked would they? It may be the end links. What else in the steering could it be? Any of you people ever had steering issues?
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Old 11-20-2009, 10:52 PM   #67
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If the rack and pinion were loose, you'd be able to feel play in the wheel while at a stop. Jack the car up, and jiggle the wheels (top and bottom). If they move, it's your wheel bearings, which are apparently a weak point on the miata chassis (only heard this from SM guys).
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:09 PM   #68
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I already know there is no wheel movement with the wheels off the ground, so its not bearings. There is no slack in the wheel, so I guess that rules out the rack. This is why I still haven't been able to track it down. What in the hell else would cause a clunk in the front that could be felt through the steering. I can feel it especially strongly when I am moving slow over rough ground, like pulling through my yard rolling over small rocks and dips in the ground, or over RR tracks or pot holes. End links? Chassis is only at ~120k miles, I figured all of that stuff would still be OK, but maybe not. It really is noticeable through the steering wheel though, both in sound and feel. Something for sure sounds loose and clunky, but I have never been able to find anything suspicious while under the car in over two years. It's probably something dynamic to where when the weight is off the wheels it won't do it, but once loaded, it returns. But you can't exactly test something under load like that easily without rolling down the road, and I am not brave enough to ride on the hood and lean under the car while someone drives lol.

Sorry I am jacking the thread a bit, at least its steering/suspension related...
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:31 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoMiEzMX-5 View Post
Endlinks? Try removing the Stab Bar and LInks and see if that helps...(for diagnosis purposes only..lol)

Nomie
This. When I went to my FM sways with RB endlinks I started getting a clunk on turning or a single wheel bump. It was from the stud moving to make contact with the bar before starting to flex the bar. Tightened and no more problems. That said, you can't tighten stock ones, but aftermarket replacements are only like $22/side. My wife's stock Protege started doing the same thing after 90K miles. Replaced both endlinks on the front bar and it went away. So, two Mazdas in our house with the same symptoms and both fixed by endlinks.
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Old 11-20-2009, 11:38 PM   #70
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Hmmm. This has also been one of my theories. I have been trying to buy end links for a while now, but can never afford them. I was looking at the 949 links. I have mostly been bothered by the fact that the FM sways put the mounts too far inward, and the stock links bind. End links would be pretty much THE only thing I haven't replaced on my suspension, and one of the things I have suspected for a while now. Like I said, I can't afford them, but when I can, they will probably be what I try first. I bet thats it. Thanks for the input.

What exactly do you mean you can't tighten the stock ones? Tighten the stock what? Bolts? I have suspected the stock ones are worn down and making slack between the bar and the bolt. Is that what you meant, get new bolts?
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:01 AM   #71
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Hmmm. This has also been one of my theories. I have been trying to buy end links for a while now, but can never afford them. I was looking at the 949 links. I have mostly been bothered by the fact that the FM sways put the mounts too far inward, and the stock links bind. End links would be pretty much THE only thing I haven't replaced on my suspension, and one of the things I have suspected for a while now. Like I said, I can't afford them, but when I can, they will probably be what I try first. I bet thats it. Thanks for the input.

What exactly do you mean you can't tighten the stock ones? Tighten the stock what? Bolts? I have suspected the stock ones are worn down and making slack between the bar and the bolt. Is that what you meant, get new bolts?
Ya know, I think that we had this conversation in an old thread of yours. I think that I suggested the same thing.

You can't tighten the stock ones as the ball socket is likely getting sloppy. Replacement is the only option. And yes, I've heard that the FM sways don't play nice with stock endlinks. I could tighten the bolts on my RB endlinks as they are a through bolt that goes throught the polyurethane bushing in the endlink and through the sway. So, tightening solved that problem.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:08 AM   #72
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Ball socket? We are talking about sway bar end links right? Do NB's have end links with studs on each end? The NA links have bushings on each end and bolts that go through, like the RB links.

Yeah, I think maybe you did suggest this before, but I was also broke at that time too I think, or was more concerned with attempting to save for my turbo and put this aside.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:17 AM   #73
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Ball socket? We are talking about sway bar end links right? Do NB's have end links with studs on each end? The NA links have bushings on each end and bolts that go through, like the RB links.

Yeah, I think maybe you did suggest this before, but I was also broke at that time too I think, or was more concerned with attempting to save for my turbo and put this aside.
Oh, I thought they were ball socket type, just like a tie rod end. I have a couple of NB's so never really looked at the NA's. Yes, they have studs with a ball socket. I assumed the NA's did as well.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:22 AM   #74
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But still, wouldn't you think the worn bolt scenario could be possible? All of those years of the bolt shaft rubbing the inside of the stock bar, then I install the new FM bars and use the old bolts and they have worn themselves a bit thin, and because of the awkward angle they can't fully tighten up without binding and that allows them to move around in the hole in the bar end mount? Makes sense to me...

That is why I wanted the 949 end links, since they have a rose joint end, and that would completely remove any binding issue and allow the bolts to tighten up evenly. I think the 949 links and new bolts would cure it, but I won't be able to do that any time soon. Can't afford to throw down $200 to fix a clunk right now. Hard enough to pay my bills and put gas in my car and food in my stomach doing odd jobs. But thanks again for help everybody.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:34 AM   #75
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Yeah, the clunk won't hurt anything, other than annoying the senses. You could try unbolting the front one and just driving a few blocks as stated before by someone else. You will know right away if that is the issue.
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Old 11-21-2009, 12:38 AM   #76
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That is a good point. I may do that just to help my curiosity. Only bad thing is, if I do fix this clunk, that will only make me more driven to fix the interior noises and other various rattles from loose **** under the dash and in the trunk. I HATE noises. Every day I drive my car I think maybe this wasn't the best car for me I blame the stiff Bilstein suspension for 100k miles before I owned it, and the unreasonably rough roads in the entire state of Alabama. I'm probably too ---- about noises to drive a car like a Miata. Which really my clunks and rattle noises wouldn't be so bad if we had decent roads that weren't a mosaic of poorly done patches and cracks EVERYWHERE! I probably average 3-4 cuss words per mile on average. The worst ones are the offset pot holes that makes the left drop, then the right, then back to the left. Makes the car shimmy/shake like a wet dog shaking dry. I thought the FM frame rail braces would all but cure this, but its still pretty rough. Makes the top frame make all kinds of ungodly noises.

Now I'm starting to rant, I'll stop now...
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:47 AM   #77
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Yeah, most clunking on cars is due to worn links and or bushings/strut mounts..( I run a garage so I kinda have some experience..

Nomie
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:36 AM   #78
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PRobably off topic, but I noticed when I put in my konis and the FM bar that they could contact if you didn' tspin the shock around the right way, wouldn't have thought to look for it though it doesn't sound like your problem.

But as to the bilstiens making you hate roads - totally true. I wanted to kill myself just going to work - and I was getting to the point where I hated the car - literally hated. I certainly coulnd't have ANYONE in it.

Then I put in much heavier springs (750) and the konis and it's smoother than any bimmer I've been in, and sticks like mad, too. Mind blowing the difference - sometimes I just want to drive to experience the smoothness - not even to go anywhere.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:47 AM   #79
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I did check the shocks and sways for contact. It's close, but neither show any signs of contact. I noticed that when I went to the Fm springs the ride actually improved a lot. Before with stock springs and Bilstein's and Illumina's the ride was even more horrible. I think the FM springs and the FCM NB mounts with the MCU bushings helped the most so far. Ride is probably 20% smoother but still 200% worse than any other car I have ever driven. I really do quite hate driving it. Even if it were fast I would still hate it because of how terrible the ride is. Maybe my expectations are just too high for having a decently smooth ride, or maybe I should upgrade to even stiffer springs and have the Bilstein's revalved one day in the distant future when I am made of money. The mix of light weight, harsh valving of shocks, somewhat stiff springs and some of the worst roads in the country don't make a pleasant mix for enjoying driving. Even my ragged out Turbo II was more fun to just take out and cruise, and it was a piece of **** and had a loud exhaust leak that choked me with rich exhaust fumes. I don't find myself just going out for cruises anymore these days.
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Old 11-21-2009, 03:58 AM   #80
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As far as greasing them goes.. ****** drill a hole and tap it and be done with it.

Thats how my aftermarket jeep control arms were. Jiffy lube loved me every visit
2 per arm, 8 arms + steering zirks.
Probably should have charged me just for the grease

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You can see the fitting bolts right in the middle and then each rubber would go on each side. When they fill it up just keep pumping till grease starts coming out the sides.
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