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  • February 25, 2024, 09:41:38 AM

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Author Topic: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??  (Read 1146 times)

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Offline MIPS

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Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« on: June 07, 2023, 03:49:35 PM »
That I am aware of, I have now rebuilt or refurbished the entire front-end of my wagon.

-Upper ball joints
-Lower ball joints ($$$)
-Upper control arm bushings
-Lower control arm bushings
-Tie rods (inner, outer and the clamp)
-Sway bar links
-Sway bar bushings
-Steering damper
-Pitman arm
-Strut rod bushings
-Front shocks (both sides)
-Spring perch bushings ($$$)
-Springs (cleaned and repainted. Passenger side replaced with salvaged passenger spring)
-Wheel bearings (both sides)
-CV axles (both sides)
-Brake discs, pads and hardware (both sides)

You hit a bump or go down a dirt road and there's a distinct "klunk" like something travelling up/down has enough play that it to bounce. You can feel it in the floor. It's not just audible but you swear it's from the front.
The back is the same

-Wheel bearings
-Rear shocks
-Spring bushings
-Spring carriage bushings
-The springs don't look objectively sagged or broken

Engine mounts were inspected during the rebuild last year and doomed to still be good. I believe the transmission mount was replaced when that was rebuilt in 2018.

I'm at a loss. I cannot think of anything I've missed that could be causing that but it makes me nervous before considering a 4000km trip. What could it be?

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2023, 07:18:06 PM »
I had a similar clunking in my Gremlin.  The shop diagnosed it as being the bushings were too small in the front of the leaf springs ( or the eye was too large), allowing the leaf spring to move.  They did something to squeeze the eye to make it smaller.

Not saying this is what you are experiencing but maybe take a look at it.  Good luck!!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2023, 01:30:46 PM »
But that would be the back, no? A rear suspension failure is something on a road trip you can kinda recover from with a hunk of wood but a failure in the front would almost always mean it's tow time.
It bothers me. Even when I had the knuckles apart last month I wasn't finding play. Everything seemed to be pretty well seated.

Offline Illeagle1984

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2023, 11:10:22 PM »
Sorry I can't help much from 3000km away, it could be literally a million things.  If your road trip takes you to the Great Lakes, I could fix you up, but from here, I can only run through a thought experiment on what I'd do if you showed up to my shop.  Let's start with the test drive I'd give a hard to find noise.  With your foot lightly on the brake over these bumps, does it still make the noise?  How about swerving left-right like when they warm up the tires in NASCAR, does it make noise then?  In & out of driveways?  How about a hard braking or acceleration event?  Can a strong guy (or two people combined) make the noise by pushing down or pulling up on the bumper?  A yes to any of these could narrow it down.

Next comes the visual inspection.  Start by double checking that front end resting on the ground and hanging in the air (with upper arm supported as I'm sure you know).  Different parts become loose at different times.  Use a big prybar in between every bushing and joint.  Go up and down, AND side to side on all of it.  Look for fresh, bright red rust (or scrubbed paint, if she's that clean) coming from anywhere where two things can touch.  Control arm to frame, drivetrain to body.  Look over every inch for evidence.  Double check the tightness of every single bolt and nut.  If you had the knuckles off, you been pretty far already, I know.  But this is the time to second guess everything.

Still making noise?  Take out the shocks.  STILL making noise?  Completely remove the sway bar.  Sometimes those shocks and bushings can be bad without any way of being able to detect it.  I've had dozens of brand new shocks clunk out of the box (thanks Monroe).  And I've had cracked sway bars that make noise at odd times, check it over especially at the welds.

It can be tough to find.  One time I chased down a nasty sounding gremlin on my own Eagle.  After I did the first round of parts and alignment, I got a new banging that I felt in the floor.  The clamps for the tie rod sleeves were pointed down so I could tighten them easy, but in that position they hit on the crossmember on driveways or on bumpy corners.  Took me a bit to find that one, I drove it until I saw the marks that appeared on the subframe and the clamps.

Also one time I had an Accord with a weird clunk over bumps and I found a whole walnut fruit wedged between the transmission and subframe was the cause.  Like I said, it could be a million things.  Good luck!  ;D
It's getting crowded down here:
1973 Ford Mustang "Rustang"
1984 AMC Eagle Sedan "IllEagle" 183k
1984 AMC Eagle Wagon "Eagle 2"
1996 Cadillac Eldorado 178k
1998 Oldsmobile Eighty-Eight 239k
2002 Cadillac Eldorado Doral Edition
2005 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 179k

Offline KIV_6051

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2023, 06:29:06 PM »
From personal experience: the transmission mount would be my first guess, and you should be able to tell if it is good by comparing it to a new one (or photo of a new one).

After I installed the Clifford header, I had to grind some of the unibody frame (minus the spot-welds of course) to make room for the tailpipe flange, as it would knock against it.

Good luck!

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2023, 03:34:43 PM »
I finally broke down and sent it into a shop. The diagnosis is serious. <:/

-Worn sway bar bushings
That's fine. You can still buy those from Moog. I changed those in 2021.

-Worn sway bar links
Again, fine. Can sill buy that from Moog. Those were changed in 2019.

-Worn pitman arm
Annoying because I replaced that in fall 2021 along with the sway bar bushings. I guess that's Mevotech for you.

-Worn lower control arms
This is a major issue. Not the bushings I replaced in 2019. The control arms. Both bushings are loose in their seats and are actively moving when the car is driven. This is the majority of the klunking. The other issue is the drivers side lower control arm is cracked. That's terminal.

If anyone has a pair of rebuildable lower control arms, I'm listening. That is not a part I can buy off any shelf anymore. I'll go check my parts car out of town but I cannot remember if it has both control arms still.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2023, 03:50:55 PM by MIPS »

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2023, 06:12:36 PM »
Check out car-part.com.  I just took a quick look, there seems to be about 25 wrecking yards that say they have them available.  Going rate seems to be about $30-50 plus shipping.  Good luck!

PS They also have an app.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2023, 06:18:59 PM by vangremlin »
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2023, 12:06:05 AM »
There is one yard a province over that says they have an Eagle in the yard. I'll inquire with them as well as Gary's Auto Wrecking down on the coast as he's a pretty major Jeep guy.

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #8 on: November 03, 2023, 09:41:00 PM »
Yard pulls arrived......




...aaaand they're junk. That was $400 wasted. Judging by the bushing seat they both got a pretty bad yank and they are bent or at the very least the bushing seats are really skewed.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2023, 09:42:30 PM by MIPS »

Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2023, 05:06:28 PM »
Crap.  Maybe straighten them a little bit, plus a few well-placed tack welds on the new bushings?   If not; hope the yard will give you a refund (or a 100% discount).
George G.
'81 Eagle Sundancer
'85 Eagle Waggie
1960 1902 Rambler Replica
'64 American
'70 AMX (Big Bad Blue), '70 AMX (White)
'77 Gremlin
'78 Pacer Coupe, '78 Pacer Wagon
'79 Pacer Wagon
'73 Jensen Interceptor
'86 Audi 5000 Turbo
'98 Aston Martin DB7
'09 Nissan Titan
'10 Nissan Maxima

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2023, 11:06:31 PM »
One side is really badly twisted. I suspect that before the car went to the yard it was taken on one last trip into the woods and driven a little rough. From the photos I saw before I ordered them the car didn't seem trashed but the control arms tell me something really bad happened underneath quite recently. You can probably straighten them with a torch and a metal rod but I need my car back on the road so I'll try and get a partial refund and go grab plan B.




These ones are a lot better and came off an '87. Compared to the first set these measure almost symmetrical, so they need a sandblasting, paint and new bushings pressed in but they'll be good.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2023, 11:07:56 PM by MIPS »

Offline vangremlin

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2023, 12:10:18 PM »
Glad you were able to get a decent set.  Happy motoring!
1981 Kammback 258 - "Pepe"
1980 Coupe 258 - "Ginger
1972 Gremlin X 304
1978 Gremlin 4 cyl 121 - sold
1964 TBird 390 - sold

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2023, 11:12:49 PM »
The new ones are in. The klunking has gone away.



Here is what both of the old ones look like around the bushing. I left it to my now famous(...ly terrible) shop back in 2019 to press these bushings in because I didn't have the spacer tool to keep the control arm from being crushed while pressing it in. They either didn't use one or they had one that was too small and the receiving edge has been bent inwards. This has been faulty for years. There should be a perfectly square edge on the control arm-to-bushing surface. These are tapered.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2023, 11:14:12 PM by MIPS »

Offline MIPS

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2023, 03:21:48 PM »
aaaaand it's back. It's back bad.

Something's happened with the new control arm. After a week and a half I noticed the klunking was returning and moderate braking would cause the front driver's wheel to wobble all the way up to the steering wheel, then the alignment started drifting to the right.
Checked the tie rods as I had touched them lately and they seemed tight. Inspected the new bushing and I can't see anything funky in there as well. I'll try and dig into it more once my new tie rod boots arrive.

Offline AMC of Houston

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Re: Klunking...but from /WHERE/??
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2023, 05:57:42 PM »
Well, crap.  New ball joint gone south?   Like everything else, quality of those has also gone down the tubes.
George G.
'81 Eagle Sundancer
'85 Eagle Waggie
1960 1902 Rambler Replica
'64 American
'70 AMX (Big Bad Blue), '70 AMX (White)
'77 Gremlin
'78 Pacer Coupe, '78 Pacer Wagon
'79 Pacer Wagon
'73 Jensen Interceptor
'86 Audi 5000 Turbo
'98 Aston Martin DB7
'09 Nissan Titan
'10 Nissan Maxima

 

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