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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Have been having a clonk from the front end of a 1995 24v 3.0 164, UK spec.
It mostly happened on steering inputs but not always.
No play in front suspension bushes and even changed the engine mounts - were shot anyway.
Think narrowed it down to the front strut lower bearing so took the suspect one off today - only 6 months old! It looked fine and felt fine, hand wise. Was evidence of impact on the lower spring pan, suggesting it had been hitting on the strut - which would account for the impact noise heard. No evidence of damage on the strut rod itself - harder steel?
Anyway, I had a new lower bearing to put in so did so - and it didn't fit. Out come the vernier calipers. 1mm internal difference (1mm less for replacement) and 1mm height/thickness difference. In the end, I used a file on the strut to remove any 'bumps' and then it sat OK.

To cut a long day short, I think corrosion in the lower spring pan had caused the bearing to sit badly. Rust takes more space than normal steel. These bearings are a tight fit out of necessity and the two (plastic!) halves are barely held together unloaded - as designed to sit under constant load. They must sit square to keep their two halves properly together.
Sorry for the lack of pics. I should have taken loads but was too busy actually getting the job done.
If you have a front end clonk, often steering related, maybe consider your lower bearings.
 

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Did this fix the klonk?
 

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Driving it tomorrow. Will let you know. If it didn't will mean need to look into the steering rack, so really hope it is now fixed.
Can I assume that (while everything was apart) you checked the upper strut mount and the strut itself for proper operation and integrity?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi,
very happy to say this has fixed the clonk.

Yes, checked everything else on the strut as pulled the whole thing to pieces before re-assembly.
Think it had indeed been some raised point of corrosion above the lower strut bearing, where it sits under the spring pan, causing the bearing not to seat properly. Seems cleaning this area up with a circular wire brush on a drill and then treating the entire spring pan with rust converter, to prevent future such issues, has done the job. It did seem to be sitting properly, top and bottom of the bearing, before re-assembly and driving the car now seems to confirm that. Yay :-D

BTW, does anyone known the correct torque setting for the four M10 lower strut to hub bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
An update is, I still have some front end clonk - though much better than before. Possibly from the other strut or possibly from A-arm or even the joints on the rack. So hard to pin down. No obvious play anywhere, even using a thick screwdriver to load joints.
Ironically, the front end feels really tight driving wise and handles beautifully. Am tempted to give up looking for the source until after the winter. Suspect the rear A-arm mount. Anyone found any other causes, struts aside?
 

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Have you looked at the steering rack bushings? As I understand, they are a known failure point, which produces a knock or clonk.

B

P.S. Depending on what it looks like, when I dive under there, I plan to do mine with either a sheet of neoprene, or by casting urethane into the gap vacated by rubber that turned to dust.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Have you looked at the steering rack bushings? As I understand, they are a known failure point, which produces a knock or clonk.

B

P.S. Depending on what it looks like, when I dive under there, I plan to do mine with either a sheet of neoprene, or by casting urethane into the gap vacated by rubber that turned to dust.
Thanks, have actually been wondering about these. Given the weather now, am aiming to put off further checks until spring. Don't think bad enough for any danger, just frustrating more than anything at moment.
 

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Have you looked at the steering rack bushings? As I understand, they are a known failure point, which produces a knock or clonk.

B

P.S. Depending on what it looks like, when I dive under there, I plan to do mine with either a sheet of neoprene, or by casting urethane into the gap vacated by rubber that turned to dust.
Given my recent escapades with our LS's power steering rack, I'm heavily biased to assume any 'clonk' is steering-rack-related.. As SPEZIA suggests, the rubber bushing on the passenger side clamp especially, can wear out and let the tube 'hop' and strike the steel U-clamp, resulting in an intermittent 'clonk'... You can check simply by grabbing the steering 'tube' near the passenger side and give it a shove... You'll immediately notice whether it has enough play to give you the 'clonk'.

Best wishes!
- Art
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Many thanks.
I've come to suspect the steering rack less. There seems to be no play in rack or rack joints, as I can tell so far.
What have concluded so far, given how rebuilding the left front strut temporarily cured the issue, is that the seating of the front spring pans on their bearings remains the actual issue.
Mostly get horrible noises close to full right lock, though by no means always.
Have resigned from curing it this side of winter as sure nothing is about to break. In the meantime going to strip down some spare struts and bring their spring pans back to 'new', along with some more new front bearings to put in them and make sure are absolutely 100% perfectly seated.
Did notice the old new bearing I took out had almost 1mm of lateral play on the strut, due to a slightly wider inner diameter. The one I just put in was a snug fit, although the bearing itself seemed less rugged. Alfas....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Going through old posts and noticed this one from me. Not sure if I posted the actual cause of the clonk but can tell you it was the three M8 bolts on the outer part of the front A-arms, directly below the hub ball joint. Had installed them pointing up not down so had been 'pressed' by the hub as rotated when steering and loosened up. Using new bolts/nuts, installed pointing downwards, the issue has never returned.
 

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??? my 164-S has had an annoying 'clunk' mainly when backing out of the garage, turning the wheel one way, then changing direction while going forward "clunk". I figured stored up energy was being released somewhere in the springs or CV joints.

Mark
 

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Being that I replaced my entire suspension except the steering rack, I have the same clunk, I am assuming its either the rack itself or the bushing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Interestingly, I have a front end clunk/clonk again. Can't find any play anywhere but must be something. Taking off front struts in couple of weeks and will examine again. Usually only happens when first moving off, sometimes when turning wheel. Wondering if a brake caliper moving as know one of the slider pins has some wear - annoyingly not in the pin but in the bore it goes into.
Joy....
 

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Interestingly, I have a front end clunk/clonk again. Can't find any play anywhere but must be something. Taking off front struts in couple of weeks and will examine again. Usually only happens when first moving off, sometimes when turning wheel. Wondering if a brake caliper moving as know one of the slider pins has some wear - annoyingly not in the pin but in the bore it goes into.
Joy....
My theory was being that I literally replaced all suspension pieces, torqued every part, and replaced all the brake parts and hardware, the only thing missing was the rack and bushing. And with all those pieces so tight, any looseness has to go somewhere. A split bushing won't show if you were just under the car trying to move stuff around, but with 3000lbs of car pushing it around, it fails.
 

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I rebuilt front end on BB1 when we got her in 2009 and I also am getting a clunk in right front now when accelerating from dead stop sometimes. I have poly bushings in both ends of the upper dog bone and those look fine. I need to investigate more as I installed new lower suspension arms, ball joints, sway bar lollipops and rebuilt struts with stock parts. Sway bar bushings maybe compromised after 30+ years now.
 
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