Clonking noise from front suspension?

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alpenweiss2
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Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by alpenweiss2 » Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:14 pm

I know this i a common question on here but I just cannot seem to get to the bottom of the clonking noise on our 1999 Wagon. Car is pretty well maintained and has had recent replacement parts in the suspension (one arm replaced last year...not sure which side as gargae didn't specify). We live in rual france so getting work done on the car is a nightmare. I took the car to a local gargae a week or so ago and told them there was a knocking on the drivers side front. They raised the car up and lifted the front drivers side wheel off the ramp. They got a crowbar and levered all the arms and also checked the ARB bushes. They couldn't find any issues?

When the ca is on a rough or gravelled road there is a noticeable clonking noise coming from that side of the car at the front? It is quiet on a smooth road and only clonks over rough sufaces or bumps. Is quiet when pullng away or braking?

Any thoughts as to the likely source if the ARB buses are okay and the arms are good?

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by BIG F@ TW@ » Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:29 pm

Have you checked the brakes? Calipers/pads etc aren't loose.

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mitchumb
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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by mitchumb » Wed Mar 13, 2019 10:31 pm

Maybe engine mounts or snub mount

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by maclee » Thu Mar 14, 2019 2:29 am

I am not ignoring what you said, and I do not own a Passat, so I claim no expertise, but I will share with you my experience of my 2000 SEAT, (200'000 miles).

It too had a clunk from the front, (seemed to change sides at times). The clunk could be heard when going over a speed bump, (slowly), and when either wheel went into one of the many pot holes around here. I put up with this for a while because there was no obvious cause.

Then it started to make the noise when the car's nose dipped under braking, sometimes worse in wet weather, sometimes less so when wet.

In the end I discovered a very small amount of movement in just one of the ARB rubbers, (the ones that support the ARB along its length). I had both changed, and it is only when you see the new ones fitted you realise just how tight they are to the ARB. Even the 'unworn' rubber I had thought was OK was actually very weak in its grip.

I had the drop links changed at he same time and they too looked old, but sort-of OK, ... until removed and compared to the new ones.

Only after the work was done did I realise how much noise I had been tolerating. It was not just the clunking noise I mentioned before, but so many other little knocks and creaks.

If yours is a higher milage car and still has the original ARB rubbers and drop links it might be worth changing them anyway, so long as they are not too expensive. I am not sure that movement is easy to detect until the rubbers are really badly worn.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by dvhttn » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:48 am

alpenweiss2 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:16 pm
..... When the car is on a rough or gravelled road there is a noticeable clonking noise coming from that side of the car at the front? It is quiet on a smooth road and only clonks over rough sufaces or bumps. Is quiet when pullng away or braking? ....
I had similar and it turned out to the the rear, lower arm-to-body bush at the front. You know, the effing big one. I took it to the garage a couple of times who couldn't see anything. It even went through the MOT at least once with the clonking noise happening as you describe. Just no "visible" movement even with 3-foot pry bars! Eventually it did wear enough to notice so new arm, no more noise.
-----
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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Jultsu » Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am

My money goes to a worn top shock bush. Image

alpenweiss2
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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by alpenweiss2 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:18 am

It does sound like the clonking is coming from slightly higher up. Is this a straightforward job to replace? Is this part of the top mount?

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by alpenweiss2 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:25 am

BIG F@ TW@ wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 7:29 pm
Have you checked the brakes? Calipers/pads etc aren't loose.

Sent from my Shamsung using Tapatalcum powder
Brakes and calipers are all fine. It's not that sort of noise. Sounds higher up to be fair, but suspension related.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by alpenweiss2 » Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:27 am

dvhttn wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:48 am
alpenweiss2 wrote:
Wed Mar 13, 2019 6:16 pm
..... When the car is on a rough or gravelled road there is a noticeable clonking noise coming from that side of the car at the front? It is quiet on a smooth road and only clonks over rough sufaces or bumps. Is quiet when pullng away or braking? ....
I had similar and it turned out to the the rear, lower arm-to-body bush at the front. You know, the effing big one. I took it to the garage a couple of times who couldn't see anything. It even went through the MOT at least once with the clonking noise happening as you describe. Just no "visible" movement even with 3-foot pry bars! Eventually it did wear enough to notice so new arm, no more noise.
Could be this! I just don't want to spend a small fortune repalcing everything (arb bushes, strut top bush etc, lower arms to chase the problem). Ideally I need a garage that knows these cars difficult here in rural France.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Jultsu » Fri Mar 15, 2019 7:57 pm

alpenweiss2 wrote:
Fri Mar 15, 2019 9:18 am
It does sound like the clonking is coming from slightly higher up. Is this a straightforward job to replace? Is this part of the top mount?
The top bush replacement requires you to pull out the whole strut assembly which could be slightly problematic if you haven't ever removed the top pinch bolt. A way around this is to remove the two bolts holding the top links to the the strut assembly. After this you just need a pair of good McPherson spring clamps and a regular toolbox.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by 2stroke » Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:54 pm

Jultsu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
My money goes to a worn top shock bush.
Do you mean # 9 ?
Passat stötdämpare moddad.jpg
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Passat's that I have owned...
* 1974 , 1500 cc , 4-speed.
* 1975 , 1500 cc , 4-speed.
* 1975 , 1500 cc , 4-speed.
* 1977 , 1600 cc Injection , 4-speed.
* 1984 , 1800 cc , 5-speed.
* 1991 , 1800 cc , 5-speed.
* 1994 , 2000 cc , 5-Speed.
* 1999 , 1900 cc , TDI , Syncro , 5-Speed.
* 2000 , 1800 cc , Turbo , 5-speed.
* 2000 , 2300 cc , VR-5 , 4-Motion , 5-Speed . :((
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Current VAG cars in family...
* 2001 , VW Passat 2.3 VR-5 , 4-Motion
* 2002 , VW Passat 1.8T
* 2006 , Skoda Fabia 1.4 16v
* 2008 , Audi A4 1.8T , Quattro
* 2016 , VW Caddy Maxi 2.0 TDI , DSG , 4-Motion
* 2016 , VW Golf ALLTRACK 1.8 TSI , DSG , 4-Motion
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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Jultsu » Mon Mar 25, 2019 5:25 am

2stroke wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:54 pm
Jultsu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
My money goes to a worn top shock bush.
Do you mean # 9 ?
That's the one.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by steviemac » Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:59 pm

The easy way to check for play in front suspension joints on these cars (be careful - you do this at your own risk)

Jack one side of the front up and put it on an axle stand with the tyre well clear of the floor. Make sure the opposite wheel is still on the ground. Get somebody to start the car, put it in first gear and slowly let the clutch out. As the elevated wheel reaches a steady speed get the person in the car to dip the clutch and hit the brakes. The sudden stop of the momentum of the heavy wheel will show quickly and obviously which joints are defective (except ARB droplinks). Note there is no need to (and you definitely should not!) get under the car whilst doing this - if you lie on the floor at the side you should be able to check inboard and outboard ends of each arm quite easily

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Mr. P » Wed Mar 27, 2019 6:17 am

Sounds exactly like the problem I appear to have with mine! Still not got to the bottom of it. Car been through several mots like it, and my regular garage cannot find any play anywhere....

Please keep us posted with any news on this, cheers.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Mindriot » Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:30 pm

2stroke wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:54 pm
Jultsu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
My money goes to a worn top shock bush.
Do you mean # 9 ?
Passat stötdämpare moddad.jpg
How many of you have changed this for new parts, i garuntee this is one of the causes of mysterious knocking.NEW PARTS mind you, even if it appears to look ok.

Another could be corrosion weakening the thread grip of the 3 bolts holding part 13 to the car bodywork.

Not joking dissimilar metals and alloy corrosion can weaken or strip the tapped holes in that top plate.

Ive had both issues on 2 different passats.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by ct.p » Wed Mar 27, 2019 9:48 pm

I've heard of the odd case where the lock panel (the front end) / crash bar has the odd loose bolt or two causing an impossible to trace knock.

Has the front end been out / in the service position since you have had the car?
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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Jultsu » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:09 am

Mindriot wrote:
Wed Mar 27, 2019 8:30 pm
2stroke wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 11:54 pm
Jultsu wrote:
Thu Mar 14, 2019 11:20 am
My money goes to a worn top shock bush.
Do you mean # 9 ?
Passat stötdämpare moddad.jpg
Another could be corrosion weakening the thread grip of the 3 bolts holding part 13 to the car bodywork.
It's also pretty easy to strip the threads on those holes since the angle of attack is less than ideal on some of them. Happened to me as well.. :-

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Mindriot » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:44 am

Yeah when i did a complete arm replacement on my b5.5 several stripped before they even torqued to value.

There was corrosion but i also suspected prior damage. I drilled and tapped next M size up and changed the bolts to sort mine.

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Re: Clonking noise from front suspension?

Post by Mindriot » Thu Mar 28, 2019 6:44 am

Yeah when i did a complete arm replacement on my b5.5 several stripped before they even torqued to value.

There was corrosion but i also suspected prior damage. I drilled and tapped next M size up and changed the bolts to sort mine.

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