Can't seem to diagnose...Frustrated.

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
I am trying to figure out why the passenger front end is clunking when making right hand turns or taking right hand curves. I tried like hell to shake the tie rods and neither of them budged. Maybe I'm not strong enough? I gave it hell though honestly. I felt the outter tie rod bushings? The rubber balloons in between the metal, there seems to be a decent gap between the metal and the rubber on one side, whereas the metal sits right on top of the rubber on the other side. Both tie rods do this, and one side of each seems worn down.

Now am I supposed to try and move them side to side or up and down? I THINK I felt slight movement, but it was so slight that I don't even know if I really felt it move(tried turning it). I will HATE having to take it in for diagnosis but I might have to. We are getting some lovely powder now, which will make it hard to do the work. I'm planning on getting my parts that way me and the hubby can do it while he is off this weekend....which it's supposed to be 50 degrees out.

How would I go about checking my struts? Anything in particular to look for? I'm sorry I am such a damn noob lol but that's why I'm here, so I can learn :biggrin:

Thanks in advance!
VM
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Is the noise a definite clunking, or is it more of a rumbling/knocking noise..??

Does it make the noise rythmically, or does the noise only happen over bumps or rough road..??

Any chance of a video with audio of the noise....


Dave.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
Is the noise a definite clunking, or is it more of a rumbling/knocking noise..??

Does it make the noise rythmically, or does the noise only happen over bumps or rough road..??

Any chance of a video with audio of the noise....


Dave.

I can try to video the noise. I'm not sure if speed will play a factor or not as we are getting a good bit of snow right now. I know I can get pictures of the tie rods lol. I guess I can get in the truck and take it for a ride, hubby and kids are sleeping and I'm bored anyways. Give me like 30 min? I should have it posted by then.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Voymom said:
I can try to video the noise. I'm not sure if speed will play a factor or not as we are getting a good bit of snow right now. I know I can get pictures of the tie rods lol. I guess I can get in the truck and take it for a ride, hubby and kids are sleeping and I'm bored anyways. Give me like 30 min? I should have it posted by then.

I thought you were a crazy Voy driver....a bit of snow shouldn't slow you down....:rotfl:
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
I thought you were a crazy Voy driver....a bit of snow shouldn't slow you down....:rotfl:

LOL! I am a snow virgin with the Envoy, this is my first snowfall I have ever driven it in. I got a video, it's processing over on youtube right now.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Okay I hear a loud thud/clunk at 2:26

Other than that I really couldnt hear much, my keys were hitting the dash and my phone is a major POS lol Plus I had to keep using my turn signal as a police officer was scouting where I was driving in circles.

I have about 6 other video's to listen through lol so maybe I will catch a better clunk in one of them, but this is all I have right now.


03 Envoy "Clunking" noise front end - YouTube!
 

BOOMERZ

Member
Dec 5, 2011
94
it almost sounds like the lower control arm bracket bushings are gone or the front disconnect
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
A 100% surefire way to determine if the noise is coming from the sway bar linkages is to remove them and the sway bar itself. This is very quick and easy to do providing you can undo the sway linkage bolts. Mine were a nightmare because of 10 years in the rust belt, and yours might be the same if they are still original. However, if you can remove them then the sway bar itself comes off with tjust 4 bolts. It's easily a 1 man job to do all of this....and you will know for certain if this was the cause of your noise or not.

My sway bar linkages were easily diagnosed as knackered because I could move them around by hand....no need for a road test without the sway bar attached. :smile:

Upper ball joints and lower control arm bushings have a habit of creaking when they get worn, thus giving you an audible clue that they are not as tight as they once were.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
A 100% surefire way to determine if the noise is coming from the sway bar linkages is to remove them and the sway bar itself. This is very quick and easy to do providing you can undo the sway linkage bolts. Mine were a nightmare because of 10 years in the rust belt, and yours might be the same if they are still original. However, if you can remove them then the sway bar itself comes off with tjust 4 bolts. It's easily a 1 man job to do all of this....and you will know for certain if this was the cause of your noise or not.

My sway bar linkages were easily diagnosed as knackered because I could move them around by hand....no need for a road test without the sway bar attached. :smile:

Upper ball joints and lower control arm bushings have a habit of creaking when they get worn, thus giving you an audible clue that they are not as tight as they once were.

Everything that I can see is stock, and we haven't changed anything either. And we have no creaking noise, it's literally a clunk(like something hitting the metal underneath) and I feel a thud under my feet when it clunks or bangs...whatever you want to call it lol. In the video is sounds more of a thud and seems different than in person. It's not the struts, at least we really don't think they are, we tried bouncing the front end to see if we could manifest the noise, which we could not. The clunking noise is intermittent and does not happen all the time, it actually seems to happen more on drier surfaces. We have about 2 inches of snow on the ground and it was very difficult to get the truck to make the noise, whereas it did it every single time I turned right when I drove it yesterday on dry ground. I may just break down and take it to a shop, but I know they will probably tell me I am looking at fixing the most expensive part in the front end, or tell me I need a whole new engine lol. That and they will probably not be able to manifest the noise and tell me nothing is wrong. I'm a bit annoyed and frustrated that I cant seem to figure this out. I may just replace the struts with monroe quick struts, replace tie rods both inner and outer, and maybe the upper and lower ball joints. I don't know yet.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Worn or damaged sway bar linkages will make the clunking noise you are describing. Mine clunked in a similar fashion to yours.

They are one of the easiest and cheapest solutions in the front suspension system, so I would do my best to eliminate them as the cause before investing further time and $$$ on other possibilities.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
Worn or damaged sway bar linkages will make the clunking noise you are describing. Mine clunked in a similar fashion to yours.

They are one of the easiest and cheapest solutions in the front suspension system, so I would do my best to eliminate them as the cause before investing further time and $$$ on other possibilities.

Thank you! I will have the hubby check that first. I may just do the tie rods to be on the safe side as they look pretty old and worn anyways. My luck they will go out a week after doing sway bar linkages lol.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
You should be able to remove ONE anti-sway bar end link and remove the stress transfer on that system. See if the noise goes away then. Or just swap 'em. Low end ones from Rockauto (deeza or Mevotech) are better than the Cheap Chinese Crap on Ebay.

The tie rod ends are easy to check if you quit driving around and jack it up and put it on jack stands, or get it on a lift. Then you wiggle the tires back and forth while holding them at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. There should be under 1/4" of play. If they wiggle more than that, like 1/2", the tie rod ends (inner or more likely the outer) will show movement and may clunk as well. Ball joints move when worn if you wiggle the tire at the 6 and 12 o'clock positions.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
the roadie said:
You should be able to remove ONE anti-sway bar end link and remove the stress transfer on that system. See if the noise goes away then. Or just swap 'em. Low end ones from Rockauto (deeza or Mevotech) are better than the Cheap Chinese Crap on Ebay.

The tie rod ends are easy to check if you quit driving around and jack it up and put it on jack stands, or get it on a lift. Then you wiggle the tires back and forth while holding them at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions. There should be under 1/4" of play. If they wiggle more than that, like 1/2", the tie rod ends (inner or more likely the outer) will show movement and may clunk as well. Ball joints move when worn if you wiggle the tire at the 6 and 12 o'clock positions.

Thanks Roadie! There really wasn't much wiggle in the tires in either direction. Tie rods don't have any play in them from what I can see/feel. They look horrible so we will probably just do them to get them out of the way. Hopefully the weather will be better this weekend so we can get it up on the stands and really get down to the nitty gritty. It's just hard in the winter time for us because we don't have a garage. Had we bought the truck in the summer/fall it would have all been taken care of already. I just hate thinking about waiting until spring time to try and fix everything, because that means between now and then I am either looking at more issues, or damage from something breaking.
 

tricguy007

Member
Dec 7, 2011
131
Also check the sway bar bushings I've seen those go bad and make noise just grab the bar where it is mounted to the frame and try to move it up and down any movement is bad and can make noise I would steer away from doing the tie rods /balljoints if they have no play
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
tricguy007 said:
Also check the sway bar bushings I've seen those go bad and make noise just grab the bar where it is mounted to the frame and try to move it up and down any movement is bad and can make noise I would steer away from doing the tie rods /balljoints if they have no play

Just curious, but why steer clear of changing the tie rods if there is no play? I would rather put in new ones now instead of waiting and having them go out and being stranded on the side of the road with 6 kids lol.
 

The_Roadie

Lifetime VIP Donor
Member
Nov 19, 2011
9,957
Portland, OR
Tie rod ends start by showing looseness. For street driving, they NEVER fail by breaking unless you hit a curb or pothole HARD enough to also bend a rim. Don't worry about them.

For anti-sway bar links, they can break, and the vehicle will also drive just fine except you will need to be reasonable in corners. You will not be stranded by a broken anti-sway bar link.

These are perfectly deferrable repairs. Just live with the noise, unless you find something else like loose mounting bolts at the top of the strut, or elsewhere in the suspension.
 

tricguy007

Member
Dec 7, 2011
131
I work on cars for a living and if the stuff isn't loose or broken I don't recommend it to the customer not saying it won't ever brake ,because anything, even a NEW part can brake. I don't want to scare you but why waste money on parts that are not broken. I don't believe in trying to rip people off and sell parts that aren't needed. I'm sorry for ranting
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
the roadie said:
Tie rod ends start by showing looseness. For street driving, they NEVER fail by breaking unless you hit a curb or pothole HARD enough to also bend a rim. Don't worry about them.

For anti-sway bar links, they can break, and the vehicle will also drive just fine except you will need to be reasonable in corners. You will not be stranded by a broken anti-sway bar link.

These are perfectly deferrable repairs. Just live with the noise, unless you find something else like loose mounting bolts at the top of the strut, or elsewhere in the suspension.

It's nice to know I don't need to go out and do these changes now, as it is the time of year makes it that much more difficult to do. I appreciate more than words can say! Thank you :smile:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
There are many things that seem to plague me when cold weather hits that then I just have to deal with until springtime comes. Working on cars when freezing your butt off is NOT fun. I've had a number of things I didn't have such a choice on and enjoyed a few days out in the cold working on stuff with my old car. Stupid thing :crazy:

Right now I have pulley whine (again) but the heck with it I'm waiting until it gets warm before mucking around with it!

So no, don't feel bad in waiting until the weather is a little kinder, we do it all the time for stuff that are just in the nuisance stage.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
the roadie said:
You want to consider frustrating? Think about how long you would have waited on the OS for somebody to wander by and offer a competent answer. :confused:

It might have been spring time. If ever. :wink:

A competent answer? I don't even think they know what that is over there lol

That is another reason why I haven't been back, well besides my lovely rant which got me put on the global ban list lol
 

ElAviator72

Member
Jan 11, 2012
118
Checked the CV joints?

Clunks during a turn sounds an awful lot like a CV joint going...and our trucks have them on the front end if they're 4 wheel drive :thumbsup:
 

fadyasha

Member
Dec 21, 2011
1,134
davenay67 said:
Worn or damaged sway bar linkages will make the clunking noise you are describing. Mine clunked in a similar fashion to yours.

They are one of the easiest and cheapest solutions in the front suspension system, so I would do my best to eliminate them as the cause before investing further time and $$$ on other possibilities.

I'd give my 2 cents there too. My left sway bar link was toast and was clunking when turning but not always. sometimes when hitting the brakes and turning.

I replaced them few weeks ago and haven't had the issue since :thumbsup:
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
fadyasha said:
I'd give my 2 cents there too. My left sway bar link was toast and was clunking when turning but not always. sometimes when hitting the brakes and turning.

I replaced them few weeks ago and haven't had the issue since :thumbsup:

You know, I don't think I paid much attention to whether it was when I stepped on the breaks and turned lol. We're going to change them out I think this weekend, I can't take the noise....I have a stock radio as of now so that wouldn't hide the clunking until spring. Now, I thought with those going out turning would be a bit "iffy"? I haven't noticed any leaning when turning.

Anyways, they will be getting fixed! And I thank you all very much for all the replies and help!
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Roadie is correct is stating that sway bar links and tie rods are more annoying than anything else. I knew the clunking was probably harmless but it drove me nuts to have the noise and not know where it was coming from. I was lucky that the OEM links were so bad that they had visible amounts of play when you grabbed them....very easy to diagnose. These cars will still corner well even without the assistance of the sway bar, so long as you don't think you're in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Like I mentioned before, my Jeep TJ is lifted by 3" and has no sway bar....I can't tell that it's not there.

IF it is the sway bar linkages, the noise will be most apparent when a sharp change of direction for the sway bar is encountered. i.e. a pothole or speed bump.

I lived in CA for 9 years prior to moving to Chicago, so the shock of working in the garage (or not working on cars in winter as it turned out) drove me crazy, so I broke down this year and bought a Kerosene heater on sale at Menards, just so that I could still do any kind of work needed on the cars. I have 3 vehicles, all with well over 100,000 miles each, and they don't understand or care for waiting for Spring for repairs....:rotfl:
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
Roadie is correct is stating that sway bar links and tie rods are more annoying than anything else. I knew the clunking was probably harmless but it drove me nuts to have the noise and not know where it was coming from. I was lucky that the OEM links were so bad that they had visible amounts of play when you grabbed them....very easy to diagnose. These cars will still corner well even without the assistance of the sway bar, so long as you don't think you're in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Like I mentioned before, my Jeep TJ is lifted by 3" and has no sway bar....I can't tell that it's not there.

IF it is the sway bar linkages, the noise will be most apparent when a sharp change of direction for the sway bar is encountered. i.e. a pothole or speed bump.

I lived in CA for 9 years prior to moving to Chicago, so the shock of working in the garage (or not working on cars in winter as it turned out) drove me crazy, so I broke down this year and bought a Kerosene heater on sale at Menards, just so that I could still do any kind of work needed on the cars. I have 3 vehicles, all with well over 100,000 miles each, and they don't understand or care for waiting for Spring for repairs....:rotfl:

We have half a garage, well less than half lol. We are renting a duplex and it was only a 2bed so we used the garage and converted it into a master suite for now. We are in the process of house shopping and the next house WILL have ample amount of garage space. Thankfully this is just temporary. I understand the links and tie rod noise is just annoying, but I have little patience and I am already annoyed with it, so we're going to be changing them this weekend when it's 50 out.
 

davenay67

Member
Jan 16, 2012
217
Voymom said:
...we used the garage and converted it into a master suite for now....

That's perfect....work on your car in the comfort of your living room..!!

Back when I was a student and only had motorbikes, I would work on them in the living room of my apartment. :wink:
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
davenay67 said:
That's perfect....work on your car in the comfort of your living room..!!

Back when I was a student and only had motorbikes, I would work on them in the living room of my apartment. :wink:

LOL I wish I could park my truck in the living room....it would definitely make working on it a lot more comfortable and and of course warm in the winter time. But for some reason I just don't think my landlord would be as appreciative :wink:
 

BRomanJr

Member
Dec 9, 2011
371
Voymom said:
Thanks Roadie! There really wasn't much wiggle in the tires in either direction. Tie rods don't have any play in them from what I can see/feel. They look horrible so we will probably just do them to get them out of the way. Hopefully the weather will be better this weekend so we can get it up on the stands and really get down to the nitty gritty. It's just hard in the winter time for us because we don't have a garage. Had we bought the truck in the summer/fall it would have all been taken care of already. I just hate thinking about waiting until spring time to try and fix everything, because that means between now and then I am either looking at more issues, or damage from something breaking.


Just to chime in with more info, check those upper A-frame bushings. I didn't notice your mileage but when I got my truck at 164,000 it had loads of noises that I had to track down and besides sway bar end links, those upper A-frame bushings were toast and made noises like yours. I agree with the others that you need to find the bad parts and just replace them, there are too many parts to guess.

IMO The best test for those upper bushings is to jack up under the lower A-frame near the ball joint, get the tire just barely off the ground and grab it top and bottom. Shake firmly and listen or look for movement. These bushings have some vehicle weight on them and the weight will be unloaded while turning (the faster the turn the more rattling)

I purchased aftermarket upper A-frames with bushings installed for around $53.00 apiece and other than moving a little sheet metal in the wheel well for bolt clearance they swapped easily.

Hope you find that noise.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
BRomanJr said:
Just to chime in with more info, check those upper A-frame bushings. I didn't notice your mileage but when I got my truck at 164,000 it had loads of noises that I had to track down and besides sway bar end links, those upper A-frame bushings were toast and made noises like yours. I agree with the others that you need to find the bad parts and just replace them, there are too many parts to guess.

IMO The best test for those upper bushings is to jack up under the lower A-frame near the ball joint, get the tire just barely off the ground and grab it top and bottom. Shake firmly and listen or look for movement. These bushings have some vehicle weight on them and the weight will be unloaded while turning (the faster the turn the more rattling)

I purchased aftermarket upper A-frames with bushings installed for around $53.00 apiece and other than moving a little sheet metal in the wheel well for bolt clearance they swapped easily.

Hope you find that noise.

Thanks! Phantom has 114,xxx miles. I bought him with 113,xxx(a month ago) The noise does not seem to have any relation to speed. I have heard it on the hwy at 60-70mph going into a slight right hand curve, and I have heard it at snail speeds turning into a busy parking lot. I THINK I hear it when I drive over bumps and potholes but I don't know as there is a lot of other noises when I drive over stuff that is bumpy lol.
 

BRomanJr

Member
Dec 9, 2011
371
Voymom said:
Thanks! Phantom has 114,xxx miles. I bought him with 113,xxx(a month ago) The noise does not seem to have any relation to speed. I have heard it on the hwy at 60-70mph going into a slight right hand curve, and I have heard it at snail speeds turning into a busy parking lot. I THINK I hear it when I drive over bumps and potholes but I don't know as there is a lot of other noises when I drive over stuff that is bumpy lol.

My reference to speed was that it takes less of a turn to make the noise at faster speeds. You seem to have confirmed that.
You should check out your entire front end, Like some have mentioned in other threads, take it for a FREE inspection somewhere, use that to find your bad parts and replace yourself.
 

Uncle Blazer

Member
Dec 8, 2011
263
Voymom said:
It's nice to know I don't need to go out and do these changes now, as it is the time of year makes it that much more difficult to do. I appreciate more than words can say! Thank you :smile:

NOW GET OUT THERE AND PLAY IN THE SNOW (before it melts today)
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Well...Hubby has been in the process of changing the t-stat, and when we got it out it was NOT open, in fact it was closed. I'm starting to think it wasn't the t-stat but it is the sensor that needs to be replaced?

We bought the 190 thermostat so I guess we will see how it runs now. The sway links will be next...the thudding/clanking noise is really getting on my nerves, granted we haven't heard it in almost a week because we had snow on the ground. Now that it is warm and dry the noise is back..yay!
 

Mark20

Member
Dec 6, 2011
1,630
I don't think all t-stat stuck open failures are truely stuck open. I think many start opening too soon and thus your engine never reaches operating temperature.

When I changed mine it was closed but I also did the coolant temperature sensor at the same time. However the Scan Gauge gave me a consistent too cool reading, about 165F.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Mark20 said:
I don't think all t-stat stuck open failures are truely stuck open. I think many start opening too soon and thus your engine never reaches operating temperature.

When I changed mine it was closed but I also did the coolant temperature sensor at the same time. However the Scan Gauge gave me a consistent too cool reading, about 165F.

Thanks Mark. I will probably end up doing the sensor, it's just talking hubby into it needing to be done. I know I won't hear the end of it with the t-stat not being stuck open :frown: He didn't think anything was wrong with the thermostat/temp gauge or anything for that matter, my day just keeps getting better! :tongue:
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
the roadie said:
At room temp or less, it would be surprising had it been open.

So you are saying that it would be surprising for it to be stuck open when the engine is cool? You speak Yoda-ish lmao and I have a hard time deciphering your language when on 10 types of pain killers :biggrin:

So, it doesn't need to open until the engine warms up? Which would explain why it was closed when the hubby took it out? I tried going all day without any meds...but the pain kicked in after getting the hiccups :redface:
 

Sparky

Member
Dec 4, 2011
12,927
The t-stat stays closed until it reaches the set temperature (190) then it starts to open up to keep the temperature in range. When it is closed it keeps the coolant from flowing through the radiator so the engine can warm up.

Room temperature is 120 degrees cooler than the opening temperature. It would have to be REALLY bad to be open at 70 degrees. Generally, the bad stat starts opening early, say at 170 instead of 190. Now the engine can't get up to full temp because the radiator is cooling it down. This is most likely what happened to yours (and the vast majority). I do recall someone on the OS pulling his stat out to find it was actually jammed open even at room temperature - THAT was bad.

Think of it like your AC at your house. The AC is not running (tstat closed) until a preset temperature is reached. Once that temperature is reached, the AC kicks on (tstat opens) to cool things back down.
 

Voymom

Original poster
Member
Feb 3, 2012
2,523
Sparky said:
The t-stat stays closed until it reaches the set temperature (190) then it starts to open up to keep the temperature in range. When it is closed it keeps the coolant from flowing through the radiator.

Room temperature is 120 degrees cooler than the opening temperature. It would have to be REALLY bad to be open at 70 degrees. Generally, the bad stat starts opening early, say at 170 instead of 190. Now the engine can't get up to full temp because the radiator is cooling it down. This is most likely what happened to yours (and the vast majority). I do recall someone on the OS pulling his stat out to find it was actually jammed open even at room temperature - THAT was bad.

Thank you Sparky for the run down on that, and that makes a lot more sense, especially for a noob :wink: Unfortunately the Haynes manual doesn't offer the insight that the NATION does. I do think that my husband knows most of this stuff, but he doesn't want to be the one stuck fixing these issues. I think he would rather pay someone to do it, especially where it isn't his truck :crazy:
 

djthumper

Administrator
Nov 20, 2011
14,955
North Las Vegas
That and if the spring is weak the pressure against the back side could allow it to be partially open.
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
23,428
Posts
639,194
Members
18,647
Latest member
Lortigemt

Members Online