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Thread: Strange clunk @ Front driver's side

  1. #1
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    Strange clunk @ Front driver's side

    Hi guys,

    I'd like to ask for a little help in trying to identify a clunk/knock sound I have going on at where I believe is front driver's side. This is for an 08' GSR / just dinged 80k - all driven by me / grannied. It's got both myself and a buddy stumped. We're good enough to get install jobs done, and follow detailed write ups, but either we're both being autistic wrecks and missing the obvious or this is beyond our level to determine accurately without wasting a lot of time.

    I'll give you some quick back history that might be applicable, a short list of how I can reproduce the sound and observations of it, and the steps I've taken thus far to remedy it.

    The sound has been occurring for over a year, even though the car was not being driven, rarely at all. Just sat having put maybe 2500 miles on it over the course of 2016 & 2017.

    1) Just a few weeks ago, I installed freshly rebuilt front axles for both driver and passenger side. Both of mine were leaking. I also decided this would be good time to install some Fortune Auto 500's, slapped those on in the same day. Alignment was done the day after. Originally I thought the knock sound may have been from my original struts (since they were leaking) & swift springs (what prompted the coilover purchase), but the clunk didn't go away. I took more time in actually listening and reproducing the clunk to try to troubleshoot it, but no dice yet.

    2) Clunk only occurs at speeds lower than 5 mph and only the moment right before the car comes to a complete stop - using the brake pedal. If the car coasts to a stop, no clunk is heard/produced.
    There is no physical feedback that can be felt with the clunk other than the timing of when it happens in conjunction to the brake pedal & the car coming to a stop.
    Clunk does not occur when coming to a stop using brake pedal while in reverse.
    Clunk seems to be audible mostly from drivers side up front. Can be heard with windows rolled up, but only slightly.
    There does seem to be minor play with front driver brake rotor on the opposing side of the caliper (less than 5-6 millimeters) when the wheel is off.

    3) Made sure pads were fresh & seated correctly (rotors & pads are relatively new, clunk started happening some unknown later time after these were installed)
    Retention spring isn't worn / pins were stable
    Made sure that rotor was fully seated before putting wheel back on
    Brake fluid wasn't too full or too low
    Bled brakes
    Last edited by legend; 12-30-2017 at 06:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nate's Avatar
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    No idea, could be brake pads shifting (happens even with new pads), something worn on your lower control arm, or a bad tie rod (inner or outer).

    I had something similar going on and it ended up being a jamb nut being left loose on the tie rod end after I had the dealer align my car.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member NFSEvolutionGSR's Avatar
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    Check the torque on the front caliper bolts. They should be tightened to something like 84 ft/lbs, which seems like a lot considering that the threaded surface is aluminum. It can be extremely difficult without a lift to tighten the top bolt all the way down, and I try not to use a gun on these. However, I have seen/heard a clunk exactly as you have described come from a loose caliper bolt. The thing shifts when the full weight of the car loads the front suspension, etc, which does happen under the conditions described.

    Edit: I have also seen this happen when locking nuts are used instead of the factory alloy nuts on the top suspension bolts on the strut towers. Sometimes, it can be difficult to tell if the nut is torqued all the way down.
    Mayhem is everywhere.

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    Senior Member mityaz's Avatar
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    i would imagine that if it clunks consistently while slowing down from driving forward then accelerating again and slowing down again, then its unlikely to be brakes. in this scenario the brake pads/calipers would shift into one extreme of the required position.

    I think it has something to do with suspension loading and unloading. like bushings or ball joints. I am surprised that you can't feel in in your steering wheel tho
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    Exact same thing happening to me except its on the passenger side. I recently installed an Eibach Pro Kit, going to get an alignment and everything checked out when I get back from deployment. Curious to see if you get it figured out... It will prob def help me.

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    Also check the torque on the front axle nut, they'll clunk at weird time if they are not torqued exactly to spec (120 ft-lbs, I think).

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