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rattle/clunk front end

Old 07-12-2011, 02:14 PM
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Steering rack inner and outer tie rods. (2 on each side) they are famous for generating that "clunk"
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:14 PM
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This happened to my 03 C4S, steering felt tight, brakes felt good - but it made a sound when going slow over bumps. A clunking and hollow sounding rattle. The dealer replaced the following:

996.341.053.17 AS Wishbone
996.341.043.06 Trailing Arm
999.084.449.09 Nut
996.347.131.04 Tie Rod

And the noise was gone.
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by wisky View Post
This happened to my 03 C4S, steering felt tight, brakes felt good - but it made a sound when going slow over bumps. A clunking and hollow sounding rattle. The dealer replaced the following:

996.341.053.17 AS Wishbone
996.341.043.06 Trailing Arm
999.084.449.09 Nut
996.347.131.04 Tie Rod

And the noise was gone.
That's probably what I'll need..

How much was all that?
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Old 07-13-2011, 03:52 AM
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I'm a newbie. Just got my beautiful '99 996 3 weeks ago. I love it & really enjoy driving it, however I am experiencing the same problems. It takes some of the joy out of driving it. I am hearing slight clunking noises coming from the front end at slow speeds every time I hit a small bump in the road. I can can feel some vibration in the steering wheel when I hear the noises, but don't hear any more or less noises while turning the wheel. It sounds like we may have the same problem. I talked to a mechanic who said it could be the sway bar links. One thing I did notice that was contributing to the noise was the wheel center caps were loose & making noise when they moved. I fixed that which made them quieter, but of course didn't solve the problem.
Any suggestions? Is this dangerous problem that could lead to a steering malfunction? I hope not.
I'm not afraid to get under the front end & have a close look around, but I'm not sure what to do. Are the sway bar links hard to replace? Should I bite the bullet & spend the $$$ at the indie, or $$$$ at the dealer? I might have to.
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Old 12-10-2011, 02:45 PM
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I just wanted to say thanks to all the members of this board and a particular member in Bob for helping me with my rattle/clunk. Last weekend we replaced all four struts on the car and the sound is now gone and the car rides perfect. We believe it was the top strut mount bearing on the front left side but with 102K miles new struts all the way around gave assurances that the car would make it another 100K. It was not an easy task as the first strut on the front left took us about 5 hours to figure out but then the rest of the car only took another 2-3 hours to complete. Thanks again to all who gave advice. I'd give this one a 7/10 on difficulty but I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. Bob had the lift and the tools so the job went as smoothly as to non mechanics could hope it would go. thanks again.
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Old 12-11-2011, 07:29 PM
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Could this clunking noise also be in the rear? Every time I go over a bump in the road I get a clunking noise like the rear shock is loose. Can it be the strut mount bearing? In the rear? My car only has 58,000 miles, do strut mount bearings go in that amount of time?

Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:24 PM
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Mine has been doing the same, unchanged, for about two years. I thought I would have corrected it with the installation of RoW M030 and new drop links this spring. It's a little better, but still there.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:21 AM
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Call911s, I ended up finding some lightly used struts with springs and top mounts all assembled on ebay for $400 for all four corners. I bought a spring compressor for $60 and did the work myself with another member. I'm not a mechanic so the first corner proved difficult but then we figured out how to get the strut out of the fender well and everything else went smooth. my car had 102000 miles on the original struts so the car now feels new again. stiff right and no bouncing all while getting rid of the upper strut mount noise that was pretty bad by the end. Hope this helps. I don't have part number but i replaced the strut, spring, and top plate with OEM.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Lerxst View Post
Searched this out recently. For me, it started out with a clunk, and then turned into a 'creaking' sound... but only after 20 minutes of driving. I swapped out the upper strut mounts, but it came back. The other likely culprit is the lower control arm.

i know this is an old one. But did you ever forgive this out? This is exactly my issue. Almost sounds like it's something in the trunk rubbing but I've taken everything out basically and narrowed things down with no luck
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Old 09-12-2016, 02:18 AM
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First step is to Jack the front end up and make sure everything is torqued to spec. Also, make sure you don't have adjustable drop links. If so, you need to check them for preloading.

Lower control arms seem to be a frequent offender with higher mileage. I don't know any way to test other than swapping them out. If that doesn't work, shocks/top mounts come next. The springs themselves rarely have an issue.

If you need any guidance on DIYing any of this don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:55 PM
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I have this same problem. My mechanic checked everything but didn’t find any problems. Like someone said previously, I seem to feel it in the steering wheel and even the clutch pedal for some reason.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:03 PM
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I've got the same issue. Replaced sway bar links, struts, etc... I'm wondering about the steering rack tie rods that were mentioned. Is there an easy way to check ?
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:00 PM
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Have you tried the hood? I found out by accident after taking it to two different indies who couldn't find anything. I haven't fixed it, but I suspect it'll be some kind of rubber bushing or mount that needs to be replaced.
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Old 08-13-2018, 05:26 PM
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This was my solution, but who knows if my problem was the same as yours. A thousand different things can clunk, so it's hard to say who has what!
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Old 08-14-2018, 01:29 AM
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Yup, I've preached this in the past, every suspension bushing needs to be replaced after 15 years. There's a reason these cars are found cheap, they need a lot of little things to get them back in shape!
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