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Author Topic: Alarming clonking noise offside front  (Read 1038 times)

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terry paget

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Alarming clonking noise offside front
« on: 08 July 2018, 08:18:02 »

2.2 petrol manual
This car passd MOT last week. I have just changed the radiator. Took it for a test run his morning, and I heard a clonking noise, nearside front. Son complained of this before, but I could not find it. It's still there. I have just removed n/s front wheel, all looks well, wheel was not loose. First MOT failure did advise 'slight wear in drop links', I changed o/s but not n/s, but it was quiet enough then. Any ideas?
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #1 on: 08 July 2018, 08:46:24 »

Wife has just appeared. She said she noticed it when Ben drove the car in, it was quite loud.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #2 on: 08 July 2018, 09:02:10 »

Wishbone ball joint?  I had this once, chased it for ages before it was identified

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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #3 on: 08 July 2018, 09:35:13 »

Number of things can cause it - front forward wishbone bush, wishbone balljoint, and slop in brakes give loud metallic clonks.  Loose strut seems to give a deeper, softer thunk.  Droplinks give a "rattle" over uneven roads.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #4 on: 08 July 2018, 09:39:08 »

Wishbone ball joint?  I had this once, chased it for ages before it was identified
Thanks for suggestion. Car is currently jacked up RHS front, wheel off. wishbone bottom ball joint looks OK, I have tried prising it apart with a tyre lever, no obvious play. I would have thought the MOT would have picked up a loose joint.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #5 on: 08 July 2018, 09:43:47 »

I would have thought the MOT would have picked up a loose joint.
Depends on the tester, and the machinery they have (singleton testers are supposed to have a shake machine for example, which would probably highlight this, whereas those without (and supposed to have a helper) will be reliant on them prying the right area).


Is it over bumps, under braking, etc?
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #6 on: 08 July 2018, 10:41:06 »

I would have thought the MOT would have picked up a loose joint.
Depends on the tester, and the machinery they have (singleton testers are supposed to have a shake machine for example, which would probably highlight this, whereas those without (and supposed to have a helper) will be reliant on them prying the right area).


Is it over bumps, under braking, etc?
Thanks for the thoughts, TB. The tester is a man who has tested my Omegas for the last 10 years. On this occasion he had me sit in the to rock the steering, foot on the brakes, etc.
At time of MOT 20 June 2018 it was fine. I drove the car there and back, no clonking. This noise is a sudden occurence. It seems to be front right, and does not occur at any particular time, can occur as I am cruising along. If you can suggest any test I could make I should be grateful. RH front wishbone bush has  some lateral play, but it does not seem excessive. The MOT did advise both front bushes worn but not resulting in excessive movement. In the 2 years I have owned this car I have not changed the wishbones.
Front RH brake looks fine, as does the track rod.
I am beginniing to suspect the RH wishbone front joint, though it doesn't seem bad and I can see no sign of metal to metal contact.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #7 on: 08 July 2018, 11:37:39 »

Check also bottom of sprng is not broken and rattling round
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #8 on: 08 July 2018, 19:50:19 »

Check also bottom of sprng is not broken and rattling round
Great suggestion, that would explain the fault's sudden appearance. Sadly, front RH spring is intact.


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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #9 on: 08 July 2018, 19:55:52 »

RH wishbone front mounting don't look too bad:

Nor does the rear bush:

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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #10 on: 08 July 2018, 20:02:08 »

Rear bush is clearly knackered... :o

Shiny patch shouldn't be there ::)
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #11 on: 08 July 2018, 21:35:19 »

Rear bush is clearly knackered... :o

Shiny patch shouldn't be there ::)
I wish you were right, Doc, but I don't think you are. Here's a better shot of it.

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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #12 on: 08 July 2018, 21:55:37 »

So you don't think the tearing around the central sleeve is a bad sign then Terry?


The crusty appearance of the wishbone suggests it has been on the car for some considerable time, unless you subscribe to the rebushing a oppsed pair of original wishbones is better than just buying new ones school of thought?


Macpherson strut front suspensions are all subject to wishbone(TCA, front links, lower arms, brake reaction arms - whatever the manufacturer calls them) bushes deteriorating rapidly. That's just a function of the design.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #13 on: 08 July 2018, 22:44:22 »

So you don't think the tearing around the central sleeve is a bad sign then Terry?


The crusty appearance of the wishbone suggests it has been on the car for some considerable time, unless you subscribe to the rebushing a oppsed pair of original wishbones is better than just buying new ones school of thought?


Macpherson strut front suspensions are all subject to wishbone(TCA, front links, lower arms, brake reaction arms - whatever the manufacturer calls them) bushes deteriorating rapidly. That's just a function of the design.
Thank you for your opinion, Nick. I was expecting the shiny metal pin with the rubber torn away. If you agree with Doc G that the rear bush is knackered, I gladly accept your ruling. I can think of nothing else that explains my problem.The noise is not one I have heard before, I have known other wishbone rear bushes fail, but never with this alarming noise, and never so soon after passing an MOT test. I stock spare ATP wishbones, but dare not fit one at the moment for medical reasons.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #14 on: 08 July 2018, 22:53:37 »

If it's not that wishbone rear bush, then have you checked the anti-roll bar drop links are done up properly - the one in the photo appears to have been greased recently, and it much newer than the rest of the suspension. I'd back both top and bottom nuts off a few turns then re-tighten to the correct torque (400Nm + 180 degrees  :D ). I had one work lose on the Carlton and the banging it made sounded like the front end was about to fall off.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #15 on: 09 July 2018, 09:25:05 »

If it's not that wishbone rear bush, then have you checked the anti-roll bar drop links are done up properly - the one in the photo appears to have been greased recently, and it much newer than the rest of the suspension. I'd back both top and bottom nuts off a few turns then re-tighten to the correct torque (400Nm + 180 degrees  :D ). I had one work lose on the Carlton and the banging it made sounded like the front end was about to fall off.
that is a good point , :y
had the same before and was shocked at what a big  clunk just one end of the arb link bolt being slightly loose ,it took some tracking down (arb links felt tight with car jacked ), found by someone bouncing the car at the back while i looked at suspension at front .
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #16 on: 09 July 2018, 09:31:58 »

That bush is definitely shot... Thanks for the clearer picture confirming it ;)

Incidentally, if you, or anyone else, attempts to tighten their drop links to 400NM, expect to be replacing them :o

Think you'll find that is the hub nut setting, and that drop links are 60NM ::) BFT is generally enough, but it does pay to recheck after a week or so :y
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #17 on: 09 July 2018, 09:59:36 »


Incidentally, if you, or anyone else, attempts to tighten their drop links to 400NM, expect to be replacing them :o

Think you'll find that is the hub nut setting, and that drop links are 60NM ::) BFT is generally enough, but it does pay to recheck after a week or so :y


Drop link torque is hardly critical, and 60Nm is a tweak with an appropriate spanner.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #18 on: 09 July 2018, 10:08:05 »

Officially, it's actually 65Nm...

Potayto, Potarto :D
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #19 on: 09 July 2018, 10:48:17 »

Incidentally, if you, or anyone else, attempts to tighten their drop links to 400NM, expect to be replacing them :o

Think you'll find that is the hub nut setting, and that drop links are 60NM ::) BFT is generally enough, but it does pay to recheck after a week or so :y

T'was a joke  :D

However, no reason why over tightening the nuts will affect the ball joints. IIRC they're M12, so anything up to 100Nm shouldn't be an issue (until you need to get them off again).
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #20 on: 09 July 2018, 16:59:59 »

If it's not that wishbone rear bush, then have you checked the anti-roll bar drop links are done up properly - the one in the photo appears to have been greased recently, and it much newer than the rest of the suspension. I'd back both top and bottom nuts off a few turns then re-tighten to the correct torque (400Nm + 180 degrees  :D ). I had one work lose on the Carlton and the banging it made sounded like the front end was about to fall off.
Thanks, good suggestion. Today I checked the RH drop link, undid the nuts a couple of turns, then retightened them to 65Nm. Sadly, the clonk is still there.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #21 on: 09 July 2018, 18:06:34 »

If it's not that wishbone rear bush, then have you checked the anti-roll bar drop links are done up properly - the one in the photo appears to have been greased recently, and it much newer than the rest of the suspension. I'd back both top and bottom nuts off a few turns then re-tighten to the correct torque (400Nm + 180 degrees  :D ). I had one work lose on the Carlton and the banging it made sounded like the front end was about to fall off.
That sounds just like a knackered droplink. Apparently. Don't ask how I know ;D
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #22 on: 09 July 2018, 18:09:51 »

As others have said, that rearward bush is shot. Completely buggered.  I suspect the front isn't far behind.

Get a pry in between the wishbone and the steering knuckle, and look for play there as well.


Personally, I do subscribe to the refurbing old wishbones, based on the fact that GM ones are stupid money and everything else is utter shite, including that shite from ATP.  But each to their own.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #23 on: 09 July 2018, 18:27:30 »

Thanks, good suggestion. Today I checked the RH drop link, undid the nuts a couple of turns, then retightened them to 65Nm. Sadly, the clonk is still there.


How did you check the condition of the droplink balljoints without completely disconnecting at least one of them?
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #24 on: 09 July 2018, 19:42:16 »

Thanks, good suggestion. Today I checked the RH drop link, undid the nuts a couple of turns, then retightened them to 65Nm. Sadly, the clonk is still there.


How did you check the condition of the droplink balljoints without completely disconnecting at least one of them?
I removed both nuts and the drop link from the car. It had been a new one when fitted in the last 2 months. The noise is not the chattering of a failing ball joint, it is of a sudden slipping. In fact initially I overtightened it, my torque wrench was set to 105Nm for wheel nuts, when I realised this I loosened them again and retorqued to 65Nm.
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terry paget

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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #25 on: 09 July 2018, 19:43:53 »

If it's not that wishbone rear bush, then have you checked the anti-roll bar drop links are done up properly - the one in the photo appears to have been greased recently, and it much newer than the rest of the suspension. I'd back both top and bottom nuts off a few turns then re-tighten to the correct torque (400Nm + 180 degrees  :D ). I had one work lose on the Carlton and the banging it made sounded like the front end was about to fall off.
That sounds just like a knackered droplink. Apparently. Don't ask how I know ;D
Really? I have another spare. Do you think it is worth swopping?
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #26 on: 09 July 2018, 19:45:08 »

No.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #27 on: 09 July 2018, 19:48:06 »

As others have said, that rearward bush is shot. Completely buggered.  I suspect the front isn't far behind.

Get a pry in between the wishbone and the steering knuckle, and look for play there as well.


Personally, I do subscribe to the refurbing old wishbones, based on the fact that GM ones are stupid money and everything else is utter shite, including that shite from ATP.  But each to their own.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #28 on: 09 July 2018, 19:58:54 »

As others have said, that rearward bush is shot. Completely buggered.  I suspect the front isn't far behind.

Get a pry in between the wishbone and the steering knuckle, and look for play there as well.


Personally, I do subscribe to the refurbing old wishbones, based on the fact that GM ones are stupid money and everything else is utter shite, including that shite from ATP.  But each to their own.
I've been running with ATP wishbones for years, they seem good and cheap. I have already tried prying apart the steering knuckle ball joint, it seemed OK.
The noise is just like I have known before with loosely fitted drop links.

My problem is Tuesday 3 July I had a skin graft from groin to scalp to replace a patch of skin cancer. I was ordered to keep it dry and not bash it about. This makes changing a wishbone difficult and ill advised. But I have a serious car fault, which I have not yet diagnosed. Do we believe the wishbone failed joints could be the problem, having passed an MOT in the last month?
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #29 on: 09 July 2018, 20:21:57 »

As the car has recently passed the MOT, could you not carry on using it until you,re in a more robust state to do the job.? :-\
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #30 on: 09 July 2018, 20:42:31 »

As the car has recently passed the MOT, could you not carry on using it until you,re in a more robust state to do the job.? :-\
Yes I could, though the noise is a bit embarrassing, worrying too. The car passed MOT 78 miles ago, after a long struggle, see recent thread. Son Ben was using it, he complained of a noise and brought it to me for diagnosis and rectification. It seems unlikely that it would be a failed wishbone. The sound is more like a loose droplink, though it clearly comes from front right.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #31 on: 09 July 2018, 20:58:26 »

No need to make life so damn difficult ::)

Tighten the droplink nuts on both sides and plan for the wishbone change as that vertical bush is knackered regardless of how MoTd the car is.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #32 on: 10 July 2018, 08:50:56 »

If that is a newish drop link, beware that it might have failed quickly. I had a pattern pair that failed inside a year. Meyle HD ones currently fitted seem better.

Also worth checking the ARB bushes, although they rarely seem to fail.

Brake calliper can rattle if the slide pins have dried out.

Wishbone bush doesn't look too clever but I've never had one bad enough to rattle. If you put a new wishbone on that'll also eliminate the ball joint, of course.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #33 on: 10 July 2018, 09:11:55 »

A badly worn strut can rattle and knock. My NSF one was so bad it had NO damping, and had worn through the hard chrome plating on the piston which I could rattle (by hand) in the bush. It's not the first time I've seen that, and is why replacing all of the wear components at the same time is recommended over doing them piecemeal.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #34 on: 10 July 2018, 11:19:34 »

Rejoice! Fault traced and cured.

Following Doc G's suggestion above, it occurred to me that the drop links are joined by the anti roll bar, so a loose nut on the LH drop link might cause the RH link to clonk. And so it proved. The upper nut on the LH drop link was loose, I torqued it up, road tested car, clonk gone.

My thanks to all for advice. I regard it as mean and unhelpful of the car to clonk on the right when the fault was on the left, but there you go.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #35 on: 10 July 2018, 11:27:46 »

See, I can be helpful  ::)

 :y
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #36 on: 10 July 2018, 18:12:10 »

The noise is just like I have known before with loosely fitted drop links.
In which case its a loose droplink nut, or a knackered droplink. That droplink rattle is pretty distinctive and unique to droplinks.
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #37 on: 10 July 2018, 18:12:34 »

Ah, teach me to post without reading all pages.

Glad its sorted :y
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #38 on: 12 July 2018, 12:45:15 »

Will keep an eye on these posts as I seem to have a similar clonk - although I have bigger problems to sort out first!
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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #39 on: 12 July 2018, 13:40:07 »

To rule drop links and anti-roll bar bushings out, just detach either one drop link and see if clonk noise is still there. If it's not, you have faulty drop link(s) and/or anti-roll bar bushing(s).
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terry paget

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Re: Alarming clonking noise offside front
« Reply #40 on: 12 July 2018, 16:09:54 »

To rule drop links and anti-roll bar bushings out, just detach either one drop link and see if clonk noise is still there. If it's not, you have faulty drop link(s) and/or anti-roll bar bushing(s).
Thank you; excellent tip.
And what was the clonk I was hearing?

It was the RH anti-roll bar end banging on the wishbone, when suddenly released as the loose LH drop link slipped.
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