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Speaking of suspension "clunks"


Last fall, I did a suspension refresh on my 2003 Jetta (bushings, tie rod ends, strut mounts, etc.).

A couple of months ago, I started hearing a clunk when turning right.  It's been driving me nuts, trying to figure out what's causing it.  First, I thought it must be my strut bearing, as that was about the only thing that I did not replace due to it being sort of a PITA.  Well, I replaced them, and the noise was still there.  Then, after consulting a mechanic friend, I was convinced that my passenger ball joint must be bad.  Replaced it this weekend, with no effect on the noise.  Then, I noticed something while jacking the wheel up and down.  It appeard that my rear control arm bushing was moving in the control arm.

The bushing is supposed to be level with the top of the control arm.  It appears that either the hole in my control arm is a little too large, or the bushing is a little too small (probably the latter).  When the passenger side suspension is unweighted, sometimes, the control arm gets torqued down and hits the subframe. :o  I think the clunk is the control arm making contact with the subframe, or the control arm slipping back up to where it is supposed to be.

OMG...that is a lot of slippage.  I would guess the entire assembly needs to be replaced due to wear from both parts.  That sucks. :(

Wow....what Jon said. I'm feeling the need to put my car on blocks and put on all new CA's and stuff.

All fixed (hopefully).  Got a new (used) control arm from RS Motorsports for $25, new bushing, and swapped the control arm this afternoon.  No strange noises, but I need an alignment now.

The old bushing was really strange, as it had pushed through, not backed out.  They only go in one way (from the bottom on the passanger side).  I had thought that it had backed out, until I took a closer look at it.  I did learn that a workbench vise with a cheater bar on the handle works pretty good as a substitute for a shop press. :)

Next repair will probably be a new turbo - my little KO3s is starting to whine a bit. :(


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