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Clunk from front suspension, not suspension arms though?........

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by Nessy, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Have been meaning to post this for a while now, have got a really irritating 'clunk' coming from the nearside front suspension whenever I go over a pothole or bad road surface.......
    Thinking it was probably a suspension link or front arm on its way out I got my local garage to check out the front suspension shortly before the last MOT as I didn't want any nasty surprises!
    The garage (the same place where I get my MOT's done btw) couldn't find any wear in the front anti-roll bar links or suspension arms and gave the car a clean bill of health, and it duly passed its MOT a few days later...........
    When taking the A4 for the MOT the tester (who'd been the one to check the car a few days before) mentioned that he had a mate with a B5 Passat with exactly the same symptoms as mine........and that he was stumped too!
    Its odd that it is only the nearside that is affected, the offside is fine!
    I'm beginning to wonder if it could be the anti-roll bar rubber mounts?,or engine mounts? but appreciate that I'm clutching at straws.......
    Any ideas as to what it could be would be most welcome!

    Thanks.
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  3. Blue_Thunder
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    Blue_Thunder Active Member

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Knackered damper maybe.
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  4. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Thanks, but when the car was on the ramp we had a good look at the front shocks, no sign of any leakage and the car drives/handles perfectly....................?
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  5. mwarrey
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    mwarrey Member

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Had the similar problem on mine turned out to be the ball joint on the lower bent arm. Went through at least 1 MOT like that. In fairness it is quite difficult to detect whilst the arm is on the car as there was little or no play in it. Is it more noticable during braking ?
    #4
  6. macca
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    macca Member

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    can't remember how the front strut mounts at top now, been a few motnhs since i did mine, but sometimes can be a top mount.

    check arms again, rubber bushes as well as all ball joints.

    track rod ends

    anti roll link bars. i've had them clunk but visibly look ok.

    also i have noisy shocks but no visible sign.

    get car jacked up and have a mate listen while you shake the hell out of the wheel in all directions.
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  7. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Mmmm, food for thought......to be honest it isn't that noticeable as I now swerve to avoid all potholes, lol, and there doesn't seem to be any difference whether I'm braking or not........
    TBH its worst each time I drive out of my driveway, the concrete is a bit rippled at the end of the drive so for the 5 feet or so that the car travels across this the clunking is heard/felt coming from the nearside quite loudly..................
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  8. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Apr 15, 2008]
    Ta!
    Looks like its not going to be an easy diagnosis then..................lol.
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  9. macca
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    macca Member

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    [Apr 16, 2008]
    if your car has done say over 80k miles and it really is driving you bonkers it maybe worth getting one of the front suspension arm kits from german ebay, not the really cheap £100 jobbies, but the circa £250 ones.

    these have usually the track rod ends, anti roll bar links and all the arms with bushes and at 80k odd miles are probably a good replacement. if you can do them yourself it's fairly cheap.

    i'm going to do them on mine, as i had to do an emergency replacement of one of arms a few months back, and i think the rest of them are proably on there way out as my car is getting near 100k miles.
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  10. IN-A3
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    IN-A3 Member

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    [Apr 16, 2008]
    Just a thought, check wheel bearings. dampers can fail without leaking most often the rebound goes first. Check the steering rack for play and the inner steering joints.
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  11. mwarrey
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    mwarrey Member

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    [Apr 17, 2008]
    Yes that sounds like what I had. My local Audi dealership confirmed it with a quick drive around the block. I thought it was the top mounts, and also possibly shocks, but the Audi Mechanics said they rarely see a shock fail or top mounts for that matter. My 1.8t is close to 155,000 on original shocks and top mounts.
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  12. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Apr 17, 2008]
    Thanks all..............

    Will check the lower arm balljoint then..........ta.
    Out of interest I didn't think the A4 had a conventional strut-top bearing?
    My old 80 Avant TDI used to eat a set of strut-top bearings every MOT and I became a dab hand at their replacement,lol, and whilst I can't say I had a very good look when I replaced a few top arms on my A4 18 months ago I don't remember seeing a top-bearing like on the 80?
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  13. Stan 24v
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    Stan 24v Member

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    [Apr 20, 2008]
    Change your arb bushes, its easy and I reckon 90% its also the cause. Stick some powerflex items in there.
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  14. rokit
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    rokit New Member

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    [Apr 29, 2008]
    I think I may have the same prob, was talking to a mechanic a while back and he said it could be a gearbox mount, Havent had it checked yet as the car has been off the road for a while.
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  15. RevoKev
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    RevoKev in the fast lane

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    [May 8, 2008]
    Did you get this sorted?!
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  16. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [May 12, 2008]
    No, not yet............lol.
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  17. Nessy
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    Nessy VW + Audi mad

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    [Jun 24, 2008]
    I think that I've finally fixed it!!!!! :yes:
    A few days ago I had the nearside wheel off again and with a large crowbar tried all the joints and arms for any obvious play...........
    I still couldn't detect any, except that on the lower rear suspension arm (the bent one with a balljoint at one end and a big bonded rubber bush at the other) I was able to get a bit (about 5mm) of fore-and-aft movement beween the bonded rubber mounting and the surrounding metal 'collar' of the arm.
    This suggested to me that the rubber mounting was perhaps beginning to break-up so I decided to get a replacement arm and see if that cured it.........
    Fitted it this morning and having gone for a 5 mile drive purposefully aiming the nearside wheel at every pot-hole and drain cover I could find the noise and clunks etc has totally disappeared, in fact all that can be heard now is the leather seats creaking :).
    #16
  18. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Jun 24, 2008]
    ive said it a few times on here but it really is worth changing all the arms in one go if one of them fails, not only does it save all the hassle of fault finding but it will make the car handle a whole lot better too.
    #17

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