CLUNK CLUNK 94 SSEi - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 03-22-2003, 12:26 AM   #1
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Default CLUNK CLUNK 94 SSEi

94 SSEi 210000 km

Chasing a suspension clunk in the front left side, here'* what I've done so far.

1) 4 new struts, changed out CCR for monroe'* ( what a difference new struts make to the ride!) strut mounts inspected and were fine.
2) Left side inner tie rod end ( this actually had a little play in the old one and was a cheap part so I took a flyer, however after I changed it to a new one, CLUNK got worse?)
3) Inspected sway bar bushings + ball joints, zero play ( still original, way to go GM )
4) Steering Rack has a little side to side play that makes a similar clunk standing still, you can feel it under your left foot in the floorboard, but not in the steering wheel which is why I'm hesitant to change the rack, but it sounds and feels like that could be the source of my anguish, obviously it is a much louder clunk when driving. Anyone with a more educated guess than mine? DeathRat? Will?
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Old 03-22-2003, 10:48 AM   #2
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I had the same problems and it turned out to be the sway bar links. Even though they appeared tight, they would still clunk. Mine would clunk when driving slowly over uneven surfaces

It'* a cheap solution. I was not sure how to do a good diagnostic on those, so I just replaced mine. Others may have better ideas.
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:10 AM   #3
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widerman,

I have a 92 that has similar problem. Clunks when in the middle of a left-hand turn only. Will also get clunk if steering wheel is turned to the left and I back up. It will only clunk once. It is almost as if lateral force on the inside of the tire is causeing the clunk. Sounds like something lets go.

Quiet as a mouse over ruts and bumps....just noise in middle of left-hand turn. Right-hand turns are fine!

I also have the looseness in the rack. Actually mine has started leaking a little too. I notice that when I am stationary and move the steering wheel left and right quickly I get a very similar clunk, only not a severe. Also, even though I have smooth steering it is whiney all the time. Kinda like air in the system. I am sure that is what is causing the whine. I'm thinking of going after the rack. My symptoms do not point to strut problems, due to the fact that damping is still very good and the struts are quiet over severe rough roads. I've run into too many other posts with this same problem where new struts did not remove the noise and clunk feel. That route is pricey guess work.
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:21 AM   #4
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widerman,

I just read your post again. You said the clunk got worse when you replaced the left tie-rod. Well, that sounds like maybe the slightly sloppy old tie rod was absorbing some of that clunk symptom caused by slop in the rack. Then when the rod was replaced the stress maybe was magnified in the rack (where I think the clunk is coming from).

I'm beginning to wonder if there is not some type of slippage in the rack gears. Maybe like a spline is worn and we're slipping a cog or something. My old gal has 188,000 miles. The only other trouble I've had is 2 water pumps and 3 alternators (found our I was getting poor quality remans from Pep Boys). Still does not leak or burn oil. Matter of fact, the inside of my valve covers look as new as the inside of my '95 vette covers....and that has only 20,000 miles using Mobil 1! Now if I could only get that clunk out... It is something that I can not get use to. Been doing it for 50,000 miles or so. Never gets worse, never gets better.
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:30 AM   #5
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Thanks for the reply Ted, however, I found the problem, the nut on top of the strut that seats it into the strut tower under the hood was not fully tightened.

Problem solved!
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Old 04-01-2003, 01:36 AM   #6
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Glory be. That was a nice cheap fix.

Funny though. Now you will never know if the nut was loose BEFORE the strut replacement! Kinda makes you wonder doesn't it.
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Old 04-01-2003, 11:44 AM   #7
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HURRAH!!!!!!!
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Old 04-01-2003, 02:44 PM   #8
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I'll take my chances that the struts were worn out, 210000 km on original struts is alot, not to mention the car was made in Dec 93, rides like a dream now though!
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Old 04-01-2003, 02:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Widerman
Thanks for the reply Ted, however, I found the problem, the nut on top of the strut that seats it into the strut tower under the hood was not fully tightened.

Problem solved!
Mine has the same symptoms (same side, too). Are you talking about one of the visible ones, or do I have to take off the plastic cap in the middle to see it, or...? Is there a torque setting for the thing?
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Old 04-01-2003, 02:54 PM   #10
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Take off the plastic cover on top of the strut tower, if you have CCR you will need to unhook the harness inside the top of the nut to tighten it, you'll need to use an impact gun to tighten it, 15/16th'* if I'm not mistaken. Just keep touching the trigger in spurts until the nut grabs and crank er down!
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