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#4440419 - 06/24/17 03:44 PM Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk
mrgrim Offline

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
My car: 09 Nissan Versa (A/T), 108,000 miles

I've recently had the motor mounts, control arms and one of my driveshafts replaced (and I think they replaced a tie-rod end without telling me), but I'm hearing a clunk from what sounds like the center of the car when I come to a complete stop, whether I'm in still in gear or I throw it in neutral, and I can also hear it during lower speeds.

I took it back to the shop to have them check it out, but we couldn't reproduce it during a test drive, and the mechanic didn't see anything out of the ordinary on the lift.

Any ideas? I'm wondering if it's something to do with where the driveshaft connects into the transmission.

#4440529 - 06/24/17 06:46 PM Re: Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk [Re: mrgrim]
Driz Offline

Registered: 09/23/07
Posts: 261
Loc: northern NY
are you sure it's coming from where you think ? Brakes love to clunk when you completely stop sometimes. If it's steering related it won't normally clunk with stopping starting. The bearings being worn in your CV axles click and clunk but usually when turning. Are they oozing grease or boots slit? Mechanic would have mentioned that though.
I just thought of it, likely. cool I can't remember the name but it's a short vertical rod behind the wheel hub oriented vertically.both ends have a set of rubber mounts that are nutted It keeps the upper and lower arms on your wheel assembly flying in formation. Those wear a bit and clunk like. A ball joint real loud. Easy no skill to replace too. Just reach in with car on ground and yank it . If it's loose or rattles there's your noise.theyre about $15 each.

#4440552 - 06/24/17 07:36 PM Re: Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk [Re: mrgrim]
mrgrim Offline

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
The CV boots are in-tact, and there's no clunking/knocking when turning; I was thinking maybe the driveshaft extension itself was bowed/warped or the splines were chipped. Ball joints looked good, and there was no play. I think it's easier to just replace the control arm than the ball joint itself though (which is why I like the design of the bolt-on ball-joints instead of pressing them in).

I hadn't completely ruled out the brakes, but considering that I didn't have this problem before the driveshaft was replaced, I guess I should give that a check.

Are you referring to sway bar links? I did replace those last year with some Beck Arnleys (actually got them for about $15 on Rock Auto since you mention it), but they felt pretty solid last I checked. I'd be willing to replace those since they're cheap. I'd try to replace the sway bar bushings, but I don't think they're easy to get to with this car.

#4441236 - 06/25/17 03:44 PM Re: Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk [Re: mrgrim]
mrgrim Offline

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
Quick update: I took the passenger-side brakes off, re-mounted the rotor and re-lubed the caliper guiding pins. The bottom pin was actually stuck, so I had to force it out with vice grips and replace the little pin bushing so it could be reinserted back into the caliper (also replaced the outer bushings). Moves much more freely now. Maybe I'll do the driver side next weekend for good measure.

For the moment that seems to have eliminated most of my knocking sounds, but I still hear the clunk/pop around the center when I come to a stop while in gear (no noise when stopping in neutral). Oh well, the saga continues.

#4441288 - 06/25/17 04:58 PM Re: Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk [Re: mrgrim]
HoosierJeeper Offline

Registered: 11/23/16
Posts: 1276
Loc: WI
The fact that the noise is dependent on what gear it's in suggests to me it might be a transmission issue. But in your OP you said it does it in neutral and gear. Hope I'm wrong!

Edited by HoosierJeeper (06/25/17 04:59 PM)
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#4441307 - 06/25/17 05:26 PM Re: Trying to diagnose a front-end clunk [Re: mrgrim]
mrgrim Offline

Registered: 08/04/13
Posts: 62
Loc: VA
That's true, I did - it was doing it in neutral and in gear, but after driving around today it was just doing it in gear. Either way, I'm probably facing a transmission issue.