Front end clunk (did a search)

Have some questions about how to achive better handling and stopping power using different springs, upgrading to coilovers, questions on swaybars, bushings, different rotors, pads, ect... Having any steering problems or questions about steering racks, tie rods, tie rod ends, ect... ask these questions here.
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toothlesrooster
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Front end clunk (did a search)

Post by toothlesrooster » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:30 pm

Hey guys, new to the forum and the Neon. I just picked up a 2001 SE in good shape as a daily driver for work, it will be donated to my oldest step son when he turns 16 in a year. I've searched and not really found a solid answer since as it turns out the Neon can have several fixes depending on the conditions in which the "clunk" occurs. Mine happens when going over bumps. The steering is nice and tight. NO side to side play, no wandering on the road or looseness. When ever I go over rough pavement it chatters/clunks. Almost like Morse code. From what I've read so far this is usually the upper strut mounts? Any advice would be helpful, such as how to test upper strut mounts. Also, no creeking or clicking when turning t he wheels or going over bumps. CV shafts seem to be in good shape. Tires are relatively new and balanced.

Thanks again!

G

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NEON PARABOLA
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Post by NEON PARABOLA » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:12 pm

Lower control arm bushings- I would recommend purchasing complete new castings with the bushings and ball joints already installed. Thats IF you are mechanically savy and don't mind doing it yourself.
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Post by DetergentCandy » Thu Jan 24, 2013 4:21 pm

Do you feel it under your feet? My mother's van had bad LCAs and you'd feel the clunking beneath your feet.
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toothlesrooster
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Post by toothlesrooster » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:38 pm

Neon Parabola, this what I'm looking for?

http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/detai ... rm+bushing

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NEON PARABOLA
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Post by NEON PARABOLA » Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:51 pm

it depends, are you doing the repair yourself or a shop? this repair isnt for a beginner
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toothlesrooster
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Post by toothlesrooster » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:43 pm

I'm not a beginner. I've done bal ljoint and control arm work before. Any good video tutorial on the Neon itself? I've done it on my Crown Victoria, but not a vehicle with struts.

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Post by NEON PARABOLA » Fri Jan 25, 2013 11:10 am

I would highly recommend moog ball joints and bushings. There are two bushings per lca, so you will want two of each.
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Post by toothlesrooster » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:51 am

Sounds good. Thanks for the help guys!

G

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Post by ZeroChad » Sat Jan 26, 2013 12:46 pm

Spay all of the LCA bolts with penetrating oil now and every day up till doing it. They are a PITA.
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Post by occasional demons » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:27 pm

Bad sway bar bushings/endlinks can cause a rattle similar to the upper mounts also.


Most of this stuff can be seen with a visual inspection. Be sure to soak the sway bar end links with penetrating oil also. They need to come off to remove the LCA.

If the car has over 50,000 miles, chances are the rear vertical LCA bushings are toast anyways. The rear vertical bolt is the one that needs lots of soaking. Spray it into the frame through any holes near the bolt. aim it as well as you can. (Rear as in the arm, not the car.)

Like Chad said a few weeks prior, and everyday will make your life a little better. The weld nut inside the frame is known to break off in there, and cutting a hole in the floor board is how you get the nut off the bolt.

viewtopic.php?t=64115


If you like more of a challenge, you can go with Energy suspension replacements for maximum fun, or Prothane for middle of the road fun. More folks have issues with ES than PT.

Or you can get complete replacement arms with all installed. Which if your LCA's are rusted badly, might be the better short term option. You can upgrade the bushings or wait a bit for the pre installed ones to fail.
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Post by bigbird » Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:23 pm

I'm going to add to this thread instead of creating a new one. I also have been having an issue with clunking in the front when traveling over broken concrete and bumps in the road. Like toothlessrooster, " The steering is nice and tight. NO side to side play, no wandering on the road or looseness. When ever I go over rough pavement it chatters/clunks.". Anyhow I've replaced the lower control arm bushings with prothanes, changed my sway bar bushings, and put an Impact on all front end bolts (suspension and subframe). No change. I disconnected my sway bar links to make sure it wasn't them. It wasn't. I thought maybe my struts were shot. I swapped them for a known good set. Still there. I also checked to make sure the ball joint bolts were installed the correct direction, they are. The only thing I didn't change was the top mounts on the struts. Is it possible that those are the issue? I can feel the bump in the floor also. I'm stumped!
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Post by occasional demons » Fri Feb 08, 2013 8:43 pm

Yes, the top mounts can cause that.

They are about $36 a side for Duralast, from AutoZone. About $10 higher than when I got one... (I only used the bearing from it, to repair my relatively new Mopar one. It got damaged when the spring broke.)

Part Number: 142932

Seeing as you have about eliminated every other option...
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Post by bigbird » Fri Feb 08, 2013 9:58 pm

occasional demons wrote:Yes, the top mounts can cause that.


Seeing as you have about eliminated every other option...
yeah, that's what I was thinking. We'll see next pay day.
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Post by ragek23 » Wed Feb 13, 2013 6:09 pm

occasional demons wrote:Yes, the top mounts can cause that.

They are about $36 a side for Duralast, from AutoZone. About $10 higher than when I got one... (I only used the bearing from it, to repair my relatively new Mopar one. It got damaged when the spring broke.)

Part Number: 142932

Seeing as you have about eliminated every other option...
FYI They are about $26 on rockauto.com

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Post by bigbird » Sat Aug 17, 2013 6:19 pm

**Update**
I finally changed the upper mounts and the think still clunks! I think I'm going to burn it!!! :violent3:
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Post by bigbird » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:01 am

Resolved! Turns out my center/rear motor mount was bad causing the engine to bang around over bumps! DOH!
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Post by NickKo » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:17 pm

bigbird wrote:Resolved! Turns out my center/rear motor mount was bad causing the engine to bang around over bumps! DOH!
First time I have ever heard of that being a factor.... But it makes sense !! :idea:

I wonder how many other folks are having this same issue and don't know about it ??



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Post by bigbird » Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:45 pm

NickKo wrote:
bigbird wrote:Resolved! Turns out my center/rear motor mount was bad causing the engine to bang around over bumps! DOH!
First time I have ever heard of that being a factor.... But it makes sense !! :idea:

I wonder how many other folks are having this same issue and don't know about it ??



- Nick
Probably quite a few. Interestingly, I didn't have the normal symptom of a bad/broken center mount, which is increased vibration.
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Post by mjrpaine » Sun Jun 29, 2014 1:24 am

I had the same issue with my 05 sxt. I changed EVERYTHING in the front. Did a new steering rack, complete LCA with everything installed, top hats, struts, still didn't fix it ... so I sold it to my ex and bought an srt4. Problem solved !!!
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Post by Donkeypuncher » Sun Jun 29, 2014 9:29 pm

bigbird wrote:
NickKo wrote:
bigbird wrote:Resolved! Turns out my center/rear motor mount was bad causing the engine to bang around over bumps! DOH!
First time I have ever heard of that being a factor.... But it makes sense !! :idea:

I wonder how many other folks are having this same issue and don't know about it ??



- Nick
Probably quite a few. Interestingly, I didn't have the normal symptom of a bad/broken center mount, which is increased vibration.
The horrible vibration is one of the last symptoms, it's when the mount is completely shot. Mine had the clunking for a good 10-15k miles before the vibrations really started.

It can be sneaky when it's going bad, like symptoms will come and go just to confuse you. You can end up replacing a lot of parts before realizing it's the motor mount, it can be really frustrating.

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Post by cgneon » Fri Aug 29, 2014 5:34 pm

sorry to bump this thread but was OP's issue ever resolved? im having the exact same problem and getting rdy to take my neon to the shop. 01se 78k same symptoms as OP and a definte down clunk-up clunk when turning left into work small dip up on drivers side. can also feel say going 20ish, let off gas, hit gas, can feel front end give and pull like somethings loose.
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