MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

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MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby choncho on Nov Thu 11, 2010 11:23 am

( vortex thread cut n paste :banghead: )

97 Jetta 2.0 GT. all stock
I replaced front suspension with stock boge plus suspension. new bearings, bushings and all. stock springs.
i get a clunking noise over small bumps and cracks in road. on both sides in front. it was there before new suspension as well. i've checked everything.
ive checked ball joints, tie rods, a-arms, bushings, sway bars etc.
ive checked all subframe torques. ive held brakes over bumps to see if related. nope.
not brakes. not steering. not steering rack or inners. not suspension. not wheel bearings. not motor mounts. not tranny mount.
the latest thing i've noticed while car is sitting under normal load. i can move both axles shafts a little bit against the inner and outer cv's. it makes a little clunking noise.

anyone know if this is normal? it seems weird.
i've had axles and cv's apart before. and seems weird they would fail or have that noise. cv's dont make any noise when turning under power.



i think this is the problem. but figured i'd post to see if anyone has had similar problems.
any related info or knowledge much appreciated
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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby Mikewire on Nov Thu 11, 2010 11:48 am

In my experience CV's to do have back and forth play on the splines between the inner and outer joints - they would have to have some play because the distance between the joints changes as the suspension loads and unloads.

If you have checked all the above things...have you, or did you check the torque on the strut bushings and rubber strut mount before installing the struts, or did you just unbox them and put them in? If they aren't tight enough, that could be slightly loose and clunking. For extra insurance you could put a washer under the strut nut as well. Were the rubber strut mounts new, or re-used?

How about those ball joints, control arm bushings and sway bushings? They do get compressed and wear out often, even though they look fine, they need or could be replaced. And they are cheap enough it's good to refresh all that while you have (or did have) the suspension out.

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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby choncho on Nov Thu 11, 2010 12:06 pm

Thanks MW.
I have pulled the strut assemblies out twice now to recheck all torques and to make sure i did it right. all seems good. and replaced all strut bearings and strut mounts. The washer's a good idear. I can rip em both back out within an hour now. :banghead:

I've been refraining from the Aarm bushings etc, just thinking i might need to realign it if i do. (since im chinsey and want to save money). but i have torqued and tweaked em hard to look for play. they seem good, but who knows.

And I understand the CV axles need to have play for turning and up/down travel. The only thing that boggles me a bit is the clunking noise they make when I lie on ground and yank em in and out. it's a significant little clunk.
i got some extra axles n cv's. i think i'll swap em next time i go in there.

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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby Mikewire on Nov Thu 11, 2010 12:16 pm

Right on, well if your gut is telling you to replace those CV's then I say go for it. Might have a little too much play in the splines or maybe one was damaged somewhere along the line...dropping the clutch too many times lol.

BTW, how many miles on the Jetta?

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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby choncho on Nov Thu 11, 2010 12:21 pm

88k. it HAS been in an accident according to my choncha-fied carfox diagnostics. teenager beat it
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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby kompressorgolf on Nov Thu 11, 2010 2:05 pm

control arm bushings, very common on 3's, and the rattle/clunk sound.
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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby choncho on Nov Thu 11, 2010 2:55 pm

prolly. buy me some :unibrow:
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Re: MK3 front suspension clunking noise. bad axles?

Postby choncho on Sep Fri 30, 2011 11:42 am

Figured this one out finally. On plus suspension models, those upper rubber strut mounts (thick) have different clearance's and thicknesses... I ended putting stock used ones back in and majority of clunk gone. But still need new OEM ones. Either way, she's pretty smooth now :) But I've seen a lot of different styles of strut mounts. Just gotta get the right one for whatever setup ur mk3 has. there are several.

FYI: Bentley has weird varying pix of assembled strut. When fully assembled out of car, the top mount shouldn;t have play :banghead:
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