Mysterious front suspension clunk - I'm at a loss!
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Mysterious front suspension clunk - I'm at a loss!

    Hey - I was wondering if anyone can offer suggestions here...

    I bent the RHS control arm being a bit enthusiastic near a median strip a fair while ago.

    Assuming this, I took it to Spinning Wheel Tyres to get it fixed and get a good wheel alignment at the same time.

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    They said the cross member is ever-so-slightly bent (ie not bent enough to represent a problem) and they replaced the control arm etc etc.

    They did a very good job, the car felt excellent with the new alignment.

    However, soon afterwards I noticed a slight clunk on the RHS whenever I drove over a speed bump or dip in the road at a slight angle.

    I assumed it was something trivial like a loose swaybar link or worn swaybar bush and ignored it for a while as I was thoroughly ensconsed in other activities (like work ).

    Anyway, this morning I took it to Pedders for the $14 once over, I thought they might be able to enlighten me as to what it was, and it'd be good to check the condition of the shocks.

    It had them baffled!

    The mechanic noticed the clunk on the initial test drive, and checked it all out on the hoist.

    He found the lower inner control arm bolt wasn't as tight as it should be, and the castor bush bracket bolts on both sides were not tight enough either. The LHS castor bush is torn too.

    He looked at tie rod ends, swaybar links etc and everything looked in order.

    Now, with everything tightened up, I left the shop with their suggestion to take it to Peugeot.

    The car felt much more responsive to steering inputs around dead centre, however the clunk was more prevalent...

    Instead of going over a dip in the road to make it clunk, I can swerve the car hard to the right or left and make it happen.

    Does it sound like I've broken a tack weld in the sub frame? Or maybe the RHS tie rod end appears OK, but weirds out on an angle or under pressure?

    Any advice much appreciated..

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  2. #2
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    I have a similar clunk on my RHS front. I had the shocks replaced and it made no difference. The top mount of the shock was in fine condition and the bushes also seem fine. Were Pedders worth the $14 for the lookover?
    B to the R to the A from the D
    1994 MX5 Clubman...are you sure it's not French?

  3. #3
    Tadpole
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    hey mine now makes really disgusting noises from the front left too!
    must have something to do with the curb I hit tonight after spinning in the wet!!
    car is undriveable! doh

    i deserve this... mallet
    '95 306 S16
    '73 Vespa Rally 200

  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Phasis - that's a bummer man , but I'm kind of glad we can relate and hopefully work out this mongrel of a problem.

    I thought Pedders was worth it, yeah $14 is a pretty trivial outlay to work out the condition of all 4 shocks, bushes etc etc.

    It was useful to find out most of the bushes are fine bar one LHS castor bush (I'll replace left and right) and that there were a whole lot of loose bolts! eek! They tightened these up for free.

    I found out my front shocks are perfect, as new, and the rear shocks are way out of specification. Maybe this is one reason the car feels so damn eery sometimes on high speed corners... eek!

    So, yeah, you'll find out very quickly if anythings in a dangerous state.. they want to make money out of you! (But it is obligation free).

    Dude have you had tie rods or ball joints replaced recently at all?

    cnrjunky - what happened mate, and what are the symptoms?

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  5. #5
    Tadpole
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    wet rainy night - early hours of the morning, no cars and lots of runoff space. Spun and clipped the curb with front LHS wheel. Major dent in the wheel and obscure angles now - free castor and camber change coutesy of concrete curb.
    The wheel is buckled, I've bent something underneath and I cant drive the car over 10km/hr so can't really compare my problem. I was going to get the LHS ball joints and bushes replaced at the next service anyway. Might get the repairer to replace all bushes while they're at it and try and push the claim through to pay for it.
    Made a claim on insurance today. Hope they don't take too long!
    '95 306 S16
    '73 Vespa Rally 200

  6. #6
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    ntrx - nothing in the suspension has been replaxced besides the struts, although it does have lowered eibach springs. The top mount of the LHF has a crack in it but nothing major.

    I got the suspension bushes checked out by my mechanic who said it was all fine, but I know my car very well and hear EVERYTHING. The LH cv's (inner and outer) were remanu'ed last week, but there is a deffinite noise coming from somewhere in the drivetrain. I think it may be the 3rd engine mount gone. I had the top 2 replaced recently aswell. The 3rd will be the next thing.
    B to the R to the A from the D
    1994 MX5 Clubman...are you sure it's not French?

  7. #7
    con
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    Fellow Frogger!
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    A possible problem (according to Peter Portelli, a Sydney Peugeot specialist) is a common one to 306s. It seems to manifest itself when the car has done about 100,000km although he has seen it in one that only had 30,000km. The problem is wear (and subsequent tearing) of the lower control arm bush.

    Another possibility is failure (due to fatigue) of the tip of front suspension arm. A NSW club member had this happen to one of his 306s at 60,000km: He lost complete steering control of the car which slewed sideways. Fortunately he was not going fast and was able to stop.

    con....

  8. #8
    Fellow Frogger!
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    my car makes sounds too, not that much of a clunk, a bit like a knock when i go over bumps
    damn car

  9. #9
    Fellow Frogger!
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    So Phasis, you have a similar clunk to mine but you think it's a drivetrain issue rather than a suspension one?

    Con - regarding the lower control arm bush wearing out - I agree.. my car had 75,000kms on it and the bush was completely shagged when the control arm was taken out to be replaced. But replacement control arms have the new bushes pressed into them, so I don't think it's a bush issue... at least on the control arm.

    But your other suggestion is very alarming.

    What other components are there in the front suspension setup, I can find no clear diagram in my manual or on the internet. Are control arms also referred to as suspension arms and wishbones?

    Interestingly, I share exactly the same problem as this bloke here that I found on the net:

    "I have a 1996 peugeot 306 1.9 diesel which is great but I can feel a faint knocking/clunking through the pedals when not accelerating. Also when I brake the car vibrates quite noticeable. These problems have both got worse and I'm fairly sure they are connected as I replaced discs and pads with no improvement. Any ideas?"

    My brakes vibrate to the BUGGERY! I've been saving up for new discs. Maybe it's not the problem!? And the clunk I refer to feels like is coming from around my footwell.

    Here are some of the replies:

    "Often failed lower suspension arm bushes (front). Common job on the 306 at anything after 60K.

    David"

  10. #10
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Phasis - I think I've worked it out...

    Took the car to East Coast Suspension (renowned around Sydney performance circles..) - they took the undeside plastic covering off and spent 1.5 hours giving it a good look.

    Everything was fine bar several MORE bolts loose, and the lower engine mount is torn. I think this is the problem, I also gave Esscargo a call and they said it's most likely to be the cause.

    It's $240.65 for the part and fitment at Esscargo, to give you an idea.

    The bush theory is sound to me as the condition has detiorated more and more trying to replciate the problem for myself and the mechanics. Now it happens occassionally on mild acceleration from a standstill.

    I'll have this addressed in a few weeks after my trip to Bali and tell you if it's solved the problem.

    I also asked about Peugeot Sport Group N mounts but they reckon they are way too extreme for street use.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  11. #11
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    ntrx
    Bit of bad luck there mate.Alot of noise can come from the 13mm bolt next to the 18mm bolt holding
    the rear bush on the lower control arm.Also check for play in the sway bar link ends.You do this by
    pulling up and down at the end of the sway bar.I sugest a 13,16&18mm spanner on all bolt's including the rack retaining bolt's.A21mm socket on the top nut of the strut is also worth a go. dance

  12. #12
    2000+ Brad's Avatar
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    Thanks all for the input into ntrx's problem as this gives me heaps of inside into what I will need to look at doing. After I got the LH drive shaft and both inner and outer cv's remanu'ed, there is still a shuddering in the drivetrain under torque.

    Peugeotcare think it will most likely be the 3rd bottom mount. I got quoted $80 for the part and $120 for labor (2 hours), but as the RH driveshaft/inner cv needs to come out, I will wait until I can do without the car for a week and get them to see if the RH cv's also need remanu.

    So the thought is that the clunck could be from the engine, not the suspension?

    Does the S16 have replacable lower control arm bushes? I heard previously here that only the whole arm can be replaced.

    Ow how I wish I could replace all suspension and drivetrain components in each arch.
    B to the R to the A from the D
    1994 MX5 Clubman...are you sure it's not French?

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Chuck that's helpful mate, cheers!

    The guys at East Coast went through every bolt and tightened the ones that needed it, and also checked everything for play. The swaybar links seem fine. The strut tops were perfect, everything was pretty well A-OK.

    He said if the engine mount didn't fix it, they'd have to pull the car to pieces (ie struts out etc etc).

    I'll keep my fingers crossed and do the engine mount! It seems logical, it's basically the only thing left.

    Phasis yeah the bushes are pressed into the control arms in a fairly permanent state!

    I noticed on one website that someone used the bushes from a Citroen ZX instead of replacing the entire arm, but as far as what Esscargo told me it's a total pain in the bum to get them out of the control arm in the first place.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  14. #14
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    while on the subject of front end noise i was on the phone last night to my mother the hoon and her 206GTi has developed a grinding noise when she turns the wheels
    she said it is coming from the top bearing in the strut which she is not happy about as the car had this noise about 2000km's ago and was "repaired" under warranty and it has now returned
    her dilemna is that the car is now out of warranty and extremely peeeeeed off about this noise that was "fixed" and has returned so soon
    my question is was it fixed ?
    she is also worried if the bearing dies how drivable the car is going to be and if it goes in a big way is she going to see a strut trying to reposition itself on the wrong side of the bonnet
    she doesn't know what sort of condition the rest of the top of the strut is in
    her other new problem is that she put a new battery in her plip key and the car won't central lock/unlock anymore even after she did the reprogramming
    she is now starting to think that maybe she should have
    a) got a 306
    b) kept the 405

    any inputs people ?
    3 x '78 604 SL

    1 x 2018 3008

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    1 x '98 306 GTi6 sadly sold

    1 x secret project

    1 x '98 406 STDT troop carrier and i don't care if it stinks, i don't sniff it's arse Death by wank tank

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  15. #15
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    Rambo, are they 'normal' struts where you can take a cap off and see a large ball bearing? If so it's a reasonably common and very quick temporary cure, on strut tops that are noisy, to place about half a cup of grease on top of the bearing, pump it through the bearing by pushing down on it with your hand (so it squeezes through) and wiping off the excess. A ten minute job that can be easily road tested by the unscupulous mechanic and still remedied properly in plenty of time if it didn't work. Perfect for those 'almost at end of warranty' jobs. Just a thought. (Geez, are we a cynical bunch when it comes to getting work done or what?) moon

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  16. #16
    Simon's Avatar
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    pugrambo:
    her dilemna is that the car is now out of warranty and extremely peeeeeed off about this noise that was "fixed" and has returned so soon
    my question is was it fixed ?
    Take it back to the dealer, as it was initially fixed within warranty, and has returned back so quickly it should still be rectified under warranty. Surely the replacement part would have a manufacturers warranty.

    Otherwise go see the usual suspects Consumer Affairs, motoring organisations. I really cannot understand how they can say it is no longer a warranty problem when it was fixed while it was in warranty, and has returned such a short time later.

    Simon
    1963 Renault R4 Van
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  17. #17
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Have been knee deep in work lately so I haven't followed this thread all that closely and have just skimmed through it now as I'm about to hit the toe.
    This noise really does sound like one we experience in the BX Cits. I have never bothered to closely examine a Pug front end but from what I hear the main difference is we have a sphere where you've got a spring and we have load bearing shocks where you have traditional, apart from that there are many common parts or at least design ideas. The BX can get noised in the front from a few sources.
    Exhaust pipe heat shield can come loose.
    Non genuine brake pads can tend to rattle.
    Springs on exhaust (engine pipe to tail pipe) connection can loose tension and get rusty.
    The common one; ball joints on drop links can become noisy. Now this one can be quite a mystery as all the testing in the world won't make them show up. The reason being, that under normal driving conditions you've got a wheel moving upwards as opposed to someone pushing down on guards & bumpers etc. I cured mine and improved the handling all in the one operation.
    I think(?) I may have given it to gibgib to put into the archives so pics etc may even be there.
    In summary of the job it is that the joints get tight & actually make a cracking noise which does sound like a rattle. Remove, hit around the rear end of them with a small hammer, free up regrease & refit. Noise gone, smoother ride and better handling.
    It's a very simple & quick job & one worth trying before embarking on assisting the local rip off repairer to maintain living in a manner to which he would like to become accustomed dance

    Alan S

    <a href="http://www.aussiefrogs.com/snippets/bx_clunks.htm" target="_blank">http://www.aussiefrogs.com/snippets/bx_clunks.htm</a>
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts stuartb's Avatar
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    i think the pug has a bush rather than a ball joint on the droplink....

  19. #19
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    stuartb:
    i think the pug has a bush rather than a ball joint on the droplink....
    Stu,

    I think it would nearly have to have ball joints due to the kind of pivoting action. We're not talking about the actual stabliser sway bar mounts, in case you're confusing the two.

    Alan S
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Thanks again everyone... cheers Alan S that's very good info re the balljoints.

    I went back to Spinning Wheel Tyres (they've raced 205gtis, 306 gtis, and did all the work for a 406 touring car) and seem to be quite knowledgeable. They looked under the car again and can't find anything bar the torn lower engine mount again... their theory is there may be a knocking noise coming from the gear selector linkage - possibly excacerbated by the extra engine flex from the worn mount in certain scenarios (the clunk seems somewhat random). He rattled the linkage with his hand whilst I was in the car, and the noise seems to be coming from the same location although nowhere near as strong - more like a rattle than a big clunk. Perhaps the force of the motor creating the clunk is far stronger than what you could recreate with your hand.

    Thanks Alan I'll pass on the ball joint theory to them as soon as I'm back from Bali (in 12 days )

    At the same time I'll get them to put in some EBC discs and new rear pads, and perhaps some Azenis tyres. Muhahahaa. World domination is next.

    BTW there was a Black S16 with CHA05T plates in the workshop - Chaosed! I like it.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

  21. #21
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    Hey NTRX, where is east coast suspension? Would they be good to look at my 205 GTi rear end?? evil By the way I hope you find your noise. I found my front suspension towers bent....had to realign and reinforce with 504 top plates. They don't make em as strong as they used to....You just can't hit the kerb as often or as hard!!! mallet
    Peugeot 306 GTi6
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