Front end clunking

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burvis
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Location: Chicago, IL

Front end clunking

Post by burvis »

What could cause clunking in the front suspension going over bumps on my 1968 500? I have eliminated the following:
Pittman arm bushing replaced.
Outer stabilizer arm bushings replaced.

I asked our local Corvair mechanic in Chicago to look it over and he says all the bushings, ball joints, etc. are tight and doing what they are supposed to do.

I notice the PO put in new shocks. Is it possible they are the wrong size or improperly installed? I see Clark's sells bumps stops/ bushings that are required when replacing shocks. What do I look for?

Thanks in advance for all advice.
Last edited by burvis on Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
1968 500, low miles survivor.
Ash gold looks green to me.

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terribleted
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

What car is it? Hard to offer good advise when we do not know what you are working on. Generally clunking is due to bad ball joints or other suspension or sway bar bushings, bad idler arm, loose or incorrect shocks or bad or incorrect shock bushings, or cut or broken springs.
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burvis
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by burvis »

My goof, sorry about that. I have a 1968 Corvair 500, with a 95hp and 2 speed powerglide. Ball joints have been confirmed good by an experienced mechanic, and the suspension is stock, except, as mentioned in the original post - pittman arm bushing, outer stabilizer arm bushings and shocks have been replaced.
1968 500, low miles survivor.
Ash gold looks green to me.

joelsplace
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by joelsplace »

LMs have a huge bottoming bumper for the lower top shock mount. Those may be missing and or the rubber isn't centered in the hole.
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Westds1
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by Westds1 »

This clunking happened to my 1966 Corsa and drove me crazy. After replacing everything it still occurred. My clunk came when I went over a bump with one side only. Turned out to be the stabilizer bar link on the passenger side was loose. The link bolt fits in a slotted hole that allows for adjustment. With the clamping bolt loose it allowed travel from end to end of the slot, the clunk occurred with the bolt hitting at the end of travel in the slot.

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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

Westds1 wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 11:10 am
This clunking happened to my 1966 Corsa and drove me crazy. After replacing everything it still occurred. My clunk came when I went over a bump with one side only. Turned out to be the stabilizer bar link on the passenger side was loose. The link bolt fits in a slotted hole that allows for adjustment. With the clamping bolt loose it allowed travel from end to end of the slot, the clunk occurred with the bolt hitting at the end of travel in the slot.
Interesting. Glad you found your noise , but there are no slotted holes retaining the stabilizer links or clamps anywhere (at least not stock). All stabilizer links and hardware are a good place to look for a clunking noise.
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steve57
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by steve57 »

Westds1 was talking about the clamp at the end of the stabilizer bar, it is as he described, fits into a slot at one end secured with a bolt at other. Also check your lower shock bolts for proper torque. If loose than can cause clunking.
14681929-E928-4FB1-8A4A-B47C072D831C.jpeg
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

steve57 wrote:
Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:17 am
Westds1 was talking about the clamp at the end of the stabilizer bar, it is as he described, fits into a slot at one end secured with a bolt at other. Also check your lower shock bolts for proper torque. If loose than can cause clunking.14681929-E928-4FB1-8A4A-B47C072D831C.jpeg
He stated a bolt in a slotted hole. There are no slotted holes that bolts go thru in the stabilizer assembly.
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burvis
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by burvis »

I thought it might be the outer stabilizer bar bushings too, as mine were chewed up. Someone had replaced them the wrong way - they are oval, and stand up tall, rather than the way the previous job had been done. I replaced them and tightened them up - still clunks. When the snow melts around Chicago, I will take it back in and have my guy go over the front shocks in detail. If they were installed by the same person that mangled the stabilizer bars bushings they could be wrong as well.
1968 500, low miles survivor.
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

burvis wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 8:57 am
I thought it might be the outer stabilizer bar bushings too, as mine were chewed up. Someone had replaced them the wrong way - they are oval, and stand up tall, rather than the way the previous job had been done. I replaced them and tightened them up - still clunks. When the snow melts around Chicago, I will take it back in and have my guy go over the front shocks in detail. If they were installed by the same person that mangled the stabilizer bars bushings they could be wrong as well.
I would expect clunking from your stabilizer bar to come from loose or defective upper inner mounts NOT at the outer ends by the control arms. Those can clunk and rattle, but usually do not unless the bushings are missing, which you say are in place. The inner ones can clunk if they are loose where they bolt into the crossmember on top or the rubber is missing or bad on either end of the links.
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burvis
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by burvis »

Good to know, thanks Ted! When you buy the bushings from Clark's you get all 6. My plan was to replace them all, but the bolt to the upper inner left was frozen, and I couldn't budge it. Visually, both sets of inners looked ok. I suspect the shocks at this point. When weather permits, I will get back to it and report what I find.
1968 500, low miles survivor.
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

Those bolts can be annoying. When I replace these I usually get all the bushings and new sleeves and bolts as often the bolts are rusted to the sleeves (or the sleeves are quite rusty) making removal and assembly difficult. It is necessary to get the bolt out of the car in order to remove the sway bar. cutting the head or nut off the bolt does not really help as the remains of the bolt will still be captured in the crossmember. I have had to cut these off before carefully using a saws-all between the stabilizer link and the crossmember. I try soaking with PB Blaster or other break-free solvent and a suitable drift and hammer first of course:)
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

gotahavit
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by gotahavit »

I had same thing after wheel repair. Found it to be a wheel weight hitting a linkage.

burvis
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by burvis »

Finally resolved, thanks to the incomparable Larry Claypool! Turns out the PO left off the lock washers on the lower shock mounts when replacing the shocks. This caused the nut to bottom out on the threads of the bolt. This gave the appearance of being tight, but allowed movement when driving, and caused the clunk. Who would have ever known? So grateful for Larry's knowledge and expertise. He also has it running better than ever. It's finally like a new car, which it should be, given the low miles. Yes!!
1968 500, low miles survivor.
Ash gold looks green to me.

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Re: Front end clunking

Post by terribleted »

burvis wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:22 am
Finally resolved, thanks to the incomparable Larry Claypool! Turns out the PO left off the lock washers on the lower shock mounts when replacing the shocks. This caused the nut to bottom out on the threads of the bolt. This gave the appearance of being tight, but allowed movement when driving, and caused the clunk. Who would have ever known? So grateful for Larry's knowledge and expertise. He also has it running better than ever. It's finally like a new car, which it should be, given the low miles. Yes!!
Yup that would clunk. Glad you found it.
Corvair guy since 1982. I have personally restored at least 20 Vairs, many of them restored ground up.
Currently working full time repairing Corvairs and restoring old cars.
https://www.facebook.com/tedsautorestoration/

Located in Snellville, Georgia

erco
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Re: Front end clunking

Post by erco »

Some people got cash for their clunkers!

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/8e298261-8 ... f83af711fb

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