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Old 10-18-2000, 08:29 AM   #1
SubieFL
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Have a Nice Day? Clunking from front end

Once in a while I hear a little clunking from the front end. It doesn't happen regularly and I can't relate it to any one thing I do. I checked to make sure that the rims and most other stuff was tight u front and it all seems ok.

What could the clunking be?
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:04 AM   #2
gumball
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Try a search under "steering rattle". A number of people have described this, could that be what you're hearing?
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:19 AM   #3
SubieFL
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Question

I'm not usre if I would describe it as steering rattle.
It is more of a clunk that happens once in a while.
The best way I can describe it is to imagine a brake caliper hanging in the engine compartment and once in a while swinging and hitting the steering column or rims, etc...

I know that sux, but that's the best I can do.
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:32 AM   #4
Subie Gal
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hmmm...
i had some "clunkin" issues...

once it was the tire being a bit loose on the rim.. but you said you checked that...

once was a rock stuck in my brakes...

once was the brake pad itself... worn and stuck... clunk... clunk...

also check your suspension bits....

does it happen while making a turn?
or on straights?
any way to pin point it?

j.
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:40 AM   #5
SubieFL
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I have tried to pinpoint it, but I can't seem to do so. It is very intermittent. I think it may only happen when turning, though I am not completely sure about that.
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Old 10-18-2000, 10:54 AM   #6
Subie Gal
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when turning???

hmmmm....
do you have the stock brakes?
stock brake lines?
are your brake lines rubbing on the tires?
are they secured well??

just trying to help....

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Old 10-18-2000, 11:08 AM   #7
SubieFL
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Cool

I really appreciate your help and will be checking all the brake lines to see if that could be the case.
Anything else I should check?
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Old 10-18-2000, 11:13 AM   #8
Subie Gal
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check your struts.. strut mounts..

check calipers, pads, brake lines...

all wheels for tightness...

cv joint??? that's another possibility...

good luck...

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Old 10-18-2000, 01:22 PM   #9
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OK, the "steering rattle" definitely manifests itself while turning over a bumpy surface- in fact there's a TSB or NTSB write-up on it. So try driving over a bumpy road and turning/cornering. All of SG's checks sound like a good idea too.
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Old 10-18-2000, 02:22 PM   #10
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To try to isolate what prompts it, make some tight circles, both directions in a parking lot to see (listen ) if it occurs when going one or both directions or not at all.
If you can reproduce the sound this way then direct your attention to the cv joints and or wheel bearings.
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Old 10-19-2000, 05:34 AM   #11
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Thumbs up

Thanks Everyone. I'll soon find out
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Old 10-19-2000, 07:31 AM   #12
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HA ha! I have the same problem. I thought I cured it when I shanged my suspension... but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (whiny voice.) It happens while turning over uneven ground at very slow speeds. At least it's most noticable at that point.
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Old 10-19-2000, 07:47 AM   #13
SubieFL
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Have a Nice Day?

I'm not alone anymore!!
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Old 10-19-2000, 05:05 PM   #14
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It seems like more and more people are hearing steering u-joint clunking noises. There have been a few posts that have described this prob. Pls do a search. To replicate the prob., just drive the car on gravel road (with decent size gravel) and you should hear it.

Someone mentioned there was a write up on this on TSB or NTSB...does this mean there is a recall and SOA will fix it.....please let it be.....only then the dealerships will stop saying "thats normal".
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Old 10-19-2000, 07:38 PM   #15
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I also have been notice a clunking sound too. It happens when brake hard especially in 2nd gear. The cure "don't brake hard!" but I get the sound to when parallel parking and I shift and brake frequently between 1st and reverse. I posted this a week ago and received responses that it was the heat shield rattling. This thread puts a new spin on my concerns. Too bad I haven't had time to bring the car in. Maybe next week.
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Old 10-19-2000, 11:06 PM   #16
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same happens to me, but for a different reason.

It usually happens to me when I go 40mph on a really tight turn while flooring it. I do some carazay stuff in my car out in the country. Make sure you powersteering belt is tesioned to the right amount. Somtimes the belt slips and thus providing in adeguate presure to the steering hydrolicks.

It also can be that the pinion gears are worn or that the steereng assembly is loose. Can you beleive there are only 4 screws holding it up!

any way all these are of the worste case scenario so hopefully it's none of these
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Old 10-20-2000, 05:59 AM   #17
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I seemed to have pinpointed the problem. I tried pressing the accelerator and letting off so the car jerked and I could hear the clunking whenever I let off the accelerator. It also happens sometimes while turning, but it doesn't seem to be the CV joints.
I will check and tighten everything before the auto-x this weekend.
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Old 10-20-2000, 06:28 AM   #18
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yeah, I've noticed the steering rattle before..

especially after the suspension work..

but it's still not anything I'm worried about..
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Old 10-21-2000, 12:27 AM   #19
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I have thad that same damned noise on my 99RS since shortly after I bought it. I have had it into the dealer x2. Of course, they could not replicate. It seems to come from the left front and is intermittent. Usually I here it when slowing to a stop. For a while I thought it was associated with actuating the clutch or the brakes, but after some "testing" not so sure. Dealer purportedly checked all suspension parts and indicated all checked out. Could it be some part of the awd system disengaging?

If there is a TSB on this I would love to know.

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Old 10-22-2000, 08:36 PM   #20
kyledooley
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SubieFL:

I just wondered if you have stock suspension or aftermarket?

The reason I ask is because I had a front end knocking noise not too long ago and it was actually the nut that holds the strut shaft in the center of the top hat.

Mine had apparently backed off and it was weird because it wasn't banging when the suspension was loading but rather when it was unloading. Because the nut backed itself off a hair, the strut would drop when unloaded and then "THUNK" when the nut stopped at its seat. It was a hard noise to find and not immediately obvious.

This message is meant for just about anyone who's changed their suspension. Pop the center cap of your top hats and check the nuts periodically, cause when they start to back off, they do it in hurry.

Just a shot in the dark for your problem, FL.

Good luck.

Kyle
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Old 10-26-2000, 09:06 AM   #21
SubieFL
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Arrow

Thanks, Kyle

I have the stock suspension.

I think it may be just another Subie-specific noise.
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Old 10-26-2000, 05:41 PM   #22
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I had a mechanic friend and another friend tell its the brake pads shifting in the caliper.
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Old 10-26-2000, 08:21 PM   #23
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I've had an 85 XT Coupe (fwd 5spd), a 90 Legacy LS (fwd auto), a 93 SVX (awd auto), a 96 Outback (awd auto), and a 98 Legacy GT (awd 5spd), and as best I can remember, they've all had funny little suspension clunks that have caused me various amounts of concern. I'm about ready to put my GT up in the air and doublecheck everything. But it does seem to be a Subaru characteristic.

Rich
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Old 10-27-2000, 09:53 PM   #24
Kyle Paton
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I work as a mechanic at a local Toyota dealership and alot of camrys and solaras come in with that clunking complaint. Through countless hours of Toyota research we have found it to be the brake pads sliding into place. The clips prevent is from popping out but the pad still has a little play in the caliper.

I too had this problem. Especially when I first started driving after pulling out of a parking spot. I put on my WRX 4-pot brakes and haven't heard that noise since.

Kyle
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Old 10-28-2000, 06:37 PM   #25
AaronRS
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Question

Kyle Paton,
So far you have the best answer to the clunking that many of us have worried about. I always could tell it was something to do with the brakes but the shop never found any problems. Has anyone experienced a difference after switching to aftermarket pads? Do the aftermarket pads fit any better and therefore reduce the possible movement?
AaronRS
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