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  #1  
Old 04-21-2017, 02:05 AM
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scumdog scumdog is offline
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Default Suspension noise mystery

Hi all, I know it's a bit of a task to figure out what the noise sounds like from my description but here goes I will do my best.

In the last couple of thousand miles on our 66 Thunderbird has been making an unusual noise which appears to be related to the front suspension.
It can't be provoked i.e. we can't get it to do it on demand but the noise seems to happen when going down over a slight bump say when leaving the driveway onto the street or sometimes just going into a tight curve, I THINK from memory left-hand curves.

The noise is a sharp clunk/click, it you gave a suspension arm a light tap with a hammer I think it would make a similar noise and is not constant.

It doesn't happen when stationary and you swing the steering wheel from side to side

It doesn't happen when the brakes are applied.

Bouncing the front up and down manually doesn't cause the noise.

Driving down the highway there's no noise unless I hit a shallow pot-hole.

I've had a similar noise from a car that didn't have an engine mount cinched tight


I had my main mechanic go through the front end, he said it all looks fine and he couldn't get it to make the noise. (He works on all the 'Yank Tanks' in the town and is a hands-on guy).

Any guesses?
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2017, 05:24 AM
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Two things come to mind. One is obvious; check your stop on the spindle by turning all the way right, then bounce the front. Repeat with the wheel to the left. The RH spindle stops going right and the LH spindle stops to the left. Also look at your tires for witness marks.

Have you had work done recently? If so, follow those clues. Here's my second suggestion... With the car sitting normally, kneel down as you face the hubcap. Grab your front tire by the top and give it a violent shake. I have had wheel bearings that were loose. It happened because someone (could have been me) didn't drive the races all the way home. So, tightening the spindle nut to the proper touch bit me in the butt. Now, I spin the wheel and crank on the spindle nut until it stops HARD. Then, I back the nut off. If the races can move, they will and they will seat properly.

Also, check your ball joints for slop and your stabilizer bar linkage. Wait a minute, you have those rubber mounted struts, right? Check for worn rubber donuts where they connect to the frame member. - Dave
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Last edited by simplyconnected : 04-21-2017 at 05:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2017, 08:11 AM
bird 60 bird 60 is offline
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Also check your wishbone bolts.

Chris......From OZ.
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  #4  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:45 AM
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If it is really a metal clunk vs a squeak, not sure I'd
be driving it around too much more, unless just
diagnosing.

Even if it's not something that could cause immediate
failure and be a safety problem, it could be something
significantly wearing every time it happens.

I'd start with a full exhaust inspection. Those noises
are really finicky upon when they happen sometimes
and sound much worse than they are when exh hits
anything on susp or frame.

Next I would have someone watching entire steering
and suspension while you steer lock to lock.
Steering while not moving puts a pretty good load on
all the steering components and suspension. Look for
something that does not move smooth or jumps part
way through.

Worst case, get a cheap "go-pro" type camera and mount
it near where you think it is happening. They get used
all the time, like here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91kQSQ8NHME
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:43 AM
OUR5T8BIRD OUR5T8BIRD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scumdog View Post
Hi all, I know it's a bit of a task to figure out what the noise sounds like from my description but here goes I will do my best.

In the last couple of thousand miles on our 66 Thunderbird has been making an unusual noise which appears to be related to the front suspension.
It can't be provoked i.e. we can't get it to do it on demand but the noise seems to happen when going down over a slight bump say when leaving the driveway onto the street or sometimes just going into a tight curve, I THINK from memory left-hand curves.

The noise is a sharp clunk/click, it you gave a suspension arm a light tap with a hammer I think it would make a similar noise and is not constant.

It doesn't happen when stationary and you swing the steering wheel from side to side

It doesn't happen when the brakes are applied.

Bouncing the front up and down manually doesn't cause the noise.

Driving down the highway there's no noise unless I hit a shallow pot-hole.

I've had a similar noise from a car that didn't have an engine mount cinched tight


I had my main mechanic go through the front end, he said it all looks fine and he couldn't get it to make the noise. (He works on all the 'Yank Tanks' in the town and is a hands-on guy).

Any guesses?
Experienced this once a long time ago . Found the shock ( may have been right side ) coming loose at the bottom . Tightened the nuts and noice was gone . It is a long shot but worth a check .
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:05 AM
Deanj Deanj is offline
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Sometimes it's hard to tell noise in the front from the back. I know my occasional clunk is the mufflers hitting the springs or body. I replaced the worn out aftermarket mufflers with Thunderbird mufflers and these had to be tilted to fit between the leaf springs and the 1/4 panel. That means part of the muffler body is visible below the bumper, and these still clunk once in a while going over a bump.

Dean
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:08 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Check the top mounts on the front shocks. These have given me problems in the past when I was less that careful reassembling them. The detailed drawings in my Shop Manual are not correct.
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  #8  
Old 04-21-2017, 09:47 PM
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Thanks guys, I will do Daves check of the wheel-bearings and Yadkins check of shocks (I had those 'caps' off to paint them before Yellowbird arrived for his visit).
I'm pretty sure it's not exhaust but will check.

The steering and suspension was checked by an experience mechanic (as I mentioned) and he declared it all fine.

Oh and tyre wear is normal and the noise happens when I'm not on full lock, just turning a bit.
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