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steering "clunk"

Discussion in '60-Series Wagons' started by dogboy, Aug 18, 2003.

  1. dogboy

    dogboy

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    Just finished installing the new suspension and now have a very pronounced "CLUNK" sound when turning the wheels lock-to-lock.

    It was noticeable before the new lift, but I thought it was the old springs shifting in their plates/shackles/???. Now that the steering geometry has changed, the "CLUNK" is really apparent, especially when driving around town.

    O.K. Gurus, is it my leaky, worn power steering gear box? How about tired tie rod ends? Faulty steering knuckles? I'm scratching my head and taking guesses here..... any good thoughts from the braintrust collective?

    Thanks much,
    -dogboy- '87 FJ60
     
  2. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    have someone move the wheel while you inspect all the links, joints, arms, etc and see if you can spot what's loose. Retorque the tie rod ends, steering arms, steering box mounts, etc. An hour-two with a wrench might just solve it for ya.
     
  3. Eternal

    Eternal

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    My best and only clunk experience was the shackle bushing being worn. They gave a clunk every time i turned a corner. That is my only suggestion to add to woody's. It is usually something loose that I forgot to tighten but good luck.

    Eternal
     
  4. woody

    woody Internet Fireman Staff Member

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    and u-bolts....
     
  5. dogboy

    dogboy

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    I found it, the "CLUNK" that is......

    Turns out that the outer most leaf of both front springs are shifting laterally when the wheel is turned in either direction, causing the clunk sound. Going to try and grease the springs and see if that helps.

    Thanks for the good suggestions,
    -dogboy- '87 FJ60
     
  6. lovetoski

    lovetoski SILVER Star

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    I had a similar problem on my 87 60. It has a MAF lift. I applied Sherlock Holmes method - eliminate everything that you can, and whatever is left is the "culpret."

    In my case U-bolts needed to be tightened frequently for the first 500 miles. This did cause some clunking. Once they were tight, and stayed that way, it helped. But not completely.

    I replaced my tie-rod ends. Steering improved. No impact on clunk.

    I added a 4 degree shim (but had to remove the bottom leaf, as my spring pin was too short). Improved tracking on the freeway, but still a bit of a clunk. This was nearly 9 months ago, but I think the shim reduced the severity of the clunk. However I have no clue as to why this might be?

    Found a local spring shop to make me a longer spring pin, and installed the bottom leaf. Now steers GREAT! Really good feel and tracks straight on the road. Still clunks a bit. Not really irritating though. Maybe I'm getting used to it?

    Next up is a full front axle rebuild. Wheel bearings, knuckle bearings, etc. It's the only thing left to "fix." It's the only thing left to try. After that, if it still clunks, then it's the spring leafs shifting...won't be mad though, as I will know that everything else is in good condition.

    HTH,

    Doug Graham
    87 fj60, 265,000 miles
     
  7. dd113

    dd113

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    Might sound stupid but the biggest clunk is usually caused buy the tie rod clamps hitting each other.