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Just found a problem...

533 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mk1Racer
A while ago, a "clunking" developed when taking left hand turns. Over some time, the problem has gotten progressivly worse. Now, the clunking happens when you turn the steering wheel to the left even the slightest bit. Also, it clunks on straits and even right handers sometimes.
Anyway, when the car was jacked up today (shift bushings), I accidently bumped the left front wheel and it moved like the lug nuts were loose. When I shook it, it was so sloppy it felt like the wheel was about to fall off, even though the lugs were tight. The whole hub assembly is moving.
I didnt take a close look at what could be going on. Someone suggested that the bolts that hold the strut to the hub could be loose. Could it be ball joints? Anyone have any ideas???
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Re: Just found a problem... (JoeHydrickGTI)

Sounds like a bad wheel bearing or lower ball joint. Would also check the steering tie rod ends. The strut to hub carrier bolts should be torqued to 58 ft-lbs. I would not drive the car until the problem is resolved. Good luck, WWR.
Re: Just found a problem... (WackyWabbitRacer)

Could be a reallybad wheel bearing, but I doubt it (based on the 'clunk'). I'm guessing it's probably a smoked ball joint. I doubt that it's a tie rod (would not have happend only on L/H turns). It could be loose strut bolts, but I doubt that too. If the car has never had the ball joints replaced, get your drill out. The OEM ball joints are riveted to the LCA.
What I find amazing is that you said this developed "A while ago" and "got progressivly worse", yet you worried about changing the shifter bushings before trying to figure out what was making a 'clunk' in the front end, especially since it got as bad as you say it did.
Re: Just found a problem... (JoeHydrickGTI)

I had the same symptoms last year, it turned out the 30mm nut on the axle was loose. Somehow it didn't destroy the bearing (totally), we tightened it really tight and it was fine for a couple of months then the bearing went.
You should get the car up in the air again and wiggle the wheel to see whats going on. I doubt it's the bolts that hold the strut to the knuckle, I've had one come out before and the only symptom I had was really strange cornering. I say it's either the bearing or ball joint.
Going on what WWR said, I would NOT drive the car until you atleast find out what the problem is. If a ball joint breaks while you're at highway speeds kiss it goodbye, your car will most likely get really bent up and you may lose control to the point that you roll it or hit other cars. A bad wheel bearing could sieze or come apart, probably while cornering when the most stress is on it, this is not good either.
Buy the cheap parts before something bad happens http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif
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Re: Just found a problem... (white rabbit)

I had the bushings already, so i felt like doing somthing productive. It got progressivly worse only on the way to my friends (where we were going to put the bushings in), and even more on the way home. Regarding my remarks "a while ago" and got "progressivly worse", I am only 15, therefore I don't have a liscence. Because of this, the rabbit doesn't see much road time, only when friends drive it. It's not like it was driven 500 miles with a crazy clunk in my front end, said the hell with it, and bought shift bushings. It hasnt been on the road since I realized the wheel was loose and the clunking started to progress.
Re: Just found a problem... (JoeHydrickGTI)

Ok, sorry if I sounded a little harsh, but you didn't give all the details. From the way you described it, it sounded like you had been driving the car all that time. Best to get it fixed PDQ though.
Whiterabbit's right too, if the ball joint lets go while it's been driven, it will be a very ugly situation. At the least, count on having to put a new fender on the car (as well as fixing the ball joint), and probably a new lower control arm. And as far as problems w/ wheel bearings, another related problem is hub failure. While I've never heard of it on a street car, it's a common occurence on race cars, to the point where I put new hubs in the car after every 12-15 hours of track time. The worst-case scenario w/ a hub failure is that you'll break the stub axle and the whole wheel will leave the car. See above re: ugly situation.
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