Patrol 4x4 - Nissan Patrol Forum banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
nissan MQ
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If anyone has any thoughts on this one, it would be much appreciated.

I am trying to track down what is causing a clunky noise in my front suspension/steering system. It happens as I start to steer around a corner, or sometimes halfway around a corner. Also happens when a I hit a bump on the road. Just one clunk each time.

It does have new spring shackles with greasable pins, although one of the pins is not accepting the grease!

My first thoughts were that it could be a worn ball joint. Over the last few weeks I experimented with the grease gun, thinking that if I just greased one or two ball joints at a time and then taking it for a test drive I might be able to pin point the worn joint. But no real success.

Yesterday I used the handle of my hydraulic trolley jack, as a lever, to see if I could find any movement in any of the joints. Could not find any slop in any of them, but then again it was my first time at trying this method. ( I asked a mechanic to look for problems last year and saw him use this method. He said then that all was OK except for the badly worn spring shackles and pins. So I got some new ones fitted.)

But I did notice something interesting, as I was levering on the end of the drag link it rotated around the joints at each end. Quite a large rotation - maybe 60 degrees as a rough guess. I found I could just grab the drag link and easily rotate it back and forward. So I did a complete re-grease of all joints and then found that when I tried to rotate the drag link, by hand, it was possible, but with a huge amount of torque required.

After a few drives yesterday the clunking seemed to be a lot less. But today I noticed them coming back again.

I am also renewing bushes, links and washers on the stabiliser bar. I noticed a few days ago that the whole bar was sliding back and forward through its D bushes on the axle housing. So I bought some new D bushes plus eight new donut bushes for the vertical links on the end of the bar. I fitted the new D bushes and one side link a few days ago, but found that a couple of the compressor washers were badly worn, and the link bolt itself had some wear grooves in its side. One of the D washes had a large part of the rubber 'circle' missing.

So today I bought two new bolts and picked up a kit of new washers. Just about to go and fit these new parts to have the stabiliser bar all fitted with new parts.

And then another test drive to see if that solved the clunking problem. Will report back on the results. Hopefully will be fixed!
 

·
Registered
nissan mk
Joined
·
970 Posts
Sounds like stabilzer bar to me, hope all the washers and rubbers fix the problem.
 

·
Rusty, but Trusty. Most of the time
nissan
Joined
·
1,185 Posts
I would be checking my spring hangers! Common problem in these old machines.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,328 Posts
shock absorber bushes. should be 2 top and bottom (total 4) so there is never metal on metal. ones probably perished, so every time the shock is trying to stretch/compress its slapping onto one of the nuts.
 

·
builder not a buyer!
nissan
Joined
·
2,702 Posts
Tie rod end could be flogged out, that could explain clunking when cornering. Even if the boot on them has/beginning to perish, the grease will work out easier and wear away the pin of the tie rod end

cheers
 

·
The Prodigal Child Has Returned
nissan
Joined
·
7,289 Posts
u bolts would be a good place to start, I have had the problem and, it seems to have gone since doing wheel bearings and tightening the u bolts.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
361 Posts
From the description, I have the same problem. Generally the clunking goes away when I give the ol' girl a good grease but occurs sometimes. I got a new RTC tough dog steering damper and when I fitted it I noticed that the bushes and such are worn and if not one may have been missing, which at the time I just thought was normal.

My clunk is the exact same and only happens when corning or over a bump as mentioned. I also have the rotation in the drag link and tie rod but they all seem smooth.

I will be checking all the rubbers tomorrow, thanks a lot for this post and everyones posts you all may have just saved me a fair bit of money!

Cheers heaps Matt
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
347 Posts
i have a similar clunk in the front of mine. do you have 2in lift? by the success (no matter how small) you have got from greasing it sounds like a joint somewhere. the clunking i had was from the tie rod hitting on the leaf pack. the lifted springs follow a smaller arc and hence are closer to the tierod. if you extend your shackles this changes the caster and lessens the gap even more.
 

·
Registered
nissan MQ
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Well just got back from a 50km trip through the Adelaide hills to test the sway bar work. Firstly it was a definite improvement on the feel of the front end. It felt nice and tight now, and I reckon I could feel the effect of nice new compressed rubber bushes, housed in new washers, especially going over bumps. Definitely no clunks going over bumps now!

Still the occasional clunk going around a 90 degree corner back in the suburbs, a quieter clunk than before, but no clunks on gentle changes of direction on the open road, which I was getting last week.

So I think those worn washers, and also the fact that the bushes had lost there 'spring' and compressed with age, were the problem. This meant that there was a fair amount of slop in the link bolt and all its washers and the bush/spacer in the middle. So when going around a corner 'things' moved around to make the clunk. Most of the washers were still OK, with the hole for the bolt still being the correct size. But on the link that I did tonight two of the washers had their hole worn to about 25% larger than the original size.

Maybe I just need to tighten up the nut on this link bolt a few more turns to get enough tension in the four bushes and six washers so that the last bit of movement is taken out. And then as the bushes compress over the next 50,000km or 100,000km just nip up the nut another turn to keep it all tight.
 

·
Registered
nissan MQ
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for all the ideas fellas. I do have a dust cover completely missing form the passenger side of the drag link ball joint. So when I try to grease it, it almost falls straight out, with very little staying inside! I think I will try rotating it a bit as I grease it next time, to try to work the grease around the ball joint.

I tried wrapping insulation tape around it to hold the grease inside, but it was only partly successful. Is it possible to buy some sort of dust cover that can be fitted over the ball joint without having to remove it? I am guessing the answer is no!

Will also check the shock absorber nuts and bushes and the U bolt nuts. Maybe there is some play there. But the steering feels very tight now, so I am hoping those U bolts are nice and tight.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
154 Posts
I had the same clunck when cornering and after looking and testing decided to renew bushes,shackles and U bolts.
But the clunk came back within 1000Km.
Renewed stabiliser bar and rubbers but no improvement.
Finally got a new pair of front shackle mounts,cut the old ones off and welded new ones on.
The clunck was gone and up untill now not back.

The front mounts devellop a ridge inside due to wear and the same with the shackle pin.
The shackles wear on the side and there is the play.
When cornering you get force sideways and the pin grips in a ridge and with some more force skips the ridge ant this sidway motion gets stopped by the shackle smashing into the mount creating the clunck.

The cheap way to fix is grind a little of the side of the front hanger and put a washer between the shackle and the hanger to shim out the play.
 

·
Registered
Nissan
Joined
·
586 Posts
I had the same clunck when cornering and after looking and testing decided to renew bushes,shackles and U bolts.
But the clunk came back within 1000Km.
Renewed stabiliser bar and rubbers but no improvement.
Finally got a new pair of front shackle mounts,cut the old ones off and welded new ones on.
The clunck was gone and up untill now not back.

The front mounts devellop a ridge inside due to wear and the same with the shackle pin.
The shackles wear on the side and there is the play.
When cornering you get force sideways and the pin grips in a ridge and with some more force skips the ridge ant this sidway motion gets stopped by the shackle smashing into the mount creating the clunck.

The cheap way to fix is grind a little of the side of the front hanger and put a washer between the shackle and the hanger to shim out the play.
I had that problem in the mk too, That wear that you mentioned seems to be the problem with most of them when the get that clunk run corners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,166 Posts
I had the same clunck when cornering and after looking and testing decided to renew bushes,shackles and U bolts.
But the clunk came back within 1000Km.
Renewed stabiliser bar and rubbers but no improvement.
Finally got a new pair of front shackle mounts,cut the old ones off and welded new ones on.
The clunck was gone and up untill now not back.

The front mounts devellop a ridge inside due to wear and the same with the shackle pin.
The shackles wear on the side and there is the play.
When cornering you get force sideways and the pin grips in a ridge and with some more force skips the ridge ant this sidway motion gets stopped by the shackle smashing into the mount creating the clunck.

The cheap way to fix is grind a little of the side of the front hanger and put a washer between the shackle and the hanger to shim out the play.
X2
Mine does the same and like marc says, the bush is worn so a new shackle will only solve the problem a little bit.
 

·
Registered
nissan MQ
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks mad-marc, Jelmer160 and Lawrence for this clue. I think simonc3 might have been suggesting the same thing when he was talking about the spring hangars. Another one to check out!

I am getting the car ready for a trip over to WA on Friday/Saturday. The plan is to stay away from the rain, so instead of heading east to swim along the eastern seaboard, I am going over to dry and dusty WA, and check out the beaches from Esperance around to Perth and maybe further north towards Port Headland if the wallet and energy levels are still going OK. More likely I will tucker out and head back to Adelaide from Perth. But chances are I might bring some rain over for them!

So this morning's job is to paint some 'rust eater' on the drivers side floor, and tomorrow at least get the under-coat on top of that. I still have not tracked down this leak dripping down off the bonnet release knob. Not sure if it’s the window seal perished somewhere, or if it is coming in through the air vent in front of the window and then in through the firewall somewhere.

All good fun tracking down, and hopefully solving, these little problems. At least I have fixed up the big one now - an engine that drinks oil at the rate of 1 litre per 300km. The LPG mixtures have been tuned up by the pro now, and I have finally got the timing set at 9 BTDC. 70 odd horsepower just purring and ready to hit the open road!
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
1,339 Posts
Crikey, I've got the same sound, looks like I've got a bit of checking to go through when I get the chance.
 

·
Registered
nissan patrol mk
Joined
·
3,306 Posts
I'm not sure if it was said... a lot to read as you say LordBug :p

The wrap arounds on the leaf packs has a tendency to come loose, and it allows the leafs to "wonder" around a bit, this was what caused that sound for me :)
 

·
Registered
nissan MQ
Joined
·
185 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well back from the WA trip. Car went well. Only problem was when the air cleaner cannister came loose due to all the rough raods. It caused a stutter in the engine as it runs on LPG, and when it gulps in excessive air around an ill fitting cleaner box the motor 'misses a beat'. Took two shots to fix it properly. Will put up a separate thread about the problem maybe.

But that clunking problem seemed to disappear after the first day of 4x4 driving through the sand hills of Fowlers Bay. It did not come back again until nearly home. I am pretty sure it has something to do with some of the ball joints in the front suspension running a bit dry of grease. Maybe after a re-grease, sometimes the grease does not get all the way around the ball. Maybe the rough 4x4 tracks worked the joints hard enough to move the grease around properly. So I made an extra effort to work the grease around the drag link joints next time I did a re-grease..

That drag link was the one that easily twisted back and forward. I sealed the spot where the grease was falling out with my fingers, and forced the grease to ooze right up to the top of the joint and come out there. I also twisted the bar a bit to work the grease around. This caused some to fall out again, so I pushed some more in. The drag link became very hard to twist after filling it with grease, making me think that it was the cause of the clunking when it had lost a lot of its grease.

I found that after 3000km and about 8 hours of pretty rough tracks on the way over to Walpole, the car started to wander a bit. So I did a re-grease and that solved the problem. Regreased again in Meekathara on the way back down from Marble Bar. So looks like the grease lasts about 3000km, depending on the nature of the road surfaces.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
175 Posts
Ive got the exact same clunk in my MK, its very noticeable when turning over speed bumps in car parks, and going into peoples driveways, we greased everything up and it seemed to disappear for a day but came back, its nearly always when turning, or going over uneven ruts....It's due to have all the suspension upgraded so if it is the rubbers on the shocks we will find out, but from the sound and feel its in a ball joint like millsy said, although i will have to try really packing the grease into the drag link and see if that helps
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top