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  • Steering-related clunks

    Hi folks, does anyone happen to know the cause a noise that has developed in my front end after a trip to the Flinders Ranges (very dusty roads and lots of vibration).
    At low speed when I turn to full lock either going forward or backwards (such as backing out of my garage and turning to go up the driveway) I get a series of clunks for as long as the wheels are moving to their full lock.
    Initially I thought it might have been my Bushskinz moving against their mounts, but I now think there is not likely to be enough force on the plates while turning at low speed on a smooth surface.
    Is there a steering knuckle/joint somewhere that I should lube, or are my spings binding then jumping? I'm hoping that the steering box isn't loose or malfunctioning, but I suspect not as there is no noise during high speed turning.
    Any ideas for diagnosis or rectification would be appreciated!
    Redtag
    Charcoal PB auto, 2012. Pretty bog standard at the moment - nudge bar and IPF HID driving lights (bodgy retrofit by previous owner!), factory rear difflockt, Bushkins for intercooler and front diff, Toyo OPAT 265/65/R17 LT, profile bars and Oztrail awning, Ultragauge Blue, EGR plug n'play, Automate and paddles.

  • #2
    CV joints?

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    • #3
      Are the "clunks" regular & evenly spacing in timing or random?
      Do they increase & decrease in proportion to speed?
      Pajero NX MY16 GLS

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      • #4
        Thanks for the replies folks!
        Bruceandbobbie, I hadn't thought about 1 or both CV joints but you could be right. I've usually heard CV noise on clapped out front wheel drive Japanese city cars when someone accelerates around a bend. The noise isn't quite like that and is only noticeable at low speed with a lot of steering input. I can't get it to happen by sweeping the steering wheel side to side (like going around witches hats) when moving above a fast walking pace.
        spot01, the noise always happens when I back my car out of the garage and at other times only when I follow the same sort of pattern (eg, slow 3 point turn, going into or out of a parking spot. To get out of my garage I backup slightly then go full right lock, stop, then hard left lock and take off down the drive way forward. On each movement I'll get a series of about 3-4 clunks, The noise seems loudest when there is a bit of force/tension on the steering and the wheels are trying to catch-up with the steering input. I think I get a very similar noise when creeping forward and then jabbing the brakes, but I'm not certain that it's exactly the same noise.
        I've not tried my backing out manoeuvres at high speed, just walking pace! But I did do a few exercises in my work carpark the other day and that's when I observed that the witches hat trick at higher speed didn't seem to cause any issues. However, although the speed was higher I couldn't quite go from full lock to full lock.
        I might see if spraying the tops and bottoms of my front coils quietens things a bit???
        Regards
        Redtag
        Charcoal PB auto, 2012. Pretty bog standard at the moment - nudge bar and IPF HID driving lights (bodgy retrofit by previous owner!), factory rear difflockt, Bushkins for intercooler and front diff, Toyo OPAT 265/65/R17 LT, profile bars and Oztrail awning, Ultragauge Blue, EGR plug n'play, Automate and paddles.

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        • #5
          Its not clear to me if the clunks come as you turn the wheel, or as your Challenger rolls slowly with a large amount of steering input.

          If you were in a carpark doing low-speed circles with steering in a set position, would it clunk continuously, or only as you initially turn the steering wheel? If you stationary steer (not normally a good thing to do) do you get the clunks, or do they only happen if the vehicle is also rolling.

          Does it clunk as you unwind i.e. return to centre, or only as you apply lock?
          NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 ST Maxx, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

          Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

          Scorpro Explorer Box

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          • #6
            The Challenger does not have rubber insulators on the lower ends of the front and rear coils (metal to metal contact), upper ends have rubber insulators, so the suspension can be noisy at low speed and when turning. The steering geometry and steering rack ratio is different to the Gen 4 Pajero so you get more steering kick/feedback from the Challengers steering. I found this issue was more noticeable when I went up 2 tyre sizes to LT235/85R16 813mm diameter rather than the 776mm diameter tyres and did not change the rim offset so the scrub radius has changed and the self aligning torque characteristics of the suspension.
            Factory front struts are pretty average and will flog out especially if you are running a bullbar.
            What are you suspension ride heights measured from the centre of the wheel hubs to the underside of the wheel arches when measured in a vertical line?

            OJ.
            2011 PB Base White Auto, Smartbar, Cooper STMaxx LT235/85R-16,TPMS, HR TB, 3 x Bushskinz, front +40mm Dobinson , rear +50mm EHDVR Lovells, Dobinson MT struts and shockers, Peddars 5899 cone springs, Windcheater rack, GME UHF, Custom alloy drawer system inc. 30lt Engel & 2 x 30 AH LiFePo batteries + elec controls, Tailgate hi-lift/long struts, Phillips +100 LB & HB, Lightforce 20" single row driving beam LED lightbar, Scanguage II.
            MM4x4 Auto Mate, Serial No 1 .

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            • #7
              So, some more observations.
              NJ SWB, I tried a couple of walking pace laps at full lock in a carpark - the noise didn't continue around the laps. I believe it's more as you say, it happens at a slow roll with lots of steering input, before the wheels have had the chance to catch-up with the steering input There were also a couple of ripples in the carpark that caused compression/extension of the frontend, and that didn't cause any noise. Interestingly, coming to a park in my garage (which also causes clunks, because it is almost like a 3 point turn) I noticed something. I have a strip of 19 mm particle across the floor so that I don't go in too far, and I got a faint clunk when I nudged up to the edge of the board, I didn't even drive onto it! That was after straightening up for about 5m after a hard-right lock.
              I measure my front end OJ, driver's side EBH is 535mm, passenger side 520. That is with no driver and no rear seat, but one of those alloy nudgebars and intercooler/sump Bushskinz.
              Redtag
              Charcoal PB auto, 2012. Pretty bog standard at the moment - nudge bar and IPF HID driving lights (bodgy retrofit by previous owner!), factory rear difflockt, Bushkins for intercooler and front diff, Toyo OPAT 265/65/R17 LT, profile bars and Oztrail awning, Ultragauge Blue, EGR plug n'play, Automate and paddles.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd say we can rule out drivetrain: diff, disconnecter, CVs. Your test results point towards something steering or suspension.

                Check for play in steering rack ends, steering ball joints, even how the rack is mounted. Look for shiny metal that might indicate something moves.

                Check front sway bar - mounting D bushes, mounts, loose nuts on the links.

                Check for signs of your drive shafts rubbing against your front struts.

                Worst case - look for something dangling loose inside your bull bar.
                ​​
                NT Platinum. DiD Auto with 265/70R17 ST Maxx, Lift, Lockers, Lockup Mate, Low range reduction, LRA Aux tank, bull bar, winch, lots of touring stuff. Flappy paddles. MMCS is gone!

                Project: NJ SWB. 285/75R16 ST Maxx, 2" OME suspension, 2" body lift, ARB 110, 120l tank, bullbar, scratches, no major dents. Fully engineered in SA. NW DiD & auto in place - a long way to go....

                Scorpro Explorer Box

                Comment

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