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Right Front End Clunk 1993 Sixty Special


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Hello all,

I've been on this forum before, but can't remember my username or password so I had to create a new one. I switched cars so it's better anyway :P

Anywho, here is my problem:

I have a clunk on my passenger side front which sounds right by the wheel. It sounds like something is loose, but I checked everything and it seems good. I recently replaced the stabilizer bar links because they had rusted through and broke. I rechecked and it was tight.

My car has 175,700 miles on it and as you know they are essentially a Deville.

Is there anything that I should be checking? I checked the tierod and it didn't seem loose or anything. I haven't noticed any drivability issues. The clunk is hard to reproduce. I can't make it do it by pushing the car by hand back and forth or up and down.

Any ideas? Thanks!

-Dusty-

2006 Cadillac DTS Glacier Gold Tri-Coat with 175,000 miles

1993 Cadillac Sixty Special Gold Mist with 185,000 miles

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Hello all,

I've been on this forum before, but can't remember my username or password so I had to create a new one. I switched cars so it's better anyway :P

Anywho, here is my problem:

I have a clunk on my passenger side front which sounds right by the wheel. It sounds like something is loose, but I checked everything and it seems good. I recently replaced the stabilizer bar links because they had rusted through and broke. I rechecked and it was tight.

My car has 175,700 miles on it and as you know they are essentially a Deville.

Is there anything that I should be checking? I checked the tierod and it didn't seem loose or anything. I haven't noticed any drivability issues. The clunk is hard to reproduce. I can't make it do it by pushing the car by hand back and forth or up and down.

Any ideas? Thanks!

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Hi all,

Although I don't have an answer to this question, I wanted to add I have the same problem with my 98 STS. I also have checked upper strut mount, lower control arm bushings, ball joint, sway bar bushings, cradle mounts. I do know the main (right) motor mount is getting weak, but I don't think this would cause the loud CLUNK. I have noticed that if I am turning hard left, as in a parking lot, with minimal speed (5mph), and brake, the clunk is most noticable. Any help out there?

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anytime there is turning and clicking or clunking you immediately think CV axles. Normally you would notice the boot is torn and you have a problem, but maybe the wheel bearing nut is loose and the axle is shifting a little. Another thing with front wheel drive cars is the spring shifting and settling and popping. There are rubber isolators above and below the spring that can get worn through.

Just some thoughts of things ive seen pop and creak and click. But if you check everything over real good and cant find anything then its probably not broke, just getting old...

* 1966 Deville Convertible

* 2007 Escalade ESV Black on Black

* 1996 Fleetwood Brougham Black on Black V4P -Gone
* 1983 Coupe Deville Street/Show Lowrider -Gone

* 1970 Calais 4dr Hardtop GONE
* 2000 Deville DTS - Silver with Black Leather and SE grille GONE
* 1999 Seville STS - Pearl Red GONE

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Nice reply Jim! haha

My CV boot is in perfect shape and the clunking noise doesn't seem to matter if it's turning or not. I'm thinking it may be the cushion around the spring. Is there anyway to replace that? Or maybe add something to it to make it quiet.

-Dusty-

2006 Cadillac DTS Glacier Gold Tri-Coat with 175,000 miles

1993 Cadillac Sixty Special Gold Mist with 185,000 miles

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Nice reply Jim! haha

My CV boot is in perfect shape and the clunking noise doesn't seem to matter if it's turning or not. I'm thinking it may be the cushion around the spring. Is there anyway to replace that? Or maybe add something to it to make it quiet.

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To 93 Sixty Special,

Hi, Moonstone STS here, In answer to your question on spring "isolators" or cushions, you will have to remove the strut assembly, disassemble the strut with special spring compressor tools (Be very carefull, spring is under extreme pressure), and replace the upper and lower isolators. If the isolators are in bad condition, in my experience with 30 years in the the auto repair/parts business, the strut mount has most likely failed also, which would cause the clunk you talk about. The only way to inspect for mount failure while on the car is to relieve weight on strut by jacking up the car and supporting it on the frame, not the control arm. Then pull and push on the upper end of the strut, near the tower. If you see any lateral or radial movement, or there are tears in the rubber, the mount is bad.

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To 93 Sixty Special,

Hi, Moonstone STS here, In answer to your question on spring "isolators" or cushions, you will have to remove the strut assembly, disassemble the strut with special spring compressor tools (Be very carefull, spring is under extreme pressure), and replace the upper and lower isolators. If the isolators are in bad condition, in my experience with 30 years in the the auto repair/parts business, the strut mount has most likely failed also, which would cause the clunk you talk about. The only way to inspect for mount failure while on the car is to relieve weight on strut by jacking up the car and supporting it on the frame, not the control arm. Then pull and push on the upper end of the strut, near the tower. If you see any lateral or radial movement, or there are tears in the rubber, the mount is bad.

So if I replaced the struts, would that mount be included with it? I was thinking about replacing them because they are original.

-Dusty-

2006 Cadillac DTS Glacier Gold Tri-Coat with 175,000 miles

1993 Cadillac Sixty Special Gold Mist with 185,000 miles

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I believe what you are referring to are the spring "Insulators". They are rubber, and can therefore dry out, crack, or become flattened allowing the spring to hit the metal plate that it rests on. Just because those insulators might be bad does not necessarily mean that the struts themselves are bad. A broken spring can cause clunking in the front end as well, so you might want to look them over. All you need to do to change the insulators is remove the strut, compress the spring to take it off the strut, then change the rubber insulators. The springs are very large so be sure to use a spring compressor that they will fit on. And, as mentioned above, it is a scary job. Those springs are under a LOT of tension when you compress them. I had to replace my springs a couple months ago, and it was a terrifying ordeal. There is a nut on the top of the strut that you take off to get the top spring rest off so that the spring will slide off the end. BE SURE to keep the spring compressed when taking off that nut! Also, be sure NOT to drop the compressor wit the spring in it.

I'm not sure if the mount you are referring to would be included with a new strut. Best bet is to look it up online somewhere that sells the struts, or call a parts store that has them and ask.

Other possibilities I can think of to consider for the clunking are the ball joint, sway bar/stabilizer bar links, sway bar bushings, motor mounts, strut rod bushings, and tie rod ends.

big4870885.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, so I replaced the stabilizer bar links last year and checked them out again and they are good. I just replaced both tierod ends and the clunk is still there. I also checked out the rubber that the spring sits on and it looks okay still, but I'm not sure.

I have a little more info on the clunk. It does it usually when I'm going straight over soft dips. It is just on the passengers side and it seems to be worse when there is a passenger.

I'm not sure if this is the same clunk, but when I sit parked idling, I can bounce the steering wheel to the right and it makes a clunking noise and it can be felt in your feet on both driver's and passengers side (sounds like it is coming from the passenger side and you can feel it more over there). If you bounce the wheel to the left, nothing, no clunk.

I'm not sure if these two clunks are the same, but they do sound similar. Any ideas? Strut maybe?

-Dusty-

2006 Cadillac DTS Glacier Gold Tri-Coat with 175,000 miles

1993 Cadillac Sixty Special Gold Mist with 185,000 miles

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Part of me wants to say that it could be something steering related because of what you say about bouncing the wheel and being able to feel it on both sides, but the fact that you said it usually does it when you are going straight deters me from that suggestion a little. Does it also do it when you are turning a corner at all? Ball joints can also cause a clunk, but I don't know if they will cause you to feel it under your feet. I recently (today) discovered I have a bad ball joint that is causing a very slight clunk, but not enough to feel it.

I know this may sound ridiculous to some, but this is how I determined I have a bad ball joint after visual inspection showed nothing wrong (it was my brother's idea). I kicked the offending wheel really hard on one side, enough to duplicate the clunk, while my brother felt around behind it for anything loose or moving that shouldn't be, and surely enough, it's the ball joint. I don't know how accurate this is as a diagnostic method, but it worked for me.

I'm sure someone else will chime in here with other suggestions.

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Ball joints will definitely make a clunk while driving straight. Before I replaced mine I had noticed small clunks and pops on rougher roads. The noises were faint but enough to set off an alarm to check things out and R&R the correct parts. If you find that it is a ball joint, then just replace both of them.

I found it easiest for me to just remove the control arms and drill out the rivets on the drill press (Quicker, safer, easier), and while I had the arms off I replaced the bushings too and killed two with one stone.

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My brother has a ball joint puller/press, so I am sure that will make things a lot easier when we get to changing mine. Mine's progressively getting worse. The clunk is getting louder and happening more often. Mostly on the driver's side but every once in a while I can hear it on the right side as well. Both of mine will be getting done at the same time, which from what I hear is the best way to do it.

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