Front Suspension Clunk Diagnosis
I have had a front RHS suspension clunk at low speed over small bumps for about 7,000k which does not seem to be getting worse. No apparent abnormal tyre wear and car drives normally with no vibration or pulling either way.
I have read every post here on "clunks" and noise and checked / tried various suggested remedies. In this investigation I found some loose / missing bolts in skid plates (and replaced or tightened) and a couple of other loose bolts in plate holding lower control arm at rear (and tightened).
Have also had dealer look over suspension and motor / transmission shafts and mounts with all looking OK (although at dealers neither he or I could reproduce noise!) and all looked OK. I have also had the car at a local suspension shop to go over carefully and nothing found although they can hear the noise when driving. Clearly, nothing is about to fall off but the clunk is annoying nevertheless.
I have spent some hours under the car checking bolts etc and also looking very carefully at the front sway bar mounts and links and also for anything the bar could be hitting if the bushes were suspect.
I have found some evidence of the bar hitting the bottom of the shock strut mount and now need some advice for possible causes.To try and show what I am posting I have put some photos in a PDF attachment.
1. shows general view of area I'm talking about. The circled area is where there is rubbing and 2. shows an enlargement. The rubbing is sufficient to have worn a slight indentation and put a burr on the edge. (The other side is OK and the bar location /angles etc look equal).
I went back to the suspension shop today and they put car on a hoist to have a look. My thought was the bushes on the sway bar might be shot but they checked and worked the bar and said bushes seem fine. I've shown the RH one in pic 3.
They did query the rear bushes in the lower control arms (pic 4 circled). They noted some minor movement and an apparent "loose" plastic bush in the front(not sure what this is and whether part of bush or not) and wondered if they could be worn. Vehicle has done 90,000 km but both sides are the same and it seems unlikely to me that both would be gone.
Finally their other thought was whether adjusting camber at rear (within spec ) might move sway bar enough to prevent hitting.
Note ... none of this confirms this is the cause of the noise but seems possible as clearance is very minimal.
Sorry for long winded story but would like some advice from the experts here who might have seen something like this and can assist diagnosis before I spend lots of dollars (or maybe just turn up the radio!!)