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clunk loose rattle sound from front over hard bumps
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:46 pm    Post subject: clunk loose rattle sound from front over hard bumps Reply with quote

Im a good 9 hours from home currently, and what started the other day as a very faint clunk has turned into a bit more of a harsh clunk sound when I drive over a big crack or bump in the road.

the sound has a loose sound to it, like something is rattling and going to fall off. I tried checking what I could from under the front and while I can't find anything loose, the ball joints look pretty well shot (the boots are totally torn up.)

is this the likely culprit, or are there any other bits I should check that could fail catastrophically?

do ball joints fail in a major fall apart kind of way, or can I take it easy and get it home tomorrow without worrying about them exploding or something?


It's crazy that in a single trip it could go from no sounds at all, to light and then heavy clunks over every bump. it's unnerving.
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nodrenim
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would get those ball joints checked out ASAP. Nine hours is a long trip, and a lot could go wrong, very wrong. AAA is my best friend, is it yours too? If you have smooth roads, that could be a help, but personally, I'd get it checked and repaired. It would definitely be cheaper than replacing your bus, or maybe yourself. Good Luck!
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have a really close look at the shock absorber mount bolts, top and bottom. Bad ball joints often make the steering really loose and wandery long before they fail outright.
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the tips guys. I have the family in a hotel so I can work on it at my leisure and I think I found the issue.

the lower bolt holding the caliper to the backing plate on the passenger side was almost totally backed out.
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Last edited by airkooledchris on Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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busdaddy
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

airkooledchris wrote:
would smearing grease on them help in any way at this point?

Likely can't make it any worse, depends how long they've been open and if they've gotten dry or have alot of grit in them. A ball joint often groans or squeaks loudly in it's death throws opposed to a rattle. A loose shock amplifies every crack, line, bump and pebble on the road into anything from a light thump to a full on ball peen on the floor sound.
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

we posted at the same time, so it looks funny quoting me saying something that isn't there now.

but thank you again for the tip, it settled my mind and allowed me to more calmly go through everything looking for something out of place.

I don't mind these things when close to home, but loaded to the gills hundreds of miles from home with family on board makes my head spin to where I tend to gloss over the easy stuff.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris - not preaching here but use the torque wrench on it when you get home. Per Bentley -

Caliper to Knuckle 1971-72 is 40-43 Ft lbs
Caliper to Knuckle 1973 on is 116 Ft lbs
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airkooledchris
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate the heads up, will check when I arrive. I gave it a nice snug tightening with my breaker bar for now...

just got back from a quick test drive (figured that was the issue) and did confirm the clunk noise is completely gone.
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Keeby Swaggz
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

crazy, you're the second person in about a week who's had this problem...
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 19, 2011 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keeby Swaggz wrote:
crazy, you're the second person in about a week who's had this problem...


The problem of not having the bolts torqued to spec and also possibly not correctly assembled. Service manuals do serve a purpose. No sympathy for the results of mickey mouse work. Obviously not saying the PO did but rather whoever did the work prior.
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