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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Folks,

Trying to chase down the dreaded front end clunk. I recently replaced me steering rack and a bunch of other front suspension components. I am trying to resolve one final issue. I get a real loose feeling/clunk when going over uneven pavement or gravel most noticeably under drivers feet. I have confirmed everything else is in good condition from struts/strut mounts -- ball joints, sways and tie rods. I noticed a little play in the steering U-joint not sure if this is normal. When I put the new rack in it was a little challenging to get this to go all the way on the rack. I finally got it on enough to put in the pinch bolt and the actual steering feels fine after about 1000 miles. today I noticed while in park with the car running I can reproduce to the clunk if I quickly turn the wheel to the left, to the right no clunk. I am curious if folks have had similar issues and this is possibly caused by the slack in the Ujoint? I did buy and aftermarket rack and would not be surprised if that could be issue as well. I was also out on the interstate yesterday going about 80 and I had a pretty good steering wheel vibration start at about 70 (could be unrelated...who knows). I know these things can be hard to diagnose on the web just tossing a Hail Mary. Any help would be awesome.

Car is a 06 3.0R 105K
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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Put it on ramps, get under it, have a friend turn the wheel to reproduce the clunk. You should be able to see the relative movement.
 

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'14 Subi OBW, '18 Subi Forester
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I've not heard much about issues with the Steering Intermediate Shaft (the interface between the steering rack input, and the end of the steering column), but this is a seemingly everyday issue on the Toyota boards! Who would have thought that making a pair of tiny U joints and spline shafts would be so difficult, but Toyota figured out how to make them bind and click!

Several TSB's about it, and I had to have mine changed out under warranty on my last Sienna van. It would kick and click on bumpy roads, and make turning the wheel at 0 mph difficult and clunky.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,118 Posts
Slider and Lock Pins

I was getting some clunks I could not chase down. I replaced my lock pins in my front calipers. I was going to just do the rubber sleeve, but after I mic'd the pins, I replaced them. I didn't have new slider pins on hand. The clunks are much better.

Maybe your front calipers and clunking around.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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also, check rear bushings on lower control arms.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
@traildogck I think I have a little rattle from those as well. I can move my front calipers pretty easy by hand. Did you get OEM pins? I wonder if this would also cause the clunk when turning the wheel in park? I also tried to eliminate this noise by applying the brakes and it is still there
 

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Discussion Starter #7
@1 Lucky Texan I replaces my Control Arm Bushings and ball joints with WL a month ago. Thought this might be the issue went back and reinstalled them the other night. Same issue unfortunately.
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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@traildogck I think I have a little rattle from those as well. I can move my front calipers pretty easy by hand. Did you get OEM pins? I wonder if this would also cause the clunk when turning the wheel in park? I also tried to eliminate this noise by applying the brakes and it is still there
From the dealer, yes. Mine were very easy to move around. I have a video I can post...

Turning the wheel in park is probably something else. It could actually be steering rack bushings. There is almost no space between the rack and the subframe. If it moves too much with the bushing flex, it can clunk there as well. I have a little rubber pad stuffed up in mine to eliminate any contact, plus poly bushings there as well.

Hmm. there is a new CKE SSP idea. rack-to-sub-frame-isolator.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
@traildogck interesting, I noticed that when I installed my poly bushings. Did you put the rubber piece on Passenger side? It really seems to be rack related. I will crawl underneath and see if I can’t narrow it down. I did find a steering coupler at a junkyard for $20 might just toss that in and see what happens
 

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sway bar end links?
strut mounts?

do you trust anyone enough to steer while you crawl under the car and look for the issue while they steer and reproduce the noise?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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@traildogck interesting, I noticed that when I installed my poly bushings. Did you put the rubber piece on Passenger side? It really seems to be rack related. I will crawl underneath and see if I can’t narrow it down. I did find a steering coupler at a junkyard for $20 might just toss that in and see what happens
No, the drivers side. I slid it between the casting of the rack at the forward bolt and the engine subframe. Let be roll up on some ramps and get a picture of what I have done. I actually do think I am going to produce a urethane install piece to do the same think.

It would be super easy to develop a replacement bushing with a bumper built into it. However, I think I would rather make a separate bumper. That way it could serve with OEM bushings and aftermarket ones.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Sorry for the delay in response. Work has been crazy.

@traildogck that would be great. I did notice the minimal clearance while installing my bushings. This could very well be my clunk.

@idosubaru I first replaced my sway bar bushings with cheap aftermarket parts---I had a nasty squeak that installing dry or with grease would cure, replaced with OEM and no squeak. Also endlinks were replaced and are tight.

@cseagle08 I get the clunk mid travel, less noticeable at steering stop.

Could anyone confirm if they have any play in their steering coupler? That is the only source of movement I can find working through the entire front suspension. I do not have rotational slop it is more from the top where it mounts to steering column.
 
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