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Author Topic: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander  (Read 12934 times)

Mr.B

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Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« on: October 29, 2013, 06:26:09 AM »

I know this had nothing to do with Jeeps, but there are a lot of car mechanics on here. So I think, what the heck.

 I've recently picked up this clunk on the right side of my '05 Uplander. It will happen when I'm turning or braking. I know very little about coil springs and front wheel drive. I put it up on stands Sunday, and checked it out. I'm getting a very little up and down motion when pulling on the tire. It doesn't seem real bad to me. All the bushings seem ok. The only thing I didn't do was pull the CV boots.

 Back in '06 when it was still under warranty, I had a similar problem. I didn't own it the time, so when the dealer said they changed the swaybar bushings, I was meh. I know dealers don't always tell you everything under warranty. It has 126k on it now.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

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The Bear Whisperer

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2013, 08:30:37 AM »

Did someone leave a caliper bolt loose again? You may be on to something thinking CV joints. See if you get the clunk doing slow figure eights, the cv may be dropping back into a wear groove. You can usually feel this by shoving the half shaft in then out in it's play. Don't bother removing boots, axles are cheap. I have owned vehicles where the front coil spring shifts on their seat but that sound is pretty obvious.
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timatoe

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2013, 11:59:48 AM »

First thing I thought was CV joint.
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Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2013, 05:55:44 PM »

Did someone leave a caliper bolt loose again? You may be on to something thinking CV joints. See if you get the clunk doing slow figure eights, the cv may be dropping back into a wear groove. You can usually feel this by shoving the half shaft in then out in it's play. Don't bother removing boots, axles are cheap. I have owned vehicles where the front coil spring shifts on their seat but that sound is pretty obvious.

No, that was Quality Tune up. I tightened them after that. But I did check them.

On the passenger side, there seems to be two CV joints. Which one do I check?




First thing I thought was CV joint.

It was my first thought too. I just don't have much experience with them.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
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Day215

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2013, 07:10:39 PM »

I google the problem, I found multiple post saying its the "stabilizer link", maybe it's Chevy talk for sway bar bushings? Can you bounce the front end up and down and duplicate it.
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JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2013, 09:06:43 PM »

You said that it does it when you go around corners and brake. When you are going around a corner, does it clunk once at a certain point and then clunk again when you're turning the wheel back or is it a continuous clunking noise (like clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk over and over)? When you brake, is it just when the weight shifts it clunks or is it a continuous noise? Does it clunk when you accelerate fast (shift the weight of the vehicle back quickly)?
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pdangerp

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #6 on: October 29, 2013, 09:20:44 PM »

Sounds like a swaybar end link. Or possibly a loose shock. Check the shock mount to the top of the strut. You should be able to compress the strut with your body weight.
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Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #7 on: October 29, 2013, 10:27:59 PM »

You said that it does it when you go around corners and brake. When you are going around a corner, does it clunk once at a certain point and then clunk again when you're turning the wheel back or is it a continuous clunking noise (like clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk over and over)? When you brake, is it just when the weight shifts it clunks or is it a continuous noise? Does it clunk when you accelerate fast (shift the weight of the vehicle back quickly)?

Most of the time it will clunk once then clunk again. But it occasionally it will clunk clunk clunk. Yes, it clunks when I accelerate, and when I brake, but its not continuous. I don't here it at freeway speeds.


Sounds like a swaybar end link. Or possibly a loose shock. Check the shock mount to the top of the strut. You should be able to compress the strut with your body weight.

I don't think its a shock. The swaybar links look ok. The swaybar mount bushings have been replaced in '06, but could be flakey.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

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JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #8 on: October 29, 2013, 10:42:12 PM »

Your best bet is to get it on some jack stands and just start checking for play in all the steering and suspension components.

What comes to mind for me is:
Tie rod ends
Ball Joints (The load carrying ball joint normally goes bad first)
Worn bushings

It could be almost anything worn out in your steering/suspension component.
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JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2013, 10:52:19 PM »

Checked TSBs for ya.

After selecting the TSBs by symptom, I selected "Front Suspension Noise. Clunk, Rattle, or Squeak. This is what came up.

1. Condition
Some customers may comment on a pop, snap or creak type noise from the front end.
Cause
The front bumper bar may come in contact with the front end of the frame channel.

2.
Condition
Some customers may comment on a creak, pop, clunk noise coming from the front of the vehicle.
The noise is noticable during slow parking lot maneuvers, and is mostly evident in a completely
stopped condition when turning the steering wheel left and right.
Cause
At this time, analysis of parts and information received from GM dealers indicates the strut
components are not the cause of front end noise. While the strut components do not seem to be
the source of the noise, they are contributing to the noise level. At this time, this appears to be a
front suspension system issue.
The noise also appears to be dependent on road conditions. Engineering is able to eliminate the
noise by changing surface conditions. Often the noise will not return until the vehicle was allowed
to sit overnight. The noise appears to be most noticeable on an asphalt surface.
Correction
At this time, engineering no longer needs any more information or components for analysis.
Engineering will continue to root cause this condition based on information and parts already
collected from the field.
Utilize J 39570, if necessary, to help isolate the cause of the noise. Diagnose and repair as
necessary.

*No, I did not spell "Noticeable" incorrectly, GM did.*
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JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2013, 10:57:21 PM »

BTW, I would highly recommend that you guys sign up for a FREE Sacramento public library card. They have mitchell's auto repair on their computers and Chilton's on their website for FREE. Those are 2 automotive repair sources similar to AllData. I just got an E-Card instead of a full membership card because I don't live in Sacramento County. That card allows me to use chillton's at any time anywhere for FREE!

Did I mention it's FREE??  :2thumbsup:
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Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2013, 05:56:02 AM »

Your best bet is to get it on some jack stands and just start checking for play in all the steering and suspension components.

What comes to mind for me is:
Tie rod ends
Ball Joints (The load carrying ball joint normally goes bad first)
Worn bushings

It could be almost anything worn out in your steering/suspension component.

I did put it up on jack stands on Sunday. And I didn't notice anything out of place. So I'm thinking CV joints, but it could be ball joints or sway bar.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

The Bear Whisperer

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2013, 09:46:54 AM »

It's the apple in your glove box. Seriously, I like John's series of questions to help isolate the cause. From your answers it seems to be related to the effect of turning or power and not from bumps in the road. Any chance the drivetrain is shifting on a bad mount?
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51 CJ3-A, 4.3 TBI Chevy, SM420, Dana 18TC, D30/44, Yukon Front Axles and Hubs, Detroit Fr / E-Locker Rr, 4.27:1 Gears, 74:1, HD steering, Viair 550C, 100% LED - VisionX headlights, Rigid Light-bar, DOT Fogs, Grote tail, Soft Top, Heater, CB/Ham/Stereo, 35"KM-2's, 3" up, no articulation - it works

JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2013, 11:20:05 AM »

It's the apple in your glove box. Seriously, I like John's series of questions to help isolate the cause. From your answers it seems to be related to the effect of turning or power and not from bumps in the road. Any chance the drivetrain is shifting on a bad mount?

Yeah, with those answers it sounds to me like something has a bad bushing and is shifting HARD when the weight shifts. Could be almost anything in the steering/suspension systems though.
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JohnCrabtree

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2013, 11:21:37 AM »

And I know nothing about CV joints :dunno:.

I was taught semi drivetrains. Semi's would snap those CVs as soon as they tried to move.
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Jam86

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2013, 12:05:08 PM »

Its the dead hooker in your trunk
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Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2013, 07:27:26 PM »

Its the dead hooker in your trunk

It's a mini-van!
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

Jam86

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2013, 07:28:54 PM »

Still has a rear storage area or a trunk...that doesnt nagate the fact you have a dead hooker.
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Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #18 on: October 30, 2013, 07:54:10 PM »

It's the apple in your glove box. Seriously, I like John's series of questions to help isolate the cause. From your answers it seems to be related to the effect of turning or power and not from bumps in the road. Any chance the drivetrain is shifting on a bad mount?

Well I had to remove the front struts, and rotate the engine forward, to replace the alternator about 3 weeks ago. The engine mount may have been damaged.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein

Mr.B

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Re: Clunking sound in the front end of my Chevy Uplander
« Reply #19 on: October 30, 2013, 07:58:33 PM »

Still has a rear storage area or a trunk...that doesnt nagate the fact you have a dead hooker.

The whole back end is crammed full of Xerox parts. It would have to be a midget dead hooker.
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White '94 YJ 2.5L 5 speed, 35" BFGs KM2's, 5" lift, Mark VII 2 speed fan, Milemarker PE8000, Front Aussie Locker, Power steering conversion, '98 Cavalier seats, MORE Boomerangs in front, 136 amp ZJ alternator, JB conversions SYE, Tom Woods custom drive shaft, 8.8 with ARB, 4.88 gear ratio, Teralow

You're a super genius....
The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. -Albert Einstein
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