View Full Version : Clunk in left rear after strut change out

01-19-2013, 09:17 PM
I just finished changing out my struts and did the conversion on the stock rear housing so I could use Koni inserts. I've got the adventure posted up in my project thread. I've got a minor issue now though that I'm not sure about. I've got a clunking noise in the left rear after I got everything back together. It happens when the suspension is compressed. I've checked all of the mounting hardware and it's tight. The best I can tell the piece I welded to the top of the housing is OK. I can't feel anything moving when I reach in through the spring and the boot cover. I measured the length I needed to add very carefully and the insert appeared to come up to where it should. The gland nut went back in OK and tightened down fine. When this corner is compressed and it makes this noise, I can also feel it in the rear wheel. Something seems to be hitting transfering tranfering the it through this suspension corner. I'm figuring I'm going to have to take the strut apart again but don't really want to if I can keep from it.

Anybody got any ideas?

01-20-2013, 01:20 AM
Did you replace the strut mounts also? Rear trailing arm bushing is another possibility if it has not been changed.

01-20-2013, 01:32 AM
Is there maybe a gap between the strut and the casing?

01-20-2013, 04:53 AM
I replaced the mounts so I think I'm good there. The noise is coming from above the trailing arms.

Joey, I'm afraid that I'm leaning that way. I can't tell exactly where the noise is coming from but it does sound like it's coming from toward the top. I guess I'm going to have to tear this one back down and take a further look.

01-20-2013, 12:39 PM
Is the spring correctly aligned in the spring seat -- and the spring seat insulator aligned between them?

That's my usual suspect after new strut installation. The other common suspects for clunks are the stabilizer bar bushings (cheap), end links (less cheap), and the toe-adjusting suspension arm (not cheap). The end links are fairly easy to test, as you can disconnect them and then compress the suspension. If the clunk goes away, you've got your culprit. The suspension arm is the pain, but can be diagnosed with a pry bar. Typically, it's the inner bushing -- prying at the bushing will load it, producing a clunk if things aren't in proper working order. Happily, All-tracs use replacable bushings on the outboard ends. I'm less certain whether the No. 1 arm on All-tracs uses a replacable bushing or the same kind of spherical bearing as the No. 2 arms on naturally-aspirated fifth-gens for the toe-adjusting inboard end.

01-20-2013, 06:54 PM
I checked the end link yesterday and it's OK. I had just replaced them a few months ago but I checked it any way. I had looked at the bushings earlier and I'm pretty sure they are fine. I'll double check the spring. I know I had a time keeping it in the right spot tightening the strut mount down. It may have moved on me. I'll also check the lower arms. I had a 4 wheel alignment done last week so I would have thought they would have caught it if there was something wrong but I'll look at that too. Thanks.

01-22-2013, 03:10 PM
I had a 4 wheel alignment done last week so I would have thought they would have caught it if there was something wrong but I'll look at that too. Thanks.

You might be surprised. Those suspension arms are a little tricky, as unless you stress the bearing in the right way it'll work without a complaint. And really, they work even when they clunk and have no bearing on alignment unless they're really bad. When I was trying to figure out my suspension clunk I specifically asked the Toyota tech to check them -- and after testing was informed (erroneously) that the problem was the age and condition of my strut mount.

01-23-2013, 04:57 AM
OK, I found the noise tonight. The rear springs are progressive. I've never had lowering spring on anything so I'm not sure if they're all like this or not. Uncompressed they look like this:


Compressed they look like this:


So, the noise is coming from top coil of the bottom section hitting against the one below it. There's not much space there but there's enough to allow it to move down and make the clunk. I checked as well and the end of the coil has moved back about a 1/2" from where it should be in the spring seat. I'm not sure if this is enough to make the space for the coils to clunk together or not.

I also looked last night and unfortunately the spring compressors that I have are too big to work on the car. In order to move the spring back into the correct position it looks like I'm going to have to take the strut back off the car.

So, what does everyone think about the position of the end of the coil in the seat and do you think that it is causing the space to allow the coils to clunk together?

01-23-2013, 05:03 AM

01-23-2013, 05:30 AM
Another example of why I recommend the H&Rs...

01-23-2013, 07:38 AM
I can't say whether the mis-positioned spring seat causes the coils to clank against each other -- particularly when the red covering suggests those are Sportline rather than the milder Pro-kit. My Eibachs are similarly progressive, and demonstrate no clunking between the coils. Other people who've reported such a noise have suggested picking up rubber pipe insulation to pad the coils.

However, you should be able to realign the springs without removing the strut. The rear springs are under minimal compression when the wheel is off of the ground. I found that I could twist the spring and the insulator by hand with the appropriate corner jacked up. Leaving the wheel on can help with that, as its weight pulls the strut down. Just make sure to twist in the right direction, or else the spring will jam into place while the insulator is still misaligned.

I notice your boot is torn right off of the strut mount. Aside from not doing its job of protecting the shaft of the dampener, I would expect having a loose piece of plastic rattling around inside the coil could pose problems.

01-23-2013, 12:51 PM
The springs aren't Eibachs. I found numbers on them, 76090 on the fronts and 76094 on the rears. I did some searchs and the best I could find was that they are probably B&G's but I couldn't confirm. Someone had asked this question a couple of different times on Alltrac.net and had gotten the same answer. The other three see to be fine. I'll try and see if I can move the spring into the correct position and see what that does. It doesn't have to go far, maybe a half in clockwise and the end of the coil will be resting in the right spot.

As for the boots, I put news on when I assemblied the struts. There KYB's and mount on the strut body with zip ties. I know the ones I took off mounted on the strut mount and hung down but this set was different. I checked the numbers on the box and they matched for this application. The boots were still in the plastic inside the box so I think I got the right thing.

01-23-2013, 02:54 PM
That's odd -- even KYB's strut product web page has a video showing an assembled MacPherson strut with the boots loose at the bottom, while the integrated bump stop is adjacent to the strut mount. After looking at a couple installation guides for Celicas and MR2s which used KYB boots they reported the same as you, so something for me to learn -- I used Toyota boots which attach to the strut mount.

That said, your strut has a lot of exposed damper shaft. The integrated bump stop in KYB boots should be pretty much snug against the strut mount once assembled.

Anyway, when you try to twist the insulator and the spring, do make sure to spin counterclockwise (judging by the photos). You want to twist with the curve of the coil, rather than against the end which can jam and tear the insulator. A little silicone spray -- nothing petroleum-based to avoid damaging the insulator or the spring covering -- can make the process easier.

01-23-2013, 05:56 PM
My Eibachs have similar wearing on the coating for the spring. I contacted Eibach, and after a lot of back and forth, they ignored me. The fronts are the worse, and in hard corners they'll hit.

01-23-2013, 09:37 PM

01-24-2013, 01:10 AM
Does H&R make them for the All Trac? I did a quick check on their site and they were showing expect All Trac.

I got the spring turned and seated correctly but to no avail. Still have the clunking. I think I'm going to try putting some rubber in there for the time being. The car rides good but that clunking is going to make me even crazier.:loco:

01-24-2013, 07:04 AM
Oh... shitty.

01-25-2013, 05:16 AM
That seems to be the common thing as related to the rear suspension on the All Tracs.

01-27-2013, 12:40 AM
Well I think I might have fixed it this time. I checked everything else and couldn't find anything so I pulled the strut back off and tore it down. Long story short, it seems that there was a burr on the threads of the strut housing the gland nut did go down far enough when I originally put it together. While I had it apart I played with moving the insert inside the housing and the noise it made was pretty much identical to what I was getting. When I put it back together this time I got the gland nut tighened down a lot further. Once it was back on the car and the car on the ground, I can bounce that corner now and no noise. I still have to take it out for a drive but it looks like I got it this time.

Wish me luck.

01-27-2013, 10:25 AM
Chalk another one up to KoreanJoey.

01-27-2013, 01:41 PM

Not like I work on cars for a living or anything.

01-28-2013, 04:01 AM
Damn you're good son!