Sedona suspension clunk: round 2

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Two months ago, I replaced both front sway bar end links in the Sedona. I used Beck/Arnley parts, install went great, clunk went away. Great! Fast forward to last friday... Now another clunk has appeared, but this one literally sounds like the front end is going to fall apart. Low speed bumps, high speed bumps, it sounds terrible, and I can feel it in my seat and steering wheel. But I think it may be the strut bearing/cap. About half the time, if I saw the wheel back and forth while sitting still, I can hear a popping, other times I can't. I believe this is symptomatic of a bad strut bearing, but I need to make sure before I order the part. Pulling it first might not yield anything, as I've had bad suspension parts look "fine" upon removal.
 
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If you can hear a popping while turning the steering wheel, it sounds like the strut bearings are likely bad. You probably won't be able to tell a bad one by looking at it. They're not terribly expensive...usually $30-50 each. I'd replace both at the same time, and you can do that without replacing the actual strut. You'll have to have someone compress the spring and swap them or come up with a rig to do that yourself. I've swapped springs in struts before at the Auto Skills Center at military installations before for a small fee, but that opportunity is obviously not available to everyone...but you might have a similar outfit up near you somewhere. Don't forget to replace the stabilizer bar bushings when you do end links. The bushings often get beat up pretty bad as well. We had a minivan once that would eat the bushings up every 6-8 months. I never had to replace the end links, but it'd tear the bushings up like they were paper.
 
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A common issue is the bushings at the rear of the subframe where it bolts to the unibody have a tendency to wear out and become loose.
 

Klutch9

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Originally Posted By: salv
A common issue is the bushings at the rear of the subframe where it bolts to the unibody have a tendency to wear out and become loose.
But those wouldn't clunk when turning the wheel though.
 
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Originally Posted By: Klutch9
Originally Posted By: salv
A common issue is the bushings at the rear of the subframe where it bolts to the unibody have a tendency to wear out and become loose.
But those wouldn't clunk when turning the wheel though.
I think they could; when you turn the wheel, especially when stopped, there's a tremendous amount of force involved. Power steering, obviously, masks that. You could be causing the subframe to shift slightly when sawing at the wheel. That would be evident with quick left-and-right movements of the wheel, as you describe doing in your original post.
 

Klutch9

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Originally Posted By: Hokiefyd
Originally Posted By: Klutch9
Originally Posted By: salv
A common issue is the bushings at the rear of the subframe where it bolts to the unibody have a tendency to wear out and become loose.
But those wouldn't clunk when turning the wheel though.
I think they could; when you turn the wheel, especially when stopped, there's a tremendous amount of force involved. Power steering, obviously, masks that. You could be causing the subframe to shift slightly when sawing at the wheel. That would be evident with quick left-and-right movements of the wheel, as you describe doing in your original post.
Hmmm, possibly. But the 'pops' made really do sound like a bad bearing cap. I don't doubt that the subframe mounts could make noise, just not quite like that. Of course, these issues, whatever they might be, happen right when it gets cold!
 
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