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  #46  
Old 11-04-2008, 04:24 PM
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Now that I know what washboard road means.... I'm going to revise my suspicions....

how about one of these.... bad shocks, loose top shock mount, bad ball joint, loose bearing(s)... and the reason I think it stops when you hit the brakes is you are stopping the motion once you hit the brakes.
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  #47  
Old 11-04-2008, 04:32 PM
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85 300D 4spd+tow+h4
 
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Hes not stopping the tire from rotating, just slowing it. Since he has replaced all of that and still has the issue.......
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  #48  
Old 11-04-2008, 05:35 PM
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I have done more than that...

Quote:
Originally Posted by winmutt View Post
I would grab the caliper and give it some good shakes.
I have done that and more....I have had the front end up on jack stands, and with a big rubber mallet have been under there hitting everything that could possibley cause the bumping noise, including calipers, rotors, all suspension components, etc. and nothing obvious happens. ?#?#$(*&^!!!

Mark
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  #49  
Old 11-04-2008, 05:39 PM
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85 300D 4spd+tow+h4
 
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Does it matter how much the brakes are engaged? If you lightly tap does it go away?

The calipers mount to the spindle and the rotor mounts to the spindle. Your play has to be in there if the rattle goes away with light application of the brakes. If it goes away with heavy braking then it is because your front end is dipping and applying more pressure.

Dumb question..... The rubber donuts on the shocks, can you describe how they are mounted?
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  #50  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:10 PM
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I have 8 Hole E or C class wheels and I'm using the lugs that came with those wheels, and not the ones from my Bundt wheels. The thread length or size isn't different from the bundts, but the bolt is longer than the bundt ones. Should I try changing out the wheel bolts for the bundt bolts? Maybe Ill put on the set of bundts to see if the clunk goes away, since the 8 holes weigh more or less and that might affect suspension geometry.
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  #51  
Old 11-04-2008, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derburger View Post
I have 8 Hole E or C class wheels and I'm using the lugs that came with those wheels, and not the ones from my Bundt wheels. The thread length or size isn't different from the bundts, but the bolt is longer than the bundt ones. Should I try changing out the wheel bolts for the bundt bolts? Maybe Ill put on the set of bundts to see if the clunk goes away, since the 8 holes weigh more or less and that might affect suspension geometry.
No need. You would need REAAAAAAALLY long bolts to affect anything in there. Leave as is. Those 8 holes are cone not ball based I believe, you do NOT want to mix them.
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  #52  
Old 11-04-2008, 07:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winmutt View Post
Does it matter how much the brakes are engaged? If you lightly tap does it go away?

The calipers mount to the spindle and the rotor mounts to the spindle. Your play has to be in there if the rattle goes away with light application of the brakes. If it goes away with heavy braking then it is because your front end is dipping and applying more pressure.

Dumb question..... The rubber donuts on the shocks, can you describe how they are mounted?
Its hard to tell diffenence in effect on noise between light tapping on brakes or more pressure. My general sense is that light tapping of brakes has little effect on noise, heavier braking makes noise go away...that is why I have been lately exploring the effects of heavy braking related to loading of the suspension, steering and drivetrain. But what keeps nagging at me is that the noise sounds like a loose wheel or wheel bearing.

The rubber donuts on the shocks are mounted two per shock...one underneath between shock and body, one up on top between nut/washer and body. I do have the "cup washer" oriented cup down instead of up as it should be, but this cup washer has no chance of banging against the body. Plus the noise is not high up in the shock towers, but low down in front.

Thanks again,

Mark
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  #53  
Old 11-05-2008, 06:07 AM
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The only thing it can be is the caliper. We both have the same noise (im sure it is, symptoms match mine perfectly) and have both replaced everything in the front. My calipers are extremely old looking (plan to rebuild them) and I wouldn't be surprised if its the piston knocking. Our cars are different also, which further proves my point.
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  #54  
Old 11-05-2008, 07:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
I did check the idler arm last night and it has no apparent shake, and the bolt is very tight...I did replace this bushing kit about 18 months ago, so I would think that it is still OK. You say that sometimes it goes bad and you really can't tell, requiring only a very small amount of play to cause the symptoms I describe. On the one hand, I just want to get another rebuild kit and install it, but on the other hand, I dont want to start replacing parts I just replaced a short while ago. What I will do is take it apart and see if there is any loose fitting component that should be tight, then go from there.
When my replacement idler arm bushing failed it didn't cause any clunking, but here's how I figured out it had failed:

Jack only the front passenger tire off the ground and grab it in the 3 & 9 O'clock positions. Try to rotate it like it's steering the car. It only moved a few degrees each way, but as it did so, the tip of the idler arm that attaches to the tie rods moved vertically. I think you could also see the tim of the arm moving up and down when trying to turn the wheels with the both on pavement, but I was inside the car at the time and never saw it myself.

When driving the car, I could't really tell there was a problem except on one side street where the asphalt had delaminated and left a 1" tall edge near the curb, only on the passenger side of the road, with the edge running parallel to the curb. As I crept onto that edge in the gridlock, the front of the car would try to travel some other direction than straight. That behavior is what caused me to replace the bushing in the first place, and then to suspect it when it returned after replacement.

The shifting was new one to my indy, who has been working on these cars for many years.

The replacement bushing was only about 1 month old and held up for only a few weeks before starting to cause problems. When I found the behavior, I checked the idler arm bolt torque and it was torqued to spec. I tightened it even more and still the arm deflected vertically. So bolt torque is not an indication of a lack of problem.

I had my indy replace it again and it's been two years with no repeat problems. My conclusion is that I had gotten a sub-standard replacement part (no, I didn't get it through Phil). I suspect the rubber was was too small since it slipped into the idler bushing mount tube without any force needed, but my indy tossed the part despite my request, so I was unable to do any root cause analysis.

Sorry I'm being so wordy. Hope this helps.
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  #55  
Old 11-07-2008, 02:51 PM
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bump
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  #56  
Old 11-08-2008, 03:10 PM
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still haven't found it!

Well, this is really frustrating...

Today, I did the following things to the right front wheel (the knock happens on both sides):

Removed entire brake caliper, blocked that brake line, drove the care....no effect on bumping noise,

Removed shock...no effect on noise

Removed rotor/hub, re-torqued bolts holding rotor to hub...no effect on noise.

Re-torqued other bolts associated with steering knuckle....no effect.

What was interesting, was that when I drove the car without caliper and shock, the wheel freely bounced over washboard road (no damping), and the banging was pronounced....sounds like a ball joint...but this is really impossible since both ball joints are new...I cant imagine both would be bad.


My next step is to replace idler arm bushings....after that, if that doesnt correct the noise, I guess i bring it to a shop and have them put it on a lift...but I really really hate to do that, because I don't want to pay for a shop to re-trace my steps...I am so deep into this, but I am running out of things to try.

If I dont bring it into a shop, I think I need to think "outside the box"...meaning think of things totally unrelated to suspension/steering (motor mounts, motor shocks, etc.), but these things are also recent, and the bumping noise seems to be so closely related to hub/wheels, I am just simply at wits end!!!

Mark
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  #57  
Old 11-08-2008, 11:40 PM
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Drop something down the spring hole? How are the sway bar bushings on the firewall.
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  #58  
Old 11-09-2008, 01:12 AM
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Thinking outside the box is a good plan.
If you wanted to create the noise as a weddding gag, what would you do?

It's been almost 30 years ago when my sister married a guy that prided himself on being a shade tree mechanic. We put about a dozen BB's in a coke can and secured it high up in the fender well of his mustang. I was still rattling 2 years latter when he sold the car and that probably had a lot to do with him deciding to sell the car.

Still haven't told him but he doesn't read this forum.

BTW that's not the best of my "fix the car" wedding gags - anyone planning a wedding and need some ideas?
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  #59  
Old 11-11-2008, 07:49 AM
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I'm back to "square one"..

After doing above work to narrow down the source of noise, I am now full certain that the new ball joints are no good. They were pressed in at and indy Mercedes shop, very reputable, but kind of arrogant, and they charged me $150 (unexpectedly...my fault for not asking)! I don't know what kind of press they used, but during the install process, one of the ball joints I brought in (Febi) broke ....the collars just bent over and broke, so the shop installed a TRW. The other Febi went in just fine. Both ball joints make knocking noises, the right side (TRW)..makes more. I now think that the shop may have used a bogus press (???) that put pressure on the ball of the joint.

I cant really go back and ask for satisfaction, because they will bear no responsibility for DIY work...I now wonder if they screwed it up on purpose ?!?!?

Mark
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  #60  
Old 11-11-2008, 01:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkM View Post
After doing above work to narrow down the source of noise, I am now full certain that the new ball joints are no good. They were pressed in at and indy Mercedes shop, very reputable, but kind of arrogant, and they charged me $150 (unexpectedly...my fault for not asking)! I don't know what kind of press they used, but during the install process, one of the ball joints I brought in (Febi) broke ....the collars just bent over and broke, so the shop installed a TRW. The other Febi went in just fine. Both ball joints make knocking noises, the right side (TRW)..makes more. I now think that the shop may have used a bogus press (???) that put pressure on the ball of the joint.

I cant really go back and ask for satisfaction, because they will bear no responsibility for DIY work...I now wonder if they screwed it up on purpose ?!?!?

Mark
I have normally gone to a NAPA with a machine shop to have this work done. I bring them the spindle and they take out the old bj and put the new one in. Last time, they charged me $15 each for the work. that was 2 years ago.

Machine shops such as NAPA's are equipped with the right equipment for this kind of work and they do quite a bit of it.... so you know you are not the guinea pig. First time, I rented the BJ press but its a PIA to do the work with a hand tool like that. For the price of letting them do it, its well worth it.

Also, when doing struts, have machine shops do it. Forget renting PIA spring compressors.
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