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  #1  
Old 10-08-2019, 06:20 PM
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98' W210 E300TD Front end clunk

Hi folks,

I'm pretty sure I have read every thread on the internet on this topic. My '98 has a clunking noise in the front end, most notable at low speeds. Its very uncivilized, very un-Benz

114k miles on the chassis. Back in April, I replaced lower control arms, shocks, lower ball joints, sway bar end links, sway bar bushings. Parts were QE quality, mostly Lemforder branded. Shocks were OE quality Bilstein Touring. It was gloriously smooth and quiet immediately after...now several months later, crashing over bumps again. Have put the car up on the lift 2x now and checked everything I touched. Nothing is noticeably loose, everything appears tight and proper. I did note a bit of front wheel bearing play and snugged them up thinking that could be the problem...no change.

The only things I didn't change are tie rod ends and upper control arms. I've jostled these bits around and put the pry bar on them to see if there is play and have detected nothing.

What am I missing? Any ideas?

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  #2  
Old 10-08-2019, 07:30 PM
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Check the sway bar bushing brackets for loose bolts. Put a tool on them and feel for proper torque. After rebuilding my car's suspension those bolts would come loose which produced some clunking until I used thread locker on them. No trouble since.
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  #3  
Old 10-08-2019, 07:45 PM
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Make sure the top fastener on the strut is not loose. I had one that I was scratching my head on and found the top fastener on the strut loose.
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  #4  
Old 10-08-2019, 07:53 PM
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thanks folks...couple of good ideas thus far.

pretty sure I checked the sway bar bushing bracket bolts...put a wrench on them, at least some of them. Possible some of those bolts are blocked by the transmission undertray which I definitely didn't remove when I checked things out. Will look again.

I have not checked the shock top nuts. I recall torquing those suckers good when I did the install, but its worth a look.
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2020, 04:13 PM
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bumping this thread to the top. My noise is getting worse. Now 120k miles. So bad at this point that I have parked the car. Since last posting, replaced motor mounts, trans mount, and tie rod ends. Have double and triple checked all the relevant fasteners in the front end. The bang/rattle is so prominent that it should be something obviously loose, only its not obvious at all. I have a lift in my garage and have inspected the car now at least a dozen times.

I have a friend who runs a shop and he's going to bring his chassis ear tool home so we can find the culprit.

meanwhile if any other ideas are out there, please post 'em up.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2020, 06:29 PM
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Ive encountered noise caused by the upper arm on a W210 and W140.

Wasnt obvious at the time but both times those turned out to be the problem.
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  #7  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:30 PM
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Upper control arms?
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2020, 07:31 PM
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guarantee itís upper control arms. You wonít feel the play in the ball joints by shaking it down, but by watching the control arm itself move up and down.
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2020, 09:30 PM
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I need to go thru this on my 98 E300 and my 01 E320. Both have clunking with the 01 being worse. I have not done anything yet.
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2020, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwasbury View Post
bumping this thread to the top. My noise is getting worse. Now 120k miles. So bad at this point that I have parked the car. Since last posting, replaced motor mounts, trans mount, and tie rod ends. Have double and triple checked all the relevant fasteners in the front end. The bang/rattle is so prominent that it should be something obviously loose, only its not obvious at all. I have a lift in my garage and have inspected the car now at least a dozen times.

I have a friend who runs a shop and he's going to bring his chassis ear tool home so we can find the culprit.

meanwhile if any other ideas are out there, please post 'em up.

This might be out in left field, but have you checked the front spring perches?? They are buried under the factory rubberized coating, and even if the coating is intact and looks good, they can be rusting underneath. My 96 E300D made a sound like I was running over a tree branch, and when I parked the car overnight, I woke up the next morning, and the front passenger side front fender was resting on top of the tire. The entire passenger side of the engine compartment along with the spring perch was rusted, and failed. Two weeks prior to this incident, I had the car up on a lift to have the tires rotated, and I made a special inspection of both spring perches, and they both appeared to be fine with the factory coating still in place. Apparently it rusted from within the metal panels and could not be seen during a normal inspection. Good luck!!!!
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  #11  
Old 01-30-2020, 11:18 AM
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Not left field at all. I was concerned the noise could be failing perches. Checked them probably 10x now. The car has accumulated an additional 6k miles from the time of my first post until today...all the while making the noise, but nothing to indicate the perches are to blame. For context, that's 6k miles of some of the most overworked, bombed out, crappy infrastructure in the country...I'm talking about NYC metro-zone.

Installed new upper control arm yesterday. Test drive scheduled for this evening. Will see if that's the noise. Can't say I noted any distinct play/looseness in the old part I removed.


Quote:
Originally Posted by pimpernell View Post
This might be out in left field, but have you checked the front spring perches?? They are buried under the factory rubberized coating, and even if the coating is intact and looks good, they can be rusting underneath. My 96 E300D made a sound like I was running over a tree branch, and when I parked the car overnight, I woke up the next morning, and the front passenger side front fender was resting on top of the tire. The entire passenger side of the engine compartment along with the spring perch was rusted, and failed. Two weeks prior to this incident, I had the car up on a lift to have the tires rotated, and I made a special inspection of both spring perches, and they both appeared to be fine with the factory coating still in place. Apparently it rusted from within the metal panels and could not be seen during a normal inspection. Good luck!!!!
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2020, 07:05 PM
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Test drive results are in: when you've replaced everything else, the noise is the one thing you didn't replace ----> upper control arm!

Honestly there is nothing that would indicate play when I disassembled and removed the old part. Just glad to have it fixed...sounded like a wheel or brake caliper was about to fall off!!

Have to do passenger side now, then go for an alignment.
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  #13  
Old 01-31-2020, 04:05 AM
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When mine made such a noise, even going SLOWLY over a speed bump, it turned out to be BOTH coil springs were broken
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2020, 12:46 PM
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When mine did a thumping which would go away as I slowed down, it was a shock.
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  #15  
Old 02-22-2020, 10:09 PM
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Well...I thought the upper control arm had fixed it after a test loop across some local potholes, but its still crash/banging like something is going to fall off.

I havenít the foggiest f-in clue what it could be. At this point I am suspecting it could be some of the new parts I installed over the last year have failed already.

Iím thinking of swapping front shocks from left to right, to see if the ugly noise switches sides, which would indicate the shock is bad.

Had the car up again for front rotors and pads and took a close look at the springs, which donít appear to be broken.

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