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Old 12-12-2011, 02:15 PM
scoodidabop's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 381
1990 300SE Rear end popping/clunking

Well I thought this awful noise was coming from the front of my car but it seems to be coming from the rear passenger wheel. Whenever I make a right turn and apply the throttle (it eases up or completely disappears when I let off the gas and/or turn left) there's a consistent loud pop/clunk sound coming from that right wheel. I can't really see any obvious damage and all the rubber boots look good. My friend who's a pretty decent mechanic said it might be the axle. Any ideas? Where should I start? It seems tricky to narrow down with the car on a jack since the throttle pressure seems to cause the issue.

If there are any gears in the rear suspension that have become worn down, that makes sense that they would slip in and out with increased throttle pressure, thus causing the popping sound. Replacing everything back there seems like a sure-fire way to remedy the problem but I want to keep costs down on this job by replacing only the broken part.

'90 300SE --- 173k miles --- (Odometer just stopped working!)

'85 Cali 300D --- 193500 miles --- (Second one) Sold Nov '10

'82 300TDT --- 236,xxx miles --- (My first one) Sold July '09
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Old 12-13-2011, 06:29 PM
126 Guy
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Queens, NY
Posts: 523
just because the axle boots look OK doesnt mean they are ok. Could most likely be the axle but check the spring, sway bar end link and shock.
2001 E55

2001 E320 Sedan

2001 Subaru Legacy

2006 SLK280

2016 Subaru Outback 3.6
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:18 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 795
It's a bit of work, but certainly the cheapest way to diagnose the axle - just switch them left-right. Then see if the problem changes sides. They are totally interchangeable.
Trailing arm bushings usually last a long time, but they are hard to diagnose with the spring pressure on them. best way to really check the suspension bushings is to compress the spring and take the load off everything, then it gets real easy to find looseness.
Of course, check the bearing and brake mountings also.

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Old 12-17-2011, 03:41 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,332
Sounds like an axle, not a bushing/arm.

1991 300E - 212K and rising fast...
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