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Old 12-24-2014, 05:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Clunk when backung up and turning at same time

1989 crx si
Its making me a little crazy, when i back up out of my driveway and turn the steering wheel to the right i get a slight clunk, it sounds like front left suspension, but i know the sound might have "traveled" some.
I have replaced almost everything on the front suspension.

replaced shocks, springs, shock bushings, upper control arms, lower ball joints, tie rod ends, radius rod bushings, and most recently replaced front lower control arms. when doing all this i usually check any other bolts i can reach to make sure they are snug as well.

I have inner tie rods waiting for new dust boots and a rack end bushing to go in next.


anything else im missing?
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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CV joint?
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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As lame as it is, you need to shake the wheels.

Jack the car up, both front wheels off the ground. Jack stand the bitch.

Key in ignition, unlocked column.



Shake the wheels "side to side" and "up and down" to feel for play. The tire shouldnt have any play in it at all. So if you feel any amount of free play before the movement of the steering rack starts, you know something is worn out.


Generally, "side to side" play is a bad outer or inner tie rod. You will need to get a friend to shake while you look with a flash light for the part with wear/play. You can generally see up to .005" of play with your eye. You hand can feel .001" of play. So if you cant see anything moving, put your hand on all the joints/components and feel for the play.

"up and down" play is usually a ball joint, upper or lower. Depends. Once again, visually inspect or physically inspect with your hands for movement while a friend shakes.

Both up and down and side to side generally means a wheel bearing is bad, or needs adjustment (depending on bearing style.) for our Hondas, if the bearing has play, it is bad and needs to be replaced.


Also for your car, double check over the radius rod bushings by trying to manipulate the tire "forward and backwards". A good way to look for this is by stabbing the brakes while moving forwards or backwards at a slow speed. Does the wheel stop, but the car keeps moving?? lol. If so, the radius rod bushings are shot. Once again, visually inspect to verify.
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Old 12-24-2014, 02:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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radius rod bushings are fine, and have less than 15k miles since being replaced. both upper and lower ball joints have about 30k miles, same with tie rod ends, basically everything except inner tie rods has been replaced in the last 3 years.

did the shake test again (have done it perhaps 2 times a year since i bougth the car since due to miles i expect stuff to be needing replaced).


intersting thing i noticed today, there is a slight amount of movement at ALL angles, but the knuckle is NOT a part of the movement, the movement is occurring between the hub/bearing or bearing within the knuckle, but the knuckle is VERY solidly not moving. All I can think is that the bearings were only nominally within spec when new (my fault for going TOO cheap) and an at home install without a press probably wasn't helpful, so now the play is enough to be noticed. the passenger side had similar movement though significantly less.

I guess I will deal with it until i get around to either getting new bearings in, or replacing knuckles with 90-91 civic ex knuckles.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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replaced the front left wheel bearing yesterday. the inner race on the hub stuck like normal, but the grease seal was warped and loose, the bearings and grease inside were clean and nice looking....but the internal cage for the ball bearings was in pieces. clunk is gone and so is intermittent shimmy at freeway speeds!
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Nice find. Bad bearings then?
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:06 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Good to see an updated thread with the problem.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a weird clunk starting in my front passenger side, will check the bearing next time it is in the air, nice update.

I have new bushings, ball joint, brakes all around and axles so I assume those are what is left.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Just one bad bearing, I was short on cash and time when i replaced them a few years ago, bought the cheap ass chinese ones from Advance auto AND did the hammer install method. So I MAY have damaged it putting it in with the hub not being straight in, OR it was just a cheap crappy bearing. the one i replaced was a Koyo one and I used a large threaded rod and large washers to press it in rather than abuse it with a combo of 3 and 4 lb sledges.


The only hint I had that it was bad was a very slight wiggle in the wheel in all directions when i had the car up on a jack, everything else was tight, but even then the amount of wiggle was really small.

Now the only wiggle left is the normal higher speed shimmy from cheap touring tires (Fuzion HRI) that never seem to balance just right lol under 60 though I can't believe how smooth it is now!
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