I have installed new ball joints, new shocks, and new wheel bearings. I have both inner and outer tie rods on hand but I don't think they are the cause. I have been searching pff and was wondering if the worn passenger side steering rack bushing that can cause clunks commonly in the 88s applies to the earlier models as well (86).
Is there an easy way to check if the rack bushing is at fault? the car only makes noise when driving and going over any sized bumps, even really small ones. It does not make the noise when I jump on the front end over the passenger wheel, so it is caused by a forwards and backwards motion, not up and down. It does not clunk during braking and the car handles like it is new. Super smooth on the highway at any speed, it feels great.
The prior knowledge makes me doubt it is the fault of the control arms or bushings as I feel these would have a noticeable effect on the handling, but I will check. Sway bar endlinks and bushings are all poly and do not seem to make any noise when I hit them with a rubber mallet.
Oh yea, wheel well liner is removed, coolant lines are secure, jack has been removed, spare tire has been removed, windshield washer fluid has been removed, I checked under the dash, I checked the brake lines, everything is attached super securely, or I removed it for these noise tests. I also did tests with headlights up and down to make sure they did not change the results.
So I am 99% positive it is the suspension, and if it is, it is either the rack or the control arms.
Any additional ideas on how to pinpoint the noise? Thanks guys
Passenger side steering rack bushing. I've had two cars with a front end clunk on irregular roads. Both had a worn steering rack bushing. Jack up the front and push side to side on the passenger side tire while someone looks at the tie rod near the rack. You will see up and down movement if the rack bushing is worn.. Think I got that right.
I've had the steering rack bushing rattle - but that also caused some feedback of the rattle in the steering wheel. I've also had just a loose bolt on the shock up front cause a rattle and, there are classic things like the brake caliper
I found it, the lower shock mount bolt had messed up threads causing an incorrect torque reading... so even though the nut was torqued to spec, the shock was tiniest bit loose. It was not until I undid the top of the shock to access the upper control arm bolts did I notice that the bottom shock mount was loose. Because the shocks are gas charged it was impossible to tell until I undid the top. Thanks for the suggestions I am surprised it was so hard to find.