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front end clunk = wheel bearing
fter almost 3 years now, my coupe finally stepped over the line. The
relationship has taken a (typical for my experience) nasty German turn. Every
>German car I've owned up to the coupe (which includes VW, Mercedes, Porsche,
>& Audi) betrayed me in the same fashion. Things would go wrong, and _no one_
>knew how to fix them short of replacing half the vehicle in a sort of
error methodology. My coupe up to now had not exhibited this vile trait.
Today however it showed it's heritage. I have had an irritating clunk
emanating from the right front for some time and decided to fix it once and
for all. I have now replaced; (1)control arm bushings, (2)ball joints,
(3)strut bearings, (4)entire axles with CV joints, (5)brake rotors & pads
(while I was in there), and (6)tie rod ends.
That is _all_ the moving parts on the front end, and it still clunks! FWIW,
the rotors on this car are, according to the parts people, from an 85-87 4000
CSQ. We had to physically match them up to get the right units. The sub frame
bushings appear to be fine, but I'm not sure how to test them short of
removing them, and right now I will _not_ go through this sort of grief to
diagnose _possible_ problem sources that might not exist. Due to the
characteristics of the noise, I am certain they are not the cause anyway.
Yes, the bolts on everything have been tightened checked, etc., and the
steering rack is solid, and shows no signs of problems.
If it clunks *occasionally* when turning the steering wheel hard at slow
speed, such as when pulling in/out of a tight parking spot:
We had exactly the same story , including the part with replacing a bunch
of front-end pieces with no direct results, on our 4000. I described the
problem to an Audi specialist and he said, without even looking at the car,
that the cause is in the wheel bearing, and that it's a very typical
problem. He also told us that it may come and go and it's not worth
worrying about until the bearing starts showing other signs of failure,
noise etc. FWIW, a year later the clunk disappeared on it's own.
I know it sounds somewhat strange, however, the 3-4 times that I asked the
guy about subtle Audi quirks, he's been right on 100%.