Vibration on right turns revisited

Bernie Benz b.benz at
Wed Mar 9 14:19:28 EST 2005

> From: n-engelbert at
> A month or so ago, I posted about a violent vibration from the front
> driver's side of the car when taking sweeping right hand turns at 70mph.
> The car also clunked when pulling into the driveway from the front
> driver's corner.
> Last weekend I replaced the upper strut bearing hoping to rid myself of
> this problem.  Old bearing was loose and had vertical play in it, but the
> problem remains.
How could a upper strut bearing have "vertical play and be loose" when
installed in the strut assembly.  It is an axially loaded thrust bearing
supporting the car's corner weight and in the least case, the fully extended
spring pressure. 
>  Now, when I tried to separate the ball joint from the
> strut, it would move ~.25-.5" downward, but not separate.  I stood on a 6
> foot 1.5" diameter solid steel bar, and the ball joint would not separate
> further.
With the pinch bolt removed?  If so, the ball shaft should pop out from the
bearing housing with little required force if both axles are hanging free.
>  I know that ball joints are not supposed to have vertical play,
> does this possibly explain the clunking and vibration?  Does the ball
> joint have play in it vertically and it's frozen in the strut/bearing
> housing?  This would point to needing a new control arm/ball joint,
> correct?
> I also have a clunk coming from the rear of the car, driver's side as
> well, I've read that that's probably a rear tie rod, but when I have the
> wheel off the ground, I can't feel any play.  Any other suggestions there?
Could also be the upper control arm link, or a lower arm rubber bushing.

> I'm hoping to resolve these clunks within the next couple of weeks because
> the first drivers school of the year for me is over the first weekend in
> April at Autobahn CC in Joliet, IL.
> Thanks in advance!
> Nathan Engelbert
> 83 UrQ DA900453
> 89 90q
> 91 200q20v donor
> 91 200q20v avant
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