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Front end knocking while turning


Mrcohnhead
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Hi all,

 

Long time lurker, first time poster!

 

I've had my 97 pathfinder since February and have done a fair amount of work

struts and springs

front brakes and calipers

steering rack and bushings

inner and outer tie rods

front axels 

ball joints

and replaced OEM locked hubs with WARN free running hubs

 

Story time!

 

Only at low speeds and turning, I hear clunking. Fairly loud and happens on both sides. I have crawled underneath and shook the front axles and they come out of the spindle seal maybe a 1/4 inch. After driving maybe 10 minutes i will start to hear squealing from 10MPH up to 25MPH after that wind noise takes over and i cant hear anything. The rotors and pads are starting to get glazed so that ads to the noise but i dont think the problem are the brakes. 

 

Has anyone has experience these issues?

 

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My truck does have a clunk but usually only when there’s a weight transfer while turning, both forward and reverse. So if you are backing up out of a parking spot and tap the brakes to switch to drive again, it’ll do the clunk thing. But if I go very slowly and don’t use the brake much, no clunk. Is this what you’re describing? I don’t have any squealing while driving though
 

 

So far I’ve pretty much ruled out CV joints and sway bar bushings or end links (all replaced), so I’m starting to consider tie rod joints and various mounts.

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1 hour ago, DonutHands said:

 Could be worn CV joints.

i replaced them about a month ago with NAPA CV joints and have less than 2k miles. probably not the problem but maybe theyre just poorly built lol

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1 hour ago, PathyGig12 said:

My truck does have a clunk but usually only when there’s a weight transfer while turning, both forward and reverse. So if you are backing up out of a parking spot and tap the brakes to switch to drive again, it’ll do the clunk thing. But if I go very slowly and don’t use the brake much, no clunk. Is this what you’re describing? I don’t have any squealing while driving though
 

 

So far I’ve pretty much ruled out CV joints and sway bar bushings or end links (all replaced), so I’m starting to consider tie rod joints and various mounts.

i dont hear any clunking going from drive to reverse but it does happen while turning, both sides and happens every time. if i go slow enough in a turn, i can hear creaking then if i keep going the clunk happens.

 

im thinking its the CV joint coming in and out of the spindle grease seal but will replacing the seal help the problem? i couldnt imaging a seal would be strong enough to hold a CV joint while turning but i could be wrong?

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When you installed the axles, did you perhaps put the snap ring in the wrong groove? The axle shaft should not be able to slide in and out of the hub a noticeable distance. The snap ring on the end of the axle is what keeps it in place, the seal is just to keep grease in and dirt out. 

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2 hours ago, Mr_Reverse said:

When you installed the axles, did you perhaps put the snap ring in the wrong groove?

 

This is kinda what I'm thinking too. I'm not sure what he means by spindle seal though, but axle probably shouldn't be moving in and out of anything a 1/4". Maybe it moves just enough to nearly bind the CVs?

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On 9/25/2020 at 7:33 PM, Mr_Reverse said:

When you installed the axles, did you perhaps put the snap ring in the wrong groove? The axle shaft should not be able to slide in and out of the hub a noticeable distance. The snap ring on the end of the axle is what keeps it in place, the seal is just to keep grease in and dirt out. 

i believe i replaced the snap ring in the correct groove (towards the end of the axle, about 1/2 inch from the end) however i did see another inner snap ring groove (about 4 inches in from the end) when i used a Harbor Freight snap ring kit to replace them so maybe the rings are weak and blew out. hopefully they just mushroomed and did not disintegrate in to my wheel bearing!! 

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My old QX4 i replaced the lower ball joints (easy to check if you just lift the vehicle) with NAPA ones, and less than a month later they were bad again. Wouldn't recommend their cheap ones.  Only backing out of my drive way or pulling in did i hear the clunk, but had tons of play

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Lift one corner and justn grab the wheel both sides and push with one hand and pull with the other alternating wiggling the wheel. if its ball joint or tie rods you will feel it. ball joints usually more noticeable than tie rods but if you cant decide have someone else do it, and you can put your finger on the ball joint and feel the play directly.

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