Little clunks in steering - NOT the steering rack thread - Page 6 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #101 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-10-2011, 07:18 PM
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I also have the same clunk in the steering. I tracked down a loose intermediate steering shaft joint, then replaced it. I don't feel the loose that I was feeling in the steering but I still feel the clunk. It is definately more noticeable when it's hot, and even more on a gravel surface.

I'm currently in the process of checking/torquing all suspension bolts and I noticed that when moving up and down the front left suspension/brake components with the shock/damper assembly removed, the same clunk can be felt through the rack boot.

I'm pretty convinced that this will end with a rack order.

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post #102 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 06:25 AM
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OK, so here's my theory. I'm getting the same clunking. At least it sounds similar. And it only starts after the car has been driven a bit. Stop and go traffic is the worst.

Took it for a drive and the clunking starts again. So, I'm thinking... what does it sound like and when is it happening?

Conclusion: the sway bar bushings have dried out (i.e. lost their lubricant), and the sway bar is "sticking"... whenever the suspension height changes, the bar should rotate, but since it's sticking, it doesn't move until enough torque is on the bar to "unstick" it from the bushing. When that happens, it makes a noise, and the force on the sway bar suddenly changes, sending a pulse through the steering to the steering wheel.

Note, there are lots of things that can go clunk... check your suspension regularly, especially if you track. But in my case, I'm pretty sure it was the sway bar bushings... that might explain the temperature sensitivity as well... the bar is steel, and expands more than the nylon bushings, making the fit tighter as friction or ambient temps cause the bar to heat.
Sounds exactly like the symptoms in my car. Last summer, this would occur rarely, only when the weather was warm, and only after having driven some amount of miles on the car (heating up the sway bar assembly). And then, when driving slow enough to easily hear the noise, as well as feel it through the steering, the clunk would occur occassionally but only as the suspension would load or unload. Under steady-state driving on a smooth surface it was fine.

Fast forward to last week, which was particularly warm. Same exact symptoms have recurred, but now are a bit more prevalent. By the time I finish my 20 minute commute home, on my residential street which is fairly bumpy, the light clunk/click occurs at every surface variance. Again, it's not loud or super obvious, but just a light noise coming from the front suspension, with a discernable, but extremely short duration, steering wheel judder.

Sway bar bushings sound like the issue. Time for the silicone!!

07 AW Exige S - Track Pack, sun visors and rear view mirror removed
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post #103 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 06:38 AM
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Not 10 microphones, but yes, it's in the market already for us technicians.

Brand and model? Please.

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post #104 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 11:55 AM
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I have had a clunking for a long time in my steering. Nothing has ever felt lose and the clunking happens over bumps as wheel as turning the wheel. Much more noticeable on hot days. I traced it to the left ball joint in the steering rack. It seems to be very stiff, so stiff that it seems to stick. I disconnected the tie rod from the hub and injected some grease into the ball joint boot. Then worked in all directions quite a bit. The clunking went away for a long time but then eventually came back. My car is an 05 with about 14k miles
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post #105 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:24 PM
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I have had a clunking for a long time in my steering. Nothing has ever felt lose and the clunking happens over bumps as wheel as turning the wheel. Much more noticeable on hot days. I traced it to the left ball joint in the steering rack. It seems to be very stiff, so stiff that it seems to stick. I disconnected the tie rod from the hub and injected some grease into the ball joint boot. Then worked in all directions quite a bit. The clunking went away for a long time but then eventually came back. My car is an 05 with about 14k miles
Interesting.... I will have to try this. I lubricated the sway bar bushings as APK919 suggested today with White lithium grease and have NO change. I am 98% sure it is the rack but there is no harm in trying these little fixes just in case

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post #106 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 12:38 PM
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Ok...

Silicon lubricant applied in the parking lot at the local Ace Hardware this morning. Car now sitting in the sun here at the office, warming up nicely. Will take the coast hwy home today, which is the right speed for me to feel/hear the symptoms, and is an area (especially through bumpy Del Mar/Encinitas) where I've experienced this issue before. Crossing fingers.

I'll report back tomorrow on the results.

07 AW Exige S - Track Pack, sun visors and rear view mirror removed
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00 Toyota Tundra V8 4x4 - lifted, 33's, a bit beat up but gets the job done quite well
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post #107 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-11-2011, 06:34 PM
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Brand and model? Please.

Here you go:

YA6890KT, Finder, Squeak and Rattle, Electronic, Wireless

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post #108 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:34 AM
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How do you get the grease in these components / boots? are you able to lift up the book and squeeze it in? Ive not looked into it but will try this on mine.....
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post #109 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 12:48 AM
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Wow, does it come with memory card slot for recording?

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post #110 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 04:47 AM
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How do you get the grease in these components / boots? are you able to lift up the book and squeeze it in? Ive not looked into it but will try this on mine.....
If you're talking about the ball joints, the boots are sealed with spring clips and are intended to be "maintenance free", so have no grease nipples. I'm not sure how you would safely add grease without disassembling the joints.

I've had "clicking" from the rear toe-link heim joints; their faces are exposed and it's easy to apply grease directly.

The sway bar bushings are exposed, and spray lubricant can be applied easily, although I think it would be even better to disassemble the bushings and apply a synthetic grease directly to the bushing. It's a bit of a time consuming job though... you have to remove the front undertray to remove the sway bar.
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post #111 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-13-2011, 09:53 PM
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Wow, does it come with memory card slot for recording?

I dont think so. At least not the one we have, and it is pretty much the same. But you should be able to connect an external recorder in the headphone jack...

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post #112 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-15-2011, 08:05 AM
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Ok...

Silicon lubricant applied in the parking lot at the local Ace Hardware this morning. Car now sitting in the sun here at the office, warming up nicely. Will take the coast hwy home today, which is the right speed for me to feel/hear the symptoms, and is an area (especially through bumpy Del Mar/Encinitas) where I've experienced this issue before. Crossing fingers.

I'll report back tomorrow on the results.
Sorry folks, been out of town and working too much...

Ok, so on the drive home a few days ago, no, the symptom on my car did not disappear. I'm going to give it another try with the silicone, to see if perhaps I need to do a more thorough coating of the bushings and connections to free up the mechanism. If that doesn't get it done, I'll re-read this thread and look for the next most likely cause and solution.

07 AW Exige S - Track Pack, sun visors and rear view mirror removed
02 Subaru WRX Wagon - bone stock, 115K miles, running strong as ever
00 Toyota Tundra V8 4x4 - lifted, 33's, a bit beat up but gets the job done quite well
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post #113 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-20-2011, 06:34 AM
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An update from my noise> > >

I greased up all the parts as suggested wit no success. When driving home after a long drive with the knocking noise I jacked the car up and it was plain to see that the steering rack was to blame. The bar coming out of the rack into the track rod end was clearly moving up and down and creating the knocking noise..... I am almost certain it is the bushes which have failed.

Its off to the Garage next week to be sorted out (hopefully under warranty!)
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post #114 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 10:30 AM
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As I mentioned earlier, the source of the clunk in my case was not the shock mounts, but the steering pinion U-joint inside of the cabin. I believe this is a part that also wears over time.

I would check there next.
Is there a post describing how to get to the u-joint to inspect it? I have a small clunk that manifests while trying to drive straight. I'm wondering if there is a bolt or nut related to the u-joint that I should make sure has not loosened.
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post #115 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 10:48 AM
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No, but if you shine a flashlight into the footwell, you can see the u-joint. You may have the turn the wheel slightly to see, but there is clearly a nut and bolt there that can be tightened if needed. It's pretty self-explanatory so long as you can get a wrench down there. Over on UK forums, there is a lot of talk about u-joints wearing out as well.

I think this is it. This is looking upward from the floor by the pedals. Please excuse my broken clutch return spring.
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post #116 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 05:28 PM
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No, but if you shine a flashlight into the footwell, you can see the u-joint. You may have the turn the wheel slightly to see, but there is clearly a nut and bolt there that can be tightened if needed. It's pretty self-explanatory so long as you can get a wrench down there. Over on UK forums, there is a lot of talk about u-joints wearing out as well.

I think this is it. This is looking upward from the floor by the pedals. Please excuse my broken clutch return spring.
Awesome! Okay, so I think that is the bottom u-joint and I can easily check that. I think there is another u-joint on the top part of that shaft also, behind the steering wheel and underneath the instrumentation dashboard.

Well, at least I can easily check one of the two u-joints. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Vantage.
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post #117 of 281 (permalink) Old 07-25-2011, 06:13 PM
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Well, I finally have my first ("real") issue with the Exige, however, it is not clunking associated with the steering rack (or at least I am hoping it is not). I can't feel it through the steering wheel at all, however, when driving along roads with small undulations in them I can hear a metal-against-metal style "clunk" (extremely hard sound to explain) and squeaking from the front passenger side of the vehicle (quite loud). It occurs very frequently.

It occurs at any speed and all the time (the vehicle is sitting at a friends place at the moment, as I am afraid the problem will worsen if I drive it).

So far my check list has been pretty simple (checked if the fuse box was moving around, made sure nothing was rolling around in the back etc..) I will be jacking it up and taking of the front passenger wheel and snooping around sometime this week (although my mechanical background is limited).

Is there anything specific I should look for visually? Any specific checks I can do? Is it a bad damper?

I have read through the thread and will attempt to remove the suspension component and tighten up the two bolts behind it (if need be, but this may pose a challenge for someone like myself). Unfortunately, there are no dealerships close by - approximately 2000miles away from the closest one.

Last edited by YFrogger; 07-25-2011 at 06:41 PM. Reason: Better description fo sound..
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post #118 of 281 (permalink) Old 08-18-2011, 06:30 PM
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I've had clunking coming from the front of my 2005 Elise (base suspension with 40,000miles) for about a year now. I had the steering rack replaced about a month ago with the Titan QR from Sector 111 and last week had the BWR adjustable sway bar installed. I had the service rep and the mechanic at Lotus of Atlanta drive the car with me and confirm the clunking remains. I had two different LOA mechanics on separate occasions check the suspension linkages and both said nothing was loose. I went under the lift the second time with them to confirm that the bushings were ok, upper shock mount brackets bolts were tight and control arms were ok. The pagid blue brake pads were slightly loose and rattling around but they fixed this with some adhesive. Car still makes the metal on metal clunking sound, especially at low speeds.

I'm at an impasse now and not sure how to proceed. Thoughts? Could it be the shocks? Any help greatly appreciated.

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post #119 of 281 (permalink) Old 08-19-2011, 01:29 PM
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I've had clunking coming from the front of my 2005 Elise (base suspension with 40,000miles) for about a year now. I had the steering rack replaced about a month ago with the Titan QR from Sector 111 and last week had the BWR adjustable sway bar installed. I had the service rep and the mechanic at Lotus of Atlanta drive the car with me and confirm the clunking remains. I had two different LOA mechanics on separate occasions check the suspension linkages and both said nothing was loose. I went under the lift the second time with them to confirm that the bushings were ok, upper shock mount brackets bolts were tight and control arms were ok. The pagid blue brake pads were slightly loose and rattling around but they fixed this with some adhesive. Car still makes the metal on metal clunking sound, especially at low speeds.

I'm at an impasse now and not sure how to proceed. Thoughts? Could it be the shocks? Any help greatly appreciated.
Did they check the steering column intermediate shaft joints? The lower one was loose on my car.

07 autumn gold Elise
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post #120 of 281 (permalink) Old 08-20-2011, 06:09 AM
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Did they check the steering column intermediate shaft joints? The lower one was loose on my car.
I didn't specifically ask to check the intermediate shaft joints...would those be checked when the the steering rack was installed? What sort of noise does a loose intermediate shaft joint make? The steering actually feels pretty tight now. I can't detect any play or noise in the steering. The clunking sound is mostly at low speeds over bumpy roads.

2005 Lotus Elise (Arctic Silver) Touring, LSS, Dual Oil Coolers, Stage II exhaust, Fujita Intake, Hardtop
2010 Ford Raptor SVT (Blue Flame Metallic) Stainless Works Exhaust, Roush intake
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