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Discussion Starter #1
My 87 Turbo Esprit (75K miles) has a random clunking sound.

Initially, I did tight circle turns and noticed severe clunking sound traversing driveways at work.

It turned out it was a VERY worn steering rack - had it replaced by Trackspec using JAE steering rack and the clunking seemed to go away.

Now, I hear a more random clunk coming from the driver side (possibly rear of driver).

Given the mileage, someone suspected a bad CV joint. Since noise sounds like left side (when sitting in car) where the turbo heats up the CV join and 75K miles, I'm also semi-convinced the CV joint is bad.

Any tips that could confirm it's a worn CV joint?

Thanks - Eddie
 

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Have a closer listen. Does it clunk on left hand turns, right hand, acceleration, braking, a combination? You could also need a motor mount.
 

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Wingless Wonder
1988 Esprit Turbo
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Or it could be a broken / loose body mounting on the LH side. :UK:

Check the 'glass under the trunk carpet, look for cracks. If none found, make sure the bolt securing the body to chassis is tight. :p




Reminder to all: those fixings can loosen up over time. I've fixed intermittent noises/clunks several times over the years by tightening:



The top-rear body bolts I just mentioned
The bulkhead anchors behind the seats
The front body fixings (2 vertical in the front trunk; two horizontal from the frame into the interior (you can feel the bolts under the carpet).​


Most of these require an extra hand (or a vise-grip) to hold the hardware on one side while the other side is tightened. :panic:
 

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What Atwell said, although the 4 bolts behind the seats tend to creak more than thump. There is also one bolt in each footwell to the front crossmember.

If the body bolts are tight, another place to look is the trailing arm bushes. The one on the drivers side is protected by the heat shield, so it could expire sooner than the off side mount.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the feedback

Re: body bolts. When I bought car in 2016 had Trackspec tighten all body bolts as per another suggestion here. They were reported as being very loose particularly in rear.

Re: bushings - a previous owner put in poly bushes so not sure if they are that worn already

Re:engine mounts - I was thinking that too but don’t notice any excessive engine movements ( admittedly static car)

When I get a chance will run my endoscope camera and look at the eng mounts

I noted the steering rack (failure on right USA passenger side ) clunked in clockwise full lock turns.

The noises now seem unrelated to steering. It seems loudest on unexpected rough roads ( clockwise clover leaf on ramps).
 

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Sounds are notoriously difficult to locate. On one car that had a clunk (not a Lotus) a bolt was missing from a caliper and it moved and clunked. On another car a lower shock mount was loose and the shock moved just enough to make a noise. You pretty much have to inspect the whole undercarriage looking for anything suspicious. Sounds that seem to come from the rear could come from the front or from the other side so it is really hard to isolate the source by the sound, especially when you are driving. On another car they had junk-in-the-trunk and when it rolled around it made a noise. A loose battery can make noise. A broken or worn engine mount can make noise. On another loose lug nuts were the cause. On some cars the bearing in the rear carrier can shift. It can take quite a while to track down every noise. Good Hunting!
David Teitelbaum
 

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Discussion Starter #7
[snip] A loose battery can make noise. [snip]
Ah - I put in a new battery about 3 months ago and discovered the original was never bolted down. I've dragged my butt trying to find threaded rods and bracket to hold it down.

Certainly that is big enough and loud enough to sound like a clunk.

When the steering rack was being replaced, I paid them to inspect the undercarriage for any loose parts. They did find an oil leak (traced to my brain-dead loose tightening of the oil filler cap) but otherwise nothing else obviously loose.
 
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