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Thread: Clunks from rear of car

  1. #1
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    Default Clunks from rear of car

    I hope someone out there can give me some inspiration with this one because i'm running out of ideas. I'm getting a low pitched clunking noise when driving over moderately uneven roads. From the drivers seat it sounds like it's coming from the rear off side but passengers in the car seem to hear it from all sorts of places but usualy at the back! Here's a list of everything i've done so far to try and find / cure the 'clunk'.

    1) Emptied out entire boot including spare wheel and everything not stuck or bolted down inc parcel shelf. Clunk still there.

    2) Adjusted rear door lock striker plate several times. Clunk still there.

    3) Checked all exhaust hangers, repaired one suspect hanger. All good. Clunk still there.

    4) Removed both shock absorbers and bench tested in vice. Both good.

    5) Replaced both rear anti roll bar D-bushes. Clunk still there.

    6) Finaly bit the bullet and replaced both rear upper control arms today. Outer bushes pretty worn, hopes built up, but... Yep you guessed it clunk still there.

    7) Went out and bought new Kings of Leon album to make myself feel better played at full volume - can't hear clunk now. After a while decided this isn't really a satisfactory long term fix and decided to post this! (Good album though)

    I'm at my wits end. The suspension looks good to me all round with no play that I can find. If all the work above had been done by VX i'd be re-mortgaging the house by now!

    So i'm now wondering if it's anything else? Any ideas that I can investigate would be most welcome. Perhaps i've missed something along the way. I'm starting to have the feeling that when I finally locate the cause it will be something really daft!

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    It could still be an ARB bush. I'm reckoning that even though they might look and feel OK tested by hand, the force you can use to test them ain't anything compared to the forces they are subjected to on the road.

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    Thanks Baz, I actualy have fitted new brand new ARB bushes. So i'm pretty certain it's not them.

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    Does the clunk sound like someone hitting the chassis with a small hammer? Vec-Cs and Signums sometimes suffer from the springs jumping in their seats. There are quite a few past threads on here about the "spring seat mod" which fixes it, and Vx do it under warranty as well. It consists of sliding nylon sleeves over the ends of the springs to cushion them when they jump in the spring seat and a rubber disk for the top of the rear springs. TIS also advises Vx garages to spray the ends of the spring with 2 coats of primer.

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    Thanks Thomas,

    I'd heard of this modification but thought it just applied to the front springs but obviously you've modified the rear ones on your signum. I think this might just be it. The noise is often more than just a clunk, more of a very fast short burst of knocks sort of clun-clun-clunk which does sound like it might be a spring jumping in it's seat. Also it happens more at cruising speed on uneven roads rather than very bumpy surfaces. Thinking about it, it's more likely to happen as the car gets older and the springs and shock absorbers get softer. It's worth a try, pity I didn't do it while the springs were off on Saturday, never mind.

    I've searched the forums for the right part number but all the ones quoted seem to be for the front spring mod. I really need the kit you were sold mainly the rubber disk you mention in your post on the subject. Was there a sleeve too for the rear spings or was that just for the front ones?

    I don't suppose you kept the receipt from VX with the part number on it. If so, can you post the number? It would be a big help.

    Thanks again for the reply, very much appreciated.

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    I'm sure I've got the receipt somewhere, I'll dig it out and post the part numbers up.

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    Right, the rubber disk (for the top of the rear springs) is 90538496
    The nylon sleeve for the rear springs (they call it an "insulator") is 13178463.
    The sleeve for the front (for future reference) is 13178464.

    Give these part number to your Vx parts desk so that they can understand what you're looking to buy, but also then give them your reg number so they can confirm they're the right ones for your model, in case different spring diameters need different sleeves.

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    Thanks a million Thomas. Really grateful for you taking the trouble to find these.

    Today having listened to the noise again i'm quietly confident that this might be the solution. Fingers crossed!

    I followed another Vectra for a couple of miles on the way to work this morning and although the road was fairly even it was very surprising how much the rear suspension moved up and down. Certainly enough to cause the effect with the springs.

    I'm going away for a week or so within the next few days so I won't have time to fit the mod until I get back but i'll let you know how I get on when I do.

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    Hi mate.

    Just to let you know, I got the clunking also a while back (though it was defo from the front with me).. I just removed the spring and wrapped the first 100mm or so in a few layers of decent quality insulating tape! Clunking gone! Handy if, like me, you have the spring out and the nearest place to go and get a set of poxy rubber sleeves is over an hour round trip (tenner in diesel and a fiver for glorified peices of tubing!!)

    I replaced my old springs last week and done the same thing to me new eibachs.. no probs! Also, I had the rubber discs on the rear.. didn't realise these weren't on the car when they left the factory. Were they really not?

    I could defo see how clunking would occur for someone if they weren't there!

    Nick :-)

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    Thumbs up Solved - Rear Clunk : Front Drop Link!!!!

    Hi guys,

    Well I solved it in the end but not the solution I was expecting. In the end Nick I tried your idea with the tape on the rear OS spring but with no success. So for the first time in 20 years I admitted defeat and took the car to a garage for a 'diagnostic' check. It's a local place, not a dealer, and the guy who owns it has been in the trade for 40 years so he knows his stuff. An hour later he called back and said it's your nearside front drop link! I confess that I didn't believe him at first because as far as I was concerned the noise was at the back of the car. He said he'd come across the problem before with other makes and models where the noise travels through the chasis and resonates in the empty boot giving the impressions it's the rear suspension.

    This all sounded a bit far fetched to me, I would have staked my life on it being at the rear of the car, but with some reluctance I gave him the benefit of the doubt and changed both the front drop links yesterday (used the excellent 'how to' by the way). Sure enough the bottom joint of the nearside link was 'completely shot'. I road tested the car out and 'oh sweet silence'... fantastic, he was right!

    Anyway i'm now wondering how many other people have fallen into the same trap and half rebuilt their rear suspension only to discover it was a ten quid front drop link! He also pointed out that many people check their drop links with the weight of the hub hanging on them when the car is jacked up. This removes any play and all seems OK. To check them you need to raise the hub a little to release the tension in the link... then you feel the play straight away no mistake.

    Perhaps i'll post a new thread later pointing all of this in the hope that it solves someone else a lot of time and money. Oh well, I suppose I now have a half rebuilt rear suspension for my trouble! On the subject of the front springs by the way I noticed that the spring mod had been done by the previous owner so that's a bonus.

    Thanks again folks for your interest, the forum is a real bonus for us DIY owners.


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