Front suspension clunk/ pop | 2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Front suspension clunk/ pop | 2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback

Ok, so I'm at my wits end here with my suspension issue, so without a solution, I am coming to you fellow owners for hopefully a point in the right direction.

Vehicle details:
  • 2008 Mazda 3 Hatchback
  • 46,000 miles
  • Wheels: Stock 18" Mazdaspeed wheels
  • Tires: Continental DW 225-40/18
  • Struts and shocks: Koni FSD
  • Springs: Eibach Prokit

When the vehicle was stock height and on OEM struts and shocks, it developed this clunking sound in the front driver area. Specifically in the left wheel well area...up high...top of the strut. The clunk was intermittent but when it did happen, it happened mostly when turning right into a driveway or when going over an uneven road and with the vehicle hitting the bump in the road just the right way. To reiterate, this only happened intermittently.

Since I was saving funds to upgrade the struts and shocks to the aforementioned Konis, I didn't worry about the clunk and figured the issue would resolve itself once the upgrade was done. Of course, it didn't. When upgrading the struts and shocks I told my alignment guy to pay close attention to the area in question. After the install, he said he didn't see anything out of the norm and told me everything looked fine. An alignment was done after the upgrade and the car felt great and the ride felt 100x better than with the OEM struts and shocks. Needless to say, the clunk remained...continued to be intermittent.

I did some research both here and on the various other Mazda3 forums and I was definitely not the only MZ3 owner experiencing something like this, though the similar threads I found always had one or two things different than what I was experiencing. That being said, a common solution was to replace/ upgrade the strut bearings and their corresponding plate. I took this under consideration and thought this was the way to go.

After some deliberation, I made a decision to lower the car since the strut bearing replacement would have that area available to my alignment guy. Again, I told my dude to pay special attention to that area while he was working on it. FML.

After the strut bearing and plate replacement, as well as the installation of the lowering springs, the clunk is still there AND NOW it is more pronounced and happens MORE often.

I just got back from the alignment shop today. The guy took a ride with me and the clunking happened just like it always does. I dropped off the vehicle. After a couple of hours, he called and said that he checked the area and found no issues. He also said that he tightened everything to spec, checked the sway bar, control arms, etc. Nothing looks amiss to him. He's been very honest with me thus far and he's very capable at what he does. I told him I was going to post here and maybe even take it to my mazda specialist mechanic and get a 2nd opinion. He was more than fine with that and even agreed to cutting me a deal on an alignment if the mazda mechanic finds something.

Anyway, so here I am, hat in hand looking for some advice or a point in the right direction.

Any information would be helpful....thanks.
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-03-2014, 07:27 PM
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Endlinks or you need some new silencing rubber.

However, it happened while the oe springs were on so I would say that your best bet is endlinks. Not very expensive, racing beat has some for about fifty bucks a pair. (Always replace suspension components in pairs)

Other than that, if everything is aligned and the spring is correctly seated, not sure what else it could be.


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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-04-2014, 10:56 AM
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Gahhhhh I'm having the same issue!!!! They told me there wasn't anything wrong in the struts which made no sense I thought it was a bad mount too. So glad to see this!
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 03:11 AM
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That's clunked up. By the way +1 on endlinks.

Looks like you're not alone. There's a bunch of clunking threads about the clunking shitty clunks. Google says: https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q...3+struts+clunk
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-05-2014, 09:52 AM
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Lol we have established here at m3f that almost all the problematic noises asked here are a result of either:

Endlinks
Pmm


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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-08-2014, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoov View Post
Endlinks or you need some new silencing rubber.

However, it happened while the oe springs were on so I would say that your best bet is endlinks. Not very expensive, racing beat has some for about fifty bucks a pair. (Always replace suspension components in pairs)

Other than that, if everything is aligned and the spring is correctly seated, not sure what else it could be.
Dahoov, I appreciate the response. After reading your answer and doing a little more research, I came across this fantastic tutorial. I wanted a better understanding of what the end link was and what it's part in the suspension scheme it played...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2nPufrj3bE

I also came across this from Moog, which is the maker of the end link I am probably going to go with:

http://www.moogproblemsolver.com/_pd...K750069_En.pdf

Even though, I know it's for the rear it makes sense as to the problems that can arise as a result of the poor OEM design.

Looks like I'll be ordering a pair of K80235's in the near future.

http://www.moog-suspension-parts.com...od=MOOG-K80235

Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoov View Post
Lol we have established here at m3f that almost all the problematic noises asked here are a result of either:

Endlinks
Pmm
PMM equals passenger motor mount? Please advise.

Last edited by RC; 06-08-2014 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Video
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-09-2014, 12:17 AM
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Yep, Pmm is passenger mount. ROCA is the one you want if you need a replacement tranny or passenger, I just ordered some actually.

Yours will fail soon if it isn't already so my advice is this, in retrospect I would've done it to mine:

Buy the ROCA Pmm and transmission mount, plus one of the JBR rear motor mounts. Moog endlinks on all four corners and you should be set. I've had to replace all my endlinks and am about to replace the mounts.

Those are pretty easy to do yourself, if there aren't how to's let me know and I will make one for you since I'm about to do my mounts


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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 12:06 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoov View Post
Endlinks or you need some new silencing rubber.

However, it happened while the oe springs were on so I would say that your best bet is endlinks. Not very expensive, racing beat has some for about fifty bucks a pair. (Always replace suspension components in pairs)

Other than that, if everything is aligned and the spring is correctly seated, not sure what else it could be.
Moog end links were ordered and installed.

The Moog end links looked to be well made and had much less play at the pivot on each side. Installation wasn't too difficult.

That said, no fucking dice. The noise still persists. Same as it ever was.

Please advise on silencing rubber.
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 12:40 AM
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Wow. Okay, two things: first, did you make sure to torque them down AFTER the car was on the ground? If not, they will typically make noise. Second, before you go buying rubber, and I'm not sure where to get it for the eibachs, make sure that your prokit doesn't already have any. (you'd have to take everything apart again.) Look on the bottom coil(s) for a rubber sleeve. For my Road Magnets I have to call and ask for some if I want to buy it. For Eibach I'd imagine its the same, Im not aware of any place selling it online.

It's not too likely that this is the case though, since it did it before you lowered.

So you have:
New front endlinks
New koni frobt struts and new mounts
Eibach pro kit
Good alignment

Correct?


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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 06-18-2014, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dahoov View Post
Wow. Okay, two things: first, did you make sure to torque them down AFTER the car was on the ground? If not, they will typically make noise. Second, before you go buying rubber, and I'm not sure where to get it for the eibachs, make sure that your prokit doesn't already have any. (you'd have to take everything apart again.) Look on the bottom coil(s) for a rubber sleeve. For my Road Magnets I have to call and ask for some if I want to buy it. For Eibach I'd imagine its the same, Im not aware of any place selling it online.

It's not too likely that this is the case though, since it did it before you lowered.

So you have:
New front endlinks
New koni frobt struts and new mounts
Eibach pro kit
Good alignment

Correct?
First let me say that I do appreciate your help with my vehicle's issue.

Ok, so your first question.

Since the car is lowered, how is it even possible to get access to the two bolts when the vehicle is on the ground? That said, before installing the end links, I did call Moog to verify the torque specs on the nuts. 45lbs of torque to be exact.

Ahhhh, silencing rubber. Now I know what you referring to. Both coils have the rubber sleeve installed. I am positive of that. Whether the sleeves came with the coils, I don't know, but I am proof positive that they are installed.

New end links - check
New Koni struts - check
New strut bearings with top mounts - check
Eibach pro kit with rubber sleeves - check
Alignment - Super check. The suspension and drivability of the car is completely on point. Car drives like a dream. No shaking at high speeds. Turns are solid.

I'm thinking about just selling the car and sticking with my road bike. Just kidding. Or am I. The clunk makes driving the car unbearable. I should mention that before when turning into a driveway, specifically, it would clunk and now it clunks when I even make a right turn.

I've also checked the battery, battery holder, etc. just to make sure it's not something stupid thats making the noise.
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