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.
- 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
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.