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Chevy Traverse steering clunk and pop sound

Discussion in 'Chevy Traverse Forum (GMC Acadia, Buick Enclave)' started by ChevyFan, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Started to get a steering clunk when turning the wheel at stop or low speed. Seems to happen when the tires are pointed to the left and the turned to the right. More of a feeling like 1mm of slack is taken out ... But there is no play in the wheel and it drives straight and smooth.

    Usually clunking is typically associated with worn bushings in the steering rack / gear. I've also read about issues with the front strut mounts which can cause a clunk but under different steering conditions ... and probably occurs not more than the worn bushing problem.

    Also, I've heard that the worn bushing issue is clear when steering just off-center, in either direction. Since the bushings are worn, moving the steering back and forth rocks the steering rack on its mounts which will create a clunk noise.

    Not really sure which one I should start with. I've seen people getting new steering racks over this ... for now it seems that's totally overkill.
  2. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    ... And I think I've heard this over time. The wife had been driving this for the most part so in not sure if it's getting worse ... like maybe worse in cold weather.
  3. Pikey

    Pikey Active Member Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    It sounds like when one of the intermediate shafts on the gm trucks needs lubed. The best I could recommend is to lay under the front (or even better get it on a hoist) and have your wife or kids get inside and turn the wheel reproducing the clunk. Then just look for the movement that is causing it.
  4. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    You want me to get under the front end while the wife is inside huh? Lol. She's said that she's wanted to do something like that for a long time.
  5. Dana W

    Dana W Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    My daughter's truck just had a front suspension collapse that started with a clunk noise. Luckily she had just turned off the road and was doing about 15 mph in a service road when the wheel went down, so she is only ticked off that she has to drive Mom's Volvo V70 for a few days, and not dead.

    Never mind that it is a 1999 Dodge Dakota R/T 5.9 that eats Silverados for breakfast.:rofl: We won't talk about that part much.

    The truck has rack & pinion and double wishbone w/coils front suspension.

    We had a clunk and what felt like movement in the front suspension when applying the brakes to full stop at very slow speeds, and we had the clunk when steering at very slow speeds.

    I looked all over that thing, checked all the bearings, ball joints, rod ends, and bushings, and discovered that the truck's previous owner had just replaced all 4 ball joints with moog bolt ins that were still tight and even clean, and all the cab mounting pads were new too. I did notice that one of the anti-sway bar mount bushings was pretty squashed and one of the anti-sway bar end links had a cracked and shredded bushing, so I added those to my shopping list and stopped worrying.

    Two days later. We now have a rattle in the front on bumps. One day later, luckily at 15 mph like I said, the passenger side upper ball joint COMES OFF the control arm. The wheel wobbles a couple of times, tucks under and rips the lower ball joint out of its socket and gets jammed between the lower control arm and the inner fender. The truck comes to a stop with the wheel still connected only by the brake soft line (which still isn't broken) and the very very bent up tie rod end assy.

    Moral of the story is, pay attention to steering and suspension clunking noises. They can kill you. Also don't check your ball joints with a pry bar in such a way that the prybar action actually holds the ball joint mount against the control arm. Avoid putting the prybar on top of the ball joint mount. You need to know if that is the loose part.

    Maybe the prior owner in haste didn't put enough torque on the nuts. Maybe he stripped them. Anyway, all three nuts came completely off the ball joint mount leaving three egg shaped mounting holes behind.

    Now we need an upper control arm assy w/ ball joint, a lower ball joint, two sway bar end links, one inner and outer R/P tierod end set, a brake soft line assy, and an alignment. The shop wanted $1,400 to fix it. I can do it for under $400.00 plus the alignment using moog & NAPA stuff.

    Just don't leave anything out, check it all, and then check it all again.
  6. labarn

    labarn New Member

    when new our GMC had a double clunk when the car was stopped and turning to the left as we entered the street. the 2nd clunk was like an echo and it was the ABS brake computer.

    chevman
    ChevyFan likes this.
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    One of my other trucks suffered from a clunk like this for about a year, more annoying than worrisome.
    I had a good idea the problem was from worn/deteriorated rubber bushings holdinng the rack.
    After replacing the rubber bushings with nylon blocks and properly torqueing the blocks down the clunnk went away, the truck is now much more responsive turning, which really helps since it has 35" tires and a front locker.

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