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07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Old 09-04-2014, 10:05 AM
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Default 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

let see if I can get everything in here for you guys to ponder on for me because I am out of ideas and am getting ready to take it to the dealer or a shop.

For the last 2 years or so there has been a clunk in the front end that has just become unbearable. Initially it started as a clunk in the lower back part of my engine bay that would only happen once in a while when I would shift gears under load. I was told by the original owner that it might be the rear motor mount (known to be faulty). Sooo late last year I decided to replace it since it was getting worse and making the "clunk" during a shift and on occasion when I hit a bump or when I would start to roll from a stop. Low and behold the main bolt on the lower mount was completely loose and the mount was not serving its purpose, so I tightened it to specs and took it for a spin. "clunk was still there so my mind began to think. I checked the other 2 motor mounts on either side of the engine and the drivers mount was in need of replacing since its rubber was all corroded and falling apart. I replaced it and of course the noise persisted. a further inspection showed the drivers axle was in need of replacement as the boot was jacked up. I was surprised to think the axle could be the culprit since there was to tell tell clicking when turning butI hoped for the best and had the axle replaced. "clunk, clunk" ....... I continued to drive it assuming it would just break eventually and I would know for sure what the issue was.

Present day.... I went ahead and replaced the entire suspension and the coilover suspension had seen its better days and was hoping it would fix the "clunk" that had seemed to grow into what it is today. One clunk happens every time I take a left curve in the road while driving, when I begin to roll from a stop, and sometimes when I come to a stop or when I hit a bump and or put the car in an awkward position (ie un-level road). Now the really fun part is the horrible "clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk" sound and feel to the floor and pedals I get sometimes when coming to a stop abruptly and is more intense with how fast I come to a stop (not ABS related I believe since its the same clunk I'm hearing in every instance) and the horrible horrible "clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk" while cruising down the interstate or road at any speed above 55 mph. Like with the braking, I can literally feel the clunk in the drivers floorboard and pedals and I believe in the steering wheel slightly. this clunk is now very pronounced directly in front of me on the drivers side so I do not believe that it is a passenger side related issue. I will add that while the clunking and thunking noise if going on, if i touch the brake pedal to stop cruise control and the car begins to coast to a slower speed, the noise goes away, and during any acceleration be it small or full throttle there is no noise and no feeling in the floor or pedals. so literally it just starts when I get to cruising speeds and stops when I begin to slow or go faster.

I got out this morning to do some more snooping and pulled and yanked on everything possible with a pry bar while the car was lifted and the front strut was under load (jacked strut up to simulate car load) end links seem to be fine, tie rods seem fine, control arm bushing seems good. I did notice that the lower ball joints dust cover was all jacked up an dripped on the control arm but pry as I might I couldn't get any movement from it so I don't know if this is the problem. I did all of the above with the tire on and the car on the ground as well. I also shook the tire from bottom and top and side to side for movement while it was in the air and of course no movement.

As much searching the internet ass I have done over the past couple months, nothing seems to be similar to my issue. and I'm not certain my ball joint is the end problem (maybe I'm wrong, you tell me)

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

The car is now back to stock as far as the suspension goes and shouldn't be related to springs, struts, or upper strut mounts as all are new and the exact same problems were there before the suspension was changed. The only part of the suspension that isn't stock is the hotchkis sway bar but the bushing appears to be good and the endlinks as well.

As mentioned I pretty certain that the noise is drivers side suspension area and it is a definite clunk or thunk noise, not a whining or scraping or anything high pitched or clicking.

replaced parts:
motor mounts rear and drivers
drivers axle
struts, springs, and top mounts

Last edited by cmjw11; 09-04-2014 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:31 AM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

I'm no rocket scientist, but you probably should've gotten it looked at oh I don't know 2 years ago.
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Old 09-04-2014, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Hey thanks for helping
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Old 09-05-2014, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Originally Posted by JacKaL View Post
I'm no rocket scientist, but you probably should've gotten it looked at oh I don't know 2 years ago.
This.
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:58 AM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Ball joint or tie rod end most likely. Probably ball joint based on the conditions you stated. Previous owner probably used a pickle fork on one of the joints ( they're great for ripping boots) and its probably dry and worn.

Have you checked the trans mounts or just engine mounts?

Last edited by Fabrik8; 09-05-2014 at 06:00 AM.
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Old 09-05-2014, 07:34 AM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Ive checked all mounts under the hood and they are all good
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:05 PM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Originally Posted by JacKaL View Post
I'm no rocket scientist, but you probably should've gotten it looked at oh I don't know 2 years ago.
Yeah, what he said.

I don't think you'd feel it in the whole car but it could be something fucked up in the steering rack, they can cause a clunk that wouldn't be fixed by replacing your tie rod ends. Does it do anything when you turn? Try driving in an S pattern, turning the wheel to full lock on each side and see if it does anything. I'd say fabrik8's assessment is more likely though.
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Old 09-05-2014, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

Where are you located?
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Old 09-05-2014, 05:56 PM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

With the front wheels off the ground ( someone sitting inside) let the wheels roll and then tap the brakes and see if it moves, I'm with Fabrik8 on the ball joint being an issue, it's a common problem on the ford TOREASS and it makes that noise all the time when they go bad
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: 07 Mazdaspeed 3 front end clunk

I have a new lower control arm with ball joint and new bushings on order so we'll see if that fixes the issue. Thanks for the ideas from those who actually value this site for what its supposed to be.
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