View Full Version : Quattro front suspension clunk noise

06-15-2017, 05:01 AM
I get a significant clunk noise on front passenger side when going over bumps, even very small ones. The noise is not provoked by turning or braking, and does not appear if I put my weight on the hood and jump it up and down.
I took the wheel off and nothing stood out to me as particularly loose or broken, but my untrained eyes don't know what signs to look for or how much play there's supposed to be in what components and in what directions.
The car is a A4 B5 1.8T Quattro 2000 ANB, all stock, nothing lowered.

06-15-2017, 07:55 AM
Jack it up and check the Ball joints.

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06-15-2017, 08:31 AM
Jack it up and check the Ball joints.

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The three ball joints at the top did not reveal any play, though I only used my hands to rattle them. I think there's two additional ball joints beneath the hub, but there was too much tension on them to force out play or rotate them.

06-15-2017, 10:08 AM
It could be any of the control arm bushings. Could be a tie rod.

06-27-2017, 12:51 PM
I just noticed that the sound does not appear at all when braking. That's good news, as it eliminates all the bushings, right? I did a visual on the caliper and tried to rattle it to no success, and the clip thing is still there. Does anyone have experience with that particular problem?

06-27-2017, 02:01 PM
It's most likely a ball jount. You probably should do all new control arms.

06-27-2017, 02:39 PM
With the wheels in the air, grab the tire at 12 n 6 and rock back and forth. If it knocks it's ball joints. Grab the tire at 9 n 3 rock back n forth, it's tie rods.

With the car at ride height, grab the sway bar end links with a pair of channel locks or pliers and check for any play.

06-27-2017, 04:02 PM
I had very similar symptoms and couldn't get play in the wheel or any control arms. Turns out it was the sway bar end links. 20 minutes to swap both.

06-28-2017, 02:49 PM
It's your rear lower control arm ball joint that connects at the bottom of the spindle I've done mine and I had the same symptom..but they will eventually just fall out and your wheel will shift but is still drivable considering there is four other components holding you in I wouldn't recommend driving far at all but if you could get of the road or parts house to replace then I would not hard takes about twenty mins to replace

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06-29-2017, 11:14 AM
Check inner tie rod also. Try jumping quickly on door sill. Mine didnt clunk when pushing hood/fender up/down.

Clunked loudly on any bump. If its the inner, greasing it would stop the clunking for a few days.

Also check stabilizer bushings. Need a pry bar for this.

06-29-2017, 12:04 PM
OP, were you able to sort the issue?

I had a similar issue a while back on the Sedan where the front would get clunky over small bumps. I replaced a torn upper strut mount and it was resolved. Now I'm starting to get some clunk noises in the Avant. I'll check out endlinks and all control arms/ball joints

This is all useful info everyone! Thanks!

06-29-2017, 03:38 PM
OP, were you able to sort the issue?

I had a similar issue a while back on the Sedan where the front would get clunky over small bumps. I replaced a torn upper strut mount and it was resolved. Now I'm starting to get some clunk noises in the Avant. I'll check out endlinks and all control arms/ball joints

This is all useful info everyone! Thanks!

I think this ^^ If you jack the car up and grab tire with it still mounted, lift the entire hub assembly up and down if you hear the clunking noise its the upper strut mount. I currently have a bad strut mount and haven't gotten around to fixing it yet. It can be a bitch lifting the hub assembly but a scrawny white boy like me could do it with a little grunting and sweat.

06-30-2017, 07:53 AM
Took some pictures.

Control arms, sway bar and end links looks a lot newer than the rest of the car; there's no rust on them so perhaps the previous owner swapped them out. The upper left control arm looks a bit torn (second picture), but I can't fathom how that can make the kinds of metallic clunk noises that I'm hearing. The clip on the caliper was tight, though I took it off and bent it even tighter to no success. I rocked the wheel back and forth (9 and 3), could not produce any play. I'll try lifting the hub (rocking 12 and 6) tomorrow morning when I get a jack stand and can safely put my hands under the wheel. What I did notice was that there where metal-on-metal action if I punched (instead of rocking) the wheel at any point, perhaps that was just something getting in contact with the hub shield or whatever that guard thing is called. All the screws in the caliper was tight, though there was some play in the torque plate (the think the clip holds down) in and out.

https://preview.ibb.co/mZjhL5/IMG_1930.jpg (https://ibb.co/k18905)
https://preview.ibb.co/gLg7nk/IMG_1931.jpg (https://ibb.co/fvoWDQ)
https://preview.ibb.co/nQQYSk/IMG_1932.jpg (https://ibb.co/kVg7nk)
https://preview.ibb.co/gPOWDQ/IMG_1933.jpg (https://ibb.co/b822L5)
https://preview.ibb.co/gKzSnk/IMG_1934.jpg (https://ibb.co/dUEGf5)
https://preview.ibb.co/bDfp05/IMG_1935.jpg (https://ibb.co/gMJL7k)
https://preview.ibb.co/fNy905/IMG_1936.jpg (https://ibb.co/igrU05)
https://preview.ibb.co/fYmJtQ/IMG_1937.jpg (https://ibb.co/naQYSk)
https://preview.ibb.co/cMQp05/IMG_1939.jpg (https://ibb.co/myOL7k)

06-30-2017, 08:37 AM
I would say those upper control arm bushings are bad as well as the sway bar end links. Also, swapping the lower control arms can be a real pain. You have to lower the subframe enough to slide the rear control arm bolt out. It really helps to have an extra set of hands for this.

06-30-2017, 09:48 AM
HOLY SHIT DUDE!!! You need all new control arms, end links, tie rods. It looks like the boot on the axle is torn also. And of course there's no rust on the control arms, they're made of fucking aluminum.

Good luck drilling that pinch bolt out. Plan on buying a new steering knuckle.

It's your sway bar links that are making the clucking noise.

06-30-2017, 11:01 AM
I won't need new knuckles if you drill them out. I just drilled mine out a week ago. Just make sure you drill them straightish

06-30-2017, 11:01 AM
It's that bad huh. I'll swap the sway bar end links out and pray the noise disappears. Hopefully the rest will last a couple of years.

How can you tell the lower control arms have gone bad? They look fine to me, but then again, so do the end links. Praise the lord I'm not a mechanic.

06-30-2017, 11:32 AM
Experience. Those end links are dried out, cracking and separating. When you get the new ones, you will see the difference. Be sure to replace them in pairs.

07-01-2017, 03:10 AM
Swapped both end links. Didn't help; the clunk is still there.

07-01-2017, 04:01 AM
Look at all the rubber by Hines on the insides ends of each control arm. If you see even just a line of seperation they are probably bad. But, all of your look like they are still working, meaning the clunking isn't coming from those bushings. When do you hear the clunking?

07-01-2017, 04:08 AM
The clunk is there when I go over bumps, small or large. Turning does not provoke it. If I apply the brakes, even lightly, the clunk is gone. It's not a creaking sound or anything like that, definitely metal-on-metal action.

07-01-2017, 07:56 AM
Inspect the rubber bushings that the guide pins slide into. I don't know what the torque spec is for the caliper carrier bolts are for the B5, but the B6-7 requires 140 ft-lbs.

BTW you did notice the difference between the old and new end links

07-01-2017, 07:58 AM
Jacking the wheel up and down this much has probably broken something that was already on the verge of breaking. Now I get a lot of new noises; at 10-30 mph there's a now a constant clunking (a much deeper sound than the previously mentioned) and at first glance it seem to get worse when turning. I noticed this, which I don't think was broken before:
https://preview.ibb.co/fKoYtQ/IMG_1982.jpg (https://ibb.co/e9NttQ)
The thing that stops the spring, up top, that's not supposed to be disjoint from the assembly that connects the upper control arms to the chassis, right? What's it called? Do I need a spring compressor tool to replace it?

@JayDog747 I did not notice any difference with the new end links. The clunk is still there and I've gotten some new, different clunks now as well.