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Discussion Starter #1
I have a thunk in the front suspension that started on the drivers side a long time ago but now is on both sides when you hit a bump. I jacked it up and did a thorough pry and shake of everything. The only thing I can find is what appears to be excess play in the control arm bushing (big one). If you stick a big screwdriver in there you can move the control arm up and down around the bushing pretty easy, even with the wheel on the ground. So are they bad?
 

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Bad sway bar and lower control arm bushings will cause clunking over bumps, especially when it's cold.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It's got aroun 95000 miles but you could hear the noise to a much lesser degree on the drivers side around 30000 miles. I wiggled the sway bars at the bushings too and you can move them but I don't think they are bad enough to be banging.
Anybody with no front end noise care to pry on your front lower control arms around the big bushing and see if the are easy to move? I'm getting about 1/4 of movement even with the wheel on the ground. Turn your wheels to the side and you can get in there easy and pry.
 

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At right about that mileage, I replaced my swaybar bushings. They were making noise on the washboard dirt road I live on (good test for this!). But I noticed another noise which started on the drivers side and now I have on both sides, and its the shocks. At 102K, time to replace them too. I would say that the shocks make more of a clunking sound and the swaybar bushings rattle. Thats the difference that I notice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
At right about that mileage, I replaced my swaybar bushings. They were making noise on the washboard dirt road I live on (good test for this!). But I noticed another noise which started on the drivers side and now I have on both sides, and its the shocks. At 102K, time to replace them too. I would say that the shocks make more of a clunking sound and the swaybar bushings rattle. Thats the difference that I notice.
How do you know it's your shocks? Our sport rides very stiff and doesn't seem to have the floaty effect I've noticed in the past with bad shocks. Not ruling that out though.
 

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How do you know it's your shocks? Our sport rides very stiff and doesn't seem to have the floaty effect I've noticed in the past with bad shocks. Not ruling that out though.
It's more of an educated guess than anything else. If you read around this site you will find that the OEM shocks tend to fail in this manner. Many have had this same problem - most at a much earlier mileage. My limited does not have much float at all, either. I think the internal seal supports fail which causes the leaks and noise.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It's more of an educated guess than anything else. If you read around this site you will find that the OEM shocks tend to fail in this manner. Many have had this same problem - most at a much earlier mileage. My limited does not have much float at all, either. I think the internal seal supports fail which causes the leaks and noise.
Are you going to replace with inserts or the whole strut? Are you doing the job yourself? My new control arms came in the mail a few days ago, going to wait until Saturday to install. With the bushings being cracked I figured what the heck I would replace them anyway then do the shocks if the control arms aren't the cure for my noise. I still think that much play in the bushing can't be good even if it isn't the source of my noise.
 

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Are you going to replace with inserts or the whole strut? Are you doing the job yourself? My new control arms came in the mail a few days ago, going to wait until Saturday to install. With the bushings being cracked I figured what the heck I would replace them anyway then do the shocks if the control arms aren't the cure for my noise. I still think that much play in the bushing can't be good even if it isn't the source of my noise.
I'm going to replace them with Monroe Sensatracs - I don't think you can buy inserts. I'll have someone do them as time is important to me and I don't care to spend the better part of a day on it. I've been waiting for Bilstein to come out with struts but all I see are rear shocks. I'd rather have Bilstein as they last a very long time. Anyway, let us know how the control arms turn out.
 

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I just replaced my shocks and struts with Monroe/Napa Sensatracs and the ride coudn't be more solid and quiet now - i go as far as to think of the ride as being plush and nearly luxurious. Just hit 111k miles and it was definitely overdue. My suspension used to clunk and my dash & doors panels would jolt around even on uneven pavement - today I drove over very rough pavement that is getting ready to be re-paved and I coasted over with no problem. All this improvement is helping take a load off from my brakes now as there is minimal nose-dive and tail-dip. $600 out the door installed at Big-O plus I'll get $100 back in a rebate because they matched Sear's price of $579 out the door. Kept the original springs and it feels great.

Funny thing is, the nearby Toyota dealer did a complimentary inspection about 5k miles ago and stated my shocks were fine because they aren't leaking. Well, yes, they weren't leaking, but they weren't absorbing either! My whole chassis had to absorb every bump and ridge in the road. So glad I did it!
 
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