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Old 01-05-2020, 07:04 AM   #1
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Clunk when backing left

Guys
Can I get some wisdom. I have completely rebuilt the car's suspension and had it aligned. Finished in June. For a while now, maybe a couple months, whenever I back out of my garage, I make a hard left (I have a large driveway) so I go out head first rather than backing down, I hear a moderate clunk from the left front of the car. This is first ride of the day. If I try to duplicate it out in the street, it does nor recur.
The car turns sharp without any noises and tracks great. I took the LF wheel off and checked the torque on all the suspension components, put it together and it still does it.
Perusing the forum, I found this:
Front brake clunk when backing up

I have new rotors, but never changed the pads, as there is plenty of meat.
What's your opinion relative to the post? Should I try lubing the pins?

TIA

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Old 01-05-2020, 07:08 AM   #2
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Sounds to me like you're hitting the garbage can in the driveway.

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Old 01-05-2020, 07:22 AM   #3
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Shock bump stop. maybe?
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:57 AM   #4
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I don't turn until I clear one can, and it is in the garage on the right. Did I mention the sound comes from the left side?

Starter
Bump Stops are new, replaced with struts. I grabbed the coil spring and tried to shake it, and it is solid. This with the car raised and the LF wheel off.
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Old 01-05-2020, 03:09 PM   #5
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Check the front roll bar bushings and drop links. You may have camber or elevation changes on your driveway that are not present on the road
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
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Maytag
I don't turn until I clear one can, and it is in the garage on the right. Did I mention the sound comes from the left side?
You DID see the smiley-face, right? hahahaha.
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Old 01-06-2020, 02:41 PM   #7
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Used to notice the same thing when backing while turning sharply out of my space at work. Could not id a mechanical problem. Finally I attributed it to a slight difference in track angle of the front wheels at extremes of steering, causing tension that would release itself with the clunk when finally one tire had to abruptly skid a little bit sideways to relieve the tension. IDK if this is diagnostically accurate, but the clunk went away whenI just stopped cutting the wheel so sharply while backing.
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Old 01-06-2020, 04:58 PM   #8
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Maytag...It's all good.
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Do you mean Sway Bar Bushings? I did replace the drop links.
They are the only things I didn't replace. Maybe I'll check the torque on the mounting bolts.

The driveway is flat in front of the garage and slopes away to the street at a 90 degree angle.

Thanks all for comments
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:11 PM   #9
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Yes I meant both. Worn sway bushes will yield a clunk at some point
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:07 AM   #10
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Check the track rod end. Both ends need the ball joints in neutral position when wheels are straight if one is slightly twisted on full lock you can get a clunk kind of noise.
A good alignment technician would know this
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:36 AM   #11
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Thanks jaykay and Blue99. I will check those.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:10 AM   #12
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Guys
I looked at my spreadsheet of work done, and I had not put new Tie Rods on the front. Did all the rest. At 108K, maybe they're worn.

Any sage advice on replacing them so as not to need re-alignment?

TIA
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:12 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Guys
I looked at my spreadsheet of work done, and I had not put new Tie Rods on the front. Did all the rest. At 108K, maybe they're worn.

Any sage advice on replacing them so as not to need re-alignment?

TIA
A rule of thumb is to count how many turns it took to take it out, and turn the new one in the same amount, but that'll only get you in the ballpark. You'll need it realigned regardless, but at least you'll be close enough to drive it to the alignment shop.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:27 PM   #14
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Replaced the Tie Rods; clunk still there. Took it in to my alignment guy and he heard it and said it was not suspension...it is body, so I'm not gonna stress over it.

Thanks all for comments.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:50 PM   #15
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If it is body, you should stress over it!
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:12 AM   #16
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Why? How do i go about finding this?

Thx
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:26 AM   #17
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I would start with the suspension and retorque all the nuts and bolts. I would also check all suspension bushings and ball joints for wear. Then the engine plus transmission mounts. Also all nuts and bolts on the exhaust.

If that doesn't fix the problem I would go to a body shop and have them do a thorough check. They are able to measure the car to check whether there is any deformation of the body.

If the car ever has been in an accident I would have the vicinity of the accident damage checked first.

The Boxster body is strong and has very little flex. An undamaged body should not creak under the circumstances you describe.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-11-2020, 04:48 PM   #18
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I rebuilt the suspension completely:
Shocks, including top mounts and bump stops.
Coffin Arms
Track Arms
Trailing Arms
Drop Links
Tie Rods
4-wheel alignment

First thing I did before asking was checked the torque on everything on the left side front...that's where the noise is coming from. The car has not been in an accident.
The Motor Mounts were replaced a year ago. This is a 1999. This issue just surfaced recently. It's not a creak. It's a like an audible 'crack' noise. It made all kinds of noises and rode like a buckboard when I bought it. Now it tracks great, handles great and rides like a 986.
One other thing...it seems to do it after it has been sitting for a time, i.e. overnight. It doesn't do it after that.
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Old 01-11-2020, 06:50 PM   #19
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It is a mystery and I don't know what to suggest.

BUT, let me tell you a small tale about something innocuous that ended up being serious:

My daily driver is a Mercedes CLK 350 convertible. A really great car. In early December of 2019 I started noticing a very slight shimmy when pushing hard through a right sweeper. I wasn't even shure it was a shimmer, it could also just be a misadjusted door that was rattling. I tried pushing and pulling on the front wheels to see if there was any play, but couldn't feel any. Just before Christmas we drove up to northern Vermont. On the way it definitely got worse and I was also able to feel shaking when braking hard. I decided to call up my trusty mechanic to see if he could take a look at it when we returned and he promised to check it out the day after we returned. On the way back I was careful to not cause it to shimmy and dropped it off the same evening. The next day he called me and said that it definitely wasn't safe to drive. One of the ball mounts was close to separating and a bushing was shot. He replaced two control arms on both sides for a total cost of $1700.

The scary thing is that if I drove like an old lady I would never have noticed the problem until it was too late.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:47 PM   #20
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So I got the car in the air and re-checked the torque on all the bolts on the front cross member. They were all tight, except the two that bolt the rear of the cross member to the body - those could take some more torque (up to spec).
Symptom gone

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