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Old 06-23-2020, 01:07 AM   #1
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Insane clunk in front - Boxster S 2002

Can someone help me we a fresh view - I have an annoying clunk somewhere in the front of my Boxster and I need a fresh start.

It has been at two Porsche specialists, I have changed the drop links, the steering rods and the main tie rods, to no avail at all. I have also stripped most of the front, bent & knocked on most things, still no clue.

Symptom: a distinct clunk that you hear when driving slow. The smallest bump in the road makes it happen (my best description of the character of the sound: imagine you had not tightened the center bolt on the spare wheel so that it could "wiggle" back and forth a little, that kind of clunk/noise. And yes, I have of course tried taking out the spare and the jack etc.)

A clue: it has something with heat to do. If I start the car when it is 20 C/68 F outside, I need to drive for quite a while before the clunking starts. But if it has been parked in the sun when we have 28 C/82 F, it starts almost immediately, after just a short ride.

I know this sounds weird, because I have spent two seasons trying to find & eliminate this b****y noise, it is driving me insane(r).

Grateful for any fresh takes and/or own experiences. And btw, the car is in good shape and works flawlessly, apart from this.

Orjan-in-Stockholm

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Old 06-23-2020, 03:33 AM   #2
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:13 AM   #3
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Sounds like a bad front control arm link a.k.a. ‘Tuning fork’.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:28 AM   #4
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Insane clunk

Hi,

yes, that is what one of the mechanics told me as well, so they are changed - no difference.

The old ball bushings did look a bit dry & worn so you can imagine I had high hopes when changing, hope that was crushed.
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Old 06-23-2020, 04:37 AM   #5
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Honestly the front suspension on these cars is so simple and relatively inexpensive. Id consider refreshing the corner with a new strut mount, new strut, control arms, and sway bar bushings. Nothing else to clunk at that point.
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:08 AM   #6
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Are you certain that it is in the front of the car? Can you feel the clunk or is it only sound? When was the last time the engine mount was replaced?
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Old 06-23-2020, 05:30 AM   #7
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Yes, the sound can be felt in the steering wheel, it is transfered some way through the entire front of the car. Nothing dramatic, but metal against metal will transfer easily.

Yesterday I had a stroke of geniousness - could it be something with the adjustment of the steering wheel? I put it in its inner (furthest away from the driver) position, no difference.

It really is like something is wiggling/wobbling, and quite slowly; just like I described with the spare wheel centre bolt analogy.

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Old 06-23-2020, 05:45 AM   #8
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My current bet is that the front strut bearing/strut mount is the problem.

(B) or (D)
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Old 06-23-2020, 03:53 PM   #9
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Or it's the lower control arms. Mine were bad and I could feel the clunk in the wheel when going slowly. It also didn't do it when the car was cold or cool, it took a few miles and then the noise would start.

Orjanus, I was fortunate to visit your beautiful city last year. What a wonderful place!
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Old 06-24-2020, 12:40 AM   #10
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Or it's the lower control arms. Mine were bad and I could feel the clunk in the wheel when going slowly. It also didn't do it when the car was cold or cool, it took a few miles and then the noise would start.

Orjanus, I was fortunate to visit your beautiful city last year. What a wonderful place!
I have replaced the drop-links, the steering rods and the rod with a "fork" at the end but not the main, most sturdy rod (struggling with the correct English designations here).

I'm starting to lean towards the strut/shock absorbers, something I have deliberately avoided to tackle since the car feels tight & fit in every way, apart from the clunk.

Glad that you enjoyed Stockholm!
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Old 06-24-2020, 06:31 AM   #11
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Orjanus, I was fortunate to visit your beautiful city last year. What a wonderful place!
Yes, indeed
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:02 AM   #12
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I´m pretty sure this is it!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EBSqYA75ko
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Old 06-30-2020, 06:28 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orjanus View Post
I´m pretty sure this is it!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3EBSqYA75ko
tie rods, inner and outer are easy and cheap to replace, IF you have the inner tie rod tool or can rent it, yeah? I found this tool worth the 100 bucks to buy it, even for one job. Cinching the boot on the inner rod to the rack is tedious also. I ended up using stainless tie wraps the first time because I didnt have this special 15 dollar tool to crimp the clamps provided. The tie wraps worked fine.
My experience with suspension is a clunk in the rear is drop links or the "tuning fork", which seem to wear out quicker than the main control arm and the camber adjustment link...in the rear.
In the front, the main control arm and the drop links are my culprit. The tuning fork and the tie rods are cheap enough that I just replace all of it, but as others have mentioned, this could be your strut mount (heat-related makes this less likely in my mind) or as I have experienced, the main control arm, the fat paddle on the bottom that the tuning fork ties to. Up front I found this part worn on two of my boxsters, and you cant tell until you replace it. Its also easy enough to figure out if the sway bar bushings are shot, so Ill leave that to your judgment.
good luck
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Old 07-01-2020, 08:20 AM   #14
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tie rods, inner and outer are easy and cheap to replace, IF you have the inner tie rod tool or can rent it, yeah? I found this tool worth the 100 bucks to buy it, even for one job.
Tony, I bought this tool for less than $20 and it worked great, I use it a couple of weeks ago on my DD V70, but must likely it would work on the Cayman as well

https://www.ipdusa.com/products/21818/140135-volvo-inner-tie-rod-tool-cta-4014


Last edited by Gilles; 07-01-2020 at 08:25 AM.
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