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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a very noticeable clunk-pop-clunk when I make turns at low speeds (doesn't have to be full lock, even slight turns clunk). To me it sounds kind of like it's coming from the rear (driver side) but it could be the front, it's so hard to tell... could be directly under me for all I know. I Climbed under it the other day to look around the back but didn't really see anything that stood out to me but I don't really know what to look for. I did notice that the boots around my tie rod ends and center link are very cracked/torn so those need to be fixed soon, just really want to make sure I fix this loud clunk before I get to the other stuff.

Tonight (hopefully) I'm going to try to have my wife drive it a bit while I watch but I don't know how much that will reveal unless I know what to look for. Any thoughts to guide my eyes/ears would be appreciated!

Here's some additional info
- Only lift I have is PML
- I replaced all 4 shocks but that didn't help (but they were really old anyway).
- I've removed the rear sway bar/end links.
- sound is not rhythmic
- In addition to this noise, I also have a clunking body mount bushing up front (passenger side, under feet) too many noises! just got to finish this semester and I'll have more time to get to them.

Thanks Everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I'm thinking i was wrong and it is coming from the front-driver side, wife had a hard time getting it to clunk right in front of me though so who knows. All the boots between my center link, pitman arm, and a few ball joints look very ragged, esp on the right side. Would these make clunking sounds like i'm hearing? If so, I'm going to have to replace them.

I can't find a how to on Center links, what all do i need to know while i'm down there and what all should i be buying? Add/Edit this list:
- Center Link
- Inner Tie Rod Ends
- Outer Tie Rod Ends

what else?
 

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Does the steering feel sloppy when you drive? I just replaced all the steering and suspension components. To check for movement you'll need a pry bar, place it between the center link and pitman arm, idler arm and apply some pressure. If you see movement other than rotational(joints moving on the ball) there might be a problem. Also have you checked the cv boot?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
sorry it took so long to reply, the car was in the shop. They told me the clunk was probably my control arm bushings and that my crappy alignment wore out both upper ball joints (they just replaced both UCAs). Also, one of my lower ball joints was bad (i did the other one last year) so i had them replace that too. They also replaced the center link because the boot where it connects to the Pitman arm was really bad and they said there was excessive play in it. then they aligned it (steering is tighter) Unfortunately, the clunk is still there, it's quieter now, like a creaking almost.

So after $1,000+, i know it is NOT
shocks, UCAs or bushings, Center link, upper ball joints, lower ball joints.

Is there anything I could have done incorrectly when I did the sway bar bushings and end links? I didn't find Any instructions so I kind If just unscrewed everything, then put them back with new rubber...

Hibdon said that the Tie Rod ends and CV boots/axle were good.

thoughts on what to check next?
 

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Didn't Nissan have a recall on the steering on 1st gen xterras? check that out.
Also do you have a locker in the rear? is it the rear diff making that noise? Also my entire exhaust system is very close the my frame. Your headers/exhaust system be loose and the metal is flexing/bending and slapping your frame? man I dunno, just throwing suggestions out there.
 

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Do a quick check on your lower control arm bushings, maybe lube them up with some chain lube cuz it sticks (lol), it could also be a number of things that have bushings around the front end, could even be your front diff shifting...who knows without getting under it and inspecting everything the best you can. You can Google some pretty good how to vids that help you learn what to look for. If your bearings are tight, UCAs are good, your ball joints are tight, your steering is repaired, and you are aligned properly, then I would check every bushing and mount to see if it looks tight and straight...i.e. factory looking, not deformed or swelled or at a weird angle.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Do a quick check on your lower control arm bushings, maybe lube them up with some chain lube cuz it sticks (lol), it could also be a number of things that have bushings around the front end, could even be your front diff shifting...who knows without getting under it and inspecting everything the best you can. You can Google some pretty good how to vids that help you learn what to look for. If your bearings are tight, UCAs are good, your ball joints are tight, your steering is repaired, and you are aligned properly, then I would check every bushing and mount to see if it looks tight and straight...i.e. factory looking, not deformed or swelled or at a weird angle.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
Good call on the bushings! I went through several, greasing them one at a time. Apparently the sway bar bushings, though new, needed to be greased because that's what stopped the squeak. Thanks bud!

Didn't Nissan have a recall on the steering on 1st gen xterras? check that out.
Also do you have a locker in the rear? is it the rear diff making that noise? Also my entire exhaust system is very close the my frame. Your headers/exhaust system be loose and the metal is flexing/bending and slapping your frame? man I dunno, just throwing suggestions out there.
While I was looking over this exhaust stuff, I found a loose heat shield that I THINK is the cause of an annoying Buzz. Wasn't what I was looking for but thanks for the suggestion, answered another question I had!

Thanks everyone!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
update: The creaking clunking sound came back a few months later so instead of redoing my bushings, i just disconnected my front sway bar. Lots of body roll but i don't even notice it any more and a few highway trips were no big deal (though i DO take it pretty slow on the exit ramps that loop around). no more creaking so i'm happy as long as i'm careful.

The buzzing turned out to not be the heat shield, it was actually the baffle in front of my driver front tire.... So i did the resonator delete (finally) and no more buzzing.
 
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