Hit pothole, now clunking from right front end while braking - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums


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3rd & 4th Generation (1992–1996 & 1997–2001) Toyota Camry Discussion for years: 1992-1996 & 1997-2001 Topics of discussion range from fuel economy, safety, modifications, performance all involving America's favorite family car, the Toyota Camry.

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Old 10-03-2011, 07:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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3rd Generation Hit pothole, now clunking from right front end while braking

Hi all-

So I just replaced both half-shaft driveaxles and the left outer tie rod end....also had the front rotors turned....then got an alignment this past Friday. Car was driving beautifully, drove over 70 miles today with no problems. However, tonight on my way home I hit a pothole at about 25 or 30 mph (never saw it), the right front wheel took the brunt of the blow, it was very jarring.

Now, when I brake at relatively low speeds there is a clunking noise coming from the right front end. Only happens when braking, no clunking while turning. I jacked up the right front end and took the wheel off.....nothing jumped out at me as the cause. Any suggestions on where to look/what this might be?

Thanks in advance
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If it only happens while braking I would think control arm bushings or ball joints? Does it happen when you hit bumps?
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Haven't noticed it when I hit bumps....pretty sure it's only while braking.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just drove it again, definitely only makes the clunking noise while braking, not with bumps. Also, I noticed that when I begin to brake the noise is more frequent, as the wheels slow the noise slows down in frequency. This seems to argue against a control arm bushing, or could this still the cause? Maybe something with the caliper assembly itself.....pads slipping in springs?
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Jack your car up and have a look.
It's no good for us to play guessing games.
Once you see the problem, report back and maybe you can get better help...
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Old 10-04-2011, 03:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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how are the front sway bar end links? any play or cracking of the boots?
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:14 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I just saw this youtube vid watch?v=scFbb43fwqk it's not Toyota specific though.

Get someone in the car on the brake with the car in N and start shaking that thing up and down and back and forth to try to recreate the noise.

You said "clunking noise", but I have gotten a "clicking noise" in the past upon braking after the sheet-metal shield behind the brake rotor got dinged.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:44 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I love EricTheCarGuy, very good videos.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hey guys-

got stuck at work way longer than expected today and am not going to have a chance to take a look at things tonight...

thanks for the suggestions though, will let you know what i find.
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Old 10-04-2011, 09:32 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would unbolt the caliper and the bracket and take a look at rotor on both sides. also take a close look at clearance between rotor and the dust shield.

if the pot hole was deep enough, some parts could have scratched the edge of road hole or got slightly bent maybe?
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok, finally had time to take a look at things today.

I started by taking both front wheels off with the front end on jack stands, then had my wife put it in drive and accelerate/brake.....the clunking noise could not be reproduced.

Then I took apart the right front brake assembly.....rotor looked good, dust shield was not bent.

Poked, prodded, and pryed all the suspension components on the right front....nothing..... ball joint, control arm bushings, stabilizer bar links, strut/spring all ok.

Next I put both front wheels back on while still on jack stands and had my wife accelerate/brake again....noise was not reproduced.

Finally took it off the jack stands and gave it a drive, still the same clunking noise from right front wheel area only when braking....I think it has to have something to do with the brake assembly, just can't for the life of me figure out what. When I slowed the vehicle significantly by shifting into 2nd and low the noise was not reproduced....so I guess this rules out suspension components? The noise is only there when I activate the brakes....it seems that the harder I press the brake pedal the louder the noise is...

Any ideas?


Thanks in advance--
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:01 PM   #12 (permalink)
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weird, I have no clue, but can't wait for somebody to post something useful in this troubleshooting!

so the clunking noise is there only when there is load & weight on the axle/bearing and only when braking?
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixus View Post
so the clunking noise is there only when there is load & weight on the axle/bearing and only when braking?
yes, exactly.

Last edited by SEmichiganCAMRY; 10-05-2011 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 10-05-2011, 10:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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did you re-check the play in the cv shaft's joints? check for up and down play and in and out. its possible one of the joints may have gotten damaged from the pothole. i would think that the noise would be present at all times if this were the case but at this point you can't rule it out. have you checked the engine and trans mounts? what year and trim level is your Camry?
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Old 10-06-2011, 12:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SEmichiganCAMRY View Post
...
Any ideas?
Thanks in advance--
four wheels on the ground, car in neutral for safety, wife on the foot brake, engine off just in case that is covering up the noise, and shake and bounce the s*** out of the front end. Both sides.
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