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Discussion Starter #1
I have had a constant "klunk" in the driver side and passenger front suspension for a few months. It's become worse (no surprise there) and my mechanic wants $400 to replace the control arms, the whole deal, not just the bushings as he says that does not always solve the problem.

Does anyone know if this is a job that is DIY? I'm comfortable doing it, but not in frigid weather. So, it would have to wait a couple of months, at the least.
Suggestions welcome. Thanks!
 

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hard to believe both control arms are gone at the same time. Did it start on one side and showed up on the other months apart?

I assume this is your 94 V6?

Is the clunk happening while turning, going straight, over bumps? Mileage?

I had something similar happen to my wife's 93 V6 on one side. Replaced the control arms, still there, replaced the stabilizer links, still there, replaced the strut mount, still there. It turned out to be a binding strut. Replaced the strut and it was ok. Her original control arm rear bushings looked bad too, all cracked and torn, but I don't think they were the main cause because new ones made no difference. So, before you replace the Ctl arms, you really need to inspect the whole front end carefully and have a look at your ball joints and their studs. Bad control arms will affect your steering and tire wear I would think.

It's not terribly hard to replace them but you need a large socket driver to undo the mounting bolts from the cradle and the ball joint needs to be separated IF you plan to replace those (you should if they have bever been replaced), otherwise just remove the 3 mounting bolts from the control arm. Then you will of course need a full alignment.

However saying all that, I think Toyota OEM control arms for a V6 are around $180 ea or more at a discount dealer, so your $400 quote is a pretty reasonable price. I assume that does not include new ball joints or an alignment.

davemc
 

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Discussion Starter #3
davemac2 said:
hard to believe both control arms are gone at the same time. Did it start on one side and showed up on the other months apart?

I assume this is your 94 V6?

Is the clunk happening while turning, going straight, over bumps? Mileage?

I had something similar happen to my wife's 93 V6 on one side. Replaced the control arms, still there, replaced the stabilizer links, still there, replaced the strut mount, still there. It turned out to be a binding strut. Replaced the strut and it was ok. Her original control arm rear bushings looked bad too, all cracked and torn, but I don't think they were the main cause because new ones made no difference. So, before you replace the Ctl arms, you really need to inspect the whole front end carefully and have a look at your ball joints and their studs. Bad control arms will affect your steering and tire wear I would think.

It's not terribly hard to replace them but you need a large socket driver to undo the mounting bolts from the cradle and the ball joint needs to be separated IF you plan to replace those (you should if they have bever been replaced), otherwise just remove the 3 mounting bolts from the control arm. Then you will of course need a full alignment.

However saying all that, I think Toyota OEM control arms for a V6 are around $180 ea or more at a discount dealer, so your $400 quote is a pretty reasonable price. I assume that does not include new ball joints or an alignment.

davemc
thanks, dave. yes, it is for my 94 and it does happen while going over bumps in the road, even small bumps.

i had both cv joints replaced 1-2 yrs ago. an axle was also replaced, i believe, if i've got that right.

i thought the control arm included the ball joint, no? at least, i thought that is what the mechanic told me.

at some point the struts were replaced - maybe 4 years ago. it could be that they need work again, as this is a city car.

thanks for your help. i'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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visually inspect everything and make sure the no nuts have come loose (i actually had this happen once). check out the sway bar end links and see if the rubber bushings look good (and are still there). if it is a ball joint, take the pressure off the tire and see if/how much play there is at the joint if you push and pull the bottom of the tire in and out. there shouldnt be any play.
 

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Many TN posters have experienced clunking noise over bumps due to aged upper shock mounts or stabilizer bar bushings.
 

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I've had clunking noises and vibrations when going over bumps on the passenger side of my car, and it turns out both right side struts were blown.
 
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