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Discussion Starter #1
Whenever I encounter a pothole or a large bump in the road, my car makes a clunking sound. The front end also seems to wobble a bit when going over these bumps. Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this. I have a 1998 Camry with 80,000 miles.
 

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98 Camry XLE V6
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3,116 Posts
ur struts going out? And suspension related items..
I replaced my struts at 75K. They were almost out.

Our corolla is doing the good ole rear sag and front clunking now.

I say just get it replaced before more damage is done. Take it to a place you trust.
 

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Banned
Camry / 2WD Pickup
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601 Posts
Two,

This is an all too common problem on the Gen 4's. Do a search and you'll uncover all kinds of info.

I had the same problem w/ my '99. Luckily, it arose while the car was under warranty and the dealer put new front struts in it for free.

The problem never came back (knock on wood).
 

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452 Posts
most common problem is bad strut mount. Don't quote me on this but, bad strut mount "might" cause the strut to go bad as well............ (just a guess).
 

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Bullitprooph
1991 Celica GT-S
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1,501 Posts
I'll second the strut-mount idea. If you get the struts replaced, get the mounts done too. They can cause a hollow clunking sound that'll drive you absolutely insane when it first starts--and it just keeps getting worse.

Just to be safe, get the tie-rod ends and the ball joints checked while you're at it. If the steering is wobbly at all (as you mentioned) you may have some dangerous play in the suspension that could get very dangerous.
 

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Auto-Cross Addict
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3,837 Posts
A clunk over bumps would be your struts for sure. We recommend struts at 100k miles always. However I have seen them go bad as early as 15k miles. Anywhere in there could be time to replace them. I'd say have your struts done soon. OE are the way to go if you want a comfortable ride. If you don't mind a stiffer ride, go aftermarket.


As for the wobble, I'd have the front end shook down. Chances are you have some loose front end parts. Possible a wheel bearing. I'd get a professional opinion on it.

-Mike
 

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Cressida nut
91 Pickup (Hilux)2wd
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4,586 Posts
a friend of mines mid-90's (dont remember exactly) camry was doing something similar (bounce & rattle) and i pointed it out to him...his attitude is "leave it till someone borrowing the car fixes it"..anyway finally his bro took it in and all 4 corners needed struts/shocks. it was around 100k miles.
 

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1994 Toyota Camry
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1,384 Posts
My car is making the same noise, and it's the strut mounts and shocks that are all gone. I have the shocks here, but I'm waiting on the springs to get the shole suspension done at once.
 

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CRESSIDA!!!
1984 Toyota Cressida
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5,630 Posts
It's the strut mount. My mom's Avalon same year as yours had to have it's front struts replaced, also. Suspension problems were big issues on '97-'98 Camrys and Avalons (according to Consumer Reports).
 

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84Cressida said:
It's the strut mount. My mom's Avalon same year as yours had to have it's front struts replaced, also. Suspension problems were big issues on '97-'98 Camrys and Avalons (according to Consumer Reports).

So how can you come to the conclusion that it's the strut mounts if your moms car had the struts replaced? They're two entirely different things. Connected, but different.


90% chance the mounts are fine, and he just needs the struts replaced.
 

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...Yo...
93 Camry LE
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16 Posts
Well, I admittedly don't know about Camry problems specifically, but I do have considerable experience with suspension troubles. If you know what you're looking at underneath, check the easiest things first.
Sway bar bushings - should have no cracks or space between bushing, bar, and fasteners (I have to replace the rears on mine - worn bushings here will create a clunking noise on uneven pavement, and will allow swaying when pushed through uneven turns)
Tie rods - get the tires off the ground (be sure to use jack stands if using a jack), grasp the tire on each side and try to wobble it - push the tire as if you were turning - should have no excessive movement (aside from the actual turning of the wheel), and no clunking noise
Wheel bearings - Same as tie rods, but grasp top and bottom of the tire - should be no movement
Struts - do the bounce test - push firmly down on the hood (for fronts) or trunk (for rears) - if the car bounces more than 3 times before settling, you may be due
Strut mounts - no easy way to check, short of visually checking the condition of the bushing - if it appears worn, it's best to replace. 1 faulty strut mount = 1 totalled Mazda:sosad: .

All that being said, if you don't know what you're looking for, I can walk you through as much as possible. Hope this helps!
 

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CRESSIDA!!!
1984 Toyota Cressida
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5,630 Posts
SmokingTires said:
So how can you come to the conclusion that it's the strut mounts if your moms car had the struts replaced? They're two entirely different things. Connected, but different.


90% chance the mounts are fine, and he just needs the struts replaced.
Yeah, I meant to say his struts are probably blown
 

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200k miles!
1991 Camry
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58 Posts
PKBear said:
Tie rods - get the tires off the ground (be sure to use jack stands if using a jack), grasp the tire on each side and try to wobble it - push the tire as if you were turning - should have no excessive movement (aside from the actual turning of the wheel), and no clunking noise
Maybe... the inners like to wear at one point, so it's hard to accurately check those. When you lift the car off the ground, the ends are sitting at a different angle, and you may not feel any wear. I've had that happen and the extra movement couldn't be felt with the car off the ground.
 

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In Ur MOM's Pants
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2,883 Posts
Or Just Be Like Me And Keep Driving It... All The Clunking And Smashing And Wobbling, Sagging Freezing Up In The Cold And Gonna Stop Me.... Naw Actually The Cars Getting Overhaulded In Two Months So I Might As Well Just Wait Till Then To Do Everything One Time.

But It Definetly Is Struts, Could Also Be Strut Mounts But Struts For Sure
 

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how to inspect stabilizer bar bushings

I have rattling in my right front suspension. I'd like to inspect the stabilizer bar bushings before I take it to a mechanic, but I'm not sure how. I have a haynes manual but the pictures in the manual don't resemble what I see when I try to visually inspect... this might be because I'm not putting the car up on stands, just turning the wheel and shining a flashlight behind the front wheels.
I see lots of bars and lots of bushings, but not sure what I should look for.
Do I need to raise it up to inspect stabilizer bar bushings?
 
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