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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
So, working on a 2007 Outlook XR FWD.

Originally, the vehicle was riding funny and there was a popping clunk when going over railroad tracks or turning into alleys. The clunk was very audible and could be felt in the steering wheel. The dealer wanted hundreds, then thousands of dollars to diagnose the problem. 190k miles.

First they said sway bar links, then they said suspension. So far

new sway bar links on all 4 corners
new shocks and springs, the rear springs were actually broken at the top, missing several inches of coiL, and were cracking further down
new bushings in the rear hub
new lower control arms, ball joints up front
new axles

I have had no tangible improvement, and the speed related clicking is even louder now.

Clicking, plus it sounds like one of the Shocks was jigging so I guess I’ll be removing the cowling, again.


steering clunk inside the car


steering clunk from the wheel well


The car was not professionally aligned yet, but everything was torqued to spec in those videos. Not really sure what the deal is with the suspension clunk that is there now but wasn’t there last week before I replaced the axles.

i really hate to take it to the dealer and drop more money into it at this point, but that might be my last option.

On a a fun note, here’s what the intermediate shaft looks like as of an hour ago. I guess I’ll be replacing the shaft and might as well do the transmission’s axle seals.
3AA28887-9FC0-4F62-8BA6-55F086AEF23A.jpeg
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7D3174BB-DEC0-4222-9DD6-A878D40DD64B.jpeg
 

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the steering clunk- the steering rack has 2 bushings that get hard over time. they get elongated. Instead of being a doughnut with a hole--- the hole becomes like an ellipse- plenty of movement.
 

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you said new shocks and springs..
what about the front struts/coils?
 

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Did you also do new coils in front? or reuse the old coil and rubber mounting?
 

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this is why Im asking.
I also had a metallic sound- at slow speeds- I could really hear it.
I changed all suspension parts- and could still hear it.
Turns out the metallic sound I was hearing- was my front coil doing its thing--- but-- it had worn through the rubber pad--- thus metal on metal hitting as long as the wheel was moving up and down.
You can see what the a new rubber pad does. it was 2 location that it was hitting. Worth a try to take a look- if the parts were reused.

note the pink end of coil- and on the opposite side of the coil- also hitting- you can see the metal part- has been tweaked a bit.
But- once the new part when in-- no more noise.




 

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interesting color on the struts and coils.
How about the cradle bolts?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
First, just want to say thank you for taking your time on this.

the subframe bolts appear solid from underneath. There’s no movement of the subframe, but I can zip them out and back in if need be.

I watched two videos on replacing the rack and pinion, and was wondering which mount bushings I should be inspecting for issues? Is a more sane option to just replace the whole thing If the bushings appear OK? That clunk from my steering wheel turning video is definitely coming from the inside of the assembly.

I pul the intermediate shaft on Monday and found it to be very stiff to turn, and had a very slight wobble. I see there are no replacements available for the whole thing, so now I’m wondering if I can find a rebuild kit with new seals to just repack it with new grease.
 

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Don't zip out the subframe bolts. They're torque to yeild bolts. Put a ratchet on it and check for looseness by tightening. Don't try to be hulk. I remember the spec being something like 140 ftlbs but not positive. I doubt that is it though.

I found a clunking on my '12 that happens at low speeds to be the metal heat shield that is between the exhaust and gas tank. Long shot, but check that out.
 
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