Steering clunk
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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2018

    Steering clunk

    In my 06 Azera Limited, there is a bad clunk hitting bumps. Especially with the wheel turned. The front quick struts and upper control arms were just recently done. The lower control arms have only the slightest amount of play. One mechanic thought it was play in the rack. But I've heard of alot of issues with the steering coupler on second generation azera's. Has anyone had a similar problem?

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    some physics boffin analyzed the acoustic generation from minute sources and published the results. i found the most interesting bit from the study that noise is the resultant kinetic energy of moving surfaces making contact. the mass and the velocity of either or both surface contributes more to the noise of contact than the space between them. it's this fact that likely makes finding the source of abhorrent noises difficult, and we intuitively look for large movement that is the source of that bad clunk.

    my point is... the '06 azera limited suspension sucks balls. it's bouncy, noisy, sloppy, and arguably dangerous. ferreting out and quieting suspension noises from this awful car is a challenge you'll likely never completely find success; and you'll never sell th' piece of shit. so you may as well continue bleeding money toward ameliorating its inherent flaws.

    regarding your notion about the steering coupler...
    i've never heard this theory. for that matter, i've never heard of a "steering coupler" in an '06 azera. soooo... if you can, please post where you "heard" about this--i'm interested in reading more about it. in general, t'shooting the potential of steering whatnots as the source of noise is relatively straightforward: drop the front of your car onto jack stands so the wheels are a'danglin' and there's room for you to slither underneath. start the car, skittle underneath the car, and invite someone to turn the wheel allll the way to the left, then alllll the way to the right while you listen for creaks and kronks and skrizzle-bornks.

    with that out of the way, here are my suggestions for the front suspension...

    you should have zero palpable lateral play in either control arm, so "slightest amount of play" in that lower control arm should be addressed. unfortunately, this part (if replacing it is warranted) is hurty-expensive, so it's much more fiscally prudent to remove it and swap out the bushings--there are three. these bushings are pricey as is the labor this job, so consider yourself warned. consider my opening paragraph. now extrapolate.

    clunking can originate from either or both bushings that secure the stabilizer bar. these things are a bit nudgy to remove, but it's a job pretty much anyone can do. these parts are relatively inexpensive--and you can upgrade the bushings to a stiffer material for the potential of a better ride.

    the '06 azera's strut design is--in my opinion--too weak for the weight of the front end. the car "bottoms out" too easily when rolling over speed bumps, potholes, or any sudden vertical shift at modest speed. the ugly "bottoming out" sound originates within the upper strut tower. there are two big hunks of hard cushion (called a bumper and a pad) in there, either of which may need to be replaced if worn. getting to these things requires complete removal of the wheel assembly, followed by total disassembly of the strut. if you go this route, consider replacing both dampers at the same time--preferably with a stiffer name-brand aftermarket product. one upshot: neither bumper nor pad are particularly expensive parts.

    identifying the source of clunks, skroinks and other cacophonous racket from your azera's suspension empirically should be your goal at this point. ask the dude doing the work on your azera if he owns either a "chassis ear" or a GoPro. either widget helps to locate the course of noises as the car is being operated under the conditions where there noise is typically heard. if the guy shrugs you off, find a guy who has either tool, or find somewhere that rents them, or just buy one or the other yourself--then do some sound-sleuthing on your own. if you can identify the likely culprit of one (or more) suspension noises, you'll save yourself a ton of time, headache, and money.
    Last edited by lothian; 01-18-2021 at 05:18 PM.

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