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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since new, my stock 15 JKU Shara has had a heavy knocking in the front end over sharp bumps where the wheels cycle independently, and/or when the suspension rapidly cycles (washboard-style bumps). Most of the time, it's nice and quiet, tracks fine, even over most bumps.

Every bolt underneath is tight, the top shock bushings have a slight bulge after tightening a bit, and the upper control arm bushings that were splitting have been replaced. LCA bolts are tight, and have been kept that way, checked no more than every 5K mi since new (30k mi currently). Hood catches have been replaced with Daystar components, and it's neither the pedals nor steering shaft.

Naturally, neither the dealer nor I can duplicate it near them, since the roads near both local dealers aren't bad enough.

Today, it seemed nice and quiet, even over bumps I'd think would make the noise. But then I hit a good-sized, sharp, pavement heave. After that, it's much more frequent, and this seems to be the way it goes - quiet until I hit just the right one, and then it's really frequent.

Bad shock? Steering stabilizer? I hate to throw parts at it, but if I could definitively isolate it to one of those, I'd be more than happy to replace/upgrade either.

Anyone got any bright ideas?
 

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Hi there,

This might sound stupid, but it could be that a Front Shock Absorber's lower bolts are installed the wrong way !!
Or, the Rod Tie Steering Damper's position is causing some friction...

In my case it was the shock Absorber
 

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I had a similar noise. Ended up tracking it down to the aftermarket lock box installed under the drivers seat. A piece of foam to dampen it fixed it. I would have sworn it to be a loose cross member in the front end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there,

This might sound stupid, but it could be that a Front Shock Absorber's lower bolts are installed the wrong way !!
Or, the Rod Tie Steering Damper's position is causing some friction...

In my case it was the shock Absorber


Bolts and damper look ok, but I'm going to check shocks next. Given it's when the suspension rapidly cycles, it's a definite possibility.
 

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Checking bolt tightness doesn't show worn bushings or elongated holes. Start the engine and get someone to move the steering back of forward a couple of inches rapidly. Lie underneath and check the drag link, track bar, tie rod, ball joints for any play. I just put a finger on each joint and usually can feel any play, but don't put your finger where it will get pinched or amputated.
Then with the front in the air use a pry bar to work each arm joint back and forward. Normally you get a little squish from the bushings and not much else.
I'm guessing the sway bar mount holes are elongated.
 

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Look at the round tubes where they come out of the frame by the front swaybar. Is the bar making contact with them?

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have this same issue.....going to remove the shocks next week and try it again.....


I pulled the bottom bolt out of the driver's side shock and pulled it out of the lower mount last night, and it immediately extended downwards. Pushing back on it, there didn't appear to be any slop, but I didn't mess with it long before I put it back.

I wonder how long the stock Sahara shocks last. They're not leaking, but what I read here suggests they're not great to begin with, so if nothing else, it'd be a good upgrade that might help the problem.
 

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dstevens gave good advice there; have you tried that yet?

Look up the "planman death wobble" diagnosis videos on YouTube, he does a great walkthrough of that technique.
 

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prob your anti sway bar bushings and/or end links that are gone. Disconnect your endlinks, zip tie them up and go for a drive to see if the noise goes away. IF you still have the noise, jack each side up and move the tire left to right. IF you get a clunk, its your tie rod. IF nothing move the tire up and down. If you get significant movement, your ball joints are shot.

I feel your pain. My wifes 2010 commander is doing the same thing on the drivers side.
 
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Check the bolt torque on your front trackbar. It should be 125 ft/lbs for both bolts. If either of these bolts are loose this could be the source of your clunking.
 

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This is dumb and might be totally off.
Try some tape wrapped around the drivers side door striker loop thingy.
I used gaff tape, put it on the loop where the latch latches onto it.
I had been chasing what I thought was a front suspension thunk and tape on the door loop thing did the trick.
 

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I had a front end clunk a couple of years ago. I could replicate the noise by standing at the open driver door and pushing on the roll bar to rock the Jeep back and forth. Turned out to be sway bar links in my case. I was able to tightened them a little bit and the clunk never returned.
 

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Check your ball joints. that would be my first guess. If I get 30K miles on stock balljoints I would be so happy. These JK's eat ball joints, need wider axles.
 

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I had the same for a factory ordered WWJKU. Took it to the dealer 3 times before they finally looked hard enough to find it.
There were several things which were not torqued down at the factory.
Sway bar was the main thing making the noise, but they said even the control arms were not properly torqued.
Just pop under there with a socket set and start checking if anything is loose.
 

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Like others said, check your sway bars. I had a clunking noise after a lift. Turned out to be the sway bars not torqued all the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah, I'm going to dig in with the suggested tests above. I've gone over every bolt, and they're all at least to spec, so I'm thinking it may be balljoints/links/etc. it happens during sharp bumps like heaved pavement, back country roads, etc., and rapid cycling of the suspension causes it, as well. Additionally, bumps that are offset (think: diagonal pavement joint) that cause the wheels to react independently also causes it.

Thanks for the guidance, everyone. If I track it down, I'll definitely share what I find.
 

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Yeah, I'm going to dig in with the suggested tests above. I've gone over every bolt, and they're all at least to spec, so I'm thinking it may be balljoints/links/etc. it happens during sharp bumps like heaved pavement, back country roads, etc., and rapid cycling of the suspension causes it, as well. Additionally, bumps that are offset (think: diagonal pavement joint) that cause the wheels to react independently also causes it.

Thanks for the guidance, everyone. If I track it down, I'll definitely share what I find.
Just an idea, but if you have a floor jack you could jack it up a bit and rapidly loosen the screw to it falls fast. That may let you hear it while being at the front end.
Obviously take precautions that your body has no chance of being hit by a falling jeep though! ;)
 
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