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Front end clunk driving me insane

Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby JBartoletti [OP] » Mar 04 2012, 2:22am

I have a front end clunk that is driving me up a wall. It SOUNDS like it's coming from the drivers side but not 100% sure on that. I just had Bilstein 5100 shocks put on the front yesterday as I thought this would help (this clunk was there before the new struts so I don't think this has anything to do with it). The stockers had 80k miles on them so they probably needed to be replaced anyways. I mostly notice the clunking going over bumps or uneven terrain...haven't noticed much of a difference with turning or anything. I know of a big intermediate shaft problem on the NBS trucks but is this an issue on the NNBS trucks? Otherwise, what should I check? Ball joints? Tie rod ends?

Truck is a 2008 Sierra 4x4 with ~80k miles.

The truck also rides stiff as a mother f---. Every crack I go over in the road, especially going 40 mph or below, is a loud BOOM BOOM BOOM. It just sounds like someone's beating on the side of my truck bed with a huge mallet...that tin clanging sound. I'm just not happy with the way this thing rides.

Here's a video...you can kind of tell the BOOM/BANG noise I'm talking about...

2008 Sierra SLT All-Terrain 6.0
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby O'Brien » Mar 04 2012, 2:46am

Can you duplicate the clunk in the driveway by getting the front end to rock up and down by pushing on it? Might need a stool or chair you can get up on and push down on the fender until you can get it plunging. An assistant is always helpful to aid in locating creaks and pops. Otherwise looking into the ball joints would be a good idea. May just be the culprit. Does your 08' have grease zirks on the ball joints or are they sealed units? Mine doesn't ,but the reason I ask is that my sons 07' GMC Sierra has them.
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby JBartoletti [OP] » Mar 04 2012, 2:50am

I can't really tell...I can jump up and down on the step bars and I hear something but I don't know if I'd call it a 'clunk'...
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby O'Brien » Mar 04 2012, 3:42am

I'd try and concentrate the downward push more forward. Like starting at the front center and the alternating from left to right fenders.A savvy assistant lying and listening underneath can help a lot too.
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby 11 Silverado » Mar 04 2012, 6:30am

Did your truck ride that stiff before you installed the Bilsteins? I had them on a previous truck and it was the roughest riding thing that I have ever driven. Would never have another Bilstein shock. Not sure what your clunking sound is though.
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby jayrguidaben » Mar 04 2012, 7:16am

I dont understand why a lot of people complaining about the ride of the bilsteins. I love the ride better than the z71 shocks. For me the ride of the z71 is alot stiffer that the bilsteins. Its absorbs the bumps very well. Its like asking for more. 1 bump and its stop. :D after the install today no problems at all.. no clunk no squeek sounds. 1 more thing i notice is my keys, its not making noise anymore... :D

Did you change you rear shocks too?
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby JBartoletti [OP] » Mar 04 2012, 8:53am

11 Silverado wrote:Did your truck ride that stiff before you installed the Bilsteins? I had them on a previous truck and it was the roughest riding thing that I have ever driven. Would never have another Bilstein shock. Not sure what your clunking sound is though.


Yes. It's not that it even rides stiff...it's HARSH. CLANG BANG BANG. Just this loud thunderous boom every time I go over gaps in the road...particularly on concrete highways. My front end just sounds sloppy...not tight at all. There's no sound of the shocks absorbing the road like in other vehicles I ride in...that thud noise I guess is how I would describe a car that rides well. You can tell you've hit a pothole or crack in the road, but the suspension absorbs it nicely. Going on a dirt road that has been graded or whatever you call it is unbearable...my truck is so loud making all these booming noises!

jayrguidaben wrote:I dont understand why a lot of people complaining about the ride of the bilsteins. I love the ride better than the z71 shocks. For me the ride of the z71 is alot stiffer that the bilsteins. Its absorbs the bumps very well. Its like asking for more. 1 bump and its stop. :D after the install today no problems at all.. no clunk no squeek sounds. 1 more thing i notice is my keys, its not making noise anymore... :D

Did you change you rear shocks too?


I have not changed my rear shocks yet...those should be here Monday. But I can tell it's coming from the front because I hear it before the rear wheels reach the same pothole/crack/whatever so it probably isn't going to make a lot of difference. The shop that installed the struts said my passenger side wheel hub was starting to go bad so I picked up a new one today and I'm in the process of replacing that as we speak...will finish tomorrow. Doubt that has much to do at all with my ride...possibly the clunk I've been having.
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby 11 Silverado » Mar 04 2012, 1:47pm

They do make more than one model of the Bilsteins. I am not sure which model I had, but they were yellow/blue. Maybe the others are not so harsh. I swear that the ones that I had, I could feel every tiny imperfection in the road. My cousin has the yellow/blue ones on his Rav 4, and he hates them as well, very harsh ride. Great rebound, but just very stiff dampening.
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby jmwomack » Mar 04 2012, 2:08pm

Mine alotho a 2wd is doing the same thing, changed the upper control arms and it stoped
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Re: Front end clunk driving me insane

Postby kaddas » Mar 04 2012, 3:17pm

Lift your truck, check all the axles and arms bushing, i had similer issue with my 2007 yukon denali
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