Clunk When Steering (MC GC 2.5) Lifted Jeep

DailyDouble

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- installed metalcloak game changer 2.5in lift kit, went off-roading, now I have a clunk coming from the frame when I steer sharply or hit speedbumps at low speeds. I can literally feel a knock in my front left foot when it happens. Passengers in the back can also hear it.

- checked all the control arms, track bars, swaybar bolts, and body mount bolts for torque (these are things I have touched so assumed one may be loose)

- I checked the track bar bracket welds, as I know that has been an issue.. it looks stable to me.. no obvious cracks.

- took it to dealer for routine maintenance, and paid them to diagnose the issue... they said it was sway bar bushings, which I doubted, but replaced anyway. the problem still persists, even with sway bar disconnected.

- may be drag link ball joints? I did notice my drag link has the same vertical motion that I guess is normal, I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary with my steering so I'm not sure its this... Is it common for these joints to go bad after a full flex situation? jeep has 17k miles.

Id really rather not go back to that dealer.. i'm open to any ideas ... help...



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maaark

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Have you checked the alignment or had a proper alignment performed?

Does this happen in 4wd and 2wd?

I'd probably jack it up with the front axle floating and give all the steering components a good shaking and feel for play in the joints. Make sure everything is torqued to spec and everything is buttoned back up.

I have a similar build but never had issues with clunking after the lift. Maybe go through the lift kit instructions again and make sure you put everything back together.

Good luck, hope everyhting works out!
 
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Took this video of the drag link, at one point the end link clicks upwards as the steering is moved back and forth in one area. is this normal? the click is visibly noticeable at the wheel as well.
 

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After watching your video, it does not appear to me the drag link would be causing the clunk. The movement in the joint doesn't look loose to me.

As with @maaark suggestions, I would secure the front axle up on jack stands, start the engine, and have someone turn the wheel lock to lock while you watch/listen for the clunking sound. Hopefully you can replicate it that way and will be able to see/hear where it's at. You can also leave the wheels on the ground, leave the engine off, and have someone continuously move the steering wheel slightly left/right while you look at and inspect all of the joints, bushings, and mounts. You don't want the wheels to actually move, just need enough leverage on the front steering to put some force into the bushings/joints. If any of these are bad, you can see the abnormal movement right away.

My first thought was maybe a front spring was installed incorrectly and not seated properly in a spring pad. After that, then I would look at the track bar mounts and bushings. By doing the above inspections, hopefully you can get it identified.
 

Arterius2

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- installed metalcloak game changer 2.5in lift kit, went off-roading, now I have a clunk coming from the frame when I steer sharply or hit speedbumps at low speeds. I can literally feel a knock in my front left foot when it happens. Passengers in the back can also hear it.

- checked all the control arms, track bars, swaybar bolts, and body mount bolts for torque (these are things I have touched so assumed one may be loose)

- I checked the track bar bracket welds, as I know that has been an issue.. it looks stable to me.. no obvious cracks.

- took it to dealer for routine maintenance, and paid them to diagnose the issue... they said it was sway bar bushings, which I doubted, but replaced anyway. the problem still persists, even with sway bar disconnected.

- may be drag link ball joints? I did notice my drag link has the same vertical motion that I guess is normal, I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary with my steering so I'm not sure its this... Is it common for these joints to go bad after a full flex situation? jeep has 17k miles.

Id really rather not go back to that dealer.. i'm open to any ideas ... help...
What track bar are you running?
 

freddiegs

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- installed metalcloak game changer 2.5in lift kit, went off-roading, now I have a clunk coming from the frame when I steer sharply or hit speedbumps at low speeds. I can literally feel a knock in my front left foot when it happens. Passengers in the back can also hear it.

- checked all the control arms, track bars, swaybar bolts, and body mount bolts for torque (these are things I have touched so assumed one may be loose)

- I checked the track bar bracket welds, as I know that has been an issue.. it looks stable to me.. no obvious cracks.

- took it to dealer for routine maintenance, and paid them to diagnose the issue... they said it was sway bar bushings, which I doubted, but replaced anyway. the problem still persists, even with sway bar disconnected.

- may be drag link ball joints? I did notice my drag link has the same vertical motion that I guess is normal, I haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary with my steering so I'm not sure its this... Is it common for these joints to go bad after a full flex situation? jeep has 17k miles.

Id really rather not go back to that dealer.. i'm open to any ideas ... help...
I know you said you checked the control arms but that's what it sounds like to me. I had this issue with the driver rear upper on the axle side being tight but not at torque spec. The noise sounded like it came from the front of the jeep but ended up being the rear. Mine would happen while making a slow turn.
 

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I chased a front clunk for a week before I discovered it was a loose rear upper control arm bolt. You gotta have someone listen to it from outside.
 
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DailyDouble

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to finalize the challenge I had with this, and provide closure if people find this searching...

I did all of the things suggested above... lifted it up, basically re-assembled it, re-indexed the springs... all of it. After all of this, the noise persisted, so I was convinced that the minor bow I was getting in one of my springs was rubbing the upper bumpstop housing on compression. After taking it apart and looking at it, I didn't notice any smoking guns but figured I could get a new alignment anyway.

Well.... Turns out the noise was actually from.. some side bolts NOT the body mount bolts, on my rock rails... so.. not suspension related at all.. despite it.. sure sounding like it, and revealing itself only a week or two after putting on the full lift kit.

highlighted where the bolts go below. the alignment shop spotted them being loose and actually suggested I replace the hardware with something stronger so they could be tightened more.

anyway... timing and assumptions... lead to a huge hassle, as it usually does...

1594141100705.png


all that being said.. I ordered the polyurethane spring perches from metalcloak recently for peace of mind. And.. picked up their rubber bumpstop replacements too.. cuz.. why not !

thanks for the responses everyone, really appreciate your time.
 

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Took this video of the drag link, at one point the end link clicks upwards as the steering is moved back and forth in one area. is this normal? the click is visibly noticeable at the wheel as well.
Is it a clicking ticking noise type noise you’re referring too? I’m not hearing a clunk
 

ChattVol

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to finalize the challenge I had with this, and provide closure if people find this searching...

I did all of the things suggested above... lifted it up, basically re-assembled it, re-indexed the springs... all of it. After all of this, the noise persisted, so I was convinced that the minor bow I was getting in one of my springs was rubbing the upper bumpstop housing on compression. After taking it apart and looking at it, I didn't notice any smoking guns but figured I could get a new alignment anyway.

Well.... Turns out the noise was actually from.. some side bolts NOT the body mount bolts, on my rock rails... so.. not suspension related at all.. despite it.. sure sounding like it, and revealing itself only a week or two after putting on the full lift kit.

highlighted where the bolts go below. the alignment shop spotted them being loose and actually suggested I replace the hardware with something stronger so they could be tightened more.

anyway... timing and assumptions... lead to a huge hassle, as it usually does...

1594141100705.png


all that being said.. I ordered the polyurethane spring perches from metalcloak recently for peace of mind. And.. picked up their rubber bumpstop replacements too.. cuz.. why not !

thanks for the responses everyone, really appreciate your time.
The clicking noise sounds EXACTLY like my ball joints did when turning the steering.... I tightened them and it went away for a bit...now back to clicking again. I learned to ignore it and chalked it up FCA cheaping out and switching to aluminum knuckles.
 

JMONEZ

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The clicking noise sounds EXACTLY like my ball joints did when turning the steering.... I tightened them and it went away for a bit...now back to clicking again. I learned to ignore it and chalked it up FCA cheaping out and switching to aluminum knuckles.
Kinda in the same boat, same exact noise, it’s so annoying! I’ve tightened all ball joints above spec and noise still persist.. I do seem to hear it on many other JLs but nobody seems very concerned by it.
 

ChattVol

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Kinda in the same boat, same exact noise, it’s so annoying! I’ve tightened all ball joints above spec and noise still persist.. I do seem to hear it on many other JLs but nobody seems very concerned by it.
Yeah...I actually jacked mine up yesterday and checked for lateral wheel movement...didnt see any. Aluminum knuckles are inferior to steel IMHO....FCA was trying to save weight.
 








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