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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry about this, I’ve searched far and wide in the forums I can’t seem to find another similar issue, I hope someone else can find this useful if they find this.
I’m planning on replacing just the lower control arms, the front. I suspect my clunking is from there, I just replaced the end link, and checked the sway bar bushing it’s still good. I don’t remember any of the bolts for the lower control arm being alignment bolts, is it possible??
 

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I wouldn't get an alignment till I found the clunk . Also there's a bearing in the top hat of the strut that can make a noise .... it's more of a pop than a clunk tho ..... :)
 

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If fixing/replacing the end link didn’t fix the clunk, next look at the strut mount center nut, located on the top of the strut tower. Do some research to understand how to tighten it, as just throwing a wrench on it will most likely result in moving the strut spring around on its perch(not good). When I changed my struts and springs I used a short burst from an impact wrench to do the tightening, which worked out well. YMMV.
 

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You always need an alignment after suspension work, if you care about how the car drives. If you have a worn out part, then you can assume that your alignment is irregular to start with.

I agree that it makes sense to completely fix the suspension before doing it, but it doesn't make sense to evaluate the handling until the car is properly aligned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you guys for the fast replies! I’ll check the top hat bearing, sounds like it might be the case, but I also forgot to mention when I removed my end link it was bent -_-
77092
 

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That end link looks the same as mine did when I replaced it. The nut was not tight enough, resulting in a bent rod, like yours. This was my fault, not Toyota’s. Make sure the bushing are properly seated and centered before tightening. After replacement of the end link, the clunking I had was gone.
The top hat bearing will, as stated above, not cure a “clunk”, but may cure a “popping”. If after end link replacement, you still have. “clunk”, look to the center strut nut as the possible cause. Before attempting to tighten, you should make sure the strut spring is properly aligned and seated on it’s perch. The spring will want to rotate as you tighten the nut, hence the suggestion about using an impact wrench for a quick burst. Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That end link looks the same as mine did when I replaced it. The nut was not tight enough, resulting in a bent rod, like yours. This was my fault, not Toyota’s. Make sure the bushing are properly seated and centered before tightening. After replacement of the end link, the clunking I had was gone.
The top hat bearing will, as stated above, not cure a “clunk”, but may cure a “popping”. If after end link replacement, you still have. “clunk”, look to the center strut nut as the possible cause. Before attempting to tighten, you should make sure the strut spring is properly aligned and seated on it’s perch. The spring will want to rotate as you tighten the nut, hence the suggestion about using an impact wrench for a quick burst. Hope this helps.
When you say “Nut wasn’t tight enough,” is it that top hat center nut?? I’m pretty sure it is a popping, and I have a Milwaukee to help me with this, how tight can I make this nut??
 

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Even if you replace the lower suspension arm with an OEM part and you have no bent suspension parts, you should get alignment reset because the critical dimensions on the new arm compared to the old one can affect alignment.
 

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Even if you replace the lower suspension arm with an OEM part and you have no bent suspension parts, you should get alignment reset because the critical dimensions on the new arm compared to the old one can affect alignment.
The only problem is the critical dimensions are really non-adjustable . The only thing on the front that you can adjust is toe .
 

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No, I was referring to the nut at the bottom of the end link.
There is a torque spec for the center strut nut, it’s in the BGB.
When you use impact driver, snug it by hand, then use short bursts to get it tight. Do not over do it or you’ll start moving the spring and perch alignment, and have to realign and start over. Tight enough will have to do, as the torque spec is almost impossible to measure(reason:see above re: moving spring).
 

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Discussion Starter #13
No, I was referring to the nut at the bottom of the end link.
There is a torque spec for the center strut nut, it’s in the BGB.
When you use impact driver, snug it by hand, then use short bursts to get it tight. Do not over do it or you’ll start moving the spring and perch alignment, and have to realign and start over. Tight enough will have to do, as the torque spec is almost impossible to measure(reason:see above re: moving spring).
Again thanks to everyone for the replies! I hope it is a popping noise, have kept my car from driving for now, will try that today!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
That end link looks the same as mine did when I replaced it. The nut was not tight enough, resulting in a bent rod, like yours. This was my fault, not Toyota’s. Make sure the bushing are properly seated and centered before tightening. After replacement of the end link, the clunking I had was gone.
The top hat bearing will, as stated above, not cure a “clunk”, but may cure a “popping”. If after end link replacement, you still have. “clunk”, look to the center strut nut as the possible cause. Before attempting to tighten, you should make sure the strut spring is properly aligned and seated on it’s perch. The spring will want to rotate as you tighten the nut, hence the suggestion about using an impact wrench for a quick burst. Hope this helps.
Thank you! This helped make the noise go away!! I was so upset cause I couldn’t take my hub off but I decided I wouldn’t take the lower control arm, it was almost impossible because the rain storm came down on me. I tightened the top strut nut with short bursts like you suggested! Although I did hear faintly a more harder time achieve clunk, it was almost hard to do again, I didn’t really tighten the nut, do I have to tighten it till the top hat turns??
 

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Discussion Starter #15
To answer my own question on whoever reads this lol, I just kept tightening it with the Impact, helps a lot and make sure the top hat is straight, otherwise my car is noiseless! Also idek if I kept it straight...
 
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