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Unread 07-18-2011, 03:05 PM   #1
esb_t4r
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Default Clunk when backing up from stop

Hey all -

Just a few months ago my 4Runner started making a clunking sound from the driver side front wheel well when reversing from a stop. It does not make the sound when I am going forward or when I hit bumps.

I scoured the forum for a bit - does this sound like a lower ball joint issue? I haven't done any offroading in the past 6-7 months, and I haven't hit the skid on anything.

I haven't had the time to pop the wheel off yet, but I figured maybe someone has had this same issue. One other thought was that possible the brake pad was shifting, but I would think that the clunk would happen when I hit brakes at anytime.

I did get the top rubber grommets for the coilovers replaced 6 months ago, but I checked and those are not the culprits this time.

Thanks for any help in advance.
-Eric
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Unread 07-18-2011, 03:17 PM   #2
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Might be brake pads banging around in the caliper. Mine does the same thing, has from the day I've owned it.
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Unread 07-18-2011, 10:01 PM   #3
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You might check the bushings in the lower a-arm that connect the a-arm to the frame. When these wear out they can cause a clunking particularly when you just start from a stop (forward or reverse).
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Unread 07-18-2011, 10:28 PM   #4
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Yeah, I hope it's as simple as the brake pads.

It just feels like something a little different since it only happens when I reverse from a start, and I have had a car where that happened.

I will make sure to check both this weekend - I would have never thought about the A-arm bushings. Are these repairable if they are indeed bad? Or does the whole A-arm assy have to be replaced?

Thanks!
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Unread 07-18-2011, 10:35 PM   #5
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They can be purchased separately and are about $45 each IIRC (4 needed total both sides). This makes them much more affordable (particularly if you are doing the labor) The disadvantage is they can be difficult to press out and many mechanics wont touch the job and if they do by the time you add their labor it could be expensive. Most often mechanics want to sell you the entire arm (which may not be a bad idea if you have bad bushings your ball joint may need replacing also).
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Unread 07-19-2011, 05:55 AM   #6
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mine does it too. i cant find anything loose. my guess is the parking brake shoes releasing
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Unread 07-19-2011, 07:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by java230 View Post
mine does it too. i cant find anything loose. my guess is the parking brake shoes releasing

Parking brakes are only on the rear wheels and the OP seems sure that the noise is from the left front wheel.
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Unread 07-19-2011, 07:51 AM   #8
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Wow...so interesting that this post popped up. I've been having the same noise. I thought it might be the coil overs or something. How do you know if the A-arm bushings are bad?

Also, would not having a front sway bar hinder the bushings?
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Unread 07-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teotwaki View Post
Parking brakes are only on the rear wheels and the OP seems sure that the noise is from the left front wheel.
Yes, definitely seems to be coming from the left front.

The noise doesn't happen until roll back and then step on the brake pedal.

Sometimes it doesn't happen if I step on the brake very gently. I'm going to pop the tires off this weekend, but I'm guessing I won't be able to replicate the noise just by pushing the A-arm towards the front. Hopefully by comparing both sides I can see if something is askew.

-Eric
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Unread 07-19-2011, 03:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegas Runner View Post
They can be purchased separately and are about $45 each IIRC (4 needed total both sides). This makes them much more affordable (particularly if you are doing the labor) The disadvantage is they can be difficult to press out and many mechanics wont touch the job and if they do by the time you add their labor it could be expensive. Most often mechanics want to sell you the entire arm (which may not be a bad idea if you have bad bushings your ball joint may need replacing also).
Well, I certainly hope I don't need to replace both A-arms!!!!

Thanks for the heads up on the bushings.
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Unread 07-20-2011, 06:26 AM   #11
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I just recalled that when I had the dealer do a brake job last year they mentioned that Toyota had changed the dimensions and material on the brake pads. Something about the original material being soft to eliminate squeal but that people with heavy brake usage were wearing them out too soon. Then Toyota changed the design to a harder material.

I think that I had a "clunk" noise for a little while on the front brakes too.
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