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Old June 6th, 2012, 22:29
skyb44 skyb44 is offline
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new trak bar, still clunking at the lower bushing

So i've had the usual trak bar clunk on my 90 cherokee for awhile. (stock, no lift, no big tires..). I installed a new trak bar from napa. cranked the hell out of all the bolts, still clunked.

mystified until today when i finally traced it to the lower bushing. The bolt is NOT moving in the hole. the hole looks fine. So, did i get a defective trak bar? I tried another bolt as well, same clunk. Should i put in a urethane bushing? should i not worry about it? (it's pretty much only if i jerk the wheel fast or am backing out of a parking spot).
It's a pretty minimal amount of movement, but of course it's fairly loud as it's between the axle and the frame, no damping anywhere.

the thing drives great, tracks well, no trouble over bumps.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 04:15
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XJ Stryker XJ Stryker is offline
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My first thought is are you sure its the track bar. Had similar clunk when backing and what not and turned out to be control arm bushings.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:05
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cruiser54 cruiser54 is offline
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Re: new trak bar, still clunking at the lower bushing

Are you sure the steering stabilizer bolt isn't loose? I chased that one for a while and it's pretty close to the trackbar bolt.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 06:55
VAhasnoWAVES VAhasnoWAVES is offline
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Re: new trak bar, still clunking at the lower bushing

are you still using the stock bolt on the axle side? i found that because the stock bolt is not shanked the entire length of the bushing, it wears down and allows movement.

if you are sure this is where your slop is (not trying to insult your diagnosis. just visually verified it) if that is it, take a set of calipers and measure your bolt, bolt hole, and diameter of the bushing sleeve. my suggestions is to drill everything out to the same size. i found my bolt, bolt hole, and bushing sleeve were ALL different. install a bolt with enough shank so that the bushing does not sit on threads. you may have to cut one to length. i bought a really long bolt, put a die on it, and cut threads to the length i wanted.

on a side note... dont just tighten bolts with bushings RFT. there is a specific torque rating for a reason. it sets preload on the bushings and ensure longevity. too tight will squish them and make them wear prematurely. if everything measures the same, this may be why your clunking returned after it appeared fix.

Last edited by VAhasnoWAVES; June 7th, 2012 at 06:58.
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Old June 7th, 2012, 09:33
skyb44 skyb44 is offline
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Re: new trak bar, still clunking at the lower bushing

Quote:
Originally Posted by VAhasnoWAVES View Post
are you still using the stock bolt on the axle side? i found that because the stock bolt is not shanked the entire length of the bushing, it wears down and allows movement.

if you are sure this is where your slop is (not trying to insult your diagnosis. just visually verified it) if that is it, take a set of calipers and measure your bolt, bolt hole, and diameter of the bushing sleeve. my suggestions is to drill everything out to the same size. i found my bolt, bolt hole, and bushing sleeve were ALL different. install a bolt with enough shank so that the bushing does not sit on threads. you may have to cut one to length. i bought a really long bolt, put a die on it, and cut threads to the length i wanted.

on a side note... dont just tighten bolts with bushings RFT. there is a specific torque rating for a reason. it sets preload on the bushings and ensure longevity. too tight will squish them and make them wear prematurely. if everything measures the same, this may be why your clunking returned after it appeared fix.
definitely have verified it. had a friend mess with the steering wheel and saw and felt the lower bushing move while hearing the clunk. Took awhile because most of my diagnostic effort was focused on the ball end and the bracket as i assumed that was where the problem lay.

So you're basically suggesting i go to an oversize bolt? I actually put a new grade 8.8 bolt in. It measured about .004 larger in diameter at the shank. I'll see if i can find another reasonable size up. I don't doubt that all the holes are different sizes.

the clunking has never "appeared fixed" it's been ongoing and basically unchanged despite 2 track bars and various tightening and fiddling.

is there any chance that the mount on the axle has bent open a bit? I see what you're saying about having the correct torque spec so that the mount is squeezing the sleeve the right amount.
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