Clunking Sound from Left Rear on Bumps

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Old 06-04-10, 11:09 PM
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Clunking Sound from Left Rear on Bumps

2000 Taurus LX, 143000 miles.

Today I noticed a loud clunking noise from the left rear wheel, especially when going over bumps. My daughter was driving it at the time and reports that it feels like the wheel is "dragging." I recently (less than two months ago) replaced the hub on that wheel. I haven't gotten the chance to examine it with the wheel off, so I am seeking ideas as to where I should look.

Need more details? Let me know and I will try to provide them.

Thanks, as always,

Allen
 

Last edited by allenzachary; 06-04-10 at 11:11 PM. Reason: Typos
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Old 06-05-10, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by allenzachary View Post
Today I noticed a loud clunking noise from the left rear wheel, especially when going over bumps. My daughter was driving it at the time and reports that it feels like the wheel is "dragging." I recently (less than two months ago) replaced the hub on that wheel. I haven't gotten the chance to examine it with the wheel off, so I am seeking ideas as to where I should look.
First, I would take the car for a spin to see if I could replicate the noise your daughter is reporting. I would hit some bumps and also do some heavy braking. Hearing it yourself might provide greater clarity.

From your post, it seems like the loud clunking noise is loudest when going over bumps but always present. If the noise is always present, then something related to the hub replacement could be causing the noise. I donít think the problem is directly related to the new hub but possibly a part coming loose as a result of the work performed. For example, depending on what kind of wheel cover is involved, perhaps something is trapped inside that only creates the loud noise when it falls when jolted by the bump. The dragging symtom makes me wonder if it is brake related, especially if having drum brakes.

Before pulling the wheel, I would go under vehicle to check left rear suspension parts (e.g., springs, shocks, etc.) looking for something broken or loose. If the exhaust system has any hanger brackets near the left rear wheel, I would look at that. I suspect the hub replacement is coincidental but not the culprit.
 
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Old 06-05-10, 05:28 AM
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I was in the car when she was driving. The sound is definitely coming from left rear. Earlier in the day, I drove the car and heard the noise, but it was less prominent and I couldn't tell whether it was coming from the front or rear. From the passenger seat, it became apparent. I didn't feel anything when I drove it. Frankly, I don't know whether the problem got worse through the day or if the change in perspective (driver to passenger seat) was the difference.

The sound happens on SOME bumps, but not all. On the smooth Interstate, there was no noise at all. Some bumps sounded completely normal, then others would make the loud clunk. The size of the bump did not seem to matter...some little ones made the noise, while some big ones didn't. On the twenty minute ride home from the ballpark last night (USC Gamecocks overcome a 4 run deficit to take game 1 in the NCAA regional---Go Gamecocks!---Sorry, I digress) we heard the noise about three times per minute when we were diving on city/suburban roads.

When I changed the hub, the only brake part I removed was the drum itself. I reused the original axle nut to reattach the hub. The repair manual suggested replacement, but every knowledgeable person I spoke with about it said reusing the nut is not an issue. (The nut is $12 and not stocked by ANY parts stores or even the Ford dealership. Every parts store keeps the hubs in stock...there must be a correlation).

This morning I will jack up the car to see if I can see anything obvious, but probably not for another hour or two. I wonder if this information bring anything else to light.
 
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