HELP! Weird Front End Noise

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señor.tercel4wd
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My tercel:: 1983 Toyota Tercel 4WD SR5
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HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by señor.tercel4wd » Sat Jul 04, 2020 2:41 am

1983 T4WD Manual Transmission.

After finishing some much needed maintenance items on my Tercel I went on a short cruise to celebrate. Once I hopped on the freeway I started to hear a loud repetitive sound from the front of the car.

The sound is very similar to a worn out wheel bearing but with more "clunk" to it. It becomes more aggressive when the transmission is in gear and you accelerate. In neutral the noise goes away (so not a front wheel bearings?...) I got under the car to see if there was any abnormal "play" in the CV axles, tie rods, ball joints and they're good. The CV fittings look great, no tears or grease leaking. I checked the front driver side and the rear transmission fill plugs and they were full. There isn't any noticeable fluids leaking from the car. The gears stay in place when driving. I inspected the strut assemblies for any abnormalities and they checkout.

Recently installed the Abra Cadaver Lift and got the car aligned. If you remember I bought this car back in October from Copart in Eugene, OR. The car was in an accident and was clipped in the front. It caused the fenders, bumper, and hood to shift about an inch to the driver's side. My dad and I tried our best to align the front as best as we could with a 10 ton Portable Hydraulic Kit from Harbor Freight.

If I were to take a wild guess, I would say that maybe one (or both) of the axles isn't making full contact with transmission after alignment. Maybe there's to much CV angle? I can take a pictures if it help troubleshoot the issue.

The odd part is that I drove from Oregon to SoCal prior to fixing anything without any problems... I really hope it's not the transmission. I have a spare drivetrain sitting in the backyard but I would rather attempt to fix this one if it can be saved.

Any suggestions?
'83 Tercel SR5 Wagon Overland Build Thread >>> viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14880

Erikwi
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Re: HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by Erikwi » Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:30 pm

does it go away in neutral?

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dlb
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Re: HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by dlb » Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:01 pm

Does the sound completely disappear in neutral? And when you say neutral, do you mean clutch pedal up and shifter in neutral position, or clutch pedal down and shifter in gear? Is the sound different between those two situations?

Worn out bearings typically sound like growling, bad CV's usually clunk. Also, bad CV's clunk louder when the offending side is on the outside of a turn, eg a bad right CV will clunk louder when turning left. Bad bearings growl pretty consistently, though they are generally louder at highway speeds.

Was the Oregon to SoCal drive before or after the lift? I had a bad experience with a lift in my first t4, I wound up with a CV-like clunk that I couldn't get rid of even with brand new CV's. Because of that (and a few other reasons) I don't bother with lifts anymore. And of course, the frame damage to your car is another factor to consider in all this, but at this point I think it comes down to whether the sound is a growling or clunking.

señor.tercel4wd
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Re: HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by señor.tercel4wd » Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:00 pm

Erikwi wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:30 pm
does it go away in neutral?
dlb wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:01 pm
Does the sound completely disappear in neutral? And when you say neutral, do you mean clutch pedal up and shifter in neutral position, or clutch pedal down and shifter in gear? Is the sound different between those two situations?

Worn out bearings typically sound like growling, bad CV's usually clunk. Also, bad CV's clunk louder when the offending side is on the outside of a turn, eg a bad right CV will clunk louder when turning left. Bad bearings growl pretty consistently, though they are generally louder at highway speeds.

Was the Oregon to SoCal drive before or after the lift? I had a bad experience with a lift in my first t4, I wound up with a CV-like clunk that I couldn't get rid of even with brand new CV's. Because of that (and a few other reasons) I don't bother with lifts anymore. And of course, the frame damage to your car is another factor to consider in all this, but at this point I think it comes down to whether the sound is a growling or clunking.
Erikwi and dlb the sound does go away when the clutch pedal is up and the shifter is in the neutral position even at high way speed. It only happen when it's in gear and I accelerate. The harder the acceleration the louder the noise. It's definitely more of a clunk than a growl.

dlb I did notice that the clunking was louder when I was turning, I just didn't pay attention from which side because I was so flustered at the time. I just wanted to get home and stop driving to troubleshoot. The OR to CA drive was before the "new" lift.

I say "new" lift because the car already had a lift installed by Fit Garage in Oregon prior to me doing the Abra-Cadaver lift. I actually talked to the shop on Instagram after finding pictures of my car on their page. They said they found the lift on a forum (Tercel4WD I assume) and I confirmed most of the parts when I removed them. The rear had Pathfinder springs and KYB T-Bird shocks. The rear shocks didn't have the T4WD bushings but they made it work by taking out the metal bushing from the lower mount and filling the void with rubber washers and a metal washer on the outside. The front had OEM replacement KYB strut inserts but a different set of springs in the front. They were flat at the bottom and flat at the top. The width was consistent throughout the spring, it didn't get smaller like the OEM or Moog Springs. After installing the Moog Springs from the Abra-Cadaver lift I noticed the previous springs definitely had a lower spring rate because I had a reverse rake going on after the Abra-Cadaver lift.

I want to try a few things today. My windshield came in today so prior to driving to the shop I could swap back to the unknown springs (previously installed by FitGarage) to see if this will correct the CV angle a bit. If the sounds is still there, when I come back home I could swap to an old pair of OEM springs I have, cut some 1" cutting board to fab up some spacers, buy longer bolts for the strut mounts, and put it all together.

If I see that those things don't correct the clunking, is there anything else I need to order from RockAuto other than the CV Axel(s) in question? Some sort of seals or special nuts? Maybe tool rentals from O'reillys?
'83 Tercel SR5 Wagon Overland Build Thread >>> viewtopic.php?f=6&t=14880

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Petros
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Re: HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by Petros » Mon Jul 06, 2020 7:02 pm

sounds like you got a worn cv axle. they behave that way when they have any play, the larger the angle on it, the worst it gets. lifting it usually make the angle worse, and the clunking worse.

do this test if you can: turn to the right and accelerate hard, and than tot he left, and accelerate. if the clunking gets more pronounced on the accelerating turns, it is the cv joint. if it only does it on one side, it the cv joint on that side that goes bad.

ideally you want zero angle on the cv joint when in normal driving condition, that would put the least amount of strain on the joint, and they will last the longest.

It is also possible it is a bad wheal bearing, jack it up off the ground and turn the wheel by hand, it should be smooth with no grinding sound. If not sure, removing the wheel and turning the hub by hand will reveal it it is a bad wheel bearing, you will feel it grinding.
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'84 Tercel 4wd (daily driver, with on going mods)
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xirdneh
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Re: HELP! Weird Front End Noise

Post by xirdneh » Tue Jul 07, 2020 10:29 am

i will chime in and say i agree with Petros
somethings up with the front axles
Love those Tercell 4x4 wagons but they sure suffer from road noise.

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