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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I'm trying to figure out where this rapid clunking sound is coming from. The sound is primarily from the passengers front side and mainly when turning left, but rough when driving straight but fine when turning right. I unbolted the outer tie rod and I pushed and pulled on the inner tie rod and it felt like there was play, a clunking in the rack and pinion. Why would I have movement in the rack and pinion. Also the power steering fluid is grey in colour.
Any advice is appreciated.
Bill
 

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Is there is any chance that either the inner or outer CV joint bad? They will click and clunk when they get worn out, especially when you are turning. My son's beetle would clunk when he would back up while turning only and now it is doing it when he turns.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I actually already changed the cv shaft with new inner and outer cv's, also the outer tie rod, ball joint and brake rotor and pads as well as the wheel bearing and the strut. The only things left are the control arm, the inner tie rod and rack and pinion. The inner tie rod seems tight, with very little movement, so i figured the inner tie rod is ok. Please tell me its not the rack and pinion. I'm dreading doing that job!
 

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Focus your attention on the round bushing at the rear of the lower control arm. You can get a pry bar and try to move it around.
It should be fairly tight. These are acommon failure on anything with over a hundred thousand miles. :) You can roll down a hill backwards in neutral and touch the brake, and you really will feel a clunking and movement up there. It's a lot easier than jacking it up and horsing around with it!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I have the car off the ground with the outer tie rod unbolted from the knuckle so I'll check the rear control arm bushing tomorrow. I didn't want to used the expensive oem power steering fluid until i decided if I would or wouldn't be changing the rack and pinion or pump, but now i'm thnking maybe the old crap fluid may be the problem also. I'll give it a try tomorrow also.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Prm502street, you are totally right on the money. Over the past week I noticed a clunking sound when i braked while backing down out of the driveway in neutral. This morning I checked the rear bushing on the lower control arm and sure enough I had about 1/4" of play up and down, which I can imagine is more when the weight and driving force is in play.
The issue I had with the rack and pinion was actually my fault due to pushing the wheels back and forth till the reservoir over flowed and I realized I had likely created a void or a loss of hydraulic pressure in the rack. I started the car to circulate the steering fluid and sure enough the inner tie rod into the rack had lots of pressure behind it and I couldn't budge the inner tie rod..
Thanks again for the advice, I'll repost when I get the control arm changed out.
bill
 

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You can get just the bushings and press them in and out yourself for a lot cheaper than buying new control arms.
Karnporsche Has a set of control arms with the good bushings already pressed on, maybe you can beat him down on the price a little bit.100 bucks shipped to you would be a good deal...
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And here is the good bushing on the drivers side. Well good bushing is relative :) but e passengers side has substantial movement. PRM502STREET, thanks for the suggestion, i considered changing out the bushings but I figure the other bushings and bolts are likely overdue on this 2000 beetle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry about the orientation of the photos, the jack stands in the pic help with orientation. Please let me know your thoughts on the bushing?
bill
 

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You can get just the bushings and press them in and out yourself for a lot cheaper than buying new control arms.
Karnporsche Has a set of control arms with the good bushings already pressed on, maybe you can beat him down on the price a little bit.100 bucks shipped to you would be a good deal...
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I don't know, depends on how much value you place on your time and if you have the tools to press out the old and press in the new bushings.

The cost of the control arms with bushings preinstalled wasn't that much more than the cost of the bushings alone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I took the control arm out, the bushing feels soft and cracked and actually torn on 2 sides where it flexes. Does anyone else think this is likely the problem? It's the only part left on the passengers side that has not been replaced in the past 2 weeks. The only thing left is the inner tie rod and rack and pinion so here's hoping!;) and i think your correct Janzit I'm going to buy an assembled control arm tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Ok guys and gals, i changed out the control arm on the passengers side but no luck! I did however test drive the car and feel i have a more accurate description of what is happening. I noticed when i his a bump when driving i hear a grinding rumble sound...If i pull the wheel sharply/ swerve to the left I get a grind sound band sure enough when I make a left turn the grind/ rumbling sound is horrible. I am starting to think it might be the sway bar bushing.
Well i was wrong about the sway bar bushing, I took the end links off and took it out for a ride. Sure enough the same growling sound from the front end! I am left with no other options other than the inner tie rod/ rack and pinion and or power steering pump. i'm leaning towards the left side of the rack.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well my investigations have finally proved my suspicious correct! I took the inner tie rod boot off this morning and sure enough when I push and pull the tie rod all the play is in the gears of the rack, the tie rod end socket looks tight. So i am not sure if it is necessary or simply recommended to change the pump and lines also but it looks like I'll definitely need a new rack and pinion. In the process of hunting down this problem I have definitely learned a huge amount about the suspension and steering system for the bug. Looking forward to having it on the road. Thanks for all your advice forum friends.
 
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