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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone,

I’ve got a ‘66 coupe with a 289 that has a very noticeable harshness/clunking over what seems like every bump in the road. This year I pretty much replaced the front suspension myself:

-new UCAs
-roller spring perches (relocated 1” out)
-Shelby drop
-spherical LCAs
-adjustable strut rods (no bushing at frame)
-new 1” sway bar
-new tie rods
-roller idler arm
-SSBC disc brakes
-GT Eaton rear leaf springs
-Bilstein shocks all around
-Monte Carlo bar
-export brace
-Zray crossmember
-kept old coil springs for desired ride height

-I read up and did my own alignment and I’m fairly confident it’s at least not way out.

-I’ve installed a new battery tray with bracket to finally keep the battery from hopping around!

-one of my motor mounts has torn rubber and I plan on replacing it when I can.

I can’t quite recall how bad the old suspension was as far as harshness but I’m very aware of it now so I assume it’s worse, which doesn’t feel great after all these upgrades. Is it possible by uprating my rear leafs, relocating the roller spring perches (effectively upping the spring rate of my stock coils), and adjustable strut rods that bolt to the front frame instead of using rubber bushings that I’ve just given my car a harsher ride?

when I drive over bumps, my perception is that the suspension is slamming down onto the road after the bump. I know in reality that the clunking noise is likely more the suspension hitting the bump and reacting upward but it just has a harshness like it’s slamming down, I picture in my mind cracking/popping my joints or something. I’ve been under the car many times but it’s hard to find possible slack and looseness when there’s weight on the suspension. If I were to jack up from my crossmember and unload the wheels, do the coils still load tension on the suspension downward? Do I need to remove the coils to check slop?

I know my steering box has some play in it… Any thoughts from those of you experiencing similar things?
 

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Loose end links?
 
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I basically did all of the same upgrades you did on my 67, and when it hit any little or big bumps in the road I would get a "clunking" sound from somewhere around the front passenger side. I had it up in the air multiple times, shaking, rocking, banging every part I could find. It seemed to be coming from the shock/ spring area but all seemed right and tight. Finally on the last go round I reached through the spring and found some slop (very minimal) in the shock mounting. Turns out that it had loosened up where the bottom of the shock bolts to the roller perch, and I also realized that I had not put the rubber bushings on either. Added bushings and re-torqued everything and all seems good now.
Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I basically did all of the same upgrades you did on my 67, and when it hit any little or big bumps in the road I would get a "clunking" sound from somewhere around the front passenger side. I had it up in the air multiple times, shaking, rocking, banging every part I could find. It seemed to be coming from the shock/ spring area but all seemed right and tight. Finally on the last go round I reached through the spring and found some slop (very minimal) in the shock mounting. Turns out that it had loosened up where the bottom of the shock bolts to the roller perch, and I also realized that I had not put the rubber bushings on either. Added bushings and re-torqued everything and all seems good now.
Just a thought.
I’ll look into those areas again and confirm everything checks out. Thanks a lot!
 

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my 1" sway bar was making contact on the lower control arms. I ended up pulling it off and going back to a smaller bar. I might have been able to order and go with longer sway bar links, but it was easier to grab the parts off my shelf and just swap them out.
 

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Yeah, I'd check the shocks, but it could also be the 1" swaybar coming in contact with the strut rods if it is not properly centered. I've seen it and it could the be possibly the type of bushings, alignment, and the length of the endlinks that may need to be looked into.
 

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Sometimes when you jack the front end up in the air it can remove a clunk like you have since the springs get compressed sitting on the ground. If or when you are going to lift up the front end put some sort of bases under the front tires and let the jack back down so it compresses the front suspension as it would if you were on the road. Something I noticed on my car is that I have cut outs notched into the front frame rails so the larger sway bar will clear. Somebody previously installed it on my car many years ago so I didn't do that. If the clunk bump doesn't seem to be localized to one side of the car or the other I would probably look at the sway bar and its rubber mounting points first and then the strut rods but it could be anything in there.
 
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Get a GoPro camera and do something like below. He said "I used a bicycle handlebar mount to mount it to the sway bar and a strong spring clamp mount for other positions. There are a lot of mounts available for GoPro cameras." The cameras aren't necessarily cheap, but replacing parts isn't either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sometimes when you jack the front end up in the air it can remove a clunk like you have since the springs get compressed sitting on the ground. If or when you are going to lift up the front end put some sort of bases under the front tires and let the jack back down so it compresses the front suspension as it would if you were on the road. Something I noticed on my car is that I have cut outs notched into the front frame rails so the larger sway bar will clear. Somebody previously installed it on my car many years ago so I didn't do that. If the clunk bump doesn't seem to be localized to one side of the car or the other I would probably look at the sway bar and its rubber mounting points first and then the strut rods but it could be anything in there.
I raised and lowered the front end, didn’t see any interference with the sway bar and LCA. I think I’ll try disconnecting the sway bar from the frame (leaving it attached via the end links and see what happens). Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Get a GoPro camera and do something like below. He said "I used a bicycle handlebar mount to mount it to the sway bar and a strong spring clamp mount for other positions. There are a lot of mounts available for GoPro cameras." The cameras aren't necessarily cheap, but replacing parts isn't either.
That’s a great idea! Might could get by with mounting my iPhone if I’m brave enough…
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I had a similar problem that was the strut rods. There are several things this could be. I've seen bad sway bar bushings cause similar clunking. You could mount a cheap camera or old phone under the car but I wouldnt use a good one.

Rosehill Adjustable Strut Rod Issue (Think I finally...
Yeah, I have those same adjustable strutrods and will certainly check out my work when I mounted those things. I really don't remember considering the fitment back when I did it so it's very possible something's up there. Thanks for that insight!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Well I did a couple things.

I tightened the end links, they were not very tight.

i also noticed my wheel hubs wobbled a tiny bit when pulled/pushed at 12 and 6 o’clock. I retorqued the preload on my wheel bearings (.backed off half turn, then snugged it again). There is play when I push/pull the wheel at 3 and 9 o’clock and that’s slop in the steering box.

I also torqued down the frame connections of my adjustable strut rods. The part of the frame that the big washer and strutrod clevis compress around is wavy and is thicker than the aluminum spacer supplied with the strutrod. When I torque down the nut on the strutrod, it collapses this wavy steel. I torqued it to 70lbs or so and it’s hard to tell if it’s tightening only around the washer or if it’s tight against the steel frame. Either way, it’s tight!

All said and done, I took it for a ride and I think it was quite apparently a much smoother ride! I’m not feeling every bump anymore. There’s still some noises and a single clunk sometimes when I reverse/turn down my driveway. Possibly my UCAs where they mount to the shock tower but they appear tight at the moment. There’s obviously some play somewhere in that car but the points you helped me address definitely helped and I truly appreciate all your help!
 

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I also torqued down the frame connections of my adjustable strut rods. The part of the frame that the big washer and strutrod clevis compress around is wavy and is thicker than the aluminum spacer supplied with the strutrod. When I torque down the nut on the strutrod, it collapses this wavy steel. I torqued it to 70lbs or so and it’s hard to tell if it’s tightening only around the washer or if it’s tight against the steel frame. Either way, it’s tight!
I actually had the opposite issue where the big washer/spacer was too thick and also too small diameter. This caused it to wiggle up and down even when tight since it didn't grab the strut mount. The variation in tolerances of that mounting point seem to be not very exact since it was originally intended for a rubber bushing.

At least it is quieter and smoother now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
I actually had the opposite issue where the big washer/spacer was too thick and also too small diameter. This caused it to wiggle up and down even when tight since it didn't grab the strut mount. The variation in tolerances of that mounting point seem to be not very exact since it was originally intended for a rubber bushing.

At least it is quieter and smoother now.
I’m not certain that washer sufficiently fills the opening like it should. I will investigate at some point. Driving forces are likely a lot stronger than me yanking on parts to see if there’s play. Good point.
 
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