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Old 06-28-2015, 12:15 AM   #1
tmontague
 
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'02 Echo Suspension clunk fix

Figured I'd post this here since it solved my clunk noise. The car started to clunk a few months ago at low speed bumps. Checked end links and replaced them as the bushing were completely rotten and the metal bolts crumbled in my hand. Noise was reduced for a week then came back.

Check sway bar bushings, they were fine. Replaced inner tie rods as there seemed to be play in them but later realized it was normal steering lock play connected to the steering wheel. Replaced an outer tire rod as the boot was recently torn. Noise still persisted. Symptoms were only the noise, no pulling.

I diagnosed it as a bad control arm bushing by raising the front wheels and hitting them w/ a hammer while my hand was on various different suspension parts. Noticed more vibration in the driver side control arm.

Replaced both side control arms with brand new and the noise is completely gone. The circular/disc bushing had unseated itself from its metal she'll it was so rotten. The cylindrical bushing was still in great shape as we're the ball joints. Even the passenger side was bad.

Reason for no pulling under braking was that the cylindrical bushing was still in good shape. These bushing are hard to inspect w/ out removing the control arm but I could see extra drop in the arm when weight was taken off the struts.

Total time to do the job was about 4.5 hrs. This involved me attempting to put new sway bar bushings in as I had new ones anyway. The bolts were too rusted to bother w/.

It took an extra hour per side as the new control arm bushings fit extremely tight and we're virtually impossible to slip back into place. The ball joints were also fully seized to the knuckle. I had to remove the knuckle from the strut and remove the c/v shaft from the wheel to access the ball joint nut to fit my tie rod puller onto it. Installing the castle nut upside down gave enough area for the puller to punch out the joint.

The bushing were in excellent shape for a 354,000km car except for the ones that failed obviously. If your Echo/Yaris clunks on slow speed bumps and you ruled out end links then chances are it's the lower control arm main bushing that handles the most movement.

Control arms purchased from a Canadian company w/ bushings already installed came to $65 w/ taxes and shipping. Cheaper than Rock Auto and much cheaper and less time consuming than pressing in new bushings. I'd highly recommend installing new arms instead of pressing in a new bearing.
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:39 AM   #2
Bluevitz-rs
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Nice.

I've been through 3 sets of upper strut mount bearings. They also clunk at low speed going over the curb into and out of the driveway.

Good to know about the control arms though.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:16 AM   #3
tmontague
 
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I checked the bearings when I put the new struts in and although they were a bit rough I added new grease and they haven't given me any problems or noise since the re install.
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Old 06-29-2015, 09:35 AM   #4
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I have Canadian tire ones in now. WAY better design than Toyota. They have a half sealed bearing so the bottom half exposed to the road is sealed so crap can't get in. I went through two sets of Toyota bearings in about 120k km
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:00 AM   #5
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Wow good to know. Are the CT ones regreasable? If I ever have to replace mine i'd rather purchase ones that are regreaseable
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Old 06-29-2015, 11:02 AM   #6
Bluevitz-rs
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The top side is open so yes you can pack them with grease. I added a bunch before installing them.
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