Front suspension knocking

This is the Forum for all your Citroen Technical Questions, Problems or Advice.

Moderator: RichardW

smoker
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 11:18

Front suspension knocking

Post by smoker »

I recently posted on here about a knocking noise on the front of my 52 reg Xsara 110. I've now changed the drop links but it's made no difference (the old ones came off easily and looked newish so suspect they weren't that old).

I'm wondering now if this might be the lower ball joint(s). On inspection, I see that the rubber dust cover on the n/s lower joint is split, which might be a clue. How easy are these to change at home? If a major job or special tools needed, I wonder if I might be better off taking to a local garage to diagnose and change?

Thanks
User avatar
Stickyfinger
Donor 2016
Posts: 9892
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 22:05
x 740

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Stickyfinger »

A quick Google search or even a search on the forum will find lots of links to Gordon's YouTube, it tells you all you need to do/how to do it/give a good giggle at times

User avatar
Paul-R
Donor 2020
Posts: 5443
Joined: 07 May 2009, 16:24
x 804

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Paul-R »

I've changed the lower balljoints several times over the many years we've owned our Xsara but a couple of years ago I found that the latest clonk was something different. One of the inner rubber bushes, specifically the 'P' bush, had worn away.

It was easy to take off but a bugger to fit the new one. If it had needed a ball joint at the same time I think I would have fitted a complete lower arm instead.

Oh, and it had not long passed its MOT.
User avatar
chinkostu
Posts: 1180
Joined: 24 Sep 2014, 09:41
x 29

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by chinkostu »

Al its worth mentioning the xsara/306 use a balljoint on the wishbone as opposed to the hub! Theyre simply bolted on with 3 bolts so a doddle to replace really!
User avatar
Paul-R
Donor 2020
Posts: 5443
Joined: 07 May 2009, 16:24
x 804

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Paul-R »

chinkostu wrote:Theyre simply bolted on with 3 bolts so a doddle to replace really!
I fully concur. I haven't watched the YouTube clip so I don't know if it's mentioned but I find that using spring compressors to squash the coils up helps immensely. It's time well spent to take the pressure off the bottom ball joint.
chinkostu wrote:Al its worth mentioning the xsara/306 use a balljoint on the wishbone as opposed to the hub!
Unlike the C5 where I had to change one for the MOT just before Christmas. What a ball-acher. In theory quite easy if you can unscrew it on the car. In practice I had to take the hub off, take it round to my brother's where we hit it with some serious heat and even then it took my 5 foot tube extension on my breaker bar to crack it off. Slightly off topic but I had to vent my spleen somewhere.
User avatar
chinkostu
Posts: 1180
Joined: 24 Sep 2014, 09:41
x 29

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by chinkostu »

I took mine to a friend who used a chisel marketed as a demolition one and a bloody big hammer! The tool did squat but round stuff off!
smoker
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 11:18

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by smoker »

Thanks all for the advice. Much appreciated. Just ordered a lower ball joint (£18.00ish) and a ball joint splitter to go in the tool box as I've never tackled one of these jobs before. See if I can get around to it over the weekend.

Paul-R - interested in your rubber bush exchange just in case the ball joint doesn't fix the problem. As I'm a suspension novice, could you describe which bush (where do I find it on the car) and how I could test if other than a visual check?

Thx again
User avatar
Paul-R
Donor 2020
Posts: 5443
Joined: 07 May 2009, 16:24
x 804

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Paul-R »

Imagine the lower suspension arm as a slanted letter 'A' with the main arm going straight in from the outer joint and the slanted part going backwards at an angle. Both connections to the body have rubber bushes; the main arm is a large cylindrical one and the rear bush is the 'P' bush. It's so called because it looks like a letter 'P' and is attached to the car by two bolts.

When I took the arm off my car the 'P' bush came off separately as the rubber had broken up completely. There was the remains of a steel tube on the arm which I took off using an angle grinder. The new bush was a very tight fit on and required a great deal hammer work to be persuaded on. You have to be very careful to put the 'P' bush on with the right 'set' as if it's wrong then the rubber will wear out much quicker than it should.

I noticed it needed replacing when I disconnected the outer ball joint from the suspension hub and, when I tugged on the arm, could see that the inner part of the rear arm was moving inside the 'P' bush.
User avatar
Paul-R
Donor 2020
Posts: 5443
Joined: 07 May 2009, 16:24
x 804

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Paul-R »

Just remembered that the bolts holding the 'P' bush to the body also double up as bolts for the anti-roll bar clamp to body. And I think there was certain amount of fiddling around to get everything lined up again when refitting the bolts. But then when isn't there?
Hell Razor5543
Donor 2021
Posts: 12014
Joined: 01 Apr 2012, 09:47
x 1513

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Hell Razor5543 »

On the wishbone there are 2 bushes. If the 'P' bush is not correctly aligned when it is fitted it will wear out at an accelerated rate. When you fit the wishbone do NOT do the nuts/bolts up tightly until you have the car riding at its correct ride height, as then the bushes will be at their correct positions within the clamps (and so should manage their loads correctly).
smoker
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 11:18

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by smoker »

Thanks again for this further advice. I'll take a print out of this thread with me next time I lie under the car and I have no doubts it'll all fall into place (theoretically at least, if not practically!).

Cheers
smoker
Posts: 88
Joined: 28 Dec 2011, 11:18

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by smoker »

Just thought I'd report back on this. Tackled the near side lower ball joint yesterday and a subsequent test drive suggests that that was the cause of the problem - all is now quiet. The removed joint was in a poor condition with play detectable by hand.

Only issue was, I gave the gearbox an unplanned oil change in the process. I'd inadvertently dislodged the drive shaft just before lunch, and when I came back to it, there was a large puddle of oil under the car. Needed about 1.5-2.0 litres to fill up, plus a bit of driveway scrubbing to remove the evidence. Oh well, you live and learn....
User avatar
Stickyfinger
Donor 2016
Posts: 9892
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 22:05
x 740

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Stickyfinger »

=D> Oil change was a good thing, oil on the drive is however a bad way of doing it :)
User avatar
Paul-R
Donor 2020
Posts: 5443
Joined: 07 May 2009, 16:24
x 804

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by Paul-R »

smoker wrote:Just thought I'd report back on this. Tackled the near side lower ball joint yesterday and a subsequent test drive suggests that that was the cause of the problem - all is now quiet. The removed joint was in a poor condition with play detectable by hand.
It was always the most likely item to need replacing. Well done.
smoker wrote:Only issue was, I gave the gearbox an unplanned oil change in the process. I'd inadvertently dislodged the drive shaft just before lunch, and when I came back to it, there was a large puddle of oil under the car. Needed about 1.5-2.0 litres to fill up, plus a bit of driveway scrubbing to remove the evidence. Oh well, you live and learn....
Been there, done that. Though fortunately I realised immediately and only lost a few drops.
User avatar
chinkostu
Posts: 1180
Joined: 24 Sep 2014, 09:41
x 29

Re: Front suspension knocking

Post by chinkostu »

smoker wrote:Only issue was, I gave the gearbox an unplanned oil change in the process. I'd inadvertently dislodged the drive shaft just before lunch, and when I came back to it, there was a large puddle of oil under the car. Needed about 1.5-2.0 litres to fill up, plus a bit of driveway scrubbing to remove the evidence. Oh well, you live and learn....
my brother did that to me once when we were doing wishbones + driveshaft on the VTR. i'd gone to get the new one out the shed to find him with the old one in hand and gearbox oil pissing all over the drive.

Happy i was not!