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Discussion Starter #1
Alright, I'm getting pretty fed up.

I'm dealing with the world's most annoying front end noise. When I'm in 4wd and making tight turns, I get one, maybe two clunks, then nothing. Then if I go into reverse, same thing happens. I was out running a trail yesterday and I got a bunch of noise. Clunks, clanks, and bangs. More than I ever had before. Like something is loose, all from the driver's side front. The symptoms would lead me to believe I had a CV dying. However...

I was getting some clunking in 2wd as well. It was really rare, and always over bumps, and it wasn't consistent. I couldn't pinpoint what makes it happen, but I got the noise every so often. Again, very rare. Also...

Back in January I swapped the front end to an M205 with V8 Pathfinder CVs. So the CVs probably have under 20k on them, and it wouldn't make much sense for one to be dead already. I grabbed the CV itself and tried rocking it back and forth. I got a little extra movement than I got from the other side, but nothing that I would consider really excessive.

I took the pry bar to just about everything. I was alarmed at the output shaft movement at the diff on that side, but apparently that's normal according to a few threads on Titan Talk. Everything else seems solid. No movement at all in the upper or lower ball joints. Steering ends are tight. Rack is recently replaced. I'm disinclined to think it's a wheel bearing based on what's happening. I don't think it's the front diff because it's relatively low mileage and it's not acting like a tooth is missing. No bind up can be felt in the front end, only the noise, and it only happens once, not over and over like you'd expect a diff to. There's no bearing howl either.

That being said, the front diff does have a little bit of extra rotational play at the pinion, but I'm not sure if it's out of spec. And I don't know that that would cause these symptoms. The u-joints seem okay, but I didn't examine them super close. I wiggled the front driveshaft at both ends but didn't feel anything excessive.

So long story short, I'm at a loss. I've got no idea what it could be. I don't know what could be making those noises. Am I missing something that I should be checking? What would you guys do? I don't really know how to further diagnose the problem. I'm not too far from taking it to my guy and having him go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Any help would be so greatly appreciated.
 

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CV joint noise is very specific and unique sounding which makes it hard to think it is something else.

If it only makes the noise during tight turns this also points to CVs. I've had some CVs that make noise but were still good, just that the grease was getting tired or leaking out.

If you can't figure out what it is I'd rebuild the CVs and see if that does the trick.
 

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Sway bar bushings? Mine are pretty packed out, and they clunk in a similar manner to what you're describing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
CV joint noise is very specific and unique sounding which makes it hard to think it is something else.

If it only makes the noise during tight turns this also points to CVs. I've had some CVs that make noise but were still good, just that the grease was getting tired or leaking out.

If you can't figure out what it is I'd rebuild the CVs and see if that does the trick.
Yeah that's kind of the route I was thinking of going, but I'd just replace the one on that side. They're less than $70 on RockAuto. If that doesn't fix it I'm not sure where I'd go from there.

Sway bar bushings? Mine are pretty packed out, and they clunk in a similar manner to what you're describing.
No sway bar in the front.
 

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Could it be your LCA's? I get some sporadic clunks while turning (occasionally while driving forward, slightly more frequently when backing up) and every so often when coming to a stop. The rubber pads around the bushings on my truck are shot (i.e., basically gone) and after some inspection and testing I feel pretty confident that's the source of my noise. PRG even makes little spacers for this problem: PRG Products
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Could it be your LCA's? I get some sporadic clunks while turning (occasionally while driving forward, slightly more frequently when backing up) and every so often when coming to a stop. The rubber pads around the bushings on my truck are shot (i.e., basically gone) and after some inspection and testing I feel pretty confident that's the source of my noise. PRG even makes little spacers for this problem: PRG Products
It's entirely possible. Do you have a recommended method for checking them?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I crawled under the truck today with a pry bar and checked out the LCA bushings. Sure enough, there's a good amount of front-to-back slop in them, and the rubber wear pads look ridiculously thin. I ordered a set of the PRG delrin spacers to fix that. I'm leaning pretty heavily towards this being my problem, because....

I went on a trip this weekend over very rough roads. Every time I hit something that caused shock compression (a rock sticking up), I'd get a clank. When I had the suspension extending (potholes), no noise. My theory is that the rocks sticking up are causing my LCA to shift backwards and clank. Also, after driving that road, I get much more clunking in 2wd during turns now, which leads me to believe that the clunk I heard in 4x4 was the LCA, not the CV shaft.

I'll install the spacers and see if that fixes my troubles. That would be awesome, seeing as how they're a $40 fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Installed the spacers a couple of days ago. Seems to have fixed all 2wd clunking. Turning tests in 4x4 confirmed that the noise I suspected being the CV was still there. However....

I was driving on the highway yesterday when suddenly I heard a rotational noise. A loud clunking that I could feel through the floorboards. It got progressively worse as I stopped the truck. I got out to inspect, nothing. Drove the truck forward a bit, noise is still there. Dropped the truck into neutral while it's still rolling, noise doesn't change. Looked underneath and gave everything a close inspection. Nothing seems really out of the ordinary. So I gave up and called a tow truck. Lola was loaded on a rollback wrecker and driven the 45 miles to my trusted mechanic (who is a 4x4 guy and runs an extremely modified Toyota pickup) for evaluation. Haven't heard back yet, hopefully we'll know something soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
So this is embarrassing.....

After my guy took a look at the truck and heard the horrible noise, he took a long time finding the problem. However, the trouble was very minor. There was... a piece of electrical tape wrapped around the driveshaft. One end of it came loose, and was slapping against the underside of the floor pan. So, $200 to solve that mystery...

On to the CV getting replaced to fix the 4x4 clunking.
 
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