Clunks once in each direction

88 Wagonman

New member
When I pull out of my driveway and hit the brakes, it makes a single clunk, and when I go forward and hit the brakes it also has the same clunk, but only once. I will not make the clunk again until I go in the other direction. It sounds like its coming from the passenger side wheel, but you can feel it very faintly in the cab. My first thoughts were that maybe a u-joint was bad, or a loose caliper, but they are fine. Any ideas on what to look for?

On a side note, does anyone else feel like a retard just for posting in the oem tech because you couldn't find an answer on your own or from searching?
 

heyhar

New member
On a side note, does anyone else feel like a retard just for posting in the oem tech because you couldn't find an answer on your own or from searching?
Well, I've heard that the only stupid question is the one you don't ask....
Anyway, if you think the clunk is coming from the front, remove the wheel, and take a good look at the surface on the knuckle that the pads rest on. I don't know if you've got the earlier or later brakes-not sure what year they switched. The later ones wear a spot on the mounting surface, that they sometimes clunk into and out of. Cured my '92 by grinding down the high spots, although it wasn't too bad, and I didn't remove much material. Our '95, cleaned up the grooves, filled them with weld, contoured it back down to match, worked great. I'm unfamiliar with the earlier brakes, though. Maybe something similar would work?
 

93gc40

New member
Loose trackbar at the axle mount. Loose bottom shock bolts. What Heyhar said. Bad Bal joints. You might need an assitant to turn the steering wheel back and forth so that you can SEE whats happening. Sometimes this kind of problem can't be felt just by wiggling things by hand.
 

ehall

NAXJA Member
NAXJA Member
I had that problem on my Cadillac and finally found a missing bolt on a support bracket--the metal piece would flop one way or the other depending on the braking direction :rof:

Check your motor and tranny mounts, clean and lubricate the caliper pins and bolts, check ball joints, etc
 

heyhar

New member
Then, of course, there's spring wrap, from the rear.. Both of our '96s suffer this to a degree. When you apply the brakes, the rear axle twists in the direction of wheel travel, if the springs are sufficiently weak. As you let off the brake, the axle wants to clunk back into its normal position. I used leaf spring clamps to stop the leaves from spreading, quieting the clunk greatly. Just tight enough to keep the leaves together, loose enough to let them slide, as they want to do in their normal range of motion.
 

Eddy_AL

New member
Ummm..... Call me crazy, but I think you might want to start with looking at your brake. Maybe I'm oversimplifying, but I'd start by replacing the bushings on the brake caliper mounting bolts. They should only run a few bucks for the pair.

Start simple and work your way up the complexity ladder.....
 

Dweezel

New member
Also check the rear brakes. If a pad came unglued/rivited from the shoe it could be moving around untill it gets wedged on the other side.
 

88 Wagonman

New member
Well, I don't know if it is THE cause, but the ball joints are definately bad. I will be replacing them soon. I will retest after replacing them and let you guys know. Thanks!
 

88 Wagonman

New member
Ball joints didn't solve the problem, but it did make a noticeable difference in the handling. I did notice something strange while I was in there though, the caliper pistons have dug into the back of the pads. I will try to post pics after I change them out. Has anyone come across this before? Maybe the dual diaphragm booster is too much for the cheap pads?
 
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