Strut noise diagnosis -- Am I on the right track?
My 2003 DGC makes clunking noises (just like every other DGC, apparently).
Based on the nature of the clunks (always come in pairs, not related to body sway, tends to start when the suspension is in rebound) and the location, I thought it might be the upper strut mounts.
The left side is a little worse than the right.
Today I put the front end on jackstands and put a jack under the front ball joints. With my finger on the tip of the strut (under the hood), I detected about 3/8 of vertical travel when raising the jack under the left side ball joint.
The right side had about 1/4 of free play.
I assume this isn't normal? Can somebody confirm?
Next, I pulled out the strut assembly (3 little bolts up top, two big ones below). This experiment didn't get too far because I don't have a spring compressor.
I assume that something is loose or worn out, but I'm not sure what. Aside from the sloppy 3/8", the struts seem to be doing their job well. Do I need a bushing? New struts? A new one of those hat-shaped things that holds the top of the spring?
Maybe I can just tighten the nut on the end of the strut rod? I'm still kicking myself for not checking putting the impact wrench on those nuts while I had the strut lying in the driveway.
Thanks very much for any experience in this regard.