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MG MGB Technical - Help - Front End Clunk

Hi everyone, first time user of BBS.

1974 RB mgb roadster with Rostyle wheels.

Makes a loud metallic clunking noise as you drive along especially on rough surface as the body flexes.
Cannot simulate when car is parked.
Changed all suspension rubbers, shocks and tightened every nut and bolt in the front end.
Not windscreen, door, headlamps and cannot feel thru steering wheel, but can feel thru drivers side floor sill.
Floor pans and sills in good condition with no rust.
The noise appears to be coming from somewhere between door and front wheel.
Have had MG mechanic look at car on hoist.
I apologise for long description but you can see I have spent a lot of time on this problem and it is driving me nuts.
Any suggestions much appreciated.
R Hill

Don't laugh but do you still get the noise if you drive with the door open !! If you do it could be movement in the door hinge and/or door alignment with strikers etc.
Iain MacKintosh

Have you unbolted the front wing splash panel in the wheel arch and made sure no mechanic left a spanner or socket in the space after tightening up the door hinges!

T Crossley

Paul Hanley

I wonder if the exhaust pipe is loose at the manifold?
Jack Caulder

Sounds similar to my problem with bushings in front end that were so detoriated that the wishbone pivot was clunking inside the wishbone arm. Replacing the bushings eliminated it entirely (used the MGBV8 ones with steel in them) not to mention making car handle better. This assumes you haven't rebuilt front end. I couldn't simulate it either but getting in there with flashlight I could see how chewed up and detoriated it was. I noticed it most entering and exiting my driveway which has angled curb and it was pretty loud then. Really not too bad a job following Haynes instructions which is weird because it's ALWAYS harder than it appears to me.
J.T. Bamford

All of the above...and you might also try this:

Rest a few fingers lightly on top of the steering
wheel and twitch the wheel to the left & right,
back & forth, quickly, about 2" - 3"...or maybe 4".

If there's any clunking - it could be the steering rack
end bushings. You can further confirm this by
undoing the rack boots, and grab the tie rod end
joint (at the rack end, not the steering arm end)
with your hand and give each a good shaking to
test for excess slop.

Usually, it's the bushing farthest from the rack
pinion gear that gives up first, but is then quickly
followed by the opposite bushing.

These bushings are available ($$), but I've been
told by wiser folks that the job is rather involved,
and is no joy to perform. Balance that with the cost
of a professionally rebuilt unit, or new reproduction.
Daniel Wong


More than likely it is the lower kingpin bushing. This assembly consists of a bushing, distance piece and a bolt. All these pieces carry the weight of that corner of the car, and are subject to a lot of pressure. On most cars this bushing hasnít been lubed much, so it may be pretty well shot. The bushing on my 74 had worn all the way thru.

After I replace it the clunk was cured.

Bryan Prindle

Follow this up and let us know the result. Really interesting to see how many different things it could be. Which is why I LOVE this place.
J.T. Bamford

If the front wings have been off, a nut or socket may have dropped into the A post. Squirt plenty of waxoyl or equivalent into the A posts througth the top under the dash and when it sets, it will secure any loose object.
Dave Wellings

My car did this and it annoyed me to no end! I found out that one of the rubber pads that goes between the crossmember and the frame rails had broken down and fallen out. I know you said you replaced all the bushings, but few people yank off the crossmember and replace these.


This thread was discussed on 01/04/2004

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