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Discussion Starter #1
I did do a search and found some possibly helpful info, but I wanted to start a new thread because I have already changed a few things and wanted to see if there were any ideas what else might be causing this noise.

Situation is this: My 2007 Santa Fe Limited, with 3.3 L v6 and about 260k miles is making clunking noises from the front end. This only happens when I am going slow and going over a rough bumpy surface, like in a poorly maintained driveway, or any surface that has even small bumps.

It just sounds like a "clunk clunk" noise like something is loose every time I hit a small bump at low speed. Sometimes, if I'm going slow, I can get a bit of the noise to occur when I step on and off the brakes at low speed.
Driving at normal street or highway speeds I hear nothing. It's only when going slow over even slightly rough surfaces. Also, the new tires I put on after a ba;; joint change are not wearing oddly.

What I have done so far:

1. Replaced the lower ball joints on both sides because the tires were worn and the ball joints were getting loose (Did it myself - had to remove lower A-arms to press in the new joints)

2. Replaced the inner and outer tie rods on both sides.

3. Replaced the sway bar links/joints on both sides.

4. Replaced both Wheel Hubs (not for this, but I could hear he bearings were going when I manually rotated the wheels on a lift.

I also had the transmission replaced about 2000 miles ago.

Given what I've replaced already, does anyone have any ideas of what the most likely culprit might be and how to test?

Thanks,
Basil Fawlty
 

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there are still bunch of things. The lower control arm bushing is the weakness, after 5 years they start to get cracked and making noise. Another is the motor mounts/transmission mounts. You park the car on the ground, slowly push the car back and forth, if you see the mount's center bolt bounce many times, or move crazy then the bushing is bad . There should be 4 mounts, one on each side of engine/transmission combination
 

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Discussion Starter #3
there are still bunch of things. The lower control arm bushing is the weakness, after 5 years they start to get cracked and making noise. Another is the motor mounts/transmission mounts. You park the car on the ground, slowly push the car back and forth, if you see the mount's center bolt bounce many times, or move crazy then the bushing is bad . There should be 4 mounts, one on each side of engine/transmission combination
Thanks for the ideas camper. From what I've heard about engine mounts being bad, there would be some noticeable clanking under power, irrespective of surface of the road. When I'm on a smooth surface and do a short, quick punch of the gas, I don't hear and sort of clunking. Nevertheless less, I will certainly try your test and try to inspect all the engine and transmission mounts.

The idea of the lower control arm bushing sounds promising. I had to take the lower control arms off when I replaced the ball joints, and at that time, the bushings didn't look too bad, but there could be damage that wasn't obvious So I may plan to change those just to eliminate that as a cause since they are old enough that it would not hurt to change them regardless. I am also going to take a close look at the sway bar bushes. While I did put in new links, I did not change the sway bar bushings. If the engine mounts check out good and I change the lower A-Arm bushings and sway bar bushings, but the problem persists, then only other thing I could think of is the struts.

Any idea how to check if the struts are the issue? When I manually push up and down on the front of the car they "seem" firm and I don't get any noise.

If only I could hang under the car as my wife drives it down a bumpy street, I could see where the noise is coming from for sure! (just kidding - I'd drive the car)
 

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Any idea how to check if the struts are the issue? When I manually push up and down on the front of the car they "seem" firm and I don't get any noise.

If only I could hang under the car as my wife drives it down a bumpy street, I could see where the noise is coming from for sure! (just kidding - I'd drive the car)
strut mount is hard to check, the rubber is sealed inside and you can't see. Sometimes bad mount can lead to slippery top mount bolt(cannot tighten) but sometimes not. The best way is to put magnet camera or phone on suspension when you driving so you can address the problem
 

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I had a sound at low speed over small bumps on another car that turned out to be the struts. At 260K miles, they bear looking at closely.

.
 

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Joined the forum because my '07 Limited has a lot of clunking around in the front end suspension, I'm guessing its ball joints and/or control arm bushings, but since I was in there I thought I'd ask about struts as well. Whats the typical lifespan on the stock struts?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Joined the forum because my '07 Limited has a lot of clunking around in the front end suspension, I'm guessing its ball joints and/or control arm bushings, but since I was in there I thought I'd ask about struts as well. Whats the typical lifespan on the stock struts?

Just an update. I changed the lower control arm on the offending side and the clunking stopped. Be sure if you change it to torque the bolts to spec. I've no idea if that’s what your issue is, but that's what fixed my clunking. (I also changed the struts just on principle since the car had 260k miles, but I'm sure it was the control arm that was causing the clunking)
 

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Yes I just saw this post. I had an 07 with the klunking and delayed having it looked at. The control arm broke off and the wheel flopped over. Luckily I was only going about 25 mph. Lesson learned...do not ignore klunking on these models. Could be very serious consequences.
 

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Yes I just saw this post. I had an 07 with the klunking and delayed having it looked at. The control arm broke off and the wheel flopped over. Luckily I was only going about 25 mph. Lesson learned...do not ignore klunking on these models. Could be very serious consequences.
I'm going to change the other side just as a matter of principle.
 
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