Hopsonn New Reader
9/26/12 6:33 p.m.

I've been getting a clunking sound from the front end of my 2008 mazdaspeed3. It doesn't sound like end links to me, I'm guessing sway bar bushings which I've ordered. Any other educated guesses from other GRM mazda3 owners?

I'm at around 60k miles, and while the car may not feel quite as sharp as when it was new, the only real symptom is the clunk.

JtspellS HalfDork
9/26/12 6:44 p.m.

Check your Rear motor mount, it is famous for going bad

Kenny_McCormic Reader
9/26/12 7:54 p.m.

Ball joints? Tie rods?

9/26/12 10:02 p.m.

strut mounts

mndsm PowerDork
9/26/12 10:08 p.m.

Couple of things. The endlinks in this car are JUNK. (I've torn apart the entire front end of mine, multiple times) Swaybar bushings aren't the greatest, buuuut- they are the single LAST thing I would check on this car. Take a good 6 hours to R&R those nasty bitches. The bumpstops in the car are also JUNK- mine came out of the top hats in pieces when I went to swap to coilovers. The rear motormount is also JUNK- it can't handle the torque that the car came with, an is prone to fail. On the side of a back road. In Wisconsin. Fortunately, people that happen to be my father in law happen to live 10min from there with a truck and a trailer.

GameboyRMH GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
9/27/12 7:14 a.m.

It's fairly easy to tell if it's sway bar endlinks, when you take a corner or the suspension twists it sounds like you got in an accident (maybe not as bad on cushy modern cars).

Bushings are generally quieter and will make different noises left vs. right while a worn endlink will make the same noise in either direction.

Hopsonn New Reader
9/27/12 11:49 a.m.

All good points.

  • The end links don't feel loose or rattle with the wheels on the ground, and I get the sound going over a bump especially when one wheel hits the bump such as exiting a parking lot at an angle.

  • I checked the motor mounts except for the drivers side which is under the battery tray and there didn't seem to be any issues. I've got the CPE rear mount and it looks solid. No issues with shifting or sounds except for the clunk in the front suspension over bumps.

As for time replacing the swaybar bushings, what about this took 6 hours? For just the bushings it doesn't look like it's necessary to lower the subframe, or am I nuts?

RexSeven SuperDork
9/27/12 5:14 p.m.

I'm thinking strut mount too. I know the stock top hats on some S197 Mustangs were prone to making clicking noises.

I hope for your sake it's not the front swaybar bushings. The front swaybar is a PITA to get in and out of the car. Yes, it involves lowering the subframe cradle. Here's the instruction manual for the Hotchkis front swaybar to give you an idea:


I would also check the torque of the driver's-side engine mount bolt anyways, just in case. Early 2007 models were subject to a recall because that mount would fail and the engine would literally drop out of the engine bay. Not every shop torqued that bolt down correctly.

Hopsonn New Reader
9/28/12 11:20 a.m.

In reply to RexSeven:

I've seen the Hotchkis instructions, but these are for putting in a new swaybar. Is it not possible to replace the bushings with the bar in the car?

Either way, I've got the front bushings coming, and new Moog end links from RockAuto on the way too. I'll update if one of these takes care of it.

fidelity101 New Reader
9/28/12 3:19 p.m.

put the front end on jack stands and grab each suspension component and start yankin on em until you feel the movement and re-create the noise. A small prybar would help too in some situations to check for excessive play.

sergio New Reader
9/30/12 10:24 p.m.

Drive it til the noise either goes away because the part broke completely or til it's so bad that it's obvious what's wrong.

Mine pops/clunks reversing out of my garage. Put Konis on the front cause the right strut leaked oil. Can't find anything loose. Maybe it's a control arm bushing, IDK.

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