02 Pathfinder 4x4 Front End Clunk?

Hi all, I have a 2002 Nissan Pathfinder 4x4 SE, and I have a strange noise emanating from the front suspension. It’s essentially a creaking sound whenever going over speedbumps etc, that lasts only when crossing the bump in question. There is also a distinct ratcheting/popping sound when I more with the wheel at full lock. I’ve already replaced the front sway bar bushing, recently replaced the struts and springs, lower control arms, and have not noticed any shaking in the tie rods when I try to move them.

Any help is much appreciated!

The noise might be from a worn front half shaft.


When going over bumps or turning the steering wheel sharply, the outer CV-joint has to articulate for the change in the suspension travel and the turning angle.

The outer CV-joint boot may be in tact, but joint can be worn internally.

Get under the vehicle and grab each half shaft and aggressively try to move the half shafts up and down.

There should be no movement.



You said you replaced the sway bar bushings . . . but did you also replace the sway bar links?

Depending on the design of the links, they can make a pretty loud clunk when going over bumps

I would put the truck on jackstands and carefully check out all of the lower ball joints, which can make squeaky and clunking noises. A pry bar can help you determine if they’ve got excessive slop

Just out of curiosity . . . did the new control arms come with ball joints attached? I’m asking because rockauto shows that most of them come without ball joints