2000 Camry XLE six. Clunking in rear end, both sides

Have replaced rear struts/shocks (two-and-a-half times) to no avail: Gabriels, first.

Worse than original noise. Same day, Monroes; somewhat less noise. Both replacements by mechanic (not dealer). Thinking that he/we could not tighten nut enough where shaft enters top mount, I ordered a Monroe, factory assembled unit for one side to experiment. That seemed to help a lot, but now, after 2,000 mis., the noises are as bad as ever. Mechanic checked all bars running across rear end, but nothing seemed loose. Any theories?

I’ve run into this situation on many Camry’s, and the problem is the top strut mounting nuts are still loose. You have to get a wrench on the flats at the top of the strut rods to prevent the rods from turning. And then tighten the nuts as much as possible to get the bushings to compress to prevent the strut rods from coming in contact with the mounting holes.


I’m sure that Tester is right about Camrys in general, but shouldn’t your Monroe Quick-Strut have come with the top nut factory tightened? It won’t do any harm to try to tighten the top nut unless you apply so much force that you shear the nut off. If you can’t get to the nut with the right tools, see if your mechanic is amenable to hitting the top nut with an impact wrench for 10 or 15 seconds. If that fixes things – even temporarily – you’ll know that you are on the right track. The worst that can happen is the the nut will shear off, and you’ll need to do another strut replacement.

But if that doesn’t fix things, you might want to check to see if there is anything in the trunk that might be making noises. For several years, my wife used to lug a folding table around and it took me a long time to figure out that its bouncing was causing the thunks from the back of our car.

On our 1999 Camry (essentially the same as your 2000 I believe) after replacing the exhaust pipe between the catalytic converter and the muffler, the muffler has moved back a quarter inch or so and is now striking a bolt head on the chassis when the car goes over big bumps.

Have a 2000 Camry XLE V6 with a clunking noise in back. It is some kind of control arm thing a mechanic said commonly rattles on Camry’s. Causes no harm and my son (its his car) always has skateboard junk rolling around in the trunk anyway so we are just letting it go.

Check all those suspension arms and it may only make the noise when you hit a bump so what seems tight might still move enough on bumps to make the noise.

Thanks for getting back to me. If the plural(nuts) you are referring to are the single nuts at the top of the individual strut “bolt,” not the three small nuts/bolts that are imbedded in the rubber mount, I don’t see how the factory assembled, single unit I bought to test my (and your) theory can be clunking. Certainly the company must have the equipment to tighten things properly. If you are referring to th 3 small nuts/bolts, I have tightened all of them as tightly as a 6" wrench will allow. What next? I have (a number of times) removed everything from the trunk, incl. tire, jack, etc. even the trailer hitch. It’s driving me nuts!

Thanks again,rogerram

Thanks. I’ll check the various arms, again

check this out. although i cant see your car this is the next thing on the list that would give a ‘CLUNKING’ sound. either part no 14 is worn out or number 15 is worn out (note number 15 has two ends to wear out too)

The list is too endless to decipher over the net. a good mechanic can bang, wiggle and figure out where the loose joints are, usually with a sledge and whacking on the tires, to make thins jiggle under there to see what IS and is NOT making noise. the whole list of connections (7,8,9,rod 10 [both ends] 2, and 14 1nd 15) are all up for inspection. note you have eliminated number 1 already. :slight_smile:

Thanks, Cappy. We are away from home until the end of Sept., but when we get back, I’ll have my mechanic more carefully examine those points you suggested.