Clicking noise from the front passenger side


#1

Guys,
I am in a dilemma because people cannot pinpoint or diagnose the issue I have with my 4Runner.

I have a 2011Toyota 4Runner with ICON Stage 1 and Light Racing UCAs-I got about 65K on the truck and about 35K on this kit.

Over the last month or so, I started hearing a clicking/clunking noise coming from the front end (passenger side from what I can tell) while going over small bumps in the road. Now here is the strange part, I do not hear it first thing after I start driving but perhaps 5-10 minutes into the drive, I begin hearing the sounds. Here is another strange part; the sounds cannot be replicated if I am driving over a speedbump and I have tested many speedbumps to test that theory. The clicking sound can only be heard as I am driving down the road and any minor imperfection or bump will cause the clicking. I also can feel some feedback in the steering wheel every time I hear the clicking noise. Standing still, if I turn the steering full right or left, I cannot replicate the sound. The only way I can replicate is by the right wheel contacting any tiny bump or imperfection.

So here’s what I have done so far.
1)As I was getting my 60K service at the dealer, I asked them to check it out and they just blew it off blaming the aftermarket suspension.
2)A few days later, I took it to firestone (yeah I know) and asked them to check it out - They checked out the suspension and everything else and claim all seems good.
3)I am in South Florida (Miami) right now and found out about Karnage Motorsports. They have a very good reputation and were very professional. They checked out the ICON kit as well as suspension and steering but did not find anything wrong either. As a matter of fact, initially they couldn’t hear the sound but after I drove the car for 10-15 minutes and took it back to them, they sound came back and they did notice the clicking noise from inside the cabin and even when he was walking alongside the car on the front passenger side.

So to sum it up, the clicking noise comes after the car has been driven for 5+ minutes and it is coming from the front right side. The noise is made as I am driving down the road over any small bump/imperfection and it’s quite noticeable. I can also feel some feedback in the steering. 3 separate places have checked out the vehicle but no one seems to be able to find the issue but the guys at Karnage did hear the sound (he is going to ask around to see if he can find something).

I am just about done and I am at a point where I just want to get rid of the vehicle since I am not sure if something is going to collapse on me on the interstate at 70mph.

It only has 65000 miles so I do not want to get rid of it so please, if anyone has had this issue or have a remote idea of what I am talking about, please let me know.

If you know of any other good spots in South Florida who can check it out, let me know.

I AM STUMPED!!!


#2

"and they did notice the clicking noise from inside the cabin"
If it is inside the cabin it may be a weak relay, now the relay has to be working something, any other observations? I would not dump the car yet. Many toyotas have a passenger side relay box, see if you do too!


#3

Barky, thank you for the comment. The noise is certainly coming from the front right but it can also be noticed from within the Cabin. Honestly, I am not mechanically savvy so I will be telling trying to tell you about some part that I am not even sure of.

This is strange to me, however, that the noise only starts after a few miles of driving and then doesn’t go away throughout the duration of the drive as I travel on even lightly bumpy road. If the car cools down a bit, the noise subsides but once again starts up after I have driven a few minutes/miles.

Noise only coming from the front right
Only happens after the car has warmed up
I can get a little feel of it on the steering

These are probably my only observations right now. I have posted on other forums and people are suggesting all sorts of things. CV Joint/Tie Rod End/CV Axle; I would assume that both firestone and specialty shot inspected all that stuff when conducting the steering and suspension inspection.


#4

Well, you could swap the coil-over shocks right-to-left and see if the sound switches sides.


#5

Thank you. I will add that to the checklist.


#6

Something very easy to try, swap the two front wheels. If the noise follows, you know the problem has to do with the wheels. If not, well at least you’ve eliminated the wheels as the problem.

You should also take your truck to a parking lot where you can turn left and right all the way to the steering stops, while going slow, like from a stop to 5 mph while turning. If you hear the clicks then, that could be a clue the problem is something in the axle.


#7

Mine had a similar sound, and it turned out to be the wheel bearing. It’s a relatively easy fix, and you can save yourself a bunch of cash if you do some basic stuff first.

Remove the wheel, caliper and brake disc. Pop the cover and remove the cotter pin/nut cover from the axle nut (if 4WD), then remove the nut (35mm). Remove the 4 bolts mounting the bearing assembly. Take the bearing assembly to someone with the appropriate tools (press) to change it.

Here’s a pretty good tutorial on it:

The four bolts will not come out of the assembly, and must be installed before the press fit is accomplished. You can get this done at any dealer or your local shop, providing they have a press (and most shops will). I prefer factory bearings, but there are a bunch of aftermarkets that should work just fine.

Good luck…HTH


#8

George - We had tried doing that during the diagnostic. No sound at all while turning full left/right.

Chaissos - I think I may have figured out what it is (80% sure). After a lot of research and talking to a lot of knowledgeable folks, I believe it has to be the Sway Bar end link. I have an appointment tomorrow to get it checked out and will inform the group if that is the cause.

Thank you all for the help.


#9

Because the clicking does not seem to track with speedbumps, check out the brake calipers for looseness – especially the caliper bolts. Is there excessive play?


#10

I think we got a figured out finally…It’s the UCA ball joint that is worn out.


#11

Thanks for the update. Odd because that ball joint doesn’t carry any weight. Good luck.


#12

All, just an update. It was the UCA Ball Joint and replaced both of them upfront. Noise is gone. Thank you all for the help.


#13

Thanks for posting the resolution, glad you’re rolling clickfree