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Dodge Challenger clunk/rattle/thud noise

Hello all. Got a real head scratcher here.

I have a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T with the 5.7L V8. It has around 128K miles on it. I’ve had the car about 3 years.

For about a year now, I’ve been trying to track down a rattle/clunk noise coming from the front right (passenger) side of the car. I only hear it going over bumps or rough pavement, but it’s not always consistent. Driving over gravel seems to always trigger the noise. There’s a single “thunk” when driving over speed bumps. Sometimes the brakes seem to play a role. When I brake, there’s a fast “thunk thunk thunk” noise that stops if I press harder, or stop.

So what have I done so far?

I’ve taken it to several mechanics. All of them have said the front end components all appeared fine. Except for one guy, all said if they had to guess, they say bad strut and/or strut mount.

The one other guy thought it might be worn caliper pins or worn out holes for the pins in the caliper.

Last week, I found a garage to replace the front struts. He also replaced the rear shocks, as they were leaking fluid. While he was working on the front, he found the upper control arms/ball joints were worn out, as well as the sway bar bushings. So I had him replace all that, as well as both front strut mounts. He was sure he’d stopped the noise. As it cost me a pretty penny… I hoped so too.:slightly_smiling_face:

Well… the noise is about 90% gone, and it rides and handles like a new car. But I’m wondering now about the remaining noise. It’s definitely reduced; what the guy replaced for sure helped and was needed. But I’m dumbfounded as to what to do next.

Could the other mechanic’s theory about the caliper pins be true? I replaced the pins myself during the past year, and it made no difference. Of course, if the holes are worn, that would make sense.

I have noticed that the brakes seem a bit “loose” on both front wheels. By loose, I mean with the tire bolted on, you can grab the caliper and wiggle it just a little. That concerned me, as I can do the same thing on the rears and there is no play. The noise it makes is what I’d imagine it would sound like inside the car, if that makes sense.

Any suggestions? It’s going to be a while before I can start working on this again, as I’ve burned up all my Wife Goodwill. :smile: Thanks.

The front calipers are supposed to wiggle just a little bit. Normal. Given what has been replaced, I’d guess the lower control arm bushings are worn out. In any event, if the noise gets worse, it will be easier to find.

Does open up a question… 4 shops said struts and mounts was the problem and I would have guessed that too… why didn’t you have any of them do the replacement?

Honestly, I’ve had limited funds for this repair work and wanted to spend the money on the most likely solution. I also wanted to see if I could somehow figure it out myself and save the big money.

Thanks for the response. I know this family of car also has a reputation for issue with the lower control arm or tension strut.