Rear left wheel free-play or clicking movement at 3 o'clock makes me crazy~!


I have a 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT V6 FWD. about 138, xxx miles

My left rear tire/wheel has free - play (clicking movement) when grabbed at ONLY the 3 o’clock position and push/pulled back and forth (no free-play at 12-6 direction) in the air.

I had grinding noise from rear left side wheel when turning right couple weeks ago. After replacing wheel hub bearing assembly, the noise is gone. But still remains the movement ONLY at 3 o’clock. I replaced stabilizer bar links in both rear sides. This link doesn’t look like the reason of free-play (clicking movement).

Also, I tested (push or pull) after switching the other side(right) wheel, it still had clicking movement at 3 pm. Therefore, it is not a wheel problem itself, I guess. :slight_smile:

And I took off the wheel and fasten the lug nuts onto the rotor itself (so, without wheel in this case), then push/pull the rotor at 3 pm, but this time no movement in any directions. @@;; weird…
ONLY, I can feel the clicking movement at 3pm on the Wheel (or tire) even after rotating wheel, exactly in same spot (3 pm) movement~!!!
What’s this case??

All 4 wheels aligned recently after got new tires.

I scrutinized inside wheel while pushing/pulling back and forth. But I cannot figure out which one is problem.

#1. Knuckle.
#2. Lower control arm ( or Rear rear control arm, not typo) which has a Ball joint and a cam bolt the other side.
#3. Rear front control arm
#4. trailing arm.
#5. stabilizer bar link. (new)
#6. Wheel hub bearing assembly (new, double-checked the nuts and torques)
#7. Rotor and pads (new, if I push the rotor itself then no wobble or clicking at all directions as desribed above)

Where should I direct my attention and/or what component(s) should I look at given the indications above?

When I pull/push the wheel at 3 o’clock, it feels like wiggling the whole part of lower knuckle where is the connection part between the part of 4 bolt (backside) of hub assembly and lower side of knuckle.

I heard that 12 and 6 is usually an indication of ball joint, and play 9 and 3 is usually in indication of steering components ( tie rods , steering shaft or rack itself ), and all around play is an indication of wheel bearing (usually accompanied with a growling noise ).

I appreciate your help, guys~!

There is a great deal more mechanical advantage available to flex the slack with the wheel/tire installed. And isn’t there a tie rod on the rear suspension to set and hold the toe?

Hi, Rod Knox,
My car (front wheel drive, FWD) doesn’t have a tie-rod in rear side. Thank you~!

How is the toe adjusted, @Rugby? A rose by any other name…

On most front drive cars, rear toe is adjusted by tapered plastic discs that are placed over the 4 studs that mount the hub/brake/wheel assembly.

I’m not familiar with the rear suspension on that car and I understand that shimming is used on some. The OP’s insistence that the slack is at the 3:00, i.e. horizontal plane, led me to the conclusion that whatever mechanism was used to adjust the toe was failing, @oldtimer. And the shims don’t usually wear out. But the tie rod type link used on a few cars is no stronger than the sway bar link. Maybe someone with experience with that car is in the Peanut Gallery tonight.