Front clunk - Sway bar Links or Bushings

mrrhtuner

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2011
Location
London Ont Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI, 2015 Passat TDI, 2015 Touareg TDI
Hey everyone, I've noticed a clunk while driving over small potholes at a slow speed.

Back in my MK4 days, often the sway bar links would rarely be the issue and it was more so the sway bar bushings that hold it to the subframe.

After doing some reading up about Passat NMS front clunking being caused by worn sway bar components, it seems that users have replaced the sway bar links as that was the issue.

Are the links usually the failing point on these cars? My 2015 Passat has 93,000km and I do my best to drive carefully.

Has anybody had to replace the sway bar bushings instead of the links?
 

DivineChaos

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Location
Minnesota
TDI
mk6 jetta sportwagen tdi
Could be many things. Struts, bushings. Ball joints. Bearings. End links. Have to look at it and check. A shop will normally charge 50 for a inspection.
 

740GLE

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 19, 2009
Location
NH
TDI
2015 Passat SEL, 2017 Alltrack SE; BB 2010 Sedan Man; 2012 Passat,
disconnect the links, drive around see if the noise went away, boom problem solved, either bushing or links.

I'd start with new links first.

Do you notice the sound when rocking the wheel back and forth rolling the body of the car?
 

d2freeman

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Location
NC
TDI
2013 Passat SE
I have never been able to find anyone who sells the front sway bar bushings, seems they are not available, even from VW.
 

BamaB4S

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Location
AL
TDI
1996 Passat
I have never been able to find anyone who sells the front sway bar bushings, seems they are not available, even from VW.
 

d2freeman

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2013
Location
NC
TDI
2013 Passat SE
IDparts says they do not have bushings for an NMS Passat so I say they are for the older Passats not ours.
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
Could you measure the sway bar and see if there is something compatible based on the size? My 63 sway bar bushing is 25mm/1inch and the bushings all look to be the same shape.
 

NSTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2002
Location
Nova Scotia
TDI
13 Passat Sep 12
So I had a clunk on bumpy roads, I had replaced the LCA bushings in Nov/Dec 2021 but it sounded the same. I removed the end links which looked fine and checked what I could on the sway bar bushings, they looked fine. I still had a clunk with the links removed but I think the sway bar ends were touching the suspension or something while driving.

I wondered if my new LCA bushings had failed but everything I checked looked fine. The rubber on the links looked perfect but turns out one of the bolt in one link had a tiny bit of in and out play. Replaced them, problem gone.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
Yeah, I had a clunk too that went away with new links
 

MB2VW

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2000
Location
Lighthouse Pt., FL USA
TDI
2015 Passat SEL,
I had a clunk. I didn't see anything worth going after my wrench, so I took it to the dealer.

The clunk seemed to happen under torque with the wheels pointed right.

The first trip in, the mechanic did a the best he could, and he tried his best. I forgot how that trip worked out, but I did take it back a second time, and I insisted the car wait for that same mechanic to take a second look at.

A CUSTOMER STATES TWO OR THREE TIMES WHEN TURNING UNDER LOAD, YOU HEAR
A CLUNK FROM RIGHT FRONT-APPLY TORQUE - ADVISE
CAUSE; SUB FRAME SHIFT
SIC REPLACE 6 SUBFRAME BOLTS
152 DEAN,MIKE LIC#: 2314
CV 222.00 222.00
2 N-911-433-01 SCREW 11.25 11.25 22.50
4 N-912-084-01 BOLT 11.65 11.65 46.60
2 7M3-499-349-A PLATE 15.75 15.75 31.50
PARTS: 100.60 LABOR: 222.00 OTHER: 0.00 TOTAL LINE A: 322.60
113503 SUB FRAME SHIFT TECH TEST DROVE VEHICLE AND HEARD NOISE,
TECH INSPECTED AND FOUND SUB FRAME HAD MOVED AND TECH THEN REPLACED
WASHERS AND 6 SUB FRAME BOLTS AND TORQUED TO SPEC

$380.00

That was 30k ago and it's been fine since...
 
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