Vehicle: 2004 Subaru WRX Wagon with 103,000mi.
Symptom: Hollow clunk sound. Kind of sounds like maybe the exhaust is loose on it's mounts and banging/reasonating over bumps.
Occurence: Only occurs when driving over smaller bumps. It doesn't always make the sound. And doesn't make the sound when I hit large bumps/pot holes. It almost seems like it is a reasonant thing, but it isn't. I can duplicate it by driving over small bumps, like a flush manhole, or driving down a packed snow-covered road, or driving over some of the cracks in a road that are full of tar. It will do it over a single small bump too, doesn't need to be a series of bumps to get the thing ringing....it happens with suspension compression and rebound.
Additoinal Info: It is only coming from the left side of the car. More specifically it is coming from the left front of the car. It is a strut type suspension. It probably started when the weather got colder and there wasn't one specific instance that started it. It seems like it just kind of snuck up and I started to become aware of it. It doesn't seem to be getting worse or more frequent. The car steers and handles pretty well. If I turn the radio up loud the noise goes away.
My Guesses: Thought it was an early ball joint or suspension mount going bad, or an exhaust heat shield loose, or the exhaust banging and clunking under the right suspension jounce conditions, or maybe a bad strut or strut mount.
What I have Done: I put the car up in the air a couple days ago and started drivng the Durango. I have stood around it drinking beer and staring at it mostly. Yesterday I rolled under with a light and started pulling and banging on things. Nothing appears loose. All rubber boots are in good condition with no signs of cracking. I pulled on the strut spring and didn't hear any noise. The wheel didn't have any play when it was bolted on either. Nothing is obvious to me. I also do not see any signs of leakage form the strut, which makes me think that the strut can't be bad.....but I am not a damper pro.
What I thought to do Next: I was going to take out the left front strut and inspect the upper mount and the strut, and probably replace both front struts since the car has a lot of miles on it. After that I will probably start driving it again and wait till it gets worse....or take it in to Hodges....but I would like to not do that.
Any suggestions on next steps (or if you already know what the problem is I have no problem with get out of jail free cards)?
Thanks for reading!