I cross posted some of my thread over here, but the culprit was the top center bolt for the steering rack becoming loose. Common issue in Audi's apparently. Read through for more info and possibly other diagnosis procedures for similar noises.
Ok guys, I've had this for a little while, but it's starting to bug me even more. It seems that get a clunking type of noise if I'm turning the wheel from a good bit right to the left. I only really get it while stopped, low speed (sub 15-20), or sub ~35 if doing some really aggressive driving like autocross or something. It's odd though that I don't think I've ever gotten it from turning the wheel from left to right. I'm well aware of the mechanical diff (as I installed the JHM 4:1 on my car) and I seriously doubt it's that type of noise. Unfortunatley I'm wondering if its something in the steering column. I can almost feel the clunk/click as it happens. So give me your suggestions/experience/advice.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDHJqn1VSeY
Here's a video of it (still "converting since I don't have a premium account) and you can faintly hear it while turning the wheel. It's louder in person than the video as I just filmed it on my iPhone.
^^^Video for above txt^^^
heres what ive run into at the dealer
1.upper control arm bushings way to diag:raise the front end and turn the wheel full in both directions. its a visual inspection. see if the bushings are torn through and rubbing in the upper strut plate
2.steering rack bolts especially under the battery way to diag:remove battery and check the triple square hardware and see if its tight. also check the lowers the same way
3.subframe seperation. this 1 is tough to diag. it sounds and feels like the steering rack. what happens is the folding and weld pointy on the front subframe loosen or crack. when the weight and body shifts you get a slight clunk noise. way of diag is get about 6 pair of channel locks and put them around the outside of the subframe alone the folded points. drive it and see if it goes away.
First off thanks for the quick response
1) I just replaced my UCA's with the 034 adjustable kit about 1.5 months ago and bushings look good on all control arms
2) So if I remove the battery I'll have access to the steering column? How would I see from below? I don't really recall seeing it pass through while I've been working on the car, but that's usually b/c I'm looking for other stuff and it's pretty crammed in there.
3)Would this diagnosis still apply if the car was sitting still? B/c I definitely have the clunking while sitting still and turn the wheel. And as I said, I've never noticed it clunk while turning to the right, only while turning to the left.
There are three bolts securing the steering rack, one under the battery tray, another on the opposite side (above), and one underneath that you need a long socket extension for. If those three are already tight, you feel it in the steering wheel, and you've already replaced your UCAs, I'd bet a buffalo nickel it's tie-rod (most likely inner).
Since you mentioned "low speed", it could also be the top nut on your struts (do you have aftermarket suspension perchance?). It's often not torqued down enough and can loosen itself just enough to cause grief.
I gotta check my power steering bits as well
Update boys and girls:
CLUNKING IS FIXED!!!!
A rare night, the project only took 30 min or so (not including the time to run to sears for a socket to grab the bolt). Turns out it was the steering rack bolt, but only the one under the battery. Apparently this is also common on the C5 A6's and such. about 3 days ago I finally got around to replacing the inner tie rods, and that fixed my vibration at certain speeds, but didn't do much for the clunking noise.
I wasn't ignoring other's suggestions, just been putting off the problem. After the inner tie rods being replaced, it could only be one of two parts as mentioned: either a strut mount being bad or not tight, or something wrong with the steering rack or a bolt on the steering rack. And if you listen to where the problem comes from outside of the car you can really identify it's location to determine the issue.
Today at work, I popped the hood and turned the wheel from outside the car, it sounded HORRID (like something was about to pop out or break/already broke), and decided I had to fix this either myself for pay the indi during my alignment tomorrow. So I got home, followed Saki's battery pull diy :up: and got to the bolt in question. Had to run to sears to get a special 11mm socket that would grab the bolt since my 11mm would fit but not really torque it down.
Well after a trip to sears to get some sockets that could grab the weird bolt (12-point), I got it tightened down with some thread locker on there to make sure I'm not having to deal with it again anytime soon. From another DIY it said 67NM (or about 50 lb ft) which is what I did. Based on the size of the bolt, threading, and resistance, it seemed like that was an appropriate torque spec.
Anyhow, below are some pics of the bolt and a reference to the DIY on the A6 with the same issue. Also a link to saki's battery pull DIY.
I really hope this info can help others of you all that come across similar problems.
The bolt itself:
A look from above with the batter gone (ignore all the extra wiring, it's a bit cluttered but not nearly as bad once the battery is in place since it isn't loose then, I need to rewire but haven't):
Saki's Battery removal DIY (everything worked, except I used a 6mm alan bit rather than the 7/32 he suggested, that didn't fit for me):http://www.euroaddiction.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2928
And finally, DIY from the A6 I also used