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Discussion Starter #1
I own a 2009 Murano SL, FWD. I bought it used with approximately 36000 miles. Around a year after I bought it, a problem arose, where only sometimes when starting from a stop, there is a noticeable clunk that you can hear and feel in the floor. The sound never happens when stopping suddenly or otherwise, or when reversing. The car now has around 70000 miles, and the sound is no worse, but I noticed this time while looking for a cause, there is a difference in the appearance of the rear sub-frame rear bracket bushings. Could this be a problem? I checked and the mounting bolt is not loose. Attached are pics of the left and right bushings.
 

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Is that some type of fluid around the right rear one?

It may be a fluid filled bushing and may need to be replaced.
 

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I own a 2009 Murano SL, FWD. I bought it used with approximately 36000 miles. Around a year after I bought it, a problem arose, where only sometimes when starting from a stop, there is a noticeable clunk that you can hear and feel in the floor. The sound never happens when stopping suddenly or otherwise, or when reversing. The car now has around 70000 miles, and the sound is no worse, but I noticed this time while looking for a cause, there is a difference in the appearance of the rear sub-frame rear bracket bushings. Could this be a problem? I checked and the mounting bolt is not loose. Attached are pics of the left and right bushings.
Those pictures look like the rear bushings on the front subframe. The RH bushing (passenger side) looks like it's covered with fluid--probably water from the A/C drain. Bushings themselves look fine and given the condition of the subframe from what I can see and age of the car, you don't appear to live in the rust belt.

Clunk when accelerating from a stop--I'd suggest checking your motor mounts (esp. front). YouTube has lots of videos for testing motor mounts. Let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All the motor mounts are ok, I have checked them every time (maybe 10 times now) I have attempted to track down the problem. Yes that is water running down the bushing, not oil or fluid. The bushing is rubber. My concern is the right bushing upper flange is dropped about 1/8" to 1/4" lower than the left. I guess it is hard to see in the picture. I had been driving in the rain before the pic was taken, so when it drys, I will try to get a better pic. If you look at the left pic, the surface of the flange of the bushing touching the sub-frame is what has dropped, but I can't figure out how.
And yes, the picture is of the front sub-frame rear corner brackets.
The help is appreciated.
Ken
 

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All the motor mounts are ok, I have checked them every time (maybe 10 times now) I have attempted to track down the problem. Yes that is water running down the bushing, not oil or fluid. The bushing is rubber. My concern is the right bushing upper flange is dropped about 1/8" to 1/4" lower than the left. I guess it is hard to see in the picture. I had been driving in the rain before the pic was taken, so when it drys, I will try to get a better pic. If you look at the left pic, the surface of the flange of the bushing touching the sub-frame is what has dropped, but I can't figure out how.
And yes, the picture is of the front sub-frame rear corner brackets.
The help is appreciated.
Ken
Do you also hear the clunk when shifting from reverse into drive? How about if you torque brake to simulate a load on the engine?

I looked at the pictures again and I guess maybe there's a slight difference in space but not sure how meaningful that is. You can try prying on the subframe in that area with a big pry bar to see if it moves--it shouldn't.
 

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Do you also hear the clunk when shifting from reverse into drive? How about if you torque brake to simulate a load on the engine?
Not good advice considering how fragile the transfer case is on the Murano. These TC's are designed to be free wheeling 80% of the time, with rolling resistance while driving the rear wheels.

If you're in the habit of using the EB and repeatedly forgetting to disengage it before shifting into Drive/Reverse, you can expect to drastically decrease the life of your TC. Lockup stress can/will put cracks in the gears, like egg shells, in the TC. The several failed TC's I've seen had multiple cracks in the gears, usually with the main gear split in half. One smelled like it was burned, no oil.

Have a good day.
 

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Not good advice considering how fragile the transfer case is on the Murano. These TC's are designed to be free wheeling 80% of the time, with rolling resistance while driving the rear wheels.

If you're in the habit of using the EB and repeatedly forgetting to disengage it before shifting into Drive/Reverse, you can expect to drastically decrease the life of your TC. Lockup stress can/will put cracks in the gears, like egg shells, in the TC. The several failed TC's I've seen had multiple cracks in the gears, usually with the main gear split in half. One smelled like it was burned, no oil.

Have a good day.
I believe the OP has a front-wheel drive variant, but I agree that torque braking is stressful for the drivetrain. As such, it should only be done very briefly and purely for diagnostic purposes (...the Nissan service manual states, "Never hold down accelerator pedal for more than 5 seconds during this test.").
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Have you also checked the exhaust clearance in relation to the underside of the car--yank it side to side and front to back?
Yes, exhaust is secure and all hangers are in great shape.

I have attempted to duplicate the sound/feel by hold brake and accelerating slightly forward and rearward, but only very briefly and only once. The only way I can get it to repeat, and then only "sometimes", is while driving forward and braking hard, then starting from a stop, accelerate hard, but normally when it happens is when accelerating normally.

I think someone referred to AWD, mine is FWD.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I looked at the pictures again and I guess maybe there's a slight difference in space but not sure how meaningful that is. You can try prying on the subframe in that area with a big pry bar to see if it moves--it shouldn't.
[/QUOTE]

I missed your suggestion about prying on the sub-frame. Later this morning I am going to use my floor jack and see if this will move the bracket.
Thanks
Ken
 

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I looked at the pictures again and I guess maybe there's a slight difference in space but not sure how meaningful that is. You can try prying on the subframe in that area with a big pry bar to see if it moves--it shouldn't.
I missed your suggestion about prying on the sub-frame. Later this morning I am going to use my floor jack and see if this will move the bracket.
Thanks
Ken
[/QUOTE]

The new information about hard braking and then hard acceleration with the noise might be helpful here. In that scenario, the front suspension is being loaded under the hard braking and then quickly unloaded with the hard acceleration.

Try putting the rear wheels of the car up on jack stands to simulate the front suspension being loaded under hard braking and then inspect all the front suspension components (including the subframe bushings) to see if anything stands out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have determined that the bushing is good. Looking closer with much better lighting and after the water evaporated, I can see that the top flange of the bushing is against the frame. I also attempted to move the bracket with a floor jack. It moves, but only slightly, like any rubber bushing.
Also, I did find the right engine mount is bad. I could not get the engine to move, but I realized the cover on top of the mount is removable. When I removed it, I could see the inside is collapsed. Pretty sure that this is the cause.

How can I check the front and rear mount? I can't get the engine to rock front to back, but I can't see the mounts very well either.
 

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I have determined that the bushing is good. Looking closer with much better lighting and after the water evaporated, I can see that the top flange of the bushing is against the frame. I also attempted to move the bracket with a floor jack. It moves, but only slightly, like any rubber bushing.
Also, I did find the right engine mount is bad. I could not get the engine to move, but I realized the cover on top of the mount is removable. When I removed it, I could see the inside is collapsed. Pretty sure that this is the cause.

How can I check the front and rear mount? I can't get the engine to rock front to back, but I can't see the mounts very well either.
The front and rear mounts themselves have a plastic cover so you can't actually see the condition of the rubber. You basically have to judge by engine movement. Shifting from D to R and back, there should be little movement (loading the engine via torque-braking helps--do it very briefly as discussed in previous posts). I think it's better to look right at the mounts when doing these tests. You can see the front mount from underneath just behind the radiator (...remove the undercover to get a better look at it).
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The front and rear mounts themselves have a plastic cover so you can't actually see the condition of the rubber. You basically have to judge by engine movement. Shifting from D to R and back, there should be little movement (loading the engine via torque-braking helps--do it very briefly as discussed in previous posts). I think it's better to look right at the mounts when doing these tests. You can see the front mount from underneath just behind the radiator (...remove the undercover to get a better look at it).
Realized that after looking closer. My front and rear mounts have a rubber cover, which I can somewhat move up and out of the way, but it does not really help.
I will look at them again tomorrow and see if I can get any movement. I would like to find out now if the rear one is bad since I will have the axles out for a swap. The right outer CV joint boot is not clamped tight and it looks like it has been moving in and out a lot. I have 2 new axles, 2 new hubs (for a ticking on the left one, I have been listening to for almost a year that has started to get worse). So I would like to know since the axles will be out of the way to change it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Update: I found both lower control arm bushings torn, right engine mount collapsed, torque strut mount torn. Replaced those, and most of the noises went away. Now had a clunk each time direction changed, went starting forward the first time, then when reversing, then when forward, and so on and so on. I have a new rear mount, so after my oil change today, I removed the rear mount and it is bad. Bottom is collapsed and soft. Also the vacuum line has been removed at some point. New mount has a vacuum line but I see no where to connect it. Could someone pass along this info to me?
Thanks
Ken
 

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Update: I found both lower control arm bushings torn, right engine mount collapsed, torque strut mount torn. Replaced those, and most of the noises went away. Now had a clunk each time direction changed, went starting forward the first time, then when reversing, then when forward, and so on and so on. I have a new rear mount, so after my oil change today, I removed the rear mount and it is bad. Bottom is collapsed and soft. Also the vacuum line has been removed at some point. New mount has a vacuum line but I see no where to connect it. Could someone pass along this info to me?
Thanks
Ken
I'm not certain that every Murano FWD variant had electronic-controlled mounts in both front and rear. I tried looking up the part number for your car and it looks like there are several based on manufacture date. Does your old mount have a vacuum line? What is the brand and part number of the new mount?

To save you some time, the bulk of info on that system is in the Engine Control file of the service manual. If your rear mount is electronically-controlled then the vacuum line for that mount works off the same supply as the front mount so you can follow your front mount vacuum line up to the bracket and you should see a branch (see page from SM below).

Let us know what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
That helps, I also found it in the service manual, just took me a while to find it. I was searching here, and if I understand correctly the vacuum makes the mount less firm. If that is the case, do I really need to connect it?

The old mount has the connection for the vacuum line, but no line. The new mount has the vacuum line. This is the only mount available locally, they do not show a different part number.

I'm also going to change the front mount since I could not see that this one was bad while on the car, and ALL of the other mounts have been bad. The only mount I have been able to see other than the right engine mount, is the trans mount, and it appears to be intact.
 

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That helps, I also found it in the service manual, just took me a while to find it. I was searching here, and if I understand correctly the vacuum makes the mount less firm. If that is the case, do I really need to connect it?

The old mount has the connection for the vacuum line, but no line. The new mount has the vacuum line. This is the only mount available locally, they do not show a different part number.

I'm also going to change the front mount since I could not see that this one was bad while on the car, and ALL of the other mounts have been bad. The only mount I have been able to see other than the right engine mount, is the trans mount, and it appears to be intact.
If you don't connect the vacuum line then you might feel more vibration at idle, but if you don't care then you can probably leave it unplugged. Just make sure the other end of the vacuum line to the mount is plugged so you don't have a vacuum leak.

BTW...out of curiosity, what did you have to remove to get the old mount out?
 
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