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Mazda Speed Protege "Clunk"




Issue: The "Clunk".

What: If you've ever heard a rattling or loud banging noise in the trunk area when you go over a bump or crack, you have the "clunk".

Why: Mazda used an alternate setup for the suspension and did sort of a 'cheap' alternate, making the suspension system incomplete. The root problem is a combination of a few things, however, it is somewhat repairable.

How To Fix: If you car has the "clunk", you will want to go to your dealer and get the newest rear suspension bushings on your car. There are several 'improved' bushings that Mazda has made, however, all have eventually failed. The newest bushing has been out since early October and while it did show promise, several members have reported that they, too, have failed. Seems that they did last a bit longer, however. Most D-series lasted a few days before the clunk returned while the E-series seems to last a few weeks and/or months. If you go in to have your bushings replaced, the part number for those newest bushings ends in "156E". Do not let the dealer give you the "156D" series as, again, the D will fail very quickly.

Mazda has released an official Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) for the clunk so if you dealer gives you a hard time, it'll be a bit easier to show them what's wrong. The TSB text is included below.

UPDATE: Keep in mind that the Mazda bushings replacement is just more of a temporary "band-aid" than it is a fix. We do, however, have a great member on board who goes by Micahspeed who has spent a great amount of time developing a better fix. More information about this fix may be found here, here, and here. Keep in mind that this is not an official fix and Micahspeed is not related to Mazda in any way, shape, or form.

Applicable Models
Model Starting S/N Ending S/N
2001 PROTEGE 00000000 ZZZZZZZZ
2002 PROTEGE 00000000 ZZZZZZZZ
2003 PROTEGE 00000000 ZZZZZZZZ

Symptoms and Conditions
A clunk/knock can be heard from the rear suspension from MP3 and MAZDASPEED
vehicles when driving over uneven road surfaces such as speed bumps.

Repair Procedure
Inspect rear sway bar bushings, if excessive clearance is found replace
bushing with improved part.
Part Information:
Improved bushing - BN7H-28-156D (MP3 N MAZDASPEED ONLY)

Important Note: Lube bushings prior to assembly with a silicone paste to
prevent premature wear and/or squeaks.

Copyright © Mazda North American OperationsMore information about the Mazda fix may be found here.

Originally Posted by TX Speed Demon
In case anyone is wondering, here's the full part number and pic of the new rear sway bar bushings ending in 156E. Hopefully I'll have time tonight or tomorrow to install them and let everyone know how easy/hard they are to do yourself. I was quoted 3 different prices ranging from $11.88 - $14.50 each bushing.

EDIT - I replaced the bushing myself last night. Fairly easy process. You only need to:

1) Raise the car on jackstand - If you don't you will not be able to access the bolt on the front side.

2) Take your 14mm Socket wrench and undo the 2 bolts holding in each bushing mounting bracket.

3) Slide off the mounting hardware and remove bushing.

4) Put new bushing on bar.

5) Put mounting piece back on bushing and position correctly.

6) Reattch the 2 bolts for each mounting piece.

7) Lower you car back down and go for a test drive.