I don't think it's the rotor or caliper. Another component just happen to show wear after the brake job because things were moved around and taken apart.
Put the wheel back on but keep the front end on jack stands. Try to move the wheel with your hands at the 3 and 9 clock points, and see if you hear the clunk. Do the same again at 12 and 6 clock points. Also try to tug on the anti-sway bar. Try to tug on the tie rod toward the inside also.
Come back and tell us where the noise is coming from after the above tests.
yesterday evening after i got out from work, i went to a shop to do some testing. i borrowed jack stands. i jacked up the front end. i held the wheel firmly at different angles and moved it. i shake it from left to right and right to left. wheel turns freely when i spinned it. one thing that i noticed is when i shake it (left to right and right to left), i hear a clicking noise. is that normal?
moving on.....i removed the wheel. i spinned the disc brake/rotor. without the wheel, the rotor is a little hard to spin. it feels tight but it spins. i dont hear any squeal or dragging noise. with the wheel, i noticed the rotors spins better and no tightness. is that normal as well?
moving on...so i checked the caliper bolts. bolts (8 bolts) are all good and tight. checking the caliper sliding pins, i stepped on the brake to see if its sliding. the mechanic who was watching said it looks ok. pins move back and forth. then i checked the tie rod and stabilizer bar. i moved the tie rod left to right and right to left. it looks and feels ok. checked the end links and stabilizer bar. it all looks and feels ok. note that when i say "check", it means i move it, feel if theres some vibration, look at it thoroughly, shake it like a mad man. lol.
i did all the checking myself except for when the mechanic was watching the sliding pins move back and forth as i stepped on the brake. but im a newbie and im not convinced with my tests. i know something is wrong. i just cant figure out where/what is the problem. and the original problem in this post is still there - the clunk on the driver side.
so this morning i tested again. i drove in the parking lot. drove and hit the brake. i made few rounds. put car at park. touched the wheel. car has a 5-spoke wheel. touched every spoke of the wheel. driver side wheel is a little hot. im assuming its normal because its not very hot and its tolerable. i smelled it too. lol. no burnt smell. brake dust is little to none. to the passenger side i go...touched the passenger side wheel. touched every spoke. passenger side is a little hotter than the driver side. and i smell something is burnt. its not much but i can smell it. also, i see more brake dust in the passenger side. the rest of the wheels have little to none (brake dust).
so now, i have two problems - clunk on the driver side when going over bumps
(only when going over bumps) and more brake dust on the passenger side
. i want to know where to start the repair. i know something is wrong. clunking alone is a problem. also, i dont want my new oem rotors and brake pads to go bad. any advice/suggestion please?