Another day spent working on the car, another frustrating day.
I replaced the control arm bushings which was much harded than expected. I had trouble getting off the old ones and ended up cutting the insides out and grinding through the metal ring and then they came off.
Putting on the new ones was also very difficult, various attempts to hammer or pry them on were unsuccessful. In the end a combination of a large ratchet strap and a hammer seemed to work, although one of them was particulary stubborn.
With the new ones on there was no longer any movement so I guess that was a success.
Prior to this I had been noticing a grating noise when going around right hand corners and I had hoped it was something to do with the crappy control arm bushes. Unfortunately this problem is still ocurring. I drove around a roundabout a couple of dozen times trying to figure out where the noise and grating feeling was coming from thinking it was something to do with the suspension or steering but after a while it did it at idle too.
One other thing I noticed is that when starting the car sometimes (1 out of 3 starts maybe) there is a short loud clunk sound as it starts (sounds like from the engine or transmission?).
The exact symptoms are that initially when going around right hand corners there was a grating which you could hear and feel, which sounded like it was coming from the front end. After repeated right hand cornering the car was doing it whenever the engine was at idle, moving or not. After driving a bit further the problem sort of went away except when going around right hand corners, but presumably would come back with repeated cornering again. I contemplated the possibility of a faulty engine mount but while the problem was happening the engine didn't seem to be moving excessively. Could it be the new transmission or torque converter? Could it be misfiring (the engine was probably hotter than usual from the low speed running although the temp gauge was normal), or could there be some engine damage from the previous owner running the car low on oil?