Ok, this is my first post here, I've exhausted local mechanics and troubleshooting and still have the issue. Hopefully you guys can help.
First, the knocking noise seems to be coming from the passenger side front of the car. That's the best way I can describe the sound: a knock or 'popping' noise.
The knocking noise occurs when breaking (ie. for a redlight), or while making a sharp turn (regardless of speed), or when hitting a particularly large bump. Oh, and it also will do it if I accelerate quickly from a stop. However, it doesn't do it all the time. For instance - if I just hit a large pot and the car knocks, I can hit another hole immediately after and not hear it.
Also, it doesn't knock all the time when breaking. If I break very lightly and come to a stop it most likely won't knock. However, if I break hard and it knocks, I can immediately get up to speed and brake again and it might not knock. Same goes for the steering (and this seems to be the area it happens least frequently) - sometimes it will pop while making a 3pt. turn or when backing out of a parking spot... and sometimes it won't.
Now, for the troubleshooting. Things done to the car right before the noise started was a change of the transmission fluid, replacement of the CV axles, replacement of the passenger side disc brake caliper (same side as knocking noise), radiator replacement, and tires rotated and balanced.
The CV axles were not done at a shop, but it was a licensed mechanic that did the job. Even after that, I had the wheels aligned by a shop and asked them to investigate the noise. They couldn't come up with an answer. They (supposedly) checked all the bolts and connections to make sure everything was in good shape.
I've jacked the car up and taken a look and I've noticed that there seems to be a bit of movement in the engine when shifting gears or revving the engine... though I couldn't say whether or not it was excessive movement or normal. I thought maybe it could be worn motor mounts and the engine is shifting around in the engine bay. However, after inspecting the motor mounts there doesn't seem to be any significant erosion in the mounts that would suggest a lot of play in the engine.
Anyways, I hope you guys can help. I'd like to fix the specific issue rather than go through and start buying new stuff for my car (also, that can get very expensive). Please help!! thanks guys!
PS. suspecting it might be the new CV axles (maybe they were lose or something?..), I jacked the car up and checked all the bolts that had to be loosened to do the installation... they all seemed fine. Also, I grabbed the axle and moved it horizontally, left to right, a little, to see how much play was in the axle: It did show some movement from left to right, but only about 1/4 of in. - not much at all. Dunno if that's useful... trying to think of everything here.