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Old 12-06-2012, 08:34 AM   #245
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Location: Philthadelphia, PA
What I Drive: '13 JCW GP

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Yep. This damn issue is impossible to track down.

Why it keeps reoccurring first on one side of my car no matter what I replace is what really troubles me, though, and leads me to believe it's a structural issue and not a component issue.

When I disconnected my sway bar, I took a look at where the front subframe attaches to the body and it sure appears to me that the subframe shifted. My front subframe bolts were not tightened to the 115 N-m they were supposed to be, but they're tight now. One of the few things I haven't done yet is replace the subframe bolts and bushings or check the subframe alignment, but I don't have the Ford subframe alignment pin tools, and the bushings are $30+ each.

My driver's side seems to be 95% OK. Occasionally I might get a slight noise out of it, but the main complaint is with my passenger side. Breaks in the pavement, rippled pavement approaching stoplights or stop signs, manholes, sunken sections of pavement where a patch job was done, concrete curbs on driveway entrances; they all create the same noise. It's a hollow sounding clunk that sounds a lot like a bad LCA bushing, a bad strut, or a bad connection at the top of the strut.

My girlfriend's heard it, and my dad was the first one to say something about a clunk at ~600 miles right after I purchased the car. He was then afraid of telling me again that he heard it shortly after I installed the ST struts and strut mounts in September. It improves in cold weather (below 40F) and gets significantly worse when temperatures rise above 50-55, so getting the conditions right for reproducing the noise to a Ford service manager is next to impossible.

The whole situation sucks. I bought the car because I loved the design, the feel, and the initial quality of the vehicle, but every morning on my way to work, I hit cracks in the pavement, bumps, and manholes that make me completely regret my choice of automaker and vehicle. I work for a Toyota dealer, so I'm very familiar with customers complaining just for the sake of hearing themselves complain, but that's not what I'm doing here. I have better things to do aside from trying to track down an issue that Ford won't even tell us the truth about.

I just want to fix the car.
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