Focus Fanatics - View Single Post - 2012 Titanium Front Strut Low Speed Noise (Clunk/Rattle)
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:42 PM   #1212
Zillon
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Fan#: 17393
Location: Philthadelphia, PA
What I Drive: '13 GTI

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So, I've won the battle. My car is now CLUNK FREE.

I'll keep everyone updated over the next few weeks and see if any noises return, but for now, I'm calling this a breakthrough.

Parts used:
- AD-1098 F Upper Strut Mounts x2 (Ford part #CV6Z-18183-B) 16.37 from Tousley Ford
- AST-12281 LH F Strut (#CV6Z-18124-R) 37.93 from Tousley
- AST-12287 RH F Strut (#CV6Z-18124-Q) 37.93 from Tousley
- AD-1094 strut bearings (#CV6Z-18198-A) 12.97 from my local Ford dealer

I used a liberal amount of white lithium grease in the following areas:
- Between the strut bearings and strut mounts
- Where the bump stops (aka jounce bumpers) sit in the strut bearings
- Around the seal of the strut bearings
- I also used the lithium grease to help seat the strut into the knuckle

Additionally, I grabbed some torque specs from the Mazdaspeed forums because I think these strut bearings are extremely sensitive to being overtorqued, which causes the bearing to bind and subsequently fail.
- Center nut on the strut: 50 ft-lbs
- 3 strut mount bolts: 25 ft-lbs

I left the 'mass damper' attached to the swaybar endlink bolt. I don't believe this is to blame for the noise - the Focus ST has the same exact part, and nobody on the ST forums is complaining of a clunking, clomping suspension (yet, at least).

The tab on the strut bearing and strut mount need to line up with the alignment tab on the back of the strut. When put together properly, you should be able to look down the back of the strut and all three should line up.

So, driving impressions: A drawback for some might be that these struts are much firmer than the stock SE touring struts, but for those looking for something to pair with mild lowering springs (Pro-kits; Steeda springs), they are perfect. Coupled with the upper strut mounts, the steering is much sharper, and I'll even go as far to say there's some feedback in the steering now. The car feels much lighter on its feet, and changes direction eagerly. Before, the car drove like it weighed another 500-700 lbs.

Unfortunately, the rear shocks from the ST are much too short due to different mounting locations on the rear knuckles and will not work with non-ST Foci. To fix the lack of uprated damping in the rear, I've ordered a pair of Koni Sport shocks for a 2010+ Mazdaspeed 3(#8040-1353SPORT). These will work, and the rebound damping is adjustable, so I'm hoping that they will allow me to fine tune the rear suspension to match the front. They should be here later this week.

Any questions, fire away.
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Last edited by Zillon; 09-17-2012 at 10:20 PM.
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