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Old 09-09-2012, 04:39 PM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Fan#: 32567
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia, United States
What I Drive: 02 Focus LX; 05 Focus ZX4; 02 Wago

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Loud pop/clunk on low speed turning

OK, I am out of ideas now and can't seem to track down the cause of this noise, hope some of you all have a clue. Sorry about this long post. The problem: in this 2006 Focus wagon, when doing a low speed turn at full steering lock, when I apply the brakes I get a loud clunk or pop. This is definitely coming from the driver side wheel area. The noise is loudest when the steering wheel is turned all the way hard left. On a shallower turn I get a softer clunk. The other part which I think would help in figuring this out is that the clunk noise is loudest when doing this test on a hill. Hard turn either forward/backward on a hill. Only get the clunk when brakes are applied. Cannot get this noise when wheel is straight.

Although I am a bit skeptical there is a possibility its the CV joint. I went under the car yesterday and noted that a very slight amount of grease has oozed out of the CV boot on driver side. The boot isnt cut, the oozing is coming under the front clamp--but just barely enough to notice.
There is no classic clicking or ticking sound like I would expect from a CV joint on the way out.

What I already replaced: both outer tie rod ends, both sway bar end links. The end links on the car were bad, but that is no surprise. The noise was not affected by replacing these parts. The inner tie rod was nice and firm when I had the outer tie rod off--so its not from the inners. The alignment is firm, no unusual tire vibration, no other front end/suspension noises.

Any ideas about whether there is more diagnosing I can do to pin this down? I replaced the struts in March but not the mounting plate/bearings. Any way to distinguish a strut mount vs. the CV joint?

(here's older thread on strut mount noises)

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