2012 Titanium Front Strut Low Speed Noise (Clunk/Rattle) - Page 150 - Focus Fanatics
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Old 11-04-2012, 05:48 PM   #1491
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Well, preliminary verdict is that this works, and it's safe.

I cut the heads off of the factory bolts to salvage the spacers and drill them out to fit the 12.9 grade bolts.

I ended up using a 5/16" carbide bit, with a second person dripping cutting oil around the bit, to drill them out. The spacers are hardened, so beware. They will take some work to ream out to the right size.



That's the final setup. I torqued them to 35 ft-lbs, and used a bit of anti-seize between the spacer and the bolt, to inhibit corrosion. I did not use anti-seize on the threads.

The only issue I seem to have is a little bit of groaning, but I think it's because I need to re-align the struts in the towers, which I'll do at work tomorrow.
Cool man, keep up informed.
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Old 11-05-2012, 06:59 AM   #1492
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Checking in with the strut noise issue. I had the car fixed about a month ago and it reappeared gradually -- first as a squeak and now as a clunk.

I'm fairly disappointed as there is no fix currently (although the recent post gives some hope), but such is the deal with new model year cars I suppose.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:31 AM   #1493
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Well, I did some more tweaking last night in the shop - I replaced the 30mm bolts with 25mm bolts of the same grade, since there was a lot of excess bolt showing underneath the strut mount when I took a peek from below. I wanted to ensure that there would be no possible interference between the bolts and the strut bearing. I also realigned the struts in the tower.

Additionally, I bumped the torque spec to from 35 ft-lbs to 37 ft-lbs. This is my final torque revision; now I'll put some miles on the car and see how the setup holds up.

For now, I'd say this is a success. It may take a small bit of work to salvage the stock bolt spacers from the factory bolts, but if this holds up and keeps the clunking at bay, I'd say it's well worth the work.

The weather has also gotten much colder in the past few days, so I'm hoping that doesn't have much to do with my suspension being quieter. Regardless, I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on any developments.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:08 AM   #1494
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Well, I did some more tweaking last night in the shop - I replaced the 30mm bolts with 25mm bolts of the same grade, since there was a lot of excess bolt showing underneath the strut mount when I took a peek from below. I wanted to ensure that there would be no possible interference between the bolts and the strut bearing. I also realigned the struts in the tower.

Additionally, I bumped the torque spec to from 35 ft-lbs to 37 ft-lbs. This is my final torque revision; now I'll put some miles on the car and see how the setup holds up.

For now, I'd say this is a success. It may take a small bit of work to salvage the stock bolt spacers from the factory bolts, but if this holds up and keeps the clunking at bay, I'd say it's well worth the work.

The weather has also gotten much colder in the past few days, so I'm hoping that doesn't have much to do with my suspension being quieter. Regardless, I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on any developments.
Some people have heard it more in cold weather, and some in warm weather, I normally hear it all the time no matter the weather lol
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:10 AM   #1495
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The Mazda 3 used the exact same parts and has the same risk for clunking, ZX3Matt's wife's 2012 3 was also experiencing the suspension clunk/ rattle or so he had mentioned a while ago before dropping off the forum for awhile.

Short of cross referencing a bearing size and load chart it would be hard to guess as to what bearings would work best in aftermarket situations.

SKF, INA/, and other bearing manufacturers may make something suitable, but its going to be hard to keep swapping parts until you find something that works. If its always just the one side is it really the bearing or something to do with that side of the car?

My wife's 3 clunks worse than my Focus.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:11 AM   #1496
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Well, I do happen to have my old bearings...

I'll pry one apart tonight, perhaps.


I have had mine apart. Not much there...
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:13 AM   #1497
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I have had mine apart. Not much there...
Nope, there really is not. I pulled mine apart accidentally when removing them from the strut shaft. Glad I had new ones ready to go on, because those ball bearings really do scatter everywhere.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:31 AM   #1498
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Nope, there really is not. I pulled mine apart accidentally when removing them from the strut shaft. Glad I had new ones ready to go on, because those ball bearings really do scatter everywhere.
LOL, yes they do. I had to replace a couple of mine with ones from a transmission repair kit I had. Much better quality I am sure.

It looks like I will be replacing the bolts.

How are the ST struts? Also, I thought you got ST shocks too?
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:50 AM   #1499
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LOL, yes they do. I had to replace a couple of mine with ones from a transmission repair kit I had. Much better quality I am sure.

It looks like I will be replacing the bolts.

How are the ST struts? Also, I thought you got ST shocks too?
ST struts are actually pretty good. I'm rather impressed so far; they are stiff, though. Paired with the Eibachs and the Koni Yellows in the rear, they handle very well.

The rear ST shocks ended up being too short for the non-ST rear suspension. Luckily Steve from Tousley was willing to work with me on returning those, given that I was the first to attempt a ST damper retrofit. Ford changed the rear knuckle for the ST; entirely different lower mounting point on the rear knuckles.

Let me know how your bolt replacement goes, I'm looking for input.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:20 AM   #1500
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The weather has also gotten much colder in the past few days, so I'm hoping that doesn't have much to do with my suspension being quieter. Regardless, I'll be sure to keep you guys updated on any developments.
My clunking stopped entirely about 1 week ago. This coincided with temperature drop which has been just above freezing.
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