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Old 04-13-2013, 11:38 AM   #1
gtferrari
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new front end noise but youll never guess

im sure weve all seen enough front end noise threads lately. a lot of duplicates from people not searching the forum like the should, but i can assure you this is different.

a few weeks back i put on a frpp zx3b strut and spring set. they are still lurking around some ford dealers and the ebay. i paid $410 for everything. install went well except for one of the rear control arms was shot had to spend another $160 to remedy that.

with everything on i was very satisfied with the performance and look. i will say there are some bumps that bring out some flaws in the kit. sometimes i think there is a little bit of float over certain bumps, but i digress

i got an alignment the following day from the install and everything was spot on except the rear control arm i replaced was out. $90 for the 4 wheel alignment and i was on my way.

got a week of quiet driving out of it. then some clunking started to develop. took it back to the dealer to have it inspected. maybe it was due to settling. a quick snug up and i was on my way. but the noise was still there. every day i would drive it would get progressively worse. to the point where i thought the engine was going to drop out of the car.

there was no rhyme or reason to the noise. any bump would produce a loud clunk. you could hear it inside and outside of the car. you could feel it in your feet and in your seat. speed bumps, pot holes pulling into drive ways all produced the same noise.

had the car back to the dealer 2 more times. they said everything looked right. gave me the generic "you must have a bad end link excuse" and thats as far as that went.

after another terrifying week of driving i had had enough and tore into the car last night to try and solve this problem once and for all. everything looked fine and there was no discernible fault. one end link had the most minute tell tale of play, but nothing that could cause the sound of a sledge hammer.

so i detached them from the car and went for a drive. and guess what there was no clunking. here is where your guess is wrong.

knowing i had two good links in my hand and that they were ruled out i was left with the sway bar to deal with. no visible cracks and no play in the bushings had me a little stumped. (i had only been using a jack and decided to get both sides up in the air) then i was able to make a good comparison and this is when i noticed the bar was out of position or either bent. i ran out of time and had to reassemble the car so i could go to work. but from what i could see was that the passenger side of the bar where it bends and comes forward to where the end link attaches was in contact with the cradle. there was no way that it could move with out touching the car.

i dont know how it could be bent inward or have moved out of position. ive scheduled the car for a better inspection monday to figure if it has just moved or is worse. that bad boy is an inch of solid steel. i hate to think of how mush force it would take to bend it.....

if it is just out of position and can be re-positioned how long will it be until it does it again? i have never experienced this before nor has any of the mechanics that i have talked to


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Old 04-13-2013, 12:29 PM   #2
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I'd center the sway bar & then you could use some hose clamps on each side of the bar= 2 per side, inside & outside of the sway bar brackets. Or use a hose clamp just on the outside on each side to keep the bar centered. I have a Eibach bar & it has ridges on the outside of the bushings. The oem bar didn't. Just to add, check to see if your cradle has moved a little side to side.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:28 AM   #3
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Moved to "Wheels, Tires, Brakes & Suspension".
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Old 04-19-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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more noise and bad news. had another shop look into my problem. they claimed they saw nothing wrong. they performed an alignment and sent me on my way.

i kindly brought the car back to them 2 days later, and said the noise is still there and that you couldnt miss it when driving over a pea. got the call to come pick it up. now it makes more noise than before.

scheduled another service at ford. i dropped it off and they had me drive their tech around. he left me off at my business and said they would bring it back when done. the drive guaranteed that i could point out the noise and that they would understand.

they returned the car 2 hrs later, but a shop kid (not mechanic) gave me my keys. i asked if there was a noise when driving. he gave me the grimmest looks like "oh crap" and said yes there was a noticeable noise coming from the front and he wasnt sure what work had been performed.

well i work till past the time they close so i picked up the phone and gave the shop a call to get the whats what.

the manager said they tried to fix the problem that they saw the bar was out of position and they tried to muscle it back. but there was little they could do because the bolts for the clamps on the bar were stripped and that the last shop fed it up good. they said even if they could have gotten them loose that there would be little they could do because if they moved the bar any further it would do the same on the driver side instead of the passenger.

they claim the bar must be bent and that i should replace the bushings, clamps and bar but gave me no price.

i liked the way the suspension worked and the way the car handled. i could do almost 70 on those circular on ramps with conti extreme contacts. so i dont know if i want to up the sway bar diam or just get another factory bar.

any recommendations?
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
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heres the suspension with no load on it measuring to the pinch weld on the cradle.
drivers side measures 5.5 inches

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]

heres the passenger side
5 inches

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:17 PM   #6
gtferrari
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with the suspension loaded to ride height this is how the bar sits

driver side

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]

passenger side

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]

^the notch on the right is where i measured from

another angle of the passenger side

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]

notice how the boot for the steering sits under the stabilizer bar

[IMG] Sway/stabilizer bar by gtferrari, on Flickr[/IMG]
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