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Old 12-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #221
Lipshurt
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2012 focus front end thoughts

First off, thanks to zillon for all the work. I have spent a lot of time contemplating this too, and did some wireless microphone tests last summer (I'm a school teacher, that's why I have time in the summer and holidays etc).

Troubleshooting should always have a strategy to gather clues and piece the info together in a way that makes sense. With sounds its hard because sounds can be intermittent and also the car can throw the sound so it seems like its coming from a different place. Since i have a bit of time watching another teachers class i'll put down some of the things i have noticed and tried. As a way of putting clues out there. By the way, ford was pretty uninterested in my clues or ideas.

A) the quality of the sound.
its not totally metallic OR totally plasticy. It sounds like metal hitting non metal.

It can be a rattle or just the very first part of a rattle, which is like a clunk, or actually more of a "Tick". ("clunk" implies some low frequency content, this has no low frequency content so the parts that are hitting together are either small or well dampened)

when its a rattle, the vibration rate is about 15 per second without the credit card shim and about 25 per second with the shim. Tells me the shim is doin something. The shim is under the tower brace. That frequency also implies the parts are small or thin, and fairly far apart.

The sound goes away when it gets warm OR cold! when its between 55 and 65 its the worst. Think about that one.... it means that something is not touching when it cold, then lightly touching between 55 an 65, and then touching too hard to rattle above 65. (or vice-versa!). in any event it means that two things are changing a LOT in response to temperature

the time it takes to heat up is WAY longer than the time it takes to heat the engine. Without the shim it takes at least ten minutes to go away. That means its not the exhaust system. Probably not motor mounts either. If the time is changed by the shim, it means the shim is doing something. So that points to the strut tower brace. After driving twenty minutes in cool temperatures, you open the hood and the area by the tower brace is warm. There is a LOT of heat under the hood, but it takes way longer for the whole compartment to get hot than it does to get the engine and exhaust up to temperature.

Here are some things on the car that make the quality of sound like the sound my car has.....
The hood support rod sounds EXACTLY like the sound when you flick it with your finger.

The manual transmission gear selector counterweight when it bounces up and down is the exact same sound. There is about 1/8 inch vertical play.
The actual hood lid makes about the same sound when you tap around it in certain places.

the front license plate makes the sound when you flick it with your finger.

the battery cover kind of makes the sound but its too plastic of a sound.

OK, all those thing are not it. I insulated, wrapped, tightened, adjusted, all those things PLUS all of the plastic stuff in the fender wells and under the car. None of these things were it.

B) microphone results. I did the microphone thing with an actual acoustic mic with a wireless transmitter. The mic was not a clip that felt vibrations. It just picked up sound. The clips are way better for pinpointing the sound. In any event, i was able to rule out the transmission shifter (plus the fact that automatics do it too) also anything down low in the engine compartment. The mic says its high in the compartment, to the area by the hood hinge or strut tops. Its also NOT down by the spring, or under the fender. The TSB that replaced the springs was dumb on ford's part. That is throwing their money down the drain. You'd think they would not be too proud to accept a little help with this. I told my CSR that but it went nowhere.

So the acoustic mic says its about where my credit card shim is now. With the clip transducers, we should be ably to pinpoint the actual sound to and area of about the size of a dime. It will just take trials zeroing in those 6 clips closer to the clip that shows the loudest response. Over and over etc.

C) weird aspects to al of this

every time i have had the car up on a lift its either gone away completely for a few days, or come back strong for a few days. Something about lifting the car off the ground. That is a clue! a body engineer could probably nail the cause just from that right there.
sometimes stressing the chassis a certain way will make it stop right there, or maybe make it appear, but usually its a matter of hearing the sound, and then going sideways over a big speedbump makes it stop. something where the whole body twists a bit. That can also make worse. Of course if its warm there is zero sound!
When its making the sound it also feels loose up front or under the car. Something sure feels loose in the front end when its making the sound. Like multiple loose things. Its not just sound, its also feel. And it all goes away in a few minutes. So that could mean that whatever is loose is NOT up by the tower brace, but it lets that area move and the sound comes from there even though the cause might be a loose frame bolt under the car. Like something near the exhaust getting good and hot. That sure makes some amount of sense. I would think that a body engineer could read that sentence and say "duh, that sounds like....." . if only we could get some kind of expert from FORD to think about this for a couple minutes.
Ford made a TSB that replaced our springs and strut bearings, and to test it they had the tech drive in figure 8s on smooth pavement. HUH? they spent untold thousands on that TSB. At one point there were 4000 cars waiting for those TSB parts. That means that at something like $500 each job....TWO MILLION DOLLARS! Somebody slap ford up-side the head! How is that not worth spending an afternoon with some clip mics and two guys from the chassis department???? Why cant Zillon get some of that disposable petty cash?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:37 PM   #222
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiStick View Post
That's more then I've heard so far.
Agreed.

Thanks for the honesty, Cory. You have another PM from me.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:43 PM   #223
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@Lipshurt, are you planning on posting audio clips of what you hear?
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:46 PM   #224
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Very nice write-up, Lipshurt. Wonderful to have some additional research to back my findings up.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:01 PM   #225
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipshurt View Post
2012 focus front end thoughts...
That’s a detail-oriented report, Lipshurt. Please send me a PM with your VIN, mileage, full name, best daytime phone number, and dealer details. I’ll send this up the line and arrange a call from your regional CSM.

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...Thanks for the honesty, Cory. You have another PM from me.
Zack,

You got it.

Edit: I see your PM; expect a reply within a day or so.

Cory
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:03 PM   #226
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sure zillon
like you i have pretty much had it with the fake BS from the regional reps and all that. They had zero interest in this, and all they could do was do the official TSB. Zero interest in my car or my list of clues.

Hello Cory (your real name?) the people in your position seem to last about 2 months, we have had "thomas" and two other females and at least one other male name, and it sounds like you get paid to pacify forum members simply to make it look like ford is "on it". We all know that when people start thinking of buying a new car, they google it, and that leads straight to the forums, where all the complaints are. I say that your position is a sales position, to keep people from being scared about what they read here. All of that is fine, but what we really need is someone form ford to work on this.
I for one would like the email address of the engineering team or high school dropout that ford has working on it. At least a website where we can fill out surveys (data! you will need that!!) and hear about possible fixes.

Anything like that would make us feel better about this. Right now it feels like ford is betting on the warranty running out before they announce a fix, or they simply have zero intent to find a fix.

Please dont lie to us, but they make you, we get it.... you are just picking up a check and towing the party line
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:07 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipshurt View Post
2012 focus front end thoughts
You stated you are a school teacher. May I ask what discipline(s)?

This won't be isolated with microphones; it will require accelerometers.
The reason I say that is because you are pointing right back to the tower assembly and bracing where Zack pretty much replaced all of those components - minus the chassis metal. Microphones are no different than ears in many respects; accelerometers are a mechanical coupling transducer instead of a sound pressure (air) transducer. This needs accelerometers mounted on various structures to be any good - because as you implied - chasing sound is no good.

I do like the qualitative summary of this (your) specific sound that you've put together. The temperature window of occurrence thing you've outlined is probably just as variable as the sound though.

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Old 12-04-2012, 04:11 PM   #228
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Originally Posted by Lipshurt View Post
Please dont lie to us, but they make you, we get it.... you are just picking up a check and towing the party line
We are all pretty upset by this set of circumstances but the one thing they always "teach" you in critical thinking, debate and other disciplines is this - don't undermine your own credibility.

"high school dropout that ford has working on it" does just that...undermines credibility.

Just trying to stay constructive here.

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Old 12-04-2012, 08:00 PM   #229
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Thumbs up Thanks a lot!!!

ZILLON, I sympathyze with you very much .
All what you have done to solve this issue is great but unfortunately it has not been the definte solution, you must be really tired of this S--t .
I have been following this thread and the other one for a long time since my 2012 SEL HB had the clunk since day 1, right after I picked it from the dealer. I am currently working freelance so I had a lot of time to take it to the dealer, which I did for well over 15 times. They were very pro-active but no matter what they did, the noise was still there. They complain that FORD Mexico (I live in Mexico) doesn´t seem to care to provide the right solution, not surprisingly since FORD USA doesn´t either .

To make a long story short, I got fed up and took a big loss trading it on something else (even though I loved my Focus with a great Sony stereo, engine power, economy, gadgets, AC, ride and overall confort) I could not go on another Ford call it Focus, Fusion or Escape since they all are very new, and I am a risk averse person.

The lack of support from Ford corporate pretending they don´t know the solution to this issue turned me down completely. That is what I believe we can also expect from them if the Powershift blows into pieces, the DI 2.0 clogs with intake valve residue, MFT dies right after the warranty expires, etc., thank you FORD for the nice cars but you will not get my $$$ again!!!

Good luck if you decide to trade it in some other car, every one has its quirks but it is nice to know that at least other manufacturers seem to have issues that are much simpler to solve than this one.

Not wanting to put with this any longer (6 months 8,000mi) I traded my Focus on a 2013 Audi A1 , which Audi does not sell in the US, it is a neat little car (about 2,100 pounds), a little bigger than a Mini cooper (see enclosed pictures). I already have over 1,000 miles on it, averaging 42MPG, it drives and handles great with a 1.4 TSFI Turbo (147 pound-feet of torque 1,500 thru 4,000 rpms), very slick 7 speed S-tronic (dry clutch) transmission and start-stop. It has been solid as a rock, and way more refined in everything than I can think about than my Focus.

Good luck guys .

I made friends at the Ford dealership, so I will be following this great forum and let the dealership guys lnow of any new advance in this matter.

Pictures of an Audi A1 (sorry I have not taken any from mine yet)
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Old 12-04-2012, 11:11 PM   #230
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The chassis ears that amazon has are transducers not mics. At least that is what I understand. Should work well.

I said "high school dropout" becuase that would be better than what ford has working on it now, which is zero people. I guarantee that if they had even one person working on it for two hours we would be farther along. Chassis ears, trial and error for half a day, find the spot, wegde a piece of rubber in there, write up a procedure, check spelling, DONE. One day, maybe two days max.

Cory, I'm not buying it. I have sent my VIN and info to every forum moderator that ford has come on here. It's all BS. They are not interested at all. They would rather dump literally millions of dollars down the drain. That TSB must have blown up in somebody's face. How would like to be the team that came up with that?

I should say that I lke my car a lot, and the couple of minutes of noise is ok now with the credit card stuffed in there. It was insane though. Drives great, and I get lots of compliments about the quiet ride. I always have the radio on for the first few minutes if I have a passenger:)
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