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Old 04-17-2014, 05:34 PM   #1
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2005 ZX4 ST grinding/groaning/vibration on acceleration

I've searched and reviewed as much as possible but can't come up with anything conclusive based on other threads. In first gear, when accelerating from a stop, there is a fairly noticeable groan and vibration coming from the passenger side wheel area. It increases to an extent with speed but then stops completely. It does not occur at higher speeds, when braking, or in neutral.

My CV boots look fine, but my initial suspicion is that it's a CV problem. There is no play in the wheel and my rotors don't seem warped since braking is unaffected and it won't occur in neutral.

I got this car when I was 18, and drove it like it's fast for about 20k miles. Since then it's been sitting and used only occasionally, and now sits at 115k. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I don't want to spend money until I know for sure this problem is going to disappear. Thanks for reading and for your patience, as I know many threads are posted regarding similar issues.


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Old 04-17-2014, 07:20 PM   #2
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Is this a vibration you can actually feel, or is it more of a noise you can just hear?
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:37 PM   #3
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I'd say the vibration is slight, the noise is far more noticeable. It also does not happen ALWAYS. Most commonly, if the car has sat overnight, it will grind up to about 3,000 RPM in first gear then stop. After driving for awhile, it won't happen at all. Let the car sit overnight again, and it'll act up until it's sufficiently "warm". At all times, the noise is lessened the faster I go.

I've identified that my struts are bad, which isn't too unexpected at 115k. They clearly vibrate/knock themselves, but this noise is isolated from the other issue. On an 05 ST, is most of the torque applied to the front right wheel?
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:49 PM   #4
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Probably the carrier bearing on the axle is bad or the wheel bearing is bad. I'm leaning more towards the carrier bearing. Get under the car and grab the right side axle between the carrier bearing and the knuckle/hub, push and pull it like a handle on a door, if you feel any side to side play then that bearing is bad. Also try slowly turning the axle and see if you feel any grittiness or anything other than smooth movement will also tell you if its bad.
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Old 04-17-2014, 08:50 PM   #5
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Does the noise go away after braking a couple times?

To answer the torque question, yes - even with the equal length shafts to reduce torque steer the right front is the one that'll break loose first under acceleration.
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Old 04-19-2014, 03:47 PM   #6
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I went ahead and just brought the car in to a local shop that writes free estimates. They came to the conclusion that it needs a CV axle on the front right, both struts, and all three motor mounts. My own parts cost for this would be under $300, their estimate is over $1,300. Does their diagnosis sound plausible, at least?
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Old 04-19-2014, 04:41 PM   #7
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You mentioned knowing the struts were bad, that doesn't relate to the noise.

R. Axle matches Sleepyboy's carrier bearing guess, concur that it's a likely cause.

Vibration is common from old engine mounts, particularly the passenger side, but noise from that isn't particularly common. More vibration cold is the only symptom of that which matches well. Doing all three at once is best when affordable, and the best results seem to come from a Ford one on the passenger side.

Doing it at home, I'd start with a look at that bearing as Sleepy recommended. Replace that axle if there's play there or any vibration felt when turning the axle. Next would be the bad struts, you've got to get the right partially out to do the axle so that's part way to replacement if doing them at the same time. No big deal, as you just loosened it it'll come out easier later.

Save the mounts for last & see what noises/vibration are left after other repairs. Vibration cold or when accelerating/turning are the first signs for them, you'll start getting the vibes at more times if they are going now. (Likely will be needed at your mileage, just prioritizing the list)

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Old 04-19-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Thanks a bunch. I started pricing out the parts from various retailers. Shop wanted $700+ for parts, Autozone/Oreilley/Advance between 4 and 500 (though with advance promo codes, they were the cheapest by far). I'm visiting family in Arizona right now anyway, and there's a place down the street called Parts Authority. Paid less than $300 for two complete Monroe strut assemblies, the CV axle, and two of the motor mounts (couldn't find the third one, which I believe is the problematic one that Ford would be best for). I figure I'll do the driver side strut, take off the passenger side strut, do the CV axle, put on the new strut, and then address the engine mounts separately. Solid plan? Thanks for the input so far, I appreciate it.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:21 PM   #9
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Sounds like a solid plan.

Pass. side axle is the easier one to replace BTW, driver's side is easiest by removing the passenger one first to pop out the axle with a drift. Passenger comes out without an issue once the bearing is unbolted.
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Old 04-19-2014, 07:52 PM   #10
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For clarity, is it necessary to drain the transmission from the drain bolt prior to removal, or is a catch can under the shaft seal adequate?
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