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Old 04-18-2019, 09:18 AM   #1
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Help Diagnosing Front Suspension

2003 Ford Focus ZX3, 2.0L DOHC

So I've had a loud clunking noise when I go over bumps in the road for well over a year now, so it's probably not something serious but I'm looking to get it fixed. I don't have any shaking in the wheel or anything when I'm breaking. So far I have replaced both front strut assemblies and that didn't make the sound go away. I've also replaced the sway bars.

One friend recommended it was the control arm and ball joint, but I watched a diagnosis video where the front of the vehicle will lurch forward and steering wheel will shake. I don't have either of those issues.

Someone else recommended I replaced the rack and pinion. Would that make a clunking sound when going over pot holes when it is going bad?

Any other ideas?


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Old 04-18-2019, 01:09 PM   #2
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When was the last time the sway bar links were replaced? My focus made noise over bumps when they were bad but rode fine otherwise. You can change them easy with just wrenches, get better ones with grease fittings. If you turn your steering wheel all the way to one side and shut the car off, you can reach each one around the back of the wheel opposite the side you turned to. If you can move them, you'll know they're bad by how much.
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Old 04-18-2019, 01:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparky34kv View Post
When was the last time the sway bar links were replaced? My focus made noise over bumps when they were bad but rode fine otherwise. You can change them easy with just wrenches, get better ones with grease fittings. If you turn your steering wheel all the way to one side and shut the car off, you can reach each one around the back of the wheel opposite the side you turned to. If you can move them, you'll know they're bad by how much.
Great idea. I had them replaced about 50k miles ago. One of them fell off the top bolt and has been rattling so I was already planning to replace that one today. So I'll go ahead and buy two!

I was planning to buy this one again.
https://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/...066/15511203-P
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:51 PM   #4
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Personally, I would stay away from Advanced auto parts parts. I got about a year out of the sway bar links I had replaced before getting better ones from NAPA.
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Old 04-18-2019, 03:25 PM   #5
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My brother installed the ones from RockAuto that were about $5 a piece no issues. I installed the ones that were $20 a piece and the nut kept coming loose I guess you don't always get what you pay for.

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Old 04-18-2019, 05:13 PM   #6
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You guys should know that the cheaper part there commonly has steel parts inside that are not nearly so hardened as the better more expensive ones are and why the price difference. I warrantied hundreds of the cheaper ones with as little as 3 months use on them. Same with balljoints and other front end parts like tie ends.

If they are clearancing a line out at RA you often get the better quality part at firesale prices but they go quick.
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Old 04-18-2019, 07:30 PM   #7
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I bought the Ford brand from the local Ford dealership. Unfortunately they only had 3 bolts so I had to get one from Lowes. It was 10m x 1.25. It's too rainy this evening to put it on so hopefully tomorrow.
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Old 04-18-2019, 08:53 PM   #8
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I just did this on my 2002 wagon. I know the OP already bought his parts but I went with these Moog parts from RA:
https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo...385557&jsn=468

Not the least or most expensive but they seemed very high quality.

Paul
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Old 04-19-2019, 12:21 PM   #9
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Thank you all very much for the help. It was definitely the sway bar links. I changed them this morning and it's night and day difference. It was funny targeting pot holes this morning to test it out. What a feeling to finally have that sound gone! I've been dealing with it for a very long time and I never knew it would be such a simple fix.
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Old 04-24-2019, 02:20 PM   #10
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Anyone know if the 2007 ZX3 has these or not? I too am having a lot of clunking and chattering noises over bumps but drives and steers fine otherwise.
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