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Discussion Starter #1
OK-

so, i've had this problem that's been getting worse and worse. it started before i put the suspension in, but it seems to be getting worse now. the front end of the car has some weird vibrations going on. they don't make any sounds, but i can feel them mainly through my feet, especially my left foot when it's on the dead pedal. the vibration turns into a steady light thumping when in the corners. i thought it might be a torn CV boot, but everything looks OK. i did have the alignment done on the car after the install, so that probably isn't it (althugh the car does pull ever so slightly to the left, but you have to be going pretty fast to notice it). i even had the tires rotated and balnced yesterday to eliminate that possibility, but it's still there. here are some other things that might help with the diagnosis:

-the car has almost 20K and the stock firestones have almost had it. they're not bald, but i probably won't get more than another 5K out of them at this rate.

- when i put the suspension on, i lifted both sides of the front end at the same time. i noticed that the sway bar link on one side went in pretty darn easy, and the other took some "convincing" to get it in. basically i had to have one friend hold down the sway bar while i tried to stick the end link through the hole. he didn't push on it that hard, so i doubt he bent it, but it doesn't seem right that one side would be so easy and the other wouldn't.

i know some of the focii were prone to have wheel bearing issues, but i thought that mainly dealt with the ones in the back. anybody have any ideas?

Mike
 

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The only thing I had a problem with that seems close was my fender wells were rubbing up on my tires making some grinding noise. Probably not the same issue here.

Do you have an aftermarket front installed on your car? If so is it properly mounted? You described where you feel the vibrations but do they happen on turns only? What about high/low speeds only? What needed replacing on your 20K checkup that you didn't tend to? What needs replacing on your 25K?

Some of these questions might help you answer what's going on. If vibrations are happening on turns only, check fender wells for any debris or friction marks on tires. If vibrations are happening on high speeds, check tire balancing (again) & bearings. Worst case, take it to a mechanic or a dealership for a mechanic's educated guess (did I just use mechanic & educated in the same sentence?).

good luck on your troubleshooting [headbang]
 

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Whiteboy
I was at the dealer today, chatting with a tech about my SVTF, and this issue came up. He showed me a new TSB which addresses a "creaking, rubbing or groaning" noise from the front end. It covered all ZX3's from 00 to 03. The repair is to replace the strut bearing. This is the bushing type thingy that the strut passes through. You know the three bolts on top of the fender apron. Anywhoo I will get the TSB# and post it here.
bfocused
 

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It is probably, and hopefully, just the tires. Mine is doing it at 18,000 miles and it is def. the tires on mine. Look for scalloping in the tire tread..One block being slightly lower than the one next to it... or look for this in the front...it can cause alot of noise...hopefully its the tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
funny you should mention that viney, bc i was just going to jump on and say that i think i found the culprit. the tires are gone. i mean GONE gone. the outside still has a little tread, but the inside on at least one is completely bald. i blame this on my over-inflating the tires for a couple thousand. the suspension hasen't been on long enough to chew up the tires that bad, and i had the alignment done afterwards, so i don't think that's causing the problem either. looks like i'm in the market for new tires sooner then i thought. oh, cryptkeeper... (aka whoa)...

Mike
 

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As promised, I have the TSB to post. This TSB is #03-20-2. It addresses (and I am quoting here) Suspension-- "Creaking,crunching,grinding,or rattle noise from front suspension at slow speeds over bumps and/or while turningIssue- Some 2000-2003 Focus vehicles may exhibit a front end creaking, crunching,grinding and/or rattling noise from the front suspension at slow speeds and or/while turning.

Service procedure is to inspect front strut fasteners, and confirm they are tightened to correct torque. Well it goes on and on, I won't bore you to death with it, go to your local Ford Service Dept and ask for them to check this out if you have this noise.

My car is doing it big time. And I have an appointment to have this done.

This TSB supersedes TSB # 03-15-3. And remember this is a Technical Service Bulletin, not a recall. Normal warranty coverages apply--- 3 yrs 36k, unless you have an Extended Warranty.

Hope this helps
bfocused
 

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bfocus: from what he says...that wouldn't be it, it could have been a flat spot (depending on the tire rotation machine, it wouldn't notice that) or a bent wheel...as for the CV boot, unless the cv's r clicking and don't have slack up/down front/back movement...but i'm glad ya found your problem. nice man
 

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Discussion Starter #8
well, i'm guessing that's the problem. once i get my new wheels next week (courtesy of whoa), we'll see. i did have one tire replaced, though, bc it did have a flat spot and the thing was just too bald for me to feel safe. it seemed to get rid of a little of the problem. i got lucky bc the tire store down the street had just finished replacing some tires on a focus earlier that day and had a firestone with some decnt tread left. keep you guys posted.

Mike
 

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what a racket

Hi,

Just thought I'd let you all know about the funky front end noise in my 2001 Focus ZTS.

So, winter arrived on the Canadian prairie and almost right away the roads were bumpy with ice. And almost right away the car would rattle horribly driving ove the ruts. I checked the forum - what else can I do - read a few things and took my car to the dealer and suggested the few things I'd learned from the forum. Anyway they said thanks but they'd start from scratch. Good on them for knowing their business.

Anyway, my funky rattle was because the sway bar links had snapped. They were replaced (about $200.00 CAD) and the car is great again.

Again, kudos to Maclin Ford in Calgary.

Later,
[thumb]
 

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bfocused said:
As promised, I have the TSB to post. This TSB is #03-20-2. It addresses (and I am quoting here) Suspension-- "Creaking,crunching,grinding,or rattle noise from front suspension at slow speeds over bumps and/or while turningIssue- Some 2000-2003 Focus vehicles may exhibit a front end creaking, crunching,grinding and/or rattling noise from the front suspension at slow speeds and or/while turning.

Service procedure is to inspect front strut fasteners, and confirm they are tightened to correct torque. Well it goes on and on, I won't bore you to death with it, go to your local Ford Service Dept and ask for them to check this out if you have this noise.

My car is doing it big time. And I have an appointment to have this done.

This TSB supersedes TSB # 03-15-3. And remember this is a Technical Service Bulletin, not a recall. Normal warranty coverages apply--- 3 yrs 36k, unless you have an Extended Warranty.

Hope this helps
bfocused
Oh man! I am out of warranty and I have the exact sypmtoms of the TSB...Can you explain what it replaces?
 

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I just put new tires on last week, ALL my noise and handling issues disappeared!!
 

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True ^^^ Just stating that tires can cause more issues than most folks think. When they are worn out they can cause all sorts of issues.
 

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Hillyard said:
Oh man! I am out of warranty and I have the exact sypmtoms of the TSB...Can you explain what it replaces?
Probably the strut bearing assembly - a rubber isolated bushing that mounts on top of the strut inside the front shock towers (the three fasteners sticking up from your shock towers).

About $40 each from BAT - might be cheaper elsewhere. Easy to replace if you capable of pulling the strut off and compressing the spring to replace the strut bearing.

Nothing to really worry about with re-aligning the front suspension if you use the OE pieces. If you decide to replace them with the adjustable strut bearings (about +-1 degree of caster/camber) you would need an alignment. But beware the adjustable strut bearings aren't nearly as isolated and can/do make thunking noises at times.
 

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Ugh if I have to compress the springs I am just going to lower it while I am at it...lol
 
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