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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
well, it's been doing it for a couple of weeks now & getting worse. i turn the car on & you can feel a vibration through the whole car. when i turn the wheel to the right it makes a poping sound & continues to vibrate(front right). it occasionaly stops vibrating while driving around. anyone experiance this before. i have 2003 2.3 zx3.
video added

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njpHESYZ-zc
 

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BodyKits=PantiesDrop
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sounds like a cv axle or a wheel bearing

the axles aren't expensive, less than $100 brand new at AutoZone with a lifetime warranty
 

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Gal. 2:20
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YA X2, prolly a cv joint maybe slave cylinder or something
 

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Force-Powered Focus
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did they make the 2.3 in 2003?

ninja, what would the slave cylinder have to do with it? [???:)]

is your car making a clicking noise as you turn? if not, i would htink its the hub/bearing assembly. also, check your mounts and ball joints. is there any sort of hum? need more info, but thats the most likely culprits. i really think its a bad mount or ball joints tho. a cv axle doesnt cause the car to vibrate, especially when not moving. a bad mount can let the engine rock and roll too much, so u get a lot of vibration. ball joints can also cause popping noises, or 'clunks' when you make a turn, but that is usually when turning to the opposite direction.
 

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90% of the time clicking while turning the wheel points to the cv axle, you COULD rebuild it, but a new boot alone would be 20 bucks. Usually when one goes, the other isnt far behind. I'd save time and replace both. But to be sure its not the wheel bearing, jack the car up and try to jiggle the wheel with your hands/pry bar.
 

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BodyKits=PantiesDrop
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2.3L started production in 2003.5, so yes.

Egz has an 03 2.3L
 

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Force-Powered Focus
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90% of the time clicking while turning the wheel points to the cv axle, you COULD rebuild it, but a new boot alone would be 20 bucks. Usually when one goes, the other isnt far behind. I'd save time and replace both. But to be sure its not the wheel bearing, jack the car up and try to jiggle the wheel with your hands/pry bar.
thats why i was asking if it was really clicking, as opposed to popping, which is how he described it. an axle and bearing will not cause vibration on startup. a bearing will cause a hum and vibration at speed. if there is much lateral play in the wheel, its usually a tie rod. if up and down, its usually a ball joint and/or ctrl arm. but though they are associated with popping, usually those are not associated with vibration. which is why id said to check the mounts. those will add to vibration if its on startup.
 

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im tellin u. check ur mounts and ball joints. this is suggestive of mounts gone bad.
 

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OK, for all those who don't know how to diagnose suspension problems:

Ball joints (we have one) will make a single pop that will grow into a thump when coming to a stop or starting movement. The sound starts just when stopping, and then grows louder and starts when starting movement as it worsens. Very dangerous, if you suspect ball joint problems, you should inspect the boot for damage, if damage exists replace ASAP. Once you reach the point where it makes noise on acceleration- you don't have too much longer (2 weeks) before your wheel turns horizontal.

Tie rod ends make similar sounds when sitting still and cranking the wheel left or right. These are usually diagnosed by the guy at the alignment shop because a bad tie rod end makes the steering wheel shake like bad alignment.

Our sway bar end links in the Focus have caused all sorts of popping sounds similar to the ball joint and tie rod end (because they have ball joints also), but these can be isolated from the others if the sound is heard while driving over bumps.

ALL of these should be visually inspected and manhandled to verify that the part is bad. Ball joints: look for boot damage, and a raised area on the bottom side of the joint. If you jack the body, you might be able to get it to make some sound by pulling pushing and wiggling the wheel by hand. Tie Rod ends: if these move easily, floppily by hand, you need new ones, boot damage applies here also. Sway bar end links: if these are floppy, they need replacement. There should be some movement side to side, but none outwards away from the wheel. It should be slightly tight also, but not as tight as the tie rod end. Tie rod ends should not be easy to move by hand.

OK, CV axles. Crank the wheel all the way to the lock in one direction, drive the car slowly. If you hear a popping sound from the wheel area, then inspect the outer CV axle boot. IF there is damage to the boot you'll see grease everywhere around that area. You'll need to replace the entire axle, call around and see if there is a local rebuilder in your area. These usually have better prices. I also highly suggest replacing both axles at once. You will need to replace all your transmission fluid, and for ATX, I recommend a filter change at the same time.

OK gotta go to work. PS rep system means nothing. WarreenJ was right IMO. You do your own diagnosis and see. I'll explain how to test motor mounts this evening. Time limited in morning.
 

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thats all true, above, but they shouldnt cause vibration at idle. only mounts and maybe REALLY bad ball joints would do that, in reference to the aforementioned tie rods, cv axles, etc. bad ball joints also usually make that 'clunk/pop' noise more when you turn....as the weight shifts to the other side, the ball joints absorb that, which, if loose, causes the pop.
 

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thats all true, above, but they shouldnt cause vibration at idle.
True, I missed that part in the explanation earlier. Vibration at idle is likely to be an engine mount, or the engine is not running correctly.

only mounts and maybe REALLY bad ball joints would do that, in reference to the aforementioned tie rods, cv axles, etc. bad ball joints also usually make that 'clunk/pop' noise more when you turn....as the weight shifts to the other side, the ball joints absorb that, which, if loose, causes the pop.
No on both accounts. Bad motor mounts can cause a "thunk" but only under acceleration. The way to diagnose a bad motor mount is to engage the emergency brake, chock the wheels, and put the engine in gear. Have an assistant observe the engine movement. If the engine moves more than an inch or two in the engine compartment, then inspect the motor mounts closer. This is easier to do with an automatic transmission. The engine movement will be violent and you might even be able to see rips and tears in the upper motor mount if that is the damaged mount.

Ball joints don't absorb anything, and any sound caused by a ball joint during turning would only be caused while turning on bumpy pavement. You wouldn't be able to differentiate this sound from a loose strut. A bad ball joint will, as I said earlier, make a single thunk when stopping, and when starting movement. The speed doesn't make a difference. Basically what you're doing is the spindle is pulling the ball joint out of it's socket (not entirely) and dropping it back in. The ball joint's purpose in the suspension is to allow the spindle to turn and tilt at the same time within it's range of moment. It goes bad when lack of grease or age causes wear in the ball joint's socket.

Bad CV joints will cause vibration while moving, and you will feel it through the entire car. This is not what I'd use to diagnose a problem because it can be caused by many other issues. A continuous popping sound while making a hard turn is the sound an outer CV makes. Inner CV's cause odd vibrations while going uphill that disappear under acceleration. Outers usually go before Inners, and since you always replace the entire axle- very few people have inner CV problems.

If you have an outer CV problem, and have seen the damaged boot with grease under the car- then it's time to start saving for axle replacement. You should replace both axles at the same time, and there's no reason why any one with any level of tool skills can't replace a CV axle. I would not replace the axle until the the sound starts becoming common under straight acceleration. Drive the car slowly and carefully so as not to speed up the damage, and save your money. The process can take a lot of time- I drove a Honda wagon for a year with a bad outer CV. You should have plenty of time to save money for replacing both axles, research where the cheapest place to get the parts is, and also save for anything else you need to do to your transmission while the axles and fluid is out.

One last thing, not all outer CV problems result or are caused by a broken boot or loss of grease. If you don't have a broken boot, but have continuous popping sounds while turning then you still need a CV axle. A single "pop" would be something different like a sway bar end link, and we'll need more information to properly diagnose this problem.
 

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alex, u misread what i said...i didnt say mounts would make the clunk noise, but the ball joints would. i said the mounts would cause vibration.

and, no, that isnt true about the joints....they will make that noise when turning, as well as acceleration. i used to be an alignment techs mgr, and this was something i dealt with every day. guess i should have specified if it was bolt-on or pressed, but i just want to get him looking at his mounts/ctrl arms. if the bushing goes bad, it can start popping, as its not staying in place. when you take, say, a right turn, the weight of the vehicle shifts to the left. if the ball joint is bad, it can pop, making that clunk soud. same goes for control arm bushings. the entire arm can shift. some cars sucked, though, in that the ball joint was pressed, intstead of bolted on, so you had to replace the entire ctrl arm assembly. customers hated that, thought we were lying. sigh.

i will say, tho, that it could be more ball-joint related if its on acceleration that the noise is heard, as the power shifts. more ctrl-arm if its on turning, as the movement is lateral.

still think its the mounts tho. probly the pass. side.
 
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