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Discussion Starter #1
I had my ball joints, struts and control arms replaced last week but I still have a persistent knocking problem. :mad:

Basically on rough roads you can feel everything through the steering wheel, causing it to wobble about vigourously. Sometimes moving slowly with the wheels turned will cause a loud clunk.

Any thoughts? Could it be sub frame and if so where do I look to check the tension on the bolts.

:confused:
 

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Yep, thats my problem and its the end links
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Looks like I'll need some new end links then. Can I do this job with the car jacked up and on axle stands or is it best to get underneath?
 

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my front end knock si the strut rod bushiings at the frame just been replaced a few months dont but moog ones for that.
 

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The subframe bolts are inverted Torx heads. (Kind of like a tall metal snowflake, if such a thing existed.) Anyway, you will find 8 of them down there (well, you should). They are in groups of 2 at each corner of the subframe, where it flares up to meet the unibody rails.
 

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Maybe this will help visually.


The 8 mounting points are circled. The proper socket needed to fit the bolts is a Torx 1/2" E18 Female Socket, and appropriate socket wrench, and possibly an extension. I obtained this pic from a Ford '97 T-bird Factory service manual, which can be downloaded, check previous posts on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the diagram :D All looks fine under there to me on the subframe front. Think I'm gonna get those end links changed. Then the wheel bearings possibly. It's creaking a lot and vibrating. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

Update.

I've had the inner & outer tie rod ends replaced and also the sway bar end links. In addition to the struts, lower control arms, and lower ball joints.

I still have problems with the steering wheel shuddering on rough surfaces & bumps - about 3/4 inch deflection of the steering wheel up and down.

Any suggestions guys? :(
 

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I would check ALL fasteners on your front suspension to make sure they are torqued to the proper values.

I would also check your front wheel bearings for looseness or play from wear. I was told that I had a bad right-front wheel bearing when I bought my car and had a mechanic check the suspension because of really bad, loud knocking sounds going over bumps (turned out to be bad sway-bar end-links). When I went to replace the bad wheel bearing, I found the wheel bearing retaining nut was really loose - not to the point that my wheel was ready to fall off, but plenty loose enough to cause play.

Good luck!

Dennis
 

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what are the proper pinpoint tests??

If i jack up my car, under the shocks , and rock my front right wheel top/bottom, it will move with a bit of play, maybe 1/4". my other front tire is rock solid and doesn't have this same play.

also when doing pinpoint tests should I have the car jacked up by the frame, or with the jack under the shocks??

and lastly is there a specific procedure for determine bad end links? I grabbed mine and reefed on them but they didn't seem to move at all or make any noise, however if I bang on my loose wheel I can hear the kind of knocking that I hear when driving, just more minor since I can't actually hit the car as hard as the car can hit a bump.

I just want to make sure I fix the right thing before I go and replace stuff.

thanks, and sorry I didn't mean to jack the thread or anything, just figured it would be better than starting another one.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
what are the proper pinpoint tests??

If i jack up my car, under the shocks , and rock my front right wheel top/bottom, it will move with a bit of play, maybe 1/4". my other front tire is rock solid and doesn't have this same play.

also when doing pinpoint tests should I have the car jacked up by the frame, or with the jack under the shocks??

and lastly is there a specific procedure for determine bad end links? I grabbed mine and reefed on them but they didn't seem to move at all or make any noise, however if I bang on my loose wheel I can hear the kind of knocking that I hear when driving, just more minor since I can't actually hit the car as hard as the car can hit a bump.

I just want to make sure I fix the right thing before I go and replace stuff.

thanks, and sorry I didn't mean to jack the thread or anything, just figured it would be better than starting another one.
I jacked mine up both sides and put the car on axle stands, moving the wheels side to side will help highlight rack wear / tie rod ends, and I used a crowbar under the tire which should help with ball joints etc
 

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what are the proper pinpoint tests??

If i jack up my car, under the shocks , and rock my front right wheel top/bottom, it will move with a bit of play, maybe 1/4". my other front tire is rock solid and doesn't have this same play.
That is probably a bad wheel bearing, but could be a ball joint. You may need a buddy to rock while you watch and feel for movement to isolate the source. Look at/feel the upper balljoint, then the lower, then between the spindle and the hub.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That is probably a bad wheel bearing, but could be a ball joint. You may need a buddy to rock while you watch and feel for movement to isolate the source. Look at/feel the upper balljoint, then the lower, then between the spindle and the hub.
What are the other symptoms of bad wheel bearings? Also, my suspension makes loud cracking/snapping noises when manuevering at low speed, what could this be?
 

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That is probably a bad wheel bearing, but could be a ball joint. You may need a buddy to rock while you watch and feel for movement to isolate the source. Look at/feel the upper balljoint, then the lower, then between the spindle and the hub.
it's not the upper ball joint, that was replaced not too long ago.

should I have the car jacked up under the shock? or should it be jacked from the frame?

when the wheel is rocked with it jacked under the shock, I don't see any movement around the ball joints or anything. seems like just the wheel moves.

but can just a wheel bearing cause the amount of knocking i hear on a daily basis?


as asked above, what are other symptoms of bad bearings?
 

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I guess it depends on how far gone the bearing is. My car needs a new rear wheel bearing right now. It usually makes no noise until it heats up (the grease may be muffling it until that point). The symptoms I have are: brakes drag, run hot, and eventually squeal continuously driving down the road. If the wheel and brake get hot enough, the bearing will start to go click-click-click as I drive. The wheel is very hot after driving long distances, especially at slower (city) speeds. It gets hot because the entire wheel, hub, and brake rotor are shifting slightly, causing one of the brake pads to drag on the rotor.

I know the bearing is bad because of those symptoms and the fact that I can slightly shift the right rear wheel when that corner is jacked up.

Now on my wife's car ... Olds Intrigue ... her front bearing was SHOT. Symptoms included vibration at highway speeds, horrible POW noises over major bumps (but not every time), and ugly scraping and popping noises when backing out of a parking space.

To check the bearing, it doesn't matter how the car is jacked up, as long as the wheel is off the ground, the car won't fall, and you don't damage the car. So frame or arm is fine, whichever seems more stable to you.

I don't think it matters how you jack it up to check the lower balljoint either, because of the fact that the shock and spring mount to the LCA itself, not the spindle. So the force of the spring is not really applied through the balljoint in any case. (But that's just an educated guess.)
 

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holy crap, I never even thought to think that if the bearing is loose it could cause the rotor to drag on the caliper..... that might be a lot of my problem of what's going on right now as far as grinding noises.


Does anyone have a recording of what the end links sound like knocking?? probably not, but mine is getting much worse, and i really can't see how it could be my end links making this much noise. I've also rocked the tire/car jacked up and not and I don't see any movement from them, or hear any knocking.

is t here any possibility that it could be my shocks or struts or something? I would assume it's not my end links because it's only knocking when I hit bumps, not when I turn or anything.

I'm about to spend $150 to replace both my front wheel bearings, and will be broke for some time, so I NEED to figure out what is going on down there.
 

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My front sway-bar end-links were bad when I first got my Thunderbird, and they made loud knocking sounds ONLY when I went over bumps. After they were replaced, I had no more knocking sounds at all.

Dennis
 
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