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Discussion Starter #1
1996 Mercury Cougar, ~190,150km

For the last couple of weeks I've been hearing a strange rattling noise coming from the front of my car, from what I can gather it sounds like it's coming from the driver side, cause if I roll up my window and roll down the passenger window I can't hear it.

Anyway it sounds almost exactly like an extension ladder shaking around on the top of a truck.

I just recently did a brake job on my front and back wheels, replacing my front brake pads, and had my rear calipers done at a shop because they were completely seized.

I don't know if it's related but I can't seem to figure out what this noise is, or even HOW to figure out what it is.

It happens going over little bumps and rattles constantly anywhere there's bumps on the road. I don't hear it if I'm stepping on the brake pedal, even lightly enough that it doesn't affect my speed.

Does anyone know what this might be or how to figure out what it is short of hanging over the front of the car while someone else drives?
 

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Since it doesn't do it when brakes are applied I would check the anti-rattle clips for the brake pads. I left them out of my Ranger and it did the exact same thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I replaced my passenger ball joint a little while ago, the driver side needs doing to, but its an ENTIRELY different noise than what I'm hearing. Literally think of an aluminum ladder on top of a truck when it hits a bump. It's a really loose rattling....a sway bar would make a heavier, "tighter" knocking, and I would be seriously worried if my sway bar was this loose(sounding)

I had my wheel off yesterday and tapped a few things with a hammer, checked my pads, calipers, nothing rattled, I couldn't even replicate the sound without driving(so far) all the components seems sound and well tight.

Where are the anti-rattle clips??? My brakes have no clips to the best of my knowledge......
 

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...My brakes have no clips to the best of my knowledge...
That would explain why they are rattling. :) One of the first mods I did to my T-bird was to put PBR calipers on so it has been 4-5 years since I have seen factory MN12 brakes but I am pretty sure they came with clips in them to keep them from rattling around when the brakes are not applied. The clips are little pieces of metal that hang on to the edge(s) of the pads and push against the spindle assembly like a spring. I don't have any pictures, surely someone who does will speak up.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
the old pads didn't have them on it, and they didn't rattle, they just sit right in the frame, then the caliper slides down over top.... was the easiest brake job I've ever done.

I just edited my post above, but I checked the pads and they weren't moving around or loose or anything.

Could it be on my passenger side?? I don't hear it with the passenger window down and my window up, but I only checked the driver side.
 

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They are stainless thin metal pieces formed and they snap on the caliper bracket where the brake pads ride. That is an image of one for the standard brakes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thinking about this for a moment, When I purchased my pads, I bought the pads for the car with the sport package, which I believe mine has due to the non-functional luggage rack and 4 wheel disc brakes.

Those pads had springs on top of them, but were too large for my calipers, and didn't fit. I purchased the pads for the non-sport model, and those ones fit, but they don't have the springs on them. they also don't move around though.

It is of my opinion that the non-sport model car uses a larger front caliper to compensate for the rear drum brakes on those models. Canadian tire has the pads listed backwards.

I could be wrong I would like someone to tell me what the deal is cause I still don't know 100% if my car is the sport or non-sport model...... it seems to have an odd combo of sport and non-sport features.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hey....... that metal clip in the middle.... I forgot to put that back in on my passenger side...... it's sitting in my car.

I guess i'll have to put that back on. I thought it was just an "inspection" cover or something.

My brakes didn't have the other parts in that image.
 

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Nothing sporty about the trunk luggage rack!

Do you have 15 or 16 inch wheels? If 15, for sure you don't have Sport brakes. If you have 16, then you MIGHT if it was a Sport, but they didn't get the trunk rack.

You have the non sport brakes, but to verify, next time you tear into the brakes, on the caliper bracket, across the top it will be stamped with 15 or 16. 15 is standard brakes, 16 is sport brakes.

I personally have never dealt with the 93+ standard brakes, only the 89 ones (no caliper bracket, the pads rest on pieces that are part of the spindle, a poor design) and the Sport brakes (well, and the GT/V6 PBRs I swapped to my 97), so I am not exactly sure what the anti-rattle clips look like, or the caliper to bracket mounts and slides, but I thought on the standard brakes, you just removed the upper bolt and pivoted the caliper out of the way on the lower one (which is different than the upper one).
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I'm just going by what's mentioned on cool cats. Its in the sport appearance category.

I did always find that weird, I would think they would put a spoiler on the sport package..... apparently they do lol.


I'll probably be taking the wheels off again on the weekend so I will look to see if I have a 15 or 16 stamped anywhere.

Is it going to be a larger number? or is it small and hard to find ?
 

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Anyway it sounds almost exactly like an extension ladder shaking around on the top of a truck.
The front swaybar endlinks also rattle like a ***** when they go bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
where would I look in the service manual to find out where exactly those are :) I'm not a n00b, I just wanna make sure I'm checking the right stuff, and can also check out the troubleshooting in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Solved.

The clip I left off was the culprit. I put it back on today and the rattling stopped. Apparently it was my brakes and apparently that clip was as important as I thought it would be lol.
 
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