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Front suspension creaking

Discussion in 'General Explorations!!' started by jayhawkexplorer, March 17, 2004.

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    1. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      I took my Ex out doing some wheelin' on Saturday and it definitely took a beating on some rocks up and down some steep hills at Tuttle Creek. Everything seems to be fine and normal except one thing. When I go over the large speed bumps at my apartment complex, even at a low speed, I hear this creaking from the front suspension. It almost sounds like something's not lubricated right. The noise doesn't show up in everyday driving, just on the speed bumps. Any ideas??
       
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    3. sawdust123

      sawdust123 Member

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      mine was doing the same thing. i took in in for some service and they replaced the ball joints on both sides. that took care of it.
       
    4. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      They've already been replaced once; I don't imagine the ball joints would go out twice in 85,000 miles would they??
       
    5. sawdust123

      sawdust123 Member

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      like i said mine was identical to that. rolling slowly when you turn your wheel does it make the noise.

      mine have been replaced i think twice in 82,000 but i am on the beach with it about 4 times a week in the summer. the ocean salt water doesn't work too well with vehicles.
       
    6. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Nope...only get the noise when I hit those speed bumps...anybody else got a theory??
       
    7. daniel cauchon

      daniel cauchon Active Member

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      definitly lower ball joints..
       
    8. JasonF

      JasonF Active Member

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      If its the ball joints creaking you should hear it when you go over bumps OR when you turn the steering wheel. Just replaced mine and it took care of the problem.
       
    9. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      I tried slow speed turning and nothing happened. The noise ONLY appears when I go over severe road conditions like speed bumps, anything else it just sounds normal. I don't want to end up taking this to a mechanic to diagnose, the only one I really trust is 600 miles away at home.
       
    10. wa4kc

      wa4kc New Member

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      Do what I do. Wait for something to break all the way or fall off. I have a noise similar to yours but I have no idea what it is either. I think mine is something to do with the 4-wheel drive. It could be a shock or something. Can you shake your truck and hear the noise with the truck parked? Try to simulate the movement while it is sitting still.
       
    11. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      haha...I like that philosophy. I'm just picky about my Ex and I want it to work properly, especially since I have 2.5 more years on my used car warranty that covers basically everything that's not routine maintenance for a $100 deductible. It cost me $1200 but its already almost paid for. I had to get the transfer case flange and alternator replaced already, which totaled almost $800. I know I'll be using it again at least on the front suspension before the thing expires.

      No, I can't simulate it when it sits still, probably because I can't push down hard enough to simulate going over speed bumps. So I don't think its the shocks. I don't think its the ball joints because I've ridden in Ex's with bad ones. Its easy to tell because when braking, it almost feels like the suspension is disconnected from the body. Mine feels fine and like it should. Could it be something with the torsion bar adjuster? I got that suggestion from one of the KCAX guys....
       
    12. mhn3773

      mhn3773 Well-Known Member

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      when u think about something like that becareful because u dont know what kind of quality the parts were that were put on..my mom had that trouble with the brakes on her GV the pads disintigrated after 3k miles..no ones fault they just were defective but she was adimint that the brakes were not bad so she ended up needed a new rotor :eek: aswell as my gloating ass saying i told u so:D
       
    13. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Well I drove around tonight and tried a little more to diagnose the problem. The creaking only occurs when both wheels get pushed up hard on speedbumps. I went over a speedbump with 1 wheel at a time and the noise didn't appear. Driving over bumps in normal driving didn't make the sound appear either. And I tried pushing down on the front bumper as hard as I could but it wouldn't appear then either. A guy from KCAX thought maybe it could be body mounts; anybody else like that theory??
       
    14. skumancer

      skumancer New Member

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      I have the noise...but its on ALL the time...when I turn the wheel, when I go over bumps, when I move the car lateraly by hand...The guys at Ford say its the lower and upper ball joints and that I'll have to change the whole upper control arm because they can't replace just the ball joints. Do you guys think its really the control arm or could I just replace the ball joints? I don't wanna pay $600 (thats the cost of the 2 control arms and other thingies plus labor) If I can solve it just changing the ball joints.
       
    15. shobnob

      shobnob New Member

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      front bushings ans shocks will stop that creaking noise
       
    16. superchef

      superchef New Member

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      Ih ave a 93 ex. Same issue. I just replaced my radius arm bushings(clunk noise), drop link bushings and sway bar bushings(creaking over speed bumps). Noises all gone. If you get a creaking sound it almost always will be metal on rubber - meaning a bushing. If it is metal on metal it will have a different sound - almost a grinding creak.
      Change your sway bar bushings - it is cheap and easy to do. If this does not fix the problem then start looking at the more expensive stuff to replace.
       
    17. jayhawkexplorer

      jayhawkexplorer Elite Explorer

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      Anybody have a diagram that can show me exactly where the sway bar bushings are? I've got my Haynes manual but I'm having a tough time finding it in here.
       
    18. BML325

      BML325 New Member

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      I have a 2002 4x4 with 44,000 miles and I have the same noise, only when I go over large speed bumps though. Everything else is quiet and works fine.
       
    19. BradE.

      BradE. Active Member

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      The "guys at Ford" are correct. The upper ball joints on a 98 X are pressed into the upper control arms and come as a assembly. It's the same way with aftermarket parts like Moog, so if your going to replace the uppers you need to replace the whole upper control arm/ball joint assembly. No way around it.
       
    20. sawdust123

      sawdust123 Member

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      :nono: mine was around 800 for the control arms and all. it took care of the noises. also mine didn't make the noise when i pushed it down either but it was the ball joints.
       

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