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Front end clunk - bushing failure?

Discussion in 'Stock 2011 - 2019 Ford Explorer Discussion' started by tazcubed, January 3, 2015.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    Thanks, Peter.
    Yep, been down that road many times. The Road Force balancing would solve it for about 3 miles. New tires helped, I thought, but it may have been the suspension wear had reached the point of alleviating most of it already.
     
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  3. SHUMAX

    SHUMAX Active Member

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    Does the vibration happen every time above those speeds or only intermittently?
     
  4. 1995E

    1995E Well-Known Member

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    So... based on this post, I have to replace all of these lol. I might as well let everything wear out and replace it at 100k. Currently at 60k. I have the creaking noise/ squeaking noise, and I have a clunking noise. Sigh...
     
  5. SHUMAX

    SHUMAX Active Member

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    I drove my car 100 miles today, some over some rougher surface streets. I can say, now, that the new strut mounts and spring isolators, really make the car feel tight up front. It's shocking how tight it now feels. I also notice that it is much quieter over broken surfaces of pavement at speeds from 5mph-45mph. Over the same, it's not perfect; however, I also think that's the Explorer. It's a delicate little flower over anything but the smoothest of surface streets. It's suspension is very unimpressive and leaves a lot to be desired. My wife's Edge; my parents Highlander and even my neighbors CRV all are shockingly quiet over the same streets.
    Whisper quiet.

    So: 55k and I've had the front struts replaced once; the strut mounts twice. Rear shocks replaced. Front control arm/ball joints and the rear hydro/compliance bushings, too. What's left are tie rods and the sub frame bushings. Both appear fine and there is no play (tie rods) or cracking of the bushings.

    Did I mention I am unimpressed with the suspension on this vehicle? :)
    Shumax
     
  6. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Ford has had long history of suspension problems with the Explorer starting in 1991. I owned on the first ones made, a completely loaded 4x4 Eddie Bauer and it had a lousy front suspension. I also owned 2002 fully loaded 4x4 Eddie Bauer that a much better front suspension than the 1991, but did require some TLC. This current Explorer generation has a multitude of suspension issues as posted by many owners in this forum. You are correct regarding what's left and if it were me, costs aside, I would replace sub frame bushings.
     
    Last edited: August 11, 2016
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  7. SHUMAX

    SHUMAX Active Member

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    My noise returned and is getting louder - despite new strut mounts.

    Broken pavement on surface streets feel very harsh through the steering wheel and there is a clank/loose feeling when going over dips in the road or recessed manhole covers, etc. Also, when I hit expansion joints on a bridge at highway speeds, there is a sharp clank in the front. Finally, drive over a rumble strip on the highway and I hear a rythmatic clanking in the front.

    Going to the dealer tomorrow. I am focusing on the steering rack / tie rods. Not sure what else to do. Very annoying. Sounds like something is going to break in the front end!
    Shumax
     
  8. SHUMAX

    SHUMAX Active Member

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    Was with the dealer today and the drove with me. Confirmed the noise and felt/heard the same and said something isn't right. They ran the codes and it threw a code for the steering gear! I had random advance track warning lights in the past, but they always went away. I have the ESP plan, so it's a $50 deductible and they are replacing the steering rack. I also am having them replace the outer tie rod ends, too, as they are not part of the steering "gear." Might as well since they are in there. They said they aren't sure that's the noise, but wanted to start there. They have to lower the sub frame, so they are going to look the bushings over on that then, too.

    The noise is clearly getting worse and is becoming concerning. I cringe when I drive it over anything but the smoothest surface streets. I sure hope this takes care of it. If not, we're back to throwing more parts at it....I guess? 57,000 miles. What happens at 100k? :)

    Shumax
     
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  9. Sixonemale

    Sixonemale Active Member

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    Yes, you could write a book on your experiences with the Explorer front end suspension, an almost never ending nightmare. Sounds like the current noise is probably coming from the steering mechanism, but I'm glad to hear that they are going to lower your sub-frame and check the bushings. If the sub-frame had loosened up or the bushings are slightly worn, that could effect many other parts of the suspension that you have recently replaced. I sure hope this is the finale that ends up in a super quiet suspension and ride.

    I also noticed that you live in Ohio and wonder if the winters and/or potholes have taken their toll on your suspension. With that said a "truck" should be able to handle inclement weather and rough roads without the front end suspension failing.
     
  10. SHUMAX

    SHUMAX Active Member

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    You know what's funny? On the 2011, I thought the same about the winter beating it up as it spent its entire life in the snow belt. The 2014? It lived in Virgina - inland - until this past November. So, there goes that theory, right?:). I am hopeful it's the rack and/or the subframe bushings. Otherwise, I have no idea what else to look at. Motor mounts? Ugh...
     
  11. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    Every time. I have only had one person comment on it without me asking but once I ask if they feel it, everyone notices it is vibrating. We just came back from vacation and rental car driving (Kia Sorrento for over 1,200 miles, no vibration). I immediately noticed the vibration when I got back in the Explorer on the highway. Now that the A/C is fixed it may be time to seriously consider something new before the next suspension bit wears out.
     
  12. Rio28

    Rio28 New Member

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    I have a 2014 Ford Explorer Sport with 43K miles on it. Noticed a leak on floor in garage the other day. Looked under and seen a leak coming front control arm bushing. Do the bushings hold any fluid to leak and is this something that is covered under the power train warranty. Any info would be useful, Thanks.
     
  13. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    I'm pretty certain the bushings are solid and not fluid-filled. If there is fluid on the bushing, definitely look above it to find the source of the fluid. Driver's side or passenger? Oily or watery fluid? Any obvious color or odor to it?
     
  14. RandyH2

    RandyH2 Active Member

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    This probably needs to go to a new thread...
     
  15. Rio28

    Rio28 New Member

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    The bushing is the Front Right Lower Rearward. It is light brown oily. [​IMG]
     
  16. XplrSprt

    XplrSprt Member

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    Hey guys since this thread was bringed to life again, I'm currently in the process of changing my front struts. At around 20k miles I took my 2014sport to the dealer because the passenger strut was shot, fluid was all over the place. After that (around 5k mi later) i installed H&R springs and now again at 38k mi the same side strut is shot, no problems on the driver side at all. Took it to dealer cause I have extended warranty and the guy didn't wanted to help me because I modified my suspension. I really don't wanna buy the strut at ford, is there any other manufacturer that offer struts for our Sports? I only found Monroe does them for PI models wich is the same but that's the only option we have? Thanks.


    This guy make me think it can be related, my driveway is to my right so I have to enter by turning right always. Maybe the suspension is not "driveway rated" lol
     
  17. cbx1047

    cbx1047 Active Member

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    I have an appointment at the ford dealer this Thursday to fix my low speed front end clunk. It happens all the time when driving over small road bumps or expansion cracks dips at around 5 to 8 mph. Pulling out of driveways and uneven surfaces. There is no noticeable noise at highway speeds. I currently have 28K on 3.5 limited and still under warranty. I have read most of the post regarding this issue and there are a variety of possibilities and was hoping someone on this board might be able to help me narrow down source of problem. I'm fearful that they will come back to me after looking at and tell me they found nothing wrong. The following is a paste from previous posts regarding this issue.
    Sway bar link – loud clunk when driving on driveways or parking lots, no noise on highway

    · Lower control arm bushing – creaking noises caused by driving over uneven surfaces, can happen when driving and turning at the same time over a speed bump, no noise on highway

    · Strut mounts – Almost a metal on metal clanking noise that is semi unbearable and can be isolated by rocking the steering wheel back and forth in parking lot driving less than 5 mph. No noise on highway

    · Ball joints - clunking going over small bumps and when you come to a dead stop and pull back out. No noise on the highway as far as I know
     

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