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Loose bolts...should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by RogerB1, March 9, 2018.

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  1. RogerB1

    RogerB1 New Member

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    Okay, I confess, this is for a 2005 Mercury Mountaineer, not an explorer, but I have an account for this forum, probably due to my prior vehicle.

    Anyway, I had my truck at the dealer. It broke down with the Failsafe engine message. They replaced the crankshaft position sensor, the crankshaft pulley, and the belt. They made a note on the invoice that said "Recommend Suspension Diag" . I was looking underneath it and checking the tires because after I got it from the dealer, I took it to another shop to get tires and now I am hearing an sporadic buzzing noise that I don't think I had before. I am not sure are the new tires.

    While looking at the wheels and tires, I notice it has these bolts that are loose in the back on each side. Very loose. I don't know if the dealer loosened them to look at suspension or what. Any ideas if these are supposed to be dangling?

    LooseBoltcopy.jpg
     
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  3. Tech By Trade

    Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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    That looks like the sway bar linkage, and its missing the bushings. Its a bi-annual event for me replacing those. Wonderful design. I can swap them in under 15 minutes now days I'm so good at it.
     
  4. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    This is your one stop shop for mountaineers as well ;)
     
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  5. domct203

    domct203 Pilots The Beast Elite Explorer

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  6. swshawaii

    swshawaii Elite Explorer

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  7. Joe in NY

    Joe in NY Active Member

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    Why so often?
     
  8. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    They are a common failure item. When they wear they can clunk and squeak, and be annoying. If the bushings are totally gone as in your case, you essentially have no sway bar functionality, and will have increased body roll.
     
  9. RogerB1

    RogerB1 New Member

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    Thanks everyone. I will look into changing these. Hopefully it's a do-it-yourself type job.
     
  10. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    It’s very basic, if you can do anything mechanical you can tackle these.
     
  11. RogerB1

    RogerB1 New Member

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    Well yesterday I changed the spark plugs and wires in my wife's 2.7L sonata. I had to tear off lots of stuff to get to the rear three plugs. I put it all back together with no parts left over, so I guess I'm okay.
     
  12. RogerB1

    RogerB1 New Member

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    Do I need to take rear wheels off?
     
  13. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    Might give easier access, I’m not really sure. Hang on.....
     
  14. Tech By Trade

    Tech By Trade Well-Known Member

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    You don't but it makes it easier than having to crawl underneith. You can change it from the wheel well if you pull the tire. Also, a sawzall or a grinder works wonders if the sleeve is frozen. Usually knocking off the bolt head after removing the nut and pulling it through. It can be done with a band saw in a pinch but it takes forever.
    For some reason mine eats the bushings on the front. I have tried all the tricks over the years. I think it's the cold weather and our horrible roads.
     
  15. Mbrooks420

    Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer EF Vendor

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    This might help?
     
  16. RogerB1

    RogerB1 New Member

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    Looks easy enough, thanks!
     
  17. toypaseo

    toypaseo Flunked daycare Elite Explorer

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    Hardest part might be removal due to rust. That top nut might be frozen on there, will take forever to remove, or might just twist off. Consider applying a penetrating lube like PB Blaster to that top nut days before removal. Apply daily.

    Keep in mind that sawing them in half will save time, and cuss words :rant:
     
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  18. Drewmcg

    Drewmcg Elite Explorer

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    Take this with a grain of salt, but from my research elsewhere on Youtube, etc., the A-1 Auto guy over-tightened the sway bar link nut in the above video. I don't think you're supposed to "pancake" the top washers like that. In fact, I think I've seen a manufacturer's diagram (not sure where) depicting "right" and "wrong" tension--and that job looks like the "wrong" picture. YMMV.

    Agree that buzzing them off with a sawzall or equivalent is quicker.
     

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