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2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility (Front End Popping/Clunking)


duncford

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Hi I have a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, it has been making a clunking/popping sound from the front end I believe. This happens often in a strait line or turning and at low speeds primarily slowing to a stop and taking off but also just slowing to turn and then when speeding up again. Had it looked at and they had no idea, I believe they checked u-joints and cv axles. I have several other things Im going to check but would love any input for when I have it apart (its a pain to take that massive skid plate on and off more than once). Appreciate the help!!!
 


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ShelbyKR

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Hi I have a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, it has been making a clunking/popping sound from the front end I believe. This happens often in a strait line or turning and at low speeds primarily slowing to a stop and taking off but also just slowing to turn and then when speeding up again. Had it looked at and they had no idea, I believe they checked u-joints and cv axles. I have several other things Im going to check but would love any input for when I have it apart (its a pain to take that massive skid plate on and off more than once). Appreciate the help!!!
How many miles? Sounds like lower control arms.
 








peterk9

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Adam Janowski

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Hi I have a 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility, it has been making a clunking/popping sound from the front end I believe. This happens often in a strait line or turning and at low speeds primarily slowing to a stop and taking off but also just slowing to turn and then when speeding up again. Had it looked at and they had no idea, I believe they checked u-joints and cv axles. I have several other things Im going to check but would love any input for when I have it apart (its a pain to take that massive skid plate on and off more than once). Appreciate the help!!!
the stabilizer inboard mount position gaskets can be changed for minimal cost. mine were so loose, i could slide the sway bar side to side slightly. change the end links too, but the inboard mounts were the main culprit.
the lower control arms house two bushings plus the ball joint. I'm more novice than expert and was able to change em - a pain. on driver's side made mistake of pulling cv axle partially out of transfer case so be careful. the problem is the existing bushing is soft and more flexible (lower rear) and it needs to flex and bend to get it inserted into it's position. the hub is in the way so you'll need an extra set of hands and maybe a 24'' pipe wrench to bend it. once you slide the 2 mounts in place, the ball joint should line right up. i bough Moog replacements from amazon i believe. was cost effective to just do em all instead of individually addressing each bushing.
did quick struts up front - not sure about the "TRQ" brand from 1A Auto. i still have some sort of a noise towards front end.. when first driving with vehicle cold. once in motion seems to get more pliable and less rattly.. dunno. have changes everything i know to change (front and rear) and the motor mounts seem fine.
 




Kikinz24

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That's exactly what my 15 was doing I changed everything up front . Control arms. Struts. Sway bar links.... It ended up being the damn sway bar bushings themselves. Bit of a pain to change with only 60k miles on it I highly doubted they were bad and it was a link or control arm. Nope sway bar bushings .
 




jrgoffin

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My '14 Sport has been guilty of the same thing, but with only 42,000 miles or so. Had it in under ESP a few weeks back since I don't feel like fussing with this stuff any longer. The dealer replaced both front struts & mounts, sway bar end links, and the left lower control arm, which still didn't solve the issue. I had initially though it was a ball joint, but since I just dropped it off again for a third wheel bearing replacement, my next suggestion for them to check would be the sway bar bushings. If they replaced the end links, it's hard to believe they may have overlooked the bushings themselves, but who knows. At least the ESP has essentially paid for itself.
 




Kikinz24

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My '14 Sport has been guilty of the same thing, but with only 42,000 miles or so. Had it in under ESP a few weeks back since I don't feel like fussing with this stuff any longer. The dealer replaced both front struts & mounts, sway bar end links, and the left lower control arm, which still didn't solve the issue. I had initially though it was a ball joint, but since I just dropped it off again for a third wheel bearing replacement, my next suggestion for them to check would be the sway bar bushings. If they replaced the end links, it's hard to believe they may have overlooked the bushings themselves, but who knows. At least the ESP has essentially paid for itself.
From the outside look and with the mileage guarantee they never would expect bushings I know I didn't with the mileage on mine. Once taking them off they were very worn on the inside almost egg shaped
 




duncford

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Looks like it was the CV axle after all, the shop checked it and didn't find anything but when I pulled it apart, there was grease and fluid everywhere. It was the inside part of the axle and not the outside joint which I believe is more common.
Thanks for the ideas
 




Adam Janowski

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Looks like it was the CV axle after all, the shop checked it and didn't find anything but when I pulled it apart, there was grease and fluid everywhere. It was the inside part of the axle and not the outside joint which I believe is more common.
Thanks for the ideas
do you mind sharing the cost of repair and downtime? noise all gone?
 




duncford

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do you mind sharing the cost of repair and downtime? noise all gone?
Noise all gone, the cv axle was $130 and 20% off for ordering online AutoZone so like $110 total with tax plus a quart of transmission fluid that had to be replaced because some came out when I pulled the axle. Probably would have been an easy $600+ if I took it to the shop due to labor, diagnose and parts markup. Hope this helps! I try to do my own work when I can.
 




Dre

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Inner CV joint in my X came apart when I was installing the lift blocks up front. Boots were held by zip ties and it was bone dry inside. Did notice clunking noise while driving as well and sort of knew that shafts would have to be replaced - on that note, did you have any problems taking them out? I might as well replace PTO fluid at the same time since I have around 76k on the clock on mine. Axle shafts just came in last night from RockAuto and I'm replacing both sides.
 




duncford

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Inner CV joint in my X came apart when I was installing the lift blocks up front. Boots were held by zip ties and it was bone dry inside. Did notice clunking noise while driving as well and sort of knew that shafts would have to be replaced - on that note, did you have any problems taking them out? I might as well replace PTO fluid at the same time since I have around 76k on the clock on mine. Axle shafts just came in last night from RockAuto and I'm replacing both sides.
No it just came right out, along with about a quart of transmission fluid so be ready for that potentially.
 




duncford

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Also like I said that clunking noise is gone now but there is a slight popping (probably not popping but the best way I can describe) still, any ideas what it sounds like when the PTU/PTO is going out?
 




Dre

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I did replace sway bar links and bushings at the same time, any clunking and popping should be gone - have you checked your sway bar bushings when you were replacing axles?
 




KayGee

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Is it a pop pop, a pop pop pop, or a pop pop a doo bop?

Anyway, as I'm sure you can see from the responses you got, suspension noises are not going to be real easy to diagnose by a description of the sound and people often end up just replacing a bunch of stuff hoping to hit on the right part. Many people have had to replace suspension parts on these 5g explorers rather early, so if your miles are up there, start inspecting all the rubber components and replace any that are worn or any parts that are loose/damaged.

There are some basic tests you can do to assist in diagnosing suspension/driveline issues (Google is your friend).
 




duncford

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I did replace sway bar links and bushings at the same time, any clunking and popping should be gone - have you checked your sway bar bushings when you were replacing axles?
Yes everything with the sway bar was pretty tight and no play...
 




Dre

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OK, I just got to replace the right CV axle and now I know where my clunking comes from - it's the steering gear!!! It is loose on the right side, I can't tighten the mounting bolt as it is already tight. Did anyone replace steering gear and can tell me if there are any bushing inside the mounting hole of the gear? It seems to have some play on the mounting bolt, not up and down, rather front an back.
 




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