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clunking in front end

explorer0815

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City, State
paducah,ky
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 xlt
I Have A 94 Xlt 2 Wheel Drive With 164k Miles And I Have Only Owned It For About 3 Months. I Have Noticed That Something In The Front End Is Making A Clunking Noise When I Hit Bumps. I Have Jacked It Up In The Front End And There Is Not Any Play In The Wheel Bearings. Just Hoping Someone Has Some Help For My Problem...
 
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clarkede

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City, State
Alexandria, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT V8
I have had that problem with my 98XLT for years. It feels like it is somewhere between the front drivers side wheel and the drivers floorboard. I have no idea what it is, but I know that it is fairly common with other people that I have talked to. I would also be interested in knowing what this noise is.

Thanks :)
 
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'92Bauer

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City, State
Mamaroneck,NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
'92 Eddie Bauer 4X4 R.I.P
Have the front raduius arm bushing checked, most likely the problem you are having.
 
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91ebexp

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City, State
Port St. Lucie, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
91 Explorer Eddie Bauer
I have the same problem on my 91 EB but I just played it off as control arm bushings.

Thats not dangerous is it?
 
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thewishkah

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City, State
Brooklyn New York
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 explorer xlt
It could become dangerous after a long time I would think because once the radius arm bushings are shot the holes in the mount start to lose their shape.
I changed my radius arm bushings last november with the polyurathane ones and im glad I did , at the same time I had to replace the mount do to wear of the holes.
 
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PJC

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City, State
Central Illinois
Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 XLT
[QUOTE='92Bauer]Have the front raduius arm bushing checked, most likely the problem you are having.[/QUOTE]
Seconded. I just had this problem with my '92 and new radius arm bushing cleared it right up.
 
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DeRocha

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City, State
Brockton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
Most front end clunking can be attributed to worn bushings (Radius Arm, sway bar, and axle pivot)... None of which are dangerous, but all of which will gradually degrade the handling of your X while on the street. If you let the RA bushings degrade too far the Radious arm shaft will eventually deform the Radius arm bracket hole in which it passes.

Ball joints can cause clunking and would be a dangerous problem to ignore..
 
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big_hoovie

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City, State
Laconia, NH
Year, Model & Trim Level
'91 XL
I've also got that clunking...I figured it might have something to do with the tie rod ends....I guess I'll have the radius arm bushings checked out as well... would either one of these have any effect on the alignment?? I've had an alignment done twice in the last 4 months, and it still pulls to the right(and it's getting worse since my last one - at least I didn't have to pay for it).
 
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hatched91

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City, State
godfrey, Illinois
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 sport ohv 5spd
my 93 xlt 4 wheel drive is doing the same. It's radius arm bushings.
 
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mehig

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City, State
Southeastern, Kentucky
Year, Model & Trim Level
1994 XLT
Radius arm bushings will make noise when appling brake and coming to a full/abrupt stop......if you do not hear a groaning/creaking noise as vehicle stops it's probably not the radius bushing...although w/that many miles they should have already been replace.......check your automatic locking front hubs ....when worn/dirty they will engage and disengage the front axle by themselves .......check by jacking up front wheels and roll them forward and backward and see if front axle turns.....axle should not turn.....Steve
 
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explorer0815

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City, State
paducah,ky
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 xlt
Thanks For All The Replys To My Clunking Problem. I Was Looking On The Maintenance Reference Page And Brad Martin Was Talking About Adding Washers To Fit Inside The Ford Washers Which Stop Against The Stop Shoulder. I'm Confused Where These Washers Go. I'm Going To Try To Replace My Ra Bushings This Next Week, So If Anyone Can Help Me I Would Appreciate It.
 
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DeRocha

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City, State
Brockton, MA
Year, Model & Trim Level
'93 XLT 4x4
Basically he was saying he noticed there was too much play between the large washer and radius arm bushing. To help tighten things up he would double out the old and new washers together. This would keep the front end nice and tight. Anyway here is a pic of the driver's side front end. You can see the large silver washer on the Radius arm. Just double it up by re-using the old one as well.. I did and had no problems :thumbsup:
18205Restored_Left_front_WEB-med.jpg
 
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clarkede

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City, State
Alexandria, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT V8
Update on the problem. It ended up being a Stabilizer Bar Link. The link is about 8 inches and there is one on each side of the truck. The passenger side link apparently had the lower bolt broken off. When visually inspected it looked just fine. The bolt was seated into a socket where it looked normal, but if you felt or looked under you would notice that the threads and nut were completely missing. It must have come loose or something and thumped around for a while. Then finally it wore off completely. I only found it when I laid under the car and had my wife jump on the front bumper. then I could see the link separate from the plate that it fastens to. I found the replacement part on RockAuto.Com for about 7 dollars. To replace it I needed a breaker bar and a pipe wrench to break the old one off. the new one just fastens in with a nut on the top and a nut on the bottom. No lock washers which I find weird, but after a few months it seems to be holding fine. The noise is completely gone.
 
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swshawaii

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'05 Sport Trac XLS (RWD)
OEM Sway Bar End Links and Lower Ball Joints are very common failures on Explorer's.
 
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beauboy

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City, State
Jacksonville, FL
Year, Model & Trim Level
2007 Ford Explorer LTD
Everyone always jumps on the RA bushings when they hear the clunking - including me. Then when I check under the vehicle, my RA bushings look fine. I've replaced them 4 times and still hear the clunk.

Had it checked out at a garage (for about the 10th time) and they discovered that my problem was my intermediate steering shaft coupler. The coupler is worn, causing the movement and 'clunking', but is not a safety hazard at all.

Now, I'm not saying your problem is your intermediate steering shaft instead of RA bushings, but it is one more thing to look at. Took me over 10 years to figure this out.
 
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clarkede

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City, State
Alexandria, VA
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT V8
Second update on the problem. Okay, so I changed the Stabilizer link as I posted earlier. Well, I heard a pop a couple days ago and was hearing some intermittent clunking. I checked and the New link that I had installed had sheared off again. Good think I bought two of them and never replaced the other side. I don't know if there is a difference in quality in one over another or if it is just a fluke, but if this one goes I will be trying a different brand. These I had gotten from rockauto.com for about 8 dollars each. I have the box still and can look it up, but just wanted to give a quick update. My advice is to check the replacement every so often. Especially if the clunking noise comes back.
 
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pteepee69

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City, State
Lawrenceburg,Ky.
Year, Model & Trim Level
'94 Explorer XLT
Put Radius Arm Bushings In

I have had my 94 Exploder for 1 1/2 years now. New Warn manual hubs, new races and bearings, plus lots of other parts (mainly on the motor). The front end has always been loose, but here lately it had gotten pretty dangerous. Got on here for some good recommendations and decided to check out my radius arm bushings. Steering strayed alot mainly to the right, clunking when stopping, front end sounded like it was going to fall out every bump you hit. Bushings looked new but decided to check them out anyway. Drivers side were in good shape. When I took the nut and washer off the passenger side I saw the problem. When the previous owner had them replaced they must have been completely gone. The radius arm bracket hole was worn into an oval with minor wear on the radius arm itself. Ordered a new bracket from Rock Auto. 3 hours I replaced the bracket and bushings on both sides. Best the suspension and steering have been since owning it. Don't take for granted by looking at the outside of the bushing that it is new. Take that nut and washer off and look at all of it.
 
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C ROCK

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City, State
apache junction arizona
Year, Model & Trim Level
93 xlt
it is the radius arm bushings i had same ;problem with my 93 ford explorer xlt 4x4.
 
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