Clunking Under the Driver Side | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Clunking Under the Driver Side

Troubled Owner

New Member
September 21, 2013
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 Ford Explorer
I am the owner of a 1993 Ford Explorer. I've had a couple issues, all of which, I've been able to resolve with a little DIY. However, recently I have begun encountering a clunking noise underneath the driver side of my vehicle. This clunking noise occurs under two conditions only, those being:

1): Anytime I go over any potholes or bumps or manhole covers on the driver side; the faster I am travelling, usually, the clunk is louder.

2): Anytime I release the breaks before coming to a full stop, the clunking returns. The closer I am to stopping, generally the clunking is more quiet.

Could you guys give me any advice as to where to look under the vehicle and what to look for? I'm thinking that this could possibly be something to do with the Radius Arm Bushings and/or the Brake Calliper? Again, any ideas?

Update: Upon further investigation of the radius arm, I noticed that the very outside metal bushing was slightly loose, but other than that, there was nothing on the driver side out of the ordinary. On the passenger side(because I wanted to check for symmetry), however, when i investigated that side, the rubber washer that should have been there was missing, and the metal washer was free to move. This confused me when I saw it because the clunking is occurring on the driver side, yet the passenger side( the side with a portion of the bushing missing) has never clunked.

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Well you found a problem. If it's causing your issue I'm not sure but it is something that needs fixing so....
Did you check the cat heat shields? Those rattle loose & clank around. Also the heat shield on the Y pipe.

The radius arm bushings may look fine from the outside but you will have to take them apart to find out for sure. In one case mine looked fine, but upon taking it apart one bushing was completely worn away inside. In another case, it looked fine even when I took it apart at first, but then I noticed the rubber bushing had an inner metal reinforcement that was banging against the radius arm bracket.

Thanks guys, I'll definitely have it checked out. Shouldn't there be a clunking from both sides though? Especially since one of the rubber washers on the right arm is missing altogether?

And one last thing for now, I know I shouldn't wait, but if it a radius arm bushing could I wait a week or two to get it into a shop? Or is it something that could be a potential time bomb?

Radius arm bushings can wait but eventually the arm banging around can wear the radius arm bracket. When that happens the only fix is a new bracket. Sometimes that is a good idea anyways; the brackets are not too expensive and are easy to buy.