Front end clunking - Sway Bar bushings? | Ford Explorer - Ford Ranger Forums - Serious Explorations
  • Register Today It's free!

Front end clunking - Sway Bar bushings?

bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
I replaced my upper and lower ball joints back in the summer, and this fixed 75% of the front end clunking noise I had. Things are starting to get worse, so I am guessing upper or lower control arm bushings, or sway bar bushings.

The sway bar bushings (what I can see of them) looks fine, and they seem tight when I pull on it. I there any test or procedure to tell if the sway bar bushings are worn out?
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





Donner

Explorer Addict
Joined
October 21, 2007
Messages
6,751
Reaction score
2
City, State
Natomas/Irvine
Year, Model & Trim Level
01 Sp 03 XLT 4x4s, Scion
Sounds pretty serious...

Is the vehicle drivable? What's the clunking sound like, intermittent, rotating? Are you certain it's coming from the area/components you suspect? My 2nd gen did that and it turn out to be the roof rack cross bar was loose, but it sounded like it was coming from the bottom passenger front side. Sorry I can't help more.

Thanks!
 






bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
The clunking is heard when ever I go over bumps in the road. The inner and outer tie rods are fine, and all ball joints are new. I have spent hours searching this forum, and the only two other things that would cause this are control arm, or sway bar bushing.

Worn sway bar bushing seem to be a popular cause of clunking noises for others, but how can I check mine?

Also, how can we check for play in control arm bushings?

P.S. the roof rack is fine.
 












MustangP51

Explorer Addict
Joined
January 16, 2005
Messages
1,385
Reaction score
2
City, State
Connecticut
Year, Model & Trim Level
2009 Limited V8






bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
Here are some pics.. It really doesn't look worn
 












Rocketheavy

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 17, 2004
Messages
109
Reaction score
0
City, State
Bozrah, CT
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 XLT 4x4
to replace every sway bar part is about 20 per side and the big sway bar bushings are about 20 bucks also. plus they are red bushing and the look cool
 






brianjwilson

Well-Known Member
Joined
July 8, 2004
Messages
628
Reaction score
2
Year, Model & Trim Level
98 Ranger, 05 Sport Trac
Agreed. Sometimes they look fine but can still be the source of the problem. Grab a couple wrenches and tighten them down HARD and see if that helps. They still may need to be replaced though. Check for the obvious things while your at it. Torque the lugnuts, make sure shock mounts and stuff are tight.
 






tsilney

Active Member
Joined
July 9, 2006
Messages
88
Reaction score
1
City, State
montgomery, il
Year, Model & Trim Level
2015 Explorer Sport
Check your transmission mount bolts. I replaced Upper and lower ball joints, tie rod ends, sway bar links, and sway bar bushings only to find that a bolt fell out of the transmission mount. Just a thought.
 






rob17san

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 27, 2004
Messages
277
Reaction score
0
City, State
DENVER CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Limited
Energy Suspension sway bar bushings and end links. Once you start fixing the front end, you have to finish it off. May even try new Hubs/bearing/abs sensor units. i replaced these items all one at a time hunting down a simliar noise. it got better and better. Just general wear on all parts most likely. How many miles on your X? To me those sway bar bushings look bad. Mine were similar and it got VERY tight after I replaced those and the end links. Maybe just crank down on your end link bolts as recommended above. You may also want to check the Shocks. In the pic the lower shock mount looks pretty rusted. if you have over 75k and never replaced them, its time. I did mine at 80k and it was like a new car.
 






bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
I think I found the problem. The sway bar end links are loose as a goose. I tried briefly to snug them up, but they weren't moving. I will put in some new bushings, and let you know how they work. Many thanks!
 






rob17san

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 27, 2004
Messages
277
Reaction score
0
City, State
DENVER CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Limited
Any luck?
 






bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
bought a new sway bar kit; TRW 18155HD but I can't get my old Links to come off. I have beat them good with a BFH trying to drive the bolt out of the link but no luck. I was going to cut them with a Sawzall or torch unless one else has any ideas??

My OEM parts look a little different that the one in the sticky post on sway bars.
 






daffy

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 14, 2005
Messages
323
Reaction score
0
City, State
Peoria, Il
Year, Model & Trim Level
'00 EB 4x4 4.0 SOHC
I would just cut the top part of the stud (along with the nut) off with an angle grinder. The new kit you buy should come with a new bolt.
 






tc11362

Member
Joined
November 23, 2007
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
City, State
douglaston, ny
Year, Model & Trim Level
97 xlt
I just did the job over the weekend. I also ran into the same removal issue. One side came out fairly easily, the other side wouldn't budge. I removed the sway bar with stuck end link attatched, rapped the hell out it ...no go. Took a hacksaw to it and that did the job.I wish I had used the saw about an hour earlier. My end links didn't look too bad initially either but changing them solved my clunking issue.
 






rob17san

Well-Known Member
Joined
April 27, 2004
Messages
277
Reaction score
0
City, State
DENVER CO
Year, Model & Trim Level
1999 Limited
It probably has tons of dirt in it like mine did. I took a vice grip to the tube, and a wrench to the top and torqued each the opposite direction. A PITA if i might say so.
 






bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
I soaked the links with PB overnight, and drove the truck to work without the swaybar on. I am glad to say that the clunking is gone, so obviosly I had a problem with this even though the rubber parts looked like new. I tried today to crank out the bolts, and the first one I sheared the head off as it was frozen in so tight. The second I grabed with vise grips, and to my surprise the tube cracked open. These links are made out of plastic, and are glued to the bolt inside. I don't think they can be removed without destroying them. When they are installed tightening the bolt does no good as it only snugs up the bottom of the link.
 






MountaineerGreen

Towing Moderator
Moderator Emeritus
Joined
February 2, 2006
Messages
7,482
Reaction score
47
City, State
North East Arkansas
Year, Model & Trim Level
2012 F150 4x4



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





bluestream1

Well-Known Member
Joined
November 9, 2005
Messages
950
Reaction score
3
City, State
Waterloo Ontario
Year, Model & Trim Level
2000 XLT 4.0 SOHC 4X4
I did get them off tonight, and I have bought new TRW kits to go on.

Well they are installed and they work great. Clunking is gone, I would recommend anyone to check these sway bar bushing if you are having front end noise. A cheap and easy fix.
 






Top