Front end clunk driving me nuts - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015 Thread Starter
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Front end clunk driving me nuts

Okay so a few weeks ago I bought a completely stock 05 GT. Love the car. I had three fox bodies previously. When I test drove it I heard a little clunk that sounded like a bad strut bearing on the right side. Didn't think much of it. The car had 88k after all and I knew I would be in for fixing some stuff. As soon as I got it home I did some reading and found the front suspension TSB from 07. So I ordered GT500 strut bearings. Clunk still there. Read a lot about bad sway bar links so I bought new Moog replacements and installed those. Clunk still there. So I got under the car and started really prying on stuff and found both ball joints were toast. Replaced those with new Moog pieces. Clunk still there. The other day I noticed the front sway bar bushings were loose to the point I could slide the bar left-right by hand. Installed Energy suspension replacements and wrapped the bar with teflon tape for a tighter fit. It's rock solid now. Handles better, but clunk still there. When I had the car in for state inspection last week (where they check all the front end components) they found nothing wrong. I read about the 07-up cars having a rear brace on the K member so I ordered a BMR one yesterday. But I have my doubts if that will help or not. About the only thing I haven't replaced are the tie rods (which appear to be fine and not original to the car) and the struts themselves. Struts I was going to replace with the bearings but Koni is out of STR.T's right now and won't have any more for a few months. But the factory struts aren't leaking and seem to be working fine. Any other suggestions that don't cost a fortune? My wife is about to kill me with all the money I've been sinking into the car. And the rattle is driving me insane. Oddly enough the car drives beautifully and you don't feel anything loose in the suspension/steering feedback. But on rough roads under 50MPH it rattles like an old junker.

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post #2 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015
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I have the same thing going on. I'm replacing end links, tie rod ends, ball joints and struts.

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post #3 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015
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i have an 08 GT/CS conv..
i had same problem...i chased it for a long time and still there...
i just drive it and ignore all the clunks and rattles...mine has 83k
just enjoy it if you can
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post #4 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-06-2015
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Could be the hydro-bushings on the control arms

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post #5 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015 Thread Starter
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I hope it's not those rear bushings. I don't have the cash for arms right now and this really is driving me nuts. I did order a tie rod end yesterday. The right side seems to twist by hand really easy and the left is stiff like it should be. Doesn't seem to have any play in it though. Left side has obviously been replaced recently. I've also noticed the car seems to tramline a bit more than it probably should. Probably needs an alignment. It could be a bad strut too. The originals aren't leaking and the car seems to ride fine but they are now almost 90k mile shocks.
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post #6 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015
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Just a shot in the dark here, but is it possible that there is something not associated with the suspension that could be clunking or rattling. I'm thinking something like a section of hose or tubing etc. Perhaps also check to see if your inner fenders are mounted tightly and not bouncing around when you hit a bump, I have heard of this being the cause of annoying noises in some cars as well.

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post #7 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-07-2015 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cman View Post
Just a shot in the dark here, but is it possible that there is something not associated with the suspension that could be clunking or rattling. I'm thinking something like a section of hose or tubing etc. Perhaps also check to see if your inner fenders are mounted tightly and not bouncing around when you hit a bump, I have heard of this being the cause of annoying noises in some cars as well.
I'm actually starting to think this way too. But everything I have replaced thus far has actually been bad so although I have been throwing parts at it they have been parts it needs. The passenger side strut bearing was actually locked up and the spring was rotating on the spring plate instead of the plate turning. Needless to say it steers better. All the boots were torn on the sway bar links. And the lower ball joints had a good 1/8" of up/down slack in them. The tie rod is kind of a shot in the dark and the lower reinforcement bar is something I would have bought anyhow. The lower brace I put on one of my foxes did way more than a strut brace did. Eventually this car will be used for some driver's schools. But I need to at least get some good brake pads in it first.
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post #8 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015 Thread Starter
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Well it wasn't the tie rod (which seemed fine once I got it off) and the lower brace didn't change it either. It's going to have to stay this way for a while...
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post #9 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015
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I'm kinda astounded that your whole front end seems torn up with only 88k miles on it. My 2006 V6 has 95k and everything is tight except for the struts starting to get tired.

Guess you'll have to do some more replacements.

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post #10 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-09-2015 Thread Starter
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I'm kinda astounded that your whole front end seems torn up with only 88k miles on it. My 2006 V6 has 95k and everything is tight except for the struts starting to get tired.

Guess you'll have to do some more replacements.
I am too. I bought this car to get away from constantly working on my 25 year old BMW and 31 year old fox body. My fox body actually had less miles than this car but my BMW had over 200k when I got it and the entire front end was original. I did replace everything anyhow but I wasn't expecting to find so much on this 05. But the car did sit on a dealer's lot (ridiculously overpriced at a used BMW specialist) for 2 years before I got it. So it certainly had some "lot rot" but it was a color combo I loved and I got a decent deal on it. Heck a few years ago I bought a cheap (and rusty) 96 tacoma with 250k miles on it as a temporary winter bomber. Original everything, even shocks. Besides the shocks everything was tight as new. I'll get it up on a lift at my friend's shop soon and look for just loose stuff and if I don't find anything I'll likely wind up putting an energy suspension bushing kit in the lower control arms. Besides the struts that I can't get my hands on for a few months that's all that's left. Even with all this I absolutely love this car. It's exactly what I was looking for. Decent handling, comfortable, not obnoxiously loud (stock exhaust), and it goes good when I put my foot in it. And it's easy to work on and parts are inexpensive. Which is exactly the opposite as a 01-05 3 series which is what I was considering if I didn't like the S197. It's certainly not as refined and the fit/finish isn't the same but I'm fine with that. Sounds a heck of a lot better too.
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My suspension is a bit clunky lately too. I have about 78,000 miles on the car, a lot of it is highway, but the back roads around here are pretty bad so the suspension has had a fairly hard life. I haven't isolated the sources yet but it is starting to drive me nuts so I guess it is time to dig in to it.

I know part of the source is the aftermarket Steeda HD strut mounts; Sport Springs; BMR adjustable panhard bar; and adjustable rear UCA transmitting more noise, but there has to be some noise coming from somewhere to transmit.

I can use your experience as a checklist I guess.

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i had the same issue with my old 06 GT it turned out to be the front swaybar bushings
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post #13 of 96 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015 Thread Starter
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I changed all the swaybar stuff. Funny thing is whenever I found something worn in the suspension it was like a light bulb went off and I'm thinking AHA! I finally got it! Then I go for a drive and the actual road feel/driving is better but the noise is still there... I did notice today that the inner fender liner on the passenger side was ridiculously loose. And moving it around did produce some noise louder than I expected. Shot a couple short self-drilling screws in through the end of the side skirt through it and it's tight now. Or as tight as the other side is anyhow. However I haven't driven it yet. My wife may actually make me sleep in it if I spend any more money right now trying to find this noise. I gotta cool it for a bit. At least I know the car is safe and nothing's coming apart. I kind of doubt it's the control arm bushings themselves as I don't have any shimmy or shaking at high speeds or during aggressive braking from speed. It's a similar control arm setup to a 84-05 3 series which I'm very familiar with and those are famous for control arm bushing failure. I can't even count how many of those I've changed over the years.
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I have a 2005 gt with 25k miles with the same issues.
Drives like a dream! but sounds like a POS in bumpy parking lots. Lots of clunking and noises!

So Far I have Steeda heavy duty adjustable upper strut mounts, didnt fix the problem, BMR front sway and links, didnt fix the problem, gt500 front lower control arms, nope..... and koni orange shocks/ bmr springs....didnt help either....

im pretty sure i replaced everything you can! I also just got an alignment and had them check the tie rods and everything else for play, and they found no issues.
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Sounds like you have a practically brand new suspension now at least. I've got the same clunking on the front right side but when shops inspect they say nothings wrong. Seems like a common problem, good old Ford.


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