2002 Ford Mustang GT Front End Clunk - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018 Thread Starter
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2002 Ford Mustang GT Front End Clunk

Hey! My name is Joe and I am new to this forum. I currently reside in NYC and own a 2002 Ford Mustang GT. I have been reading threads on this forum for quite a while now, and would like to see if anyone has experienced the same issue I am. A couple of months ago, my father and I replaced just about the entire front end of the car. New lower control arms, springs, struts, sway bar links, sway bar bushings, hub bearings, brakes, rotors, calipers, rack and pinion bushings, and brand new tires. All of these parts were factory replacements, no lowering or altering the stock specs (all Moog and KYB parts). The car drove like a dream for a few weeks. Then, one morning I was pulling out of my driveway and as soon as the front drivers wheel went off the curb, there was a loud clunk. The sound is very noticeable and you can kind of feel it under your feet through the floorboard. It happens on every large incline or decline, like curbs, driveways, large potholes, etc. It is not that loud on the smaller bumps. The fact that I felt it through the floorboard makes me think that it may be a suspension component that makes contact with frame of the car. We checked the lower control arm, ball joint, reset the spring, and even swapped the strut for a new one (same model). None of those fixed the issue. The funny thing is that whenever we jack the car up and then let it back down and drive it, the sound goes away for a few miles. Then once the car sits overnight, the next morning the sound is back and just as loud. It is louder when you first drive the car in the morning, then once you drive it for 20-30 minutes, it gets slightly quieter (still very noticeable, but not as loud as the fist clunk of the day). Has anyone ever experienced this problem before? Or does anyone know where I can go to find the solution? Thank you for all of your help in advance!

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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018
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It sounds like the bolts that hold something in place have loosened a little allowing that part to shift. Since it only happens on the driver's side, I'd go back and double check every bolt on the new parts to make sure they are still tight. I know a loose caliper will make that kind of noise when you have to use hard braking (been there, done that).

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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-07-2018 Thread Starter
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It sounds like the bolts that hold something in place have loosened a little allowing that part to shift. Since it only happens on the driver's side, I'd go back and double check every bolt on the new parts to make sure they are still tight. I know a loose caliper will make that kind of noise when you have to use hard braking (been there, done that).
Hey. Thanks for your response. I checked all of the suspension/brake component bolts this past weekend when we took the spring out to reset it. Caliper bracket has loctite, control arm was tightened with impact while under load, and the two bolts holding the caliper to the bracket are snug. The strut and ball joint bolts have nyloc on them and are snug also. Any other thoughts on what it can be? The thing that is puzzling me the most is that when the car is jacked in the air for a few hours, then let down, the sound is gone for a short period. It is really strange.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-08-2018
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Look for this on the Mustang forums. Believe it refers to loosening of the steering gearbox bolts and a remedy.

NHTSA ID: 10010738
TSB ID: 18229

Pop/clunk or squealing noise from the steering gear when turning, driving over bumps, or braking. oasis.

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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-09-2018 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stormsedge View Post
Look for this on the Mustang forums. Believe it refers to loosening of the steering gearbox bolts and a remedy.

NHTSA ID: 10010738
TSB ID: 18229

Pop/clunk or squealing noise from the steering gear when turning, driving over bumps, or braking. oasis.
Thanks for the information. I came across that TSB and TSB ID: 0395. They seem very similar. I took a closer look this morning and it seems that the sound is coming from the top of the strut tower. I bounced the car up and down very hard and you can hear the sound and feel the vibration if you put your hand on top of the strut tower. Guess I will do some research regarding this, assuming this is the where the issue is stemming from. Let me know if anyone else recommend anything. Thanks again!
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018
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https://www.tooltopia.com/steelman-6...CABEgIuYPD_BwE

Here is a link for an amazing noise diagnostic tool that I have used when I worked at a Ford dealership. If you cant find your issue might be worth investing in just to help find the issue without spending a fortune on a bunch of parts.

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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018
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i had just read about issues with cc plates
and strut hitting on hood after install.

just a thought.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevew01 View Post
https://www.tooltopia.com/steelman-6...CABEgIuYPD_BwE

Here is a link for an amazing noise diagnostic tool that I have used when I worked at a Ford dealership. If you cant find your issue might be worth investing in just to help find the issue without spending a fortune on a bunch of parts.
Not a bad idea... That would have come in handy many times in the past haha I have a mechanic stethoscope, so I may try that first while someone is bouncing the car. Thanks man.
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-10-2018 Thread Starter
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i had just read about issues with cc plates
and strut hitting on hood after install.

just a thought.

I came across that also while searching forums and stuff. There are no marks on my hood and it makes the sound while the hood is in the air. I am thinking the issue is just underneath the cc plate because that is what vibrates and makes the sound while bouncing the car. Hopefully will be able to take the strut out again this weekend (weather permitting) and inspect the mounts and see if something is making contact with the body/frame somewhere. Thanks for the thought though.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueOval1220 View Post
Not a bad idea... That would have come in handy many times in the past haha I have a mechanic stethoscope, so I may try that first while someone is bouncing the car. Thanks man.
I have been spoiled and had access to this when I was a mechanic at a Ford dealership in Columbus Ohio. I have owned a set of them ever since I used them once. Very well worth the money and they can be used to diagnose multiple issues. They even have wireless ones of these out as well. I prefer the wired method in case it happens to come loose while driving the car you dont lose the tool lol.

Good luck with your noise issue though

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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevew01 View Post
I have been spoiled and had access to this when I was a mechanic at a Ford dealership in Columbus Ohio. I have owned a set of them ever since I used them once. Very well worth the money and they can be used to diagnose multiple issues. They even have wireless ones of these out as well. I prefer the wired method in case it happens to come loose while driving the car you dont lose the tool lol.

Good luck with your noise issue though
That's awesome! My dad was a mechanic about 40 years ago; he has some pretty handy tools from the 70's, but nothing that advanced lol This might be a solid Christmas gift for him haha thanks again man. Hoping to solve this issue this weekend. Will update the forum if I do.
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thinking on my cobra. after 420k. i only had to replace the frame mount sway bar bushings for banging noises.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-11-2018 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotcobra03 View Post
thinking on my cobra. after 420k. i only had to replace the frame mount sway bar bushings for banging noises.
wow 420k, impressive lol yea we replaced the bushings when we initially did all of the work a few months ago. I am thinking it may be a loose or broken caster/camber plate underneath where the top of the strut makes contact with the body.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-17-2018 Thread Starter
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Update: Took the strut out again, inspected everything the strut could be making contact with and saw no indications of contact being made. The caster/camber plates looked great and were not loose at all. So I put the strut back in and took the car for a ride. For the first 15-20 miles, car rode great and made no sounds at all. Then, after those 15-20 miles, the clunk came back as usual. Three things I know for sure are 1) The colder it is out, the louder the sound is (still very noticeable though). This past weekend it was 50 degrees and it was not as loud as two weeks ago when it was 30ish degrees out. 2) Whenever the car is jacked up, strut removed, and then put back in, the sound is gone for 15-20 miles. Then it just comes back out of nowhere. 3) It happens on heavy loads/unloads of the front left side of the car (curbs, driveways, speed bumps, big potholes, etc.) and also when you take a hard right turn (causing the weight to transfer to the left). This sound wouldn't be driving me this crazy if I didn't live in NYC. Our streets are horrible, making this clunk happen almost the entire time I am driving. Anyone else have any other advice on how to fix this? Thank you!
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Just curious, when you check for looseness, are you checking the actual components, or just making sure that the fasteners are "tight"? I had a clunk a few years ago that turned out to be a loose trans mount. I originally thought it was tight enough because my torque wrench clicked, but I had made the mistake of not cleaning the rusty bolts, which became hard to turn before the mount was actually tight.


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