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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I’ve been having some odd sounds coming from what sounds like the passenger front. It initially began maybe a month ago as a slight creak when taking low speed left turns. I then started hearing it when first accelerating from a stop as the car would lean back ever so much. I took it to a shop about 2 weeks ago, but they said everything looked ok aside from my struts needing to be changed soon (which I was already aware of). 2 days later, I hit a slightly bumpy road followed by some speed bumps. I then noticed this creaking sound on nearly every bump. I assumed at that point that it was the struts, so I went ahead and ordered some new ones and replaced them. I took the car for a test drive after, and was greeted with the same noise upon hitting the first bump. I’ve got an appointment for Monday to have it looked at again, but does anybody know what may be going on here? I have been doing loads of searching and can’t seem to find anything that sounds similar to this with the same conditions. I tried recording it today, may have to turn the volume up to hear it. Mustang Front End Creak?
 

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probably a joint that needs grease . . . check steering linkage (end links) and ball joints . . . I'm pretty sure the factory units for both do not have grease fittings but maybe you can get some lubrication in there somehow
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
probably a joint that needs grease . . . check steering linkage (end links) and ball joints . . . I'm pretty sure the factory units for both do not have grease fittings but maybe you can get some lubrication in there somehow
Ok, I’ll try looking into that. Thanks!
 

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Early S197 had issues with the upper strut mount bearings. Some were changed under a tsb warranty. Other off warranty used an mount for a later model GT 500, if I remember correctly. There was also issues with the front sway bar end links coming loose. Also check the sway bar to frame bushings in a level position.

Here's an older thread from another site if allowed. Who has changed their strut mounts already?
 

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good point about the upper strut mounts, that is usually described as a "popping sound" but I guess they could creak too
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I did replace the entire strut assembly, so I don’t think the mounts are the likely culprit. The sway bar end links felt ok when I changed the struts; however, I didn’t check for any possible warping that could be in them. Don’t bad sway bar bushings usually present more of a clunking sound?
 

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Well I did replace the entire strut assembly, . . .
including the upper mounts? then yeah that probably isn't it (most strut/spring assemblies that I have seen for sale, do not include the mounts)

the sway bar end links "usually" produce more of a rattle sound, and the sway bar bushings can be "clunky" yes . . . the groan or creak seems like something moving against something else with no lubrication in between, which could be a dry bushing also
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
including the upper mounts? then yeah that probably isn't it (most strut/spring assemblies that I have seen for sale, do not include the mounts)

the sway bar end links "usually" produce more of a rattle sound, and the sway bar bushings can be "clunky" yes . . . the groan or creak seems like something moving against something else with no lubrication in between, which could be a dry bushing also
Well I’m going to hope it is a dry bushing and not something like a control arm. I appreciate the help! I’ll post an update when I find out what it is for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Update: well I got the news I didn’t want. The ball joint is going bad, as well as some wear/rusting around the rear bushing on the control arm. So odds are I will be replacing both control arms 🙃
 

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If replacing the control arm bushings and/or ball joints: the easy way is to buy the complete control arm, with the bushings and ball joint already installed; then it is a relatively easy install. The trickiest part is getting the front control arm bolt out; you might have to disconnect the tie rod end so you can get the steering rack / tie rod out of the say to remove the bolt.

If you value your cash more than your time, you can save some money by buying only the ball joints and the bushings that need to be replaced, but it will take a LOT longer to do. Getting the old bushings out is not easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah, he told me that just replacing the ball joint and bushing is an option but more expensive than just doing a whole new control arm. I’ve never replaced a control arm before. Is it pretty complicated? He quoted me $250 to just change the ball joint with alignment, $374 for control arm with alignment, or roughly $650 for both control arms with alignment.
I’m still debating on whether I’ll just have him do one now and then attempt to do the other on my own a bit later when it actually starts presenting issues, or if I should just have him go ahead and do both.
 

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Not very complicated. I did mine on jack stands and ramps. Here's a good video:
I'll add to what was not mentioned or shown in the video; before tightening the small forward bushing nut, be sure to either jack the the control arm to load the suspension simulating ride height or better, leave it loose, put the tires back on and set all 4 wheels on ramps, then final torque the nut. Or you can put jack stands under the rear axle on both sides and jack stands under the front control arm/spindle knuckle on both sides. However you do it, just be sure the the suspension is loaded to approximately ride height before final torqueing those small forward bushings. If you don't, you may experience a "popping" sound when that bushing loads and unloads. If you have the shop do it, be sure to tell them the aforementioned tip.
Here's the torque specs for the control arms:
 
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it's a fairly simple 4-bolt job, the only tricks are mentioned above and the torque values are big

$650 for both including the parts, labor, and alignment check is not too bad . . . especially if that includes the FRPP control arms

I say "alignment check" because there is not much that can be adjusted on these cars (just the toe I'm pretty sure) so they usually just put it up on the rack and say "yep, it's good"

Ford Performance Mustang GT500 Front Lower Control Arm Kit (05-10) M-3075-E (lmr.com)

(I don't know what year/model is your car, generally I think the control arms are all interchangeable but not positive)
 
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