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Wesley

Front Suspension Noise on Gen 2

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We have an 016 Edge Titanium with about 48,000 miles.  In the last couple of weeks, while starting from a standing stop, there is a light clunk coming from the left front suspension area.  I can feel it in the steering wheel.  I cant see anything loose or worn on a casual observation.  It does NOT make the noise on bumps or turns or while engaging drive or reverse.  In older cars, I would associate it with a loose motor mount, or something connected when moving from a stationary position.

Ideas?

Edited by Wesley

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Does it make any noise if you turn the steering wheel back and forth while stopped?

 

When were brakes/slide pins/boots etc last serviced?

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No noise on turning the wheel nor have I heard it on bumps.  It seems to only occur when moving from a stop, then only once.  The brakes have not been apart, they still have more than 75% pad left.  As a reference, the clunk "feels" like a loose motor mount but not as severe, but the moment of movement is the same.  On immediate throttle tip in and weight transfer.  The noise is NOT transmission slack.  I know that when applying power to a front wheel drive vehicle, the wheels will attempt to torque steer, and depending on the geometry, the wheels will either pull in or out, and thats what it feels like.  As soon as I get a chance, I'll pull the wheel and look harder.

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Sounds like the same problem I had. Drove me nuts for a minute. Turned out to be the rubber bushing/grommet pieces on the sliders of the brake caliper. Not sure of all years they ran these, maybe still do, but on my 2007, 2008, and 2010 they do. 

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Update:

The noise has progressed to almost all driving conditions, especially on turns, and it seems worse on left turns versus right turns.  I went to the dealer for an oil change coupon special and mentioned it to them.  Of course, when they unloaded the front suspension for the oil change, they couldn't duplicate the noise, nor could I for almost 500 miles, but its back, and with a vengeance!  I know the service manager fairly well and he mentioned that they are replacing quite a few strut bearing plates but there is not a TSB or recall from Ford, yet.  I would say that this sound is exactly what I would describe with a bad bearing plate, especially since the noise went away when the vehicle was lifted and the suspension was unloaded.  He did tell me that if I had to replace the bearing plates, Ford would repay me at the dealership warranty rate if or when a recall or TSB is issued.

Edited by Wesley

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UPDATE:

I removed the left strut assembly as that is where it seems most of the noise is occurring.  The good thing is that I couldn't find anything wrong with it!  The bad thing is that I couldn't find anything wrong either.  The top plate and bearing assembly all appear ok.  The load of the spring is taken by a friction bearing that rides on a smooth surface at the top plate, not the old thrust bearing I'm used to with my '08 when I replaced the front struts.

 

Now that I got a good look at the front suspension geometry, it is apparent that the strut bearing place most likely is not the culprit (removing the strut wasn't that difficult, only about an hour).  If you can get a look at the lower control arm, the lower control arm forms the bottom two points of a three point triangle, with the strut being the top.  The front and rear pivot joints carry minimal loading but all of the acceleration and deceleration load.  At this point, even if the lower control arm wears down to metal, they wont separate due to the design.

 

I'm still looking before I bite.

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Final Update:

After dealing with the noise for several months and two dealer inspections, I finally tracked down the noise.  When I had my last oil change, I noticed the Edge wandering or hunting when driving.  It was all but impossible to keep in a straight line.  I returned to the dealer and they said there was nothing they did during the oil change to cause the problem (of course it didnt).  But, they did say they raised the vehicle on a lift which unloaded the suspension.

I raised the vehicle myself and using a lever, applied force to all of the suspension points.  The left lower ball joint had over 1/4" play in all directions which led to almost 1/2" toe in-toe out variations.  Bingo!  The right side had almost no play.  Lastly, this vehicle has about 56,000 miles and the dealer says there is no TSB on it.

The dealer wanted almost $600.00 to replace the arm.  I ordered one online and will be installing it myself in a week or so.  The vehicle is parked until then.  And, yes, I am more than capable on replacing it to factory specs.

Edited by Wesley
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