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Old 12-15-2012, 12:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question front tire wear

Ok, so I have the car (2001 taurus flex fuel) jacked up right now to see where the popping noise is coming from on the front end. When I took the front drivers side tire off, I noticed that the inside of the tire is worn down badly, in fact so badly that the cord is showing through. I am about to go to sears to get that tire replaced today. I read on here about how the tire wear could be ball joints, and I jerked on the rotor at the 12 and 6 oclock positions, and even tried prying on the lower ball joint with the pry bar, but the ball joint seems to be tight. The rubber boot on the outside of the ball joint is rotted away, but I can not see any play in it. The CV joints appear to be tight, and only have very little in and out play. The stabilizer link that is behind the strut seems to be tight too. I can't figure out what is causing the tire wear and the popping noise.
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Old 12-15-2012, 12:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Camber issue, get wheel alignment when you get new tires. If any suspension issues are there, the alignment will tell you, because it won't be able to go into spec. without drastic changes that most alignment shops won't do(without upselling of course). The popping noise could be attributed to the lack of a ball joint boot. No grease on/in it,also gives moisture and crud a place to go. A"dry socket" if you will, will pop under load because of lack of lubrication. The alignment shop will probably tell you they won't do the alignment until the ball joint is replaced(either by them or you). Have you inspected the outer tie rods also? How about the a-arm bushings?
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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UPDATE:

I took another look at both the front ball joints, and this time I pried up on the A arm where it goes into the cars frame at the front. This time the lower ball joints on both sides moved a little bit up and down, (1/4" at the most) but I also put the wheels back on and tried to move the ball joints, and still, not really any movement side to side but the ball joint moved up and down. I should also note that I had both the lower ball joints replaced in January of 2011 which was about 30,000 miles ago. I don't want to believe that the ball joints are already shot after paying the shop hundreds of dollars to replace them 2 years ago.

Also, with the wheels on and the car jacked up, I rotated the wheels back and forth and it sounds like the CV joints make some noise when I do this. ( like a clicking type of noise) is this normal?

Intimidator, I will definitely have them check the alignment when I go in. You are exactly right about them not being able to align it if something is off. 2 years ago, when I had the ball joints replaced, they told me they could not align the vehicle because one of the rear springs was broken. So 1,400 dollars later I had all that stuff replaced and a fresh alignment lol. The tie rod ends seem to be tight and the rubber is in good shape. And the A arm bushings don't have much play at all and the rubber on them is good too.
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Old 12-15-2012, 09:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If the rubber boot rots off in less than two years I would question the quality of the replacement balljoints.
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Old 12-16-2012, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Has anyone not had an issue with inside tire wear? I guess issue might be the wrong word, but mine has always worn the insides of the front tires. Even the dealership said everything was tight and alignment okay. I just needed to rotate them more, which I had been slacking off on.

Come to think of it, just about every Taurus I've seen in our shop has more inside tire wear than anything.
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Old 12-16-2012, 08:20 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dschinghis Kahn View Post
Has anyone not had an issue with inside tire wear? I guess issue might be the wrong word, but mine has always worn the insides of the front tires. Even the dealership said everything was tight and alignment okay. I just needed to rotate them more, which I had been slacking off on.

Come to think of it, just about every Taurus I've seen in our shop has more inside tire wear than anything.
I noticed the same at my shop, I cant figure it out? (Off topic but...) we had a 2002 SEL (fully loaded of coarse) come in last week for 4 Tires, has the factory tires on and only 20,000km I told them if they ever want to sell it call me!

[ON TOPIC] The popping sound could be the strut mount bearings, Hold onto the spring as you turn the wheel and if you can feel a vibration as it pops that could be where the sound is coming from.
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Old 12-17-2012, 09:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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What brand of ball joints were installed?
Also, when is the popping happening?
Check both ends of the tie rods, the sway bar bushings, and the subframe bushings.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Im not sure what brand they installed, but it was almost 2 years ago. The popping seems to happen only when the wheels are turned pretty sharply and I go over a pretty serious bump or hump. Like if I was turning and going over a speed bump at the same time, thats when I would hear it. All the bushings and the tie rods seem to be in good shape.
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Old 12-18-2012, 06:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackdog View Post
Im not sure what brand they installed, but it was almost 2 years ago. The popping seems to happen only when the wheels are turned pretty sharply and I go over a pretty serious bump or hump. Like if I was turning and going over a speed bump at the same time, thats when I would hear it. All the bushings and the tie rods seem to be in good shape.
That sounds like strut mounts to me.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intimidator View Post
That sounds like strut mounts to me.
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