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2000 Ford Taurus Duratec Wagon
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322 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I first noticed this last winter, on braking I'll get an audible clunk on the front end. Not always and it only occurs in the cold (less than 40 degrees F). I do notice that it unbinds when I accelerate from a stop (no noise) but that "lift" seems to pull something out and then on the next braking application, I will hear the clunk.

When the weather warmed up it went away completely and I did not hear it all spring, summer and fall. It's back now and I get two clunks when braking. No accidents, just normal wear and tear.

Where are some area to investigate?
 

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I first noticed this last winter, on braking I'll get an audible clunk on the front end. Not always and it only occurs in the cold (less than 40 degrees F). I do notice that it unbinds when I accelerate from a stop (no noise) but that "lift" seems to pull something out and then on the next braking application, I will hear the clunk.

When the weather warmed up it went away completely and I did not hear it all spring, summer and fall. It's back now and I get two clunks when braking. No accidents, just normal wear and tear.

Where are some area to investigate?
Best check for front springs broken near the bottom. Pic from '01 with recall spring catcher.
You can reach your hand over the tire and use a finger to feel along the the bottom half turn of the coil.
My last one '03 broke in the middle of a coil, that one lets you know real POW.
-chart-
 

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2000 Taurus SES 12v
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934 Posts
Could also be the front bolts on the left or right control arm (near the radiator). They should be properly tightened. And preferably when the control arms are horizontal (the car is standing on its wheels) because the bolts tend to twist a little bit inside the subframe when you lift the car. This causes a small play and that could be the clunk you hear. It is a small effect, so it could be it becomes worse when the temperature drops and the bolts contract.
 

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Worth checking the sub frame bolts and mounts as well. Cold weather can cause the rubber in the mounts to contract. It doesn't take much contraction for any splits/cracks to suddenly produce a clunk with nothing visibly loose.

I was recovering from back surgery several years ago and had to let my neighbor (a trusted ASE certified mechanic) do the steering rack in our wagon. A few months later we starte dhaving the occasional cold weather 'thunk' while braking. Checked the torque on the sub-frame bolts, two of them were working their way loose. Not by much considering the torque on them but after re-torquing the noise was gone. I mentioned it to my neighbor and he shook his head saying it was his fault. He figured being my gearhead self I would know to re-tourque the wheels and sub-frame bolts so he didn't over tighten them the way he normally would on a car he didn't expect would be checked any time soon.

OFC, under normal circumstances, he would have been correct but anyone that's had major spine surgery will agree 'normal circumstances' don't return again for quite some time (it ever).
 

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1998 Taurus SE Sedan 3.0L24V AX4N 91Kmi
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Cold weather can cause the rubber in the mounts to contract.
But the steel around the rubber contracts MORE than the rubber does, so they'd actually get tighter in cold weather.
 
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