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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I get frustrated with trying to diagnose wretched front end noises. Yes, I have used "Search" and have seen how dificult it can be! My 01 SEL has recently had new motorcraft springs, struts, ball joints, end links, etc. It has again developed a subtle hollow popping noise on low speed minor bumps, sounds like quietly hand tapping a drumskin---plonky plonk plonk plonk? UGH! It is present irregardless of turning or braking. When I bounce each corner, I can hear a slight click and "groan" at the passenger side strut tower but cannot be sure if that noise isn't coming from lower down. Car drives perfectly and front end is tight, no play. Any suggestions ?
 

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Upper strut mounts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jeff, anything is possible but I didn't mention there is hardly any mileage driven since the struts were replaced. The passenger side strut failed immediately and was replaced again by Ford under waranty. I think the strut bearings were replaced also.. Now the plonk is back after maybe 2000 miles. I hope it's not the strut again but possibly under parts waranty still. Can the swaybar bushings make plonky sounds? Maybe I should try lubing them?
 

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Hi, I get frustrated with trying to diagnose wretched front end noises. Yes, I have used "Search" and have seen how dificult it can be! My 01 SEL has recently had new motorcraft springs, struts, ball joints, end links, etc. It has again developed a subtle hollow popping noise on low speed minor bumps, sounds like quietly hand tapping a drumskin---plonky plonk plonk plonk? UGH! It is present irregardless of turning or braking. When I bounce each corner, I can hear a slight click and "groan" at the passenger side strut tower but cannot be sure if that noise isn't coming from lower down. Car drives perfectly and front end is tight, no play. Any suggestions ?
Tie rod ends can make noise with up down motion. Usually dry and tight.

Also rubber bushings in the sway bar.

-chart-
 

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Hi, I get frustrated with trying to diagnose wretched front end noises. Yes, I have used "Search" and have seen how dificult it can be! My 01 SEL has recently had new motorcraft springs, struts, ball joints, end links, etc. It has again developed a subtle hollow popping noise on low speed minor bumps, sounds like quietly hand tapping a drumskin---plonky plonk plonk plonk? UGH! It is present irregardless of turning or braking. When I bounce each corner, I can hear a slight click and "groan" at the passenger side strut tower but cannot be sure if that noise isn't coming from lower down. Car drives perfectly and front end is tight, no play. Any suggestions ?
Anything is possible and that's why front end noise is so hard to diagnose. Mine had a clunky noise at low speed when the front motor mount was loose, took me a month to figure it out.
 

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Were the upper strut mounts replaced when the struts were replaced? Struts and upper strut mounts are 2 different parts, and each can be replaced seperately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess the plot thickens. My tie rod ends are factory original, car has about 80k on it so that's possible. Great suggestions--any more?
 

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Clunk

I guess the plot thickens. My tie rod ends are factory original, car has about 80k on it so that's possible. Great suggestions--any more?
I had what I thought was a ball joint noise on a '91 Continental. Had someone bounce the front up and down and i felt each joint for the feel of the noise. I was sure it was the ball joint and I had un screwed the end links to eliminate that. Then felt it is the tie rod end. Replaced it. It was really tight, not worn, just tight. That one did not care about accel or brake, or turning, just any bump. Even more hard to find. Rear sway bar rubber mounts to the frame. Look fine, but they get losse and you get that sound like a spare tire in the trunk bouncing with each bump.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Chartmaker. That would be an inexpensive fix if that is the problem. Jeff K, yes both the struts and 'plates' were replaced. The Stealership I deal with are awfull to deal with.
 

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Re-check those end links, I've seen so many of them fail very quickly after replacement, Motorcraft or aftermarket. It's just a bad design.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I put brand new end links on it last week. Still the same unfortunately. Could it be subframe isolators or motor mounts can be culprits?
 

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Supposedly the subframe bushings were redesigned in 98 or 99 and weren't as much trouble, but anything is possible.
 
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