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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I've asked for help on this site before and dammit this site is awesome. You guys are great.

I've got a 94 Taurus GL with about 140k on it.
I replaced the sub frame bushings with aluminum bushings earlier this summer.
my suspension in general is pretty shot. well I need new struts at least. Especially in the back.

So about a month or so ago I would notice a loud bang/pop sound when i would go over bumps such as those shallow curbs on the end of some driveways. I only heard the sound when hitting the bumps.

yesterday I was pulling out of the parking lot and noticed the sound as I reversed, then noticed it again from stop to drive under normal acceleration. It would not pop if i accelerated at a snails pace. I was very paranoid driving yesterday.

I got the car home and put the jack under it. As the car was lifting i heard a sound as if something were falling out of place or dislodging. I took the wheel off and inspected it, everything seemed to be normal and tight. there was no visible wear on any of the joints.

When i put the wheel back on i shook the wheel to test the bearing. not left/right but up/down and noticed a tiny bit of play, something like a mm or so of play.

I noticed no unusual sounds as I lowered the car. So I decided to sort of test the springs by bouncing up and down on the fender. After about the second bounce I heard the loud pop. the pop was a similar sound to a heavy metallic object snapping into place.

I jacked the car up again and didn't hear the sound of anything dislodging, so I lowered it again and bounced on the fender a bit more. no sound.

I then decided to take the car for a drive, went over some aggressive bumps then brought the car back home. jacked it up and heard the dislodging sound again. lowered it and bounced on the fender and YES heard the pop.

I think it could be the wheel bearing, since there's a bit of play while wobbling the wheel up and down. But i've been reading about other suspension causes..

What do you guys think?

Thanks for your help
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
A little update. I went out again and was tugging up on the tie rod end and it's loose and even with the little effort i used i could simulate the loud popping sound. It's only a $10 part so i'm gonna go replace it. I'll follow up with the results.

So it turned out to be the tie rod end. The ball was all rusty and had absolutely no grease on it at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I spoke too soon.

was driving today and as i was pulling into a ramped parking lot I hear the pop.

I'm a little confused about left/right wobble. from the steering wheel it seems fine, but even after installing the new tie rod end there still seems to be a little play.

I swear, every boot or rubber bushing under my car is shot.
Struts are blown, sounds like I'm driving over railroad ties all the time.

anyway, i checked the wheel again and noticed that dislodging sound when jacking up the car. and the wheel has a little bit of play when wobbling up and down.

I checked the other wheel and there is no play whatsoever. So I'm diagnosing it as a bearing. I should have just replaced it yesterday when the machine shop was open.
 

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Rule of thumb is left/right play = tie rod. Up/down play = ball joint. Jacked up on stand(s) with e-brake on and in neutral, you can spin the tire and grab the strut or coil spring and usually feel vibrations if brg. is failing. Far more dangerous, you can do it in drive with front end on stands. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
interesting. I'll try that tomorrow. Either way, if it's the ball joint or the bearing it's gonna run about $75
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I went ahead and replaced the wheel bearing, I took the whole knuckle off and there was play in the hub. During the process I broke a ratchet and had to run to Ace Hardware to claim my warranty, punched myself in the face, had to rent a hub puller from the parts store and drop it off at another parts store to get the bearing pressed out and then replaced. The whole ordeal only took 8 hours.

Torque wrench question..
My torque wrench only reads up to 160lbs but you can keep turning and top out at about 180lbs.
For the hub nut I needed a torque between 170-205, so i just turned the dial until i couldn't anymore. I assume it's at 180lbs. it clicked.

How accurate do you think the torque is above what is labeled?
 

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unless you've found the problem............. sounds like a bad motor mount.

have some one apply the brake and put into reverse with a little gas, then, do the same in drive. if the engine lifts or moves you probably have one or more bad mounts.
 
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