Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Here's an interesting one. Car is coming up on 95K miles, and i've never noticed this until lately. FWD model


60MPH or so, and when i give it just enough gas to downshift i notice a slight "shift" in the front end when the car accelerates. best way to describe it is if you picked both front wheels up and moved them to the left 1" and then put the car down. It feels like the front end just kicks 1" to the left on the downshift

When i let off the gas after the above move, the car then shifts to the right 1" or so in the front end.

Hard to notice it at slower speeds. It also happens in turns, which can be a bit upsetting if you don't expect it. It's not so much turning left or right...but just a quick kick to the side of the front end only and still continues to go straight.


Inner and outer tie rod ends are brand new - both sides. Just did them about 5-10K miles ago. I jacked up each wheel and gave it a good yank and there's no movement at all anywhere. It's 10 degrees outside now, so i didn't pull the wheel off and start prying on things with a prybar just yet.


My struts are making noise, so i'm planning on replacing those shortly. I also have a set of lower control arms that I will install at the same time. My thinking is that it may be the lower control arm rear bushing mount that has enough play that when i give the vehicle power, it's shifting enough to allow the to toe on one wheel to change slightly. I remember there being some play in it when i did my tie rod ends...which is why i ordered the control arms.

Anyone ever experience anything like this?


EDIT: See post #28 for what the fix was
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Could be 1 of 5 things. Engine cradle bushings are shot. Control arm bushings are shot. Tie rod ends (inner or outer) are shot (you just replaced, so not likely). Strut bearing plates are shot (not likely). Lower ball joints are shot (not likely).

I only had this happen on one car before, and it was a cracked uni-body at the front frame rails. The torque of the engine would cause the frame to shift, causing the geometry to go wonky.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I'll definitely need to get under there with a pry bar and start checking. I'm suspecting the control arm bushings, because i thought i saw a decent amount of movement from them when i did the tie rod ends so i did buy arms. However at the time I never noticed a sidestep.

Unfortunatly 1-2 feet of snow is due soon and bitter cold, so this might take some time before i can crawl under the car.

I did look at the engine cradle bushings and they looked ok.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,832 Posts
^^^^ Agreed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Can't do much about it right now. Currently 3 degrees outside. Will have to delay until it warms up a tad.


Have discovered my pass side rear caliper is dragging. It was hot enough to flash boil snow that landed on the rotor when clearing ice from my rims after a drive. If it's dragging that badly i wonder if this is the cause of my issue. When i give power the car steps left, when i let off, there's a sudden step to the pass side.

Again...need to wait until it warms up to at least the 30's. But i need to check that one out before it ruins my rotor/pads. I JUST did my rear brakes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Update. Dragging brake was unrelated. It was cold and i drove it in snow/slush. Probably froze up a bit. Took it apart, cleaned the pins and relubed and it's been fine ever since. Didn't change what i'm noticing up front though.

I did jack up each wheel and shake. Also did a quick inspection and didn't see anything that looked visually bad, but more importanly didn't see anything that looked unsafe. Tie rod inners and outers still tight.

I'll probably ride it for another month or two until weather starts warming up, and then change out both lower control arms and the struts so i can get it all aligned at once. Hopefully that fixes the issue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
Please update the thread if you find something. I just acquired a 2015 Interceptor and I am having the same issue. AWD.
On the highway at steady speed as the car starts up a hill and power is added to maintain speed, the nose will shift left 1-2". Crest the hill, power drops back down, nose comes back.
Driving along and punch the gas a bit - nose left. Off - back right. Occasionally even at slow speed with no real throttle manipulation I can feel the alignment changing. It's disconcerting. Car goes straight - does not actually change direction - it's more like the body changes the way it is pointing relative to the wheels.

I spent an hour under the front end with a pry bar last night. Control arm front bushings have no give even when leaning on the bar. Both Rear bushings can be made to move up to 1/4" without having to lean too hard on the 18" bar. Is that normal?
Grabbing a tire and yanking side to side or top to bottom has zero movement. The sway bar and links all seem fine.
The subframe nuts/ bolts are all tight and I have not found any evidence of movement anywhere.

I have not gone over the rear end (AWD) but your symptoms sound the same and FWD only.

I think the next check will be the engine and transmission mounts -but not sure how those would cause this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
716 Posts
Engine and tranny mounts wont affect this in any way that -I- can think of. inbetween the CV axles, and other items that have swivel points, the movement should not be able to even come close to a shift in the front end.

What about the upper strut bearing plates? I have seen a few members lately saying they have needed to replace them as they were bad. Since the strut alightment is outside of the swivel points, it could cause that shift.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
What about the upper strut bearing plates? I have seen a few members lately saying they have needed to replace them as they were bad. Since the strut alightment is outside of the swivel points, it could cause that shift.
I'm still gathering parts, but I did pick up new upper strut plates. I do have a pronounced clunk when I hit bumps. Just waiting on my struts and I'll ne doing new struts, upper mounts and lower control arms.

Inner and outer tie rod ends are brand new (10K miles or so) and have no movement. Sway bar end links are also new but doubt those have any relation.

On the highway at steady speed as the car starts up a hill and power is added to maintain speed, the nose will shift left 1-2". Crest the hill, power drops back down, nose comes back.
Driving along and punch the gas a bit - nose left. Off - back right. Occasionally even at slow speed with no real throttle manipulation I can feel the alignment changing. It's disconcerting. Car goes straight - does not actually change direction - it's more like the body changes the way it is pointing relative to the wheels..
That's exactly what I'm feeling as well. No real change in direction but there's a definite shift in the front end when on the power and a return to previous when you let off. Really strange.

How many miles? Have you replaced anything in the front end yet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I've had the car 2 weeks, and my son took it away when he went out of town for a week, so other than 2 days driving it and 1 night under it, have not had any time to work on this.

I do have all the maintenance records for it and the Control Arms and front struts have not been changed. The steering rack and tie rods etc. have been.

With a pry bar I can shift the rear control arm bushings about 1/4" without huge effort. Both sides. I don't know if that is normal or excessive movement. The fronts do not budge. Jacked up, shaking the wheels has no effect.

The on-road movement is significant - and repeatable. My opinion is it's much more than just a slightly worn bushing.

When the car comes home, I will spend more time checking the subframe mounting and bushings as well as the rear end.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I
The on-road movement is significant - and repeatable. My opinion is it's much more than just a slightly worn bushing.
Same here. I'm convinced it's some sort of wheel alignment change when it happens. SOmething is causing a slight change in thrust.

My pass side upper strut mount it junk. I can hear it knock around. I wonder if it's bad enough to allow for camber or caster change under load. A reduction in caster would cause the car to pull slightly to the side with increased caster. If the pass side wheel moves forward slightly under load, that would make sense.

Under hard braking i notice no change at all. I have full control and the car goes straight.

I'm also starting to notice the same affect over big roadway dips. If the suspension unloads, i feel a slight pull to one side for a split second. Again...i assume from a slight wheel angle change.

Front strut parts are in the mail, and i already have control arms. I don't think it's the arms though. I need to do the struts anyway so i'm hoping this is that.

I did change out a rear lateral link about 10K miles ago and my rear is tight. I'll check again. But since i'm FWD the rears are just coasting along and i notice a change when under power (or letting off) so i think my issue is up front.

This AM, at 60MPH i took my hands off the wheel (was on an empty highway) and gas enough gas to downshift. The front of the car shifted left slight (same feeling as if getting hit by a large gust of wind from the side) and the steering wheel went right maybe 1"on it's own. Car still went straight. I let off power and car shifted back to normal and wheel self centered. very strange.

I plan on getting under the car soon. I was actually debating grabbing my GoPro, mounting it to the fender pointed down at the wheel and doing some experiments and watching to see if the wheel is changing direction.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
I had something similar happen and it turned out out my control arm mounting bolts were loose. The procedure for tightening them says to do it under load (weight of car). The guy who did mine did it while it was up on the rack. They had worked them selves loose. Scary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Right now, I'm suspecting the rear lower control arm bushing as the culprit. I get the typical knocking in the front over slow bumps.

I have new struts and new lower control arms. I'm suspecting the control arms so as soon as the weather gets nicer, I'll swap them out.

I think it's the passenger side mostly


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
I had a clicking CV axle on the right side, so replaced that over the weekend. While under there, I checked out the lower control arm, especially the rear bushings. Mine has no "sloppiness" at the rear. With a bar, I can stretch the rubber and "move" the pivot point but it re-centers immediately when the pressure is off. Initially I thought that might be the problem,but now am thinking if that was the cause, then the alignment change would be gradual - more power - more change - and less noticeable. What I get is a definite "shift" and then a definite shift back which tells me it's something different.

I had a knowledgeable Ford trained suspension tech look at it on a hoist, and he checked out both front and back and did not find any of the "usual" things wrong. He has the car again today to have another look. I want this found and fixed, but I don't want to just fire parts at it without knowing the root cause.
If you figure it out - post the solution please! I will too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
417 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I I don't want to just fire parts at it without knowing the root cause.
I
I don't blame you. I've seen a few other postings on FB groups about guys having similar issues, but no real cause was found yet.


Regardless. I have the parts. I have lower control arms, and new struts ready to go. All i need is warmer weather.

What i may do is try and take a video like this with my GoPro if i can figure out how to mount it securely. I feel that my pass side is worse, and when i give it gas, the car shifts left so i'm assuming the torque from the engine causes the pass wheel to shift to the left. A video of the left side bushing might help. I'll try to do this this weekend.





This one looks to be in very good shape. very little movement under load
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
26 Posts
So - turns out the problem is not gone. It has changed and it is not as severe as it was before - but it is certainly still there.

At 50mph on a flat straight road - I can take my hands off the wheel and if I toe in a bit on the pedal - the steering wheel will rotate ~5 degrees clockwise - the car will go straight - and when I let off, the steering wheel will center again and the car keeps going straight. Every time I power-on power-off. No hands, no change in direction traveled. It's a definite shift over and back - not a gradual shift as more or less power is applied. There is still something that must be "moving" somewhere.

I think my next step is going to have to involve a go-pro stuck to the underbody of the car.

Mustang5L5 - when you get to yours and if you solve it - be sure to post.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Check your hubs. Mine is doing this and my right rear hub was found to definitely be bad. You can check it on the ground by grabbing the tire and trying to shake it left and right.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top