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Strut Mount Noise

11-24-2008, 09:32 AM
My 96 Windstar has a clunk or bad shake, depending on the speed, when I make a left turn. I can hear it toward the engine compartment so I am pretty sure it is the strut mount. Does anyone know if it could be the bearing plate or the entire mount? Tis the season to be a cheapskate, but I don't want to pay the garage twice to compress it on for me either!

11-24-2008, 10:46 AM
I'm not sure I understand the symptoms that you're describing.

I had a strut problem once, but it didn't cause a 'shake' or 'clunk'. In my case, it sounded more like a scraping noise. The problem that I uncovered was the upper spring seat was rubbing against the body of the vehicle. It turned out that Ford has issued a TSB on this very subject and they offered a spacer plate to resolve it.

This thread discusses my experience...


11-24-2008, 08:06 PM
I agree. those sounds are typically an engine mount going bad or some other suspension component. normally a bad strut mount is most noticeable when going over large bumps or dips.

lord Kelvin
11-25-2008, 09:38 PM
I had a similar clunk when turning in one direction. Turned out the big nut at the top of the strut was loose (like a 1/2 turn). That little bit of play caused the strut to shift a bit in the bearing plate when turning. As you indicate, it only happens when turning in one direction. Never did quite understand that. Maybe the stress on a given strut is greater when turning in one direction versus the other.

Also, since I had that problem a co-worker took his Volvo to the shop for a clunking noise. Guess what....loose strut nuts. I'm not sure why these loosen over time. The ones on my van have those nylon inserts.

11-26-2008, 05:12 PM
You may be right about the nut being loose. I didn't check for that first because I didn't read this...I took it off yesterday, compressed it and disassembled, no play in the plate/mount. So now it's back on and definitely tight so we'll see if that took care of it.
We have put new ball joints, strut rod bushings, and stab links in, no play in the wheel bearings or tie rods, and the struts and springs themselves are new. We also had to weld the strut rod bushing sleeves back on the frame, so you'd think we have this narrowed down.
To clarify, it makes a clunk going over bumps at any speed, and the shake is usually at about 55-60 mph bearing left. I haven't driven it yet, so I'll let you know. Thanks for the help!

11-28-2008, 08:24 PM is still the same as it was before. I wonder if this could be a caliper sticking? The rotors were new about 4 months ago, had them turned after a month because I hit a bird that got stuck in a caliper and not to be gross but parts became attached to one of the rotors:( I got new pads when the rotors were done and cleaned the calipers, but they may have gotten contaminated beyond cleaning. One wheel gets noticeably hotter than the other after driving.
I read some other "shake" threads and most ended up being tires. I put my snows on 2 weeks ago and it didn't change anything, so I guess that's not it. I made an appointment for Monday with our local Monro shop, maybe they can find out the problem.

11-29-2008, 10:44 AM
I have had calipers stick.....and replaced them with "preloaded" calipers that came with new pads.
Uneven pad wear would be an indication of this.
If you have a sticking caliper....this is what I recommend.
This is on my '96.....not real expensive....and I would replace them both....even if only 1 is sticking. thing to check out is the front springs.
One of mine broke all the way up at the top....and I had Monroe "quick struts" installed, along with new sway bar links.
Our '96s are outside the FORD 10 year unlimited mileage waranty on the front springs by now.....but this is a known failure due to corrosion.

12-01-2008, 12:47 AM
Calipers can also 'stick' if the brake hose goes bad. This once happened on my Chevy. It's easy to check for this. Just pull over once the shaking starts, then check if any of the wheels are hot. When I had this problem the wheel of the culprit brake was very hot (>130 F).

12-01-2008, 06:47 PM
They did find a bad wheel bearing today. It is easier to see the play in it when it's on a lift compared to a jack. The calipers sound like a good idea as well though, as I am convinced it is not just the wheel bearing (it's on the side that wasn't "shaky"). The springs are just 7 months old and the one I disassembled was still good.
My question for the wheel bearing...should I get the hub assembly? I remember on my Tempos/Topazes if I didn't get it with the hub I ended up repeating the job, but my husband says the hub should not be a wearable part since the turning occurs inside the bearing. Also the Monro manager assured me I should not need the hub, while the mechanic that looked at the car said he always gets the hub with his. Thanks!

12-02-2008, 07:34 AM
I have reused the old hub and knuckle whenever I have replaced wheel bearings. I've never replaced a Ford wheel bearing.

I once had a wheel bearing replaced and the mechanic forgot to install the dust seal. Consequently the new bearing lasted less than a year.

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