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Old 01-04-2018, 06:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Tallahassee, Florida
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AM Static and whines in Bentonville

I have a 2004 Freestar SEL with 190K miles. It has received the torque converter change from Ford.

I recently relocated to Bentonville, AR, and listened to I Heart Radio on the way out from Tallahassee so my wife could read/sleep and I could get caught up un some talk radio I listen to to stay awake.

When I got here, I found the local AM station for talk radio, programed my standard AM/FM/Disc Changer in-dash unit, then headed out to the local Wal-Mart Community market. About a half mile from home, I started getting a lot of static as I approached Greenhouse Road that runs right next to some high power lines and leads to the WM. My turn signal caused a change in the noise. I turned left onto Greenhouse, and the static continued until I ran out from under the wires, but picked back up once I got to Wally World. Naturally, I though this was being caused by noise from the wires, or a poor signal from the station, right?

When I got back home, I called the station to ask about that, and they said they aren't getting complaints, but that they are on low-power awaiting repairs. About a month later I called back and they told me the repairs are complete, still no other complaints, and suggested that the car could be the source. So I started checking further. I went to a static rich area, put the van in Park, and started changing settings that could be a problem. Fan speed - no change. Turn off the HVAC unit all together - no change. Turn signals - a change as the lights blink, and left is different than right. Rev the engine - no change. Switch the engine off (radio continues to play) - and the noise disappears. Start the motor, and the noise comes back.

On another forum, I saw a reference to poor grounds possibly causing a similar problem, so I got some dielectric grease, and some fine sand paper and started working my way through the grounds with the help of the Ford Service Manual, and found a number of ground points under the hood at the front of the engine (G101, G102, G105, G106, G107), and the ones behind the kick panels on either side of the front seating area (G201, G202, G300, G301 and G302), and the ones at the rear of the car (G400 behind left tail lamp and G904 behind rear window RH D Pillar).

In each case, I removed the bolts, scrubbed the mounting point with sandpaper, put a light coat of dielectric grease on the mating surfaces and the bolt threads, then tightened the bolts well. I also did the same to the large dash mounting bolts on either side (the one on the right had a little rust there), and pulled the radio antenna cable at the radio and cleaned and greased it as well. There seems to be a small improvement, but the noise continues.

Note that I haven't found G100 transmission front LH side, G104 close to the RH shock tower, G303 near RH D-Pillar, or G305 floor pan behind front seat driver side.

As I'm working through this, it occurred to me that someone may have had this problem before.

Any thoughts, folks?

Thanks for any help or guidance.
2004 Freestar, 4.2L SEL
156,000 miles as of 8/26/15

Last edited by bkimbel; 01-06-2018 at 10:50 AM.
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