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Old 10-23-2003, 06:49 PM   #1
shoeman502
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Front end clunking

I have a 1996 Windstar that has a clunking noise in the front end. It is a dull noise that sounds like something hittin the bottom of the van. I crawled under and looked for anything loose, but didn't find a thing. It make the noise everytime you hit a bump. It can be a very small bump or a large one. It still make the same noise and it sounds the same. Can anyone help me out. Thanks in advance.

Shoe
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Old 10-24-2003, 08:30 PM   #2
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Re: Front end clunking

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Originally Posted by shoeman502
I have a 1996 Windstar that has a clunking noise in the front end. It is a dull noise that sounds like something hittin the bottom of the van. I crawled under and looked for anything loose, but didn't find a thing. It make the noise everytime you hit a bump. It can be a very small bump or a large one. It still make the same noise and it sounds the same. Can anyone help me out. Thanks in advance.

Shoe
I have a 1998 Windstar 3.8 liter engine which also has a klunking sound in the front right end every time I hit a speed bump or a dip in the road. The problem occurred last year in June. It is more frequent with more passengers in the vehicle and epecially on the interstate highway. I first noticed loose fender well speed bolts. I secured them and also drilled more holes on both left and right front fender wells. Last year I changed the left strut. Recently I changed both left and right outer tie rod ends. I still have the same problem. In my search on the internet I found one person had a cracked strut mount after going to the garage three times and did not have the strut replaced. I hope this helps out. Please let me know if you solve the problem. I am curious to know and get the vehicle repaired.
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Old 10-25-2003, 12:55 PM   #3
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Re: Re: Front end clunking

Clunks and sounds or very hard to diagnose over the Internet without first hand experience with them. There could be a number of things to check. Tie rods, idler arms, pitmen arms, wheels bearings, shocks, sway bar end links, etc., etc. If you have a reputable shop in your area, it might be a wise idea to have it looked at, that way your not chasing the noise while you spend money on different solutions.
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Old 11-13-2003, 01:26 PM   #4
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My 1995 Windstar had clunking noise like you describe three different times. I was told each time that problem was a tie rod end, or a control arm, or a shock mount, etc. Each time problem was a front shock absorber which had gone "flat" (gas leaked out), and the normal bounce test did not catch it. It seemed like the shop did not want to replace the shock - maybe because it was relatively new and under waranttee??
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Old 11-21-2003, 09:18 PM   #5
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My 96 had the front end clunking noise as well. Mine was most easily heard at slow speed any time the van swayed or I stopped or started. It also popped if I moved the wheel side-to-side while stopped. I changed the cradle bushings/sub-frame bushings and it took care of it. They ran about 25 dollars each (4). If you buy some there is a top and bottom for each one. Do one side at a time, and don't have both bolts on one side completely out at the same time.

The Ford mech I spoke to also pointed out that the metal sleeve where the swaybar passes through the front of the frame can come loose and needs to be welded in place. One of mine now makes a bit of noise, mostly heard when I stop and start while backing in and out of the garage.
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Old 11-24-2003, 03:47 PM   #6
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Re: Front end clunking

most likley sway bar links. we do about 10 per week at my shop.
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Old 11-26-2003, 08:27 PM   #7
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My parents own a 1998 Ford Windstar, (I am only 16) and my mom blames the front end clunking on the fact that I have a girlfriend that lives about 10km on back roads, and about 3 km of that 10 is an unmaintained dirt logging road, full of potholes, We took the vehicle to several garages, and they were rhyming off all these parts, and then the blew out the hole inside of the fenderwell, area, and blew out a couple small rocks. This solved the problem for a while, but about a week later, we returned, this time they took the wheel off. Part of the plastic peice covering the inner front fender well was all chewed up and squished. They cut out a section of this plastic peice, and that solved the problem,

What was happening was the inner fenderwell came loose, and got stuck in the shock, and when the shock compressed, it was caught in between the spring, not allowing all of the spring to come together at the same time, only a part of the spring was touching the other ring of the spring (make sense?) which in turn made the clunking sound. Aparently this is a fairly common problem with windstars, so is loose hubcap centers.

Hope this helps some of you out, and saves you a few hundred dollars
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Old 11-27-2003, 06:21 PM   #8
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Re: Re: Front end clunking

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Originally Posted by kbro
most likley sway bar links. we do about 10 per week at my shop.

I have ahd the same noise on my 96 stratus. The clunking noise went away! I am having the same noise on my 96 windstar. As soon as I get back I'll tighten it up and we'l see how it goes.
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Old 09-01-2007, 05:42 PM   #9
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Re: Front end clunking

One of the most common causes of front end clunk or noise with Ford strut suspension cars (and extremely common with Windstar,) is simply rocks in the springs! Small pebbles are kicked up by the tires and build on the lower spring base rubber pads. The stabilizer bars are another common problem. They tend to rust from the inside out and break next to or inside the frame mount bushings. Also like any shock, the struts themselves become lose internally and the piston bangs when it changes from compression to extension. Bad tie rods or ball joints are usually accompanied by abnormal tire wear and stability problems.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:16 PM   #10
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Re: Front end clunking

Check your cradle at the right front mount. My 99 was making noise and found the cradle rusted thru. Fount out from other forums, that the a/c drains right on to it. It's parked right now until I can get the money to fix it.

Any others have this problem? any recalls on it? I can't find any.
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