UNUSUAL Front End Clunk

Discussion in '2005+ Mustang GT 4.6L Tech' started by maurice05, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    Ok... we all know the drill.... S197 front ends make all sorts of noises.

    Mine recently began making a serious clunk when turning, coming from where I believe to be around the drivers side front of the car. I can feel it HARD in the floorboard, but not the steering wheel. It sometimes occurs right at start up as I'm turning the wheel away from the curb. LOUD! It happens many times when turning the car through a twisty road at speed. At speed its hard to determine which side the clunk is coming from. But I hear and feel it.

    So I replaced the strut mounts with GT500 ones, inspected the strut itself, lowering springs, spring isolator silicone wrap, mounting nuts, and alignment/cam bolts & holes. They all look fine. Suspension mounting bolts are all tight.

    I also installed a new Ford Racing sway bar kit and bushings, and new Moog end links.

    Vehicle alignment went normal. Alignment guy didnt find anything wrong.

    Last year I replaced the lower control arms with GT500 units. The mounts and ball joints appear good. I also installed Ford Performance front wheel hubs. Added GT500 Brembo brakes at that time also. No clunk until now.

    I'm planning on installing a bump-steer kit before this seasons HPDE events.
    The tie rods look good, and no bad feel through the steering wheel when the clunk happens.

    I have poly motor mounts... maybe one is loose?
    Transmission mount bad?
    Rack & pinion loose?

    Can anyone think of something I may have missed?
     
  2. RED09GT

    RED09GT Senior Member S197 Team Member

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    Try re-torquing the control arm bolts. If one is even just a bit below spec, it can clunk.
     
  3. nawagner

    nawagner forum member

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    I had an Escape that would do that once in a while. Turned out to be an inner tie rod.
     
  4. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    Yup.... I've tightened the heck out of them with an impact gun. However, I did have to slot one due to a bad castor angle during alignment. Maybe the bolt holding the slotted side is the culprit. There should be wear marks along the slot. I'll let you know in a couple of weeks. I'm old and still recovering from installing new wheel bearings and axle seals. And the sway bar kit.

    When I remove the outer tie rods to install the bump steer kit, I'll check the inner rods for excessive play. Thanks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 4, 2020
  5. Dino Dino Bambino

    Dino Dino Bambino I have a red car

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    Sounds like the clunk is coming from the driver's side front control arm. If the bushings look OK, it's possible the bolts might be a mm or so too small in diameter for the cylinders inside the bushings.
     
  6. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    I'll check it out. They are the factory bolts.... but Thanks!
     
  7. jimmy120

    jimmy120 Junior Member

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    CV Axle Shaft Assembly.. I'd almost bet money on it.
     
  8. RED09GT

    RED09GT Senior Member S197 Team Member

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    How much money you got?
    LOL.
     
  9. Thomas Lee

    Thomas Lee Junior Member

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    Run into this issue few years ago and it was lose k member bolt to body, chased it for a while
     
  10. 07 Boss

    07 Boss Senior Member

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    Hahahaha...... I'll bet you what ever you want bro.
     
  11. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    I did check the K member bolts about a month ago.
    I'll check them again.

    Pulling the drivers side lower control arm tomorrow.
    So I'll be under the car... might as well check everything again.
     
  12. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    I checked the K member bolts. Tight.

    I pulled the drivers side lower control arm. All the bolts holding it were really tight.
    The bushings were all good.

    I did find the front bushing mount hole had gotten hollowed out a bit from being loose sometime in the past. However, since this bolt is held on the other side of the bushing mount by a welded nut, its doubtful and play on one side of the bolt could cause such a loud clunk like I'm getting.

    I'm moving on to the motor mounts next, as these are fastened to the k member, and could cause the clunk if the motor is shifting in a turn.
     
  13. jimmy120

    jimmy120 Junior Member

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    I said i'd almost betcha, apparently one will not find a cv axle in an S197. :) Oops.
     
  14. jimmy120

    jimmy120 Junior Member

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    I looked really hard and just can't find a cv axle under there.. Dang Noob. U-Joint?
     
  15. maurice05

    maurice05 Junior Member

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    So apparently the CV axle isnt the problem. Cant find the darn thing anywhere. (LOL)

    But I did replace the crappy SR Performance rear control arms that had really badly torn bushings.
    (Less than one year of use)

    And now the clunk seems gone.

    I figure the rear control arms were twisting/binding into the cars frame, transmitting the clunk through it as the weight shifted while turning. Since the frame runs right under the drivers floor board (where I was feeling the clunk) I was assuming the noise came from the front suspension.

    But hey.... I now have an entirely new front suspension, and new BMR rear control arms installed for this seasons track days.
    And no clunk.
     
    Monkeyporn likes this.
  16. MADGT

    MADGT forum member

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    Isn't that crazy? You fixed what you thought was the problem, but find the solution elsewhere. Funny how that works :)