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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have just finished installing all new bushings for the front end suspension on both sides. To my surprise, I NOW have a sound coming from the front left tire area. I did not have this sound before I replaced everything. To describe the sound the best I can, it sounds like an "underwater" knock or pop when I shift the suspension around. I especially hear it when I accelerate every so slightly in the forward direction from a completely stopped position. I can also feel it at my feet when I drive.

New lower control arm bushings
Outer tie rods
Lower ball joints
Sway bar end links (not the inner sway bar bushings)

The only thing I think it could be are the end link bushings. The noise sounds like to me one of the end link bushings has popped off or something. However, after inspecting everything down there, everything seems to be perfectly in tacked. My second guess would be is a bolt is not tight. But, I made sure every bolt was very tight before I lowered the car.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
 

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Ball joints

Having just done the same thing on my 91....
AND suddenly having a muffled pop/clank sound appear...
I discovered that my new ball joints had a smaller stud size than original.

I tightened the monkey-loving poo out of them, but they loosened up again.
They were not falling out loose but they clonked up and down on the bolt pretty regular.
They did just slip out when I took them apart.

Heard that this is a common occurance for the parts store to pass out the wrong size.
I don't remember the measurements ($3 calipers) but I did find the correct size when we measured a 97 Escort part.

Bruce
 

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There are 2 different size ball joints for escorts, but only 3rd gens are supposed to have the larger ones. unless someone has swapped spindles on your cars that is strange a pony would have the spindle for the bigger joint especially a 91...........there is approx a 2mm difference in size between the 2 joints
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Okay, so what will fix the sound is to install a bigger pinch bolt (max size) that will fit the lower ball joint to the steering knuckle & to "tighten the monkey-loving poo out of them"?

Inside my lower ball joint replacement kit, it included a new pinch bolt & nut. Since they were new, I installed them instead of reusing my old ones (surprisingly, they came with larger heads). After getting them tight, I came to realize I was stripping the threading on the new bolt on BOTH ball joints because they kept turning & were not tightening. Somehow, they new pinch bolts could not handle the pressure. So I reinstalled the old pinch bolts.
 

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if the ball joint shaft is undersized dont try to overtighten the pinch bolt, its cast you will weaken it or even crack it


if the ball joint shaft is the correct size, id look at your cv joints
 

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Check that BOTH of the bolts on the lower side of the control arm closest to the hub are tightened down to spec.

Do you get feedback from the steering wheel when you accelerate or brake, pulling one way while accelerating, the other when braking?
 

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300ZXRB26DETT said:
There are 2 different size ball joints for escorts, but only 3rd gens are supposed to have the larger ones. unless someone has swapped spindles on your cars that is strange a pony would have the spindle for the bigger joint especially a 91...........there is approx a 2mm difference in size between the 2 joints
Not sure what size they are supposed to be.
99.9% sure that I removed the original 91 Pony ball joints ...and the replacements were smaller.
No amount of tightening solved the problem.
I just went to the parts store with the original set and the new set and measured several new sets until I found the correct size.

I found it when I disconnected the strut from the spindle and started wrestling the lower arms around.
Ball joint stud had about 1/8 inch play and when the bolt was removed it just dropped out.

The original ball joints were not bad (but they were a bear to remove),
I only replaced them because I lost a bushing inside my manual rack and
"while I was there" I did the ES bushing, 3rd gen sway bar, tie rod ends ...
basically rebuilt the whole 270,000 miles unit.

Tight as a drum now!

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ciento44 said:
Do you get feedback from the steering wheel when you accelerate or brake, pulling one way while accelerating, the other when braking?
- No, I get no feedback from the steering wheel, just that same muffled pop/clank sound. It still has the same slight pull to the left as it did before I replaced everything.

Since my ball joint pinch bolts were already messed up in the first place, I will go ahead & get new same exact stock sized bolts & tighten them to spec. The bottom 2 bolts are good & tight.. As far as what all of you have said & suggested, this should take the sound away (unless anyone says otherwise.... ).

Thanks. :)
 

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Just one possibility

This is just ONE item that I have dealt with.

First I lifted one wheel off the ground with the far side still on the ground.
Checked all my bolts to see if they were tight on the lifted side.
Then I wiggled the wheel top and bottom, left and right, checking for clanks and looseness.
Good for finding steering parts problems.
Possible to find bearing and CV joint problems here too.
I always seem to have a bit of slack in the differential!!?? Normal?

Then I removed the 2 bolts from the strut/spindle to remove pressure from the lower arm.
Wrestling the spindle around is when I discovered the ball joint problem.
Wiggling the lower arm at this point will usually find sway bar component problems.

This is where I found my rack problem as it did not appear as a side to side movement.
I found that it had an up and down looseness in what seemed the inner tie rod end. Actually it was a bushing inside of the rack itself.

Then I would disconnect the end links of the sway bar.
This allows for checking the lower arm bushings without the influence of springs or sway bar.
I have heard of new bushings working their way out.

With the tire off and 3 bolts removed it is a simple process to find the real problem
Good time to check the brakes and caliper for proper function.

Put it back together and repeat on the other side if nessesary.

If still not fixed then check the motor mounts and shifter components.

Other clanking problems have revealed themselves to be bad struts, broken springs and loose exhaust parts.

Couple of hours detective work is better than having us guess at the proper fix.

Bruce
 

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The only 2 sizes I am aware of are 15.9mm and 17.9mm (approx) according to my digital caliper. It sounds like your pony had the the larger of the 2 and the new ones were the smaller size. It should be snug and never just drop out with the pinch bolt removed. I know BG proteges switched ball joints midway through the first gens series of cars. Well at least it is fixed
Egnorant said:
300ZXRB26DETT said:
There are 2 different size ball joints for escorts, but only 3rd gens are supposed to have the larger ones. unless someone has swapped spindles on your cars that is strange a pony would have the spindle for the bigger joint especially a 91...........there is approx a 2mm difference in size between the 2 joints
Not sure what size they are supposed to be.
99.9% sure that I removed the original 91 Pony ball joints ...and the replacements were smaller.
No amount of tightening solved the problem.
I just went to the parts store with the original set and the new set and measured several new sets until I found the correct size.

I found it when I disconnected the strut from the spindle and started wrestling the lower arms around.
Ball joint stud had about 1/8 inch play and when the bolt was removed it just dropped out.

The original ball joints were not bad (but they were a bear to remove),
I only replaced them because I lost a bushing inside my manual rack and
"while I was there" I did the ES bushing, 3rd gen sway bar, tie rod ends ...
basically rebuilt the whole 270,000 miles unit.

Tight as a drum now!

Bruce
 
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