Drivetrain - Noise from front end, seems drivetrain or suspension related | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
  1. Wash your hands and do not touch your face, keep it safe and clean. Long live Feoa!

Drivetrain Noise from front end, seems drivetrain or suspension related

Discussion in 'Tech & Repair' started by Tanker_01, Mar 14, 2019.

  1. Tanker_01

    Tanker_01 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I have a 2000 ZX2. I have replaced one of the front lower ball joints so far as well as fully inspected the front end with it completely off the ground. I have a noise coming from somewhere in the front that can be best described as a clunking. I can not get the car to replicate this when up on jacks. It seems to happen when I take off from a stop but it also happens if I go over the curb when exiting my driveway. interestingly enough it does not seem to happen when I hit traintracks. I am relatively certain it is not anything suspension related (ball joints, lower arm, strut or spring) but I am not going to discount suspension being the issue, I have not checked the sway bar... I am not sure if it could be CVs popping in and out but it does not happen more or less when turning so I know it at least isnt outer CVs. It could also be engine mounts, I am not sure where those are on this vehicle. I have had the car for about 3 months now, I purchased it for $700 so I pretty much have been just driving it until something breaks then I will know what to fix. Would be good to get some insight on this issue though if anyone has had this issue before.

    The car has also now started to keep the E brake light on even if the E brake is off. Why could this be? My E brake 'works' to some extent but I do not rely on it.

    On the car I have replaced: FR Ball joint, Rear strut, 2 rear brake lines, fuel filter, MAF sensor, spark plugs, air filter, full oil and filter change.
  2. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    375
    Trophy Points:
    333
    On my recently departed 2000 Escort, all the various clicks, pops and squeeks disappeared a few months ago when I finally had the 2 front ball joints replaced. They were in terrible shape, but the car drove straight as could be until they were replaced, but in the end you could hear the tires skittering on a wet roadway.

    I would replace the FL ball joint, and ensure that both sides are securely attached to the steering arms with the pinch bolts. Also check that both outer tie rod ends have no play in them.

    Check the bottom of both coil springs to make sure the bottom tails of the springs haven't broken off (more common on the rear springs). The struts get hard rather than leak as they age, so that wouldn't be a source of noise.

    The brake light also comes on when the fluid level in the brake master cylinder is less than halfway between full and low. If you keep losing fluid, you may still have a small leak somewhere. If you step on the brakes really hard, it will likely burst the leaking part or its seal. (Better in your driveway than during a panic stop!)
  3. Tanker_01

    Tanker_01 FEOA Member

    Messages:
    13
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    I have heard of the springs doing that, is that something to replace immediately or can that be driven like that? I will check the brake fluid level, I haven't seen any brake fluid dripping underneath the car but I will have to follow all the lines and see if I can find any suspects.

    With the ball joint being as cheap as it was I suppose replacing the other side couldn't hurt. I could probably do the tie rod ends while I'm at it to rule those out too.

    Thanks for the input
  4. rbailin

    rbailin FEOA Member

    Messages:
    1,239
    Likes Received:
    375
    Trophy Points:
    333
    It's ok to have a bit of the spring tail broken off as long as that corner of the car doesn't sag.

    When replacing the ball joint, make sure that the part that slides into the steering arm is a sliding-tight fit even before you tighten the pinch bolt or attach it to the lower control arm. If it's too sloppy, no amount of bolt tightening will keep it from moving up and down or sideways, causing creaks and pops once it starts to rust in there. If this is the case, others have suggested using half of an old-style double-edge safety razor as a shim, otherwise (according to the service manual) you'd have to replace the steering arm.

    When replacing the outer tie rod end, try to maintain the position of the jam nut once you loosen it so you don't have to readjust the toe-in. After you do one side, take it out for a ride to see if the steering wheel is still aligned straight when the car drives straight. If not, adjust the side you just replaced by a half-turn of the rod and try again.
    zzyzzx likes this.

Share This Page