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Gene, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3746
Experience:  ASE Master 25 years experience, Ford Trans Tech/SMT, Toyota, Mitsubishi,Hyundai Tech.
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2007 mustang: strut..front suspension..a slight thunking noise..road

Resolved Question:

I just purchsed a 2007 mustang 4.0 V6 with the optional pony package. It has front strut suspension. The front suspension makes a slight thunking noise when the car is going over minor bumps in the know, the subtle kind of bumps and when it goes over larger bumps the thunking noise is a bit more pronounced.
It's not normal road or tire noise. It's a definate lose part or too much clearance type sound as if the strut tower bearing is rattling when the suspension is in mid travel. The strut bearing does have about 1/16 latteral or vertical play in it. I pulled a new one from parts at my ford dealer and proved it is lose. The mechanics say that it's impossible for it to shake because of the load the return spring puts on it therefore keeping it from rattling thus making the clunking noise.
They may be correct but I feel that due to the movement and possible lack of damping from the shock being at it's most extended or unloaded position may be allowing that strut bearing to move up and down in it's seat thereby causing the thunking noise.
The front suspension makes the noise and the rear doesn't from what I can tell. It sometimes seems more pronounced from the right side more than the left side but both sided are making the noise none the less.
It's agrivating since it's a brand new car and yet I have since purchasing it found out this problem is more or less common on many of Fords cars and trucks.
There have been TSBs in the past addressing the various causes but none directly addressing the strut bearing. The last TSB on stangs making this noise was on 05's made before the middle of the year. It was a different problem but there are others out there that still make this clunking noise.
Anyway, my being a retired pro-mechanic myself am sort of stumped as I don't accept the mechanics explanation and they can't or won't do anything about it and are giving me he run around. Pisses me off if you know what I mean but I am not giving up. The only other part that could cause this sort of noise,,not loud but evident,, is the lower control arm bushings or perhaps the lower control arm pivot ball joint. If its one of those self lubing pieces of crap then it's possible Ford didn't pump enough lube into it if any for that matter.
The point is there is a thunk when going over small bumps that don't really load up the suspension that much and the sound is very obviously something is lose or out of spec.
Got any ideas of what it could be?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.
Post your VIN number and I can check it for TSB's as you mention I am familiar with the previous tsb's for strut bearings.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gene's Post: Hi, I've already checked for TSB's specific to my VIN. There are none whatsoever. Probably because it's so new. Pony is only a month old now.
Since we're both pro's, tell me your opinions and possible causes of the clunking noise.
I too am very familiar with strut assemblies but I have to say that I have only ever experienced such noise from worn suspension parts such as control arm bushings and ball joints and once torsion bar assemblies.
I am also thinking that the noise could be coming from a slight side to side movement of the upper part of the strut assembly due to the geometry.
Even more possible is the return spring is not strong enough to keep constant pressure against the upper strut pivot bushing thus the bearing moves vertically ever so slightly. Even with that slight movement, even with only 1 or 2mm of movement, that could present a thunking noise which is then transmitted into the body via the wheel well where the strut is bolted to it.
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.
Even though the parts may not be worn ,it can be an misassembled.It is hard to be 100% sure without hearing the noise, I am sure you realize this. Are you checking your VIN throught Ford? They update the information on there daily, so if you cant find something off the bat I may be able to talk to an engineer and see what is up.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gene's Post: Hi, yes I am checking the VIN through Ford.
Here it is though if you think you can get any answers from their engineers.
I am having no luck with the mech's at the dealer which I fully expected. They are very protocol oriented and don't think outside the box. They are not there to do much more than standard repairs as you know. In fact, now that they know I am not taking "ain't nothin wrong" or "no TSB's on it", "we've done all we can" for an answer, they are now bulking at helping me at all.
A good independent shop would take it apart and have a looksee to find the culprit. Maybe even simulate road conditions on a shaker table to find out where that thunk is coming from.
Other Mustangs I have driven make the same noise by the way. The stick shift Mustang is even louder than my automatic. Doesn't make it normal or inherant in any case IMO! It's a problem. A flaw! A boo boo and I want it fixed now, not later as I am sure you can understand.
Anyway, the VIN is: 1ZVHT80N875239410
Thanks and good luck!
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.
You are correct, very little information on noise concerns for an 07. The best way to localize a noise in the steering/suspension system is with the use of chassis ears. They should be installing chassis ears on the vehicle and road test it to isolate the area of the noise.Once that is accomplished you know what to take apart and inspect as you have mentioned.Not much else I can offer advise wise without hearing the noise myself.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gene's Post: Thanks Gene.
What are chassis ears? Electronic suction cup vibration sensors, g-sensors or microphones?
Do Ford dealer mechanics usually have this equipment in their own stash or is this a shop supplied system?
I'll bring it up to my mech's at the dealer and see what they say. Interesting.
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.
Usually a good shop has a set for the whole shop to use or some techs own their own. They are basically clip on style leads that transmit noise either through wire leads or now are wirless.Clip the leads onto several different locations and localize the noise by listening to each clip through a selector box and headphone set while driving.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Reply to Gene's Post: Thanks Gene,
are you familiar with the Mustang front end? Specifically the strut assembly,,K frame <if they call it that and so forth?
I stuck my hand under the wheel well and banged on the strut spring with my fist to see if it goes boing when I wrap it. It does of course but I wanted to see if that made a similar noise or not..
It's a darn shame this probem exists because it's a really nice car. I opted for the 6 banger because I don't need a V8. I'm not a teen anymore althought I ain't that old either.
The 6 gives great low end torque even with an automatic behind it.
I may add a catback dual exhaust later etc.
Anyway,,not to get off the subject,,it's a darn shame that Ford decided to go with the strut setups rather than a good old fashioned and well proven front end setup. Then there wouldn't be any friggin weird clunking noises coming from the front end.
Another thing. The sound proofing in the floor board etc. is way less than it should be. I am thinking about adding sound proofing to the floor board etc. Do you have any recomendations?
I'd like to hear less road noise etc. I'd give anything to get rid of the thunking noise too!
Can I force Ford or the dealer to find out exactly what the problem is and fix it? I have driven another stang of the same year and it makes the same noise too. Maybe I should try a GT and see if that makes that thunking noise too.
Expert:  Gene replied 8 years ago.
If you drove another mustang and it makes the same noise, they will most likely throw that card on you and try and blow you out. I would call ford customer assitance and they will file a grievance(CUDL report) to the dealer.That is about all you can do to try and have them fix this concern,The Service Manager will have to repsond to this report back to you and ford motor company.They may send a field service engineer out but that is about all you can do on your end short of trying another dealership.As for soundproofing I have no specific information on what you can do to decrease exterior noise on this new model vehicle as of yet.
Gene, Auto Service Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 3746
Experience: ASE Master 25 years experience, Ford Trans Tech/SMT, Toyota, Mitsubishi,Hyundai Tech.
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