UPDATE on Clunking Sound

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  #1  
Old 06-05-10, 08:34 AM
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UPDATE on Clunking Sound

2000 Taurus LX 143000

This AM I went out to take the car for a test ride. Now sound is most definitely coming from the FRONTleft, not the rear. Sound is accompanied by a jerking motion felt in the seat AND the wheel.

I didn't even get the car out of the driveway before noise/jerking motion occurred. I move back and forth, rolling just a few feet each time until clunk happened. After the third switch to reverse, car wouldn't move. I didn't force it and shut it down.

I jacked the car and pulled the wheel.

Observations:

One of the five wheel studs is loose. (May be coincidence).

There is a lot of fresh grease all over the top of the ball joint and on the inside of the steering knuckle. There is also grease distributed around the inside of the perimeter of the wheel itself. It looks like he grease was sprayed and moved by centrifugal force.

The boot appears tight, with no obvious cracks. When I squeeze the boot, I get a slight hissing.wheezing sound from it as air escapes. Not sure if that is normal.

I had the ball joints replaced professionally in the last two months. Pros had to finish job because I couldn't get the spindle axle nut back on as the spindle axle was stripped. The car had to be dragged onto a flat bed with the wheel hanging off pathetically. Could that have damaged the axle?

Before today, the axle/CV joints gave no symptoms at all. Everything was fine until the clunking started yesterday.

What to do?
 
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  #2  
Old 06-05-10, 08:45 AM
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could be a 'hole/cut' in c/v boot.
with the wheel bolted up thight-is there 'any ' latteral' movement?
'if' the center 'nut' is not tightenen all the way-before the vehicle is lowered to the ground. the wheel bearing will pop out of its preloaded condition with te weight of the car/ as soon as veh moves- the bearing is damaged(prermanently)
 
  #3  
Old 06-05-10, 09:31 AM
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OK...need a sanity check here.

I looked closely at the boot at the steering knuckle. I see no cuts or holes, but there must be one. When I squeeze the other boots, there is no hissing sound, so the hole is likely small or in a spot that is hard to see. So I'm thinking that the joint inside the boot somehow broke and released the grease everywhere.

So replace the half shaft and all is good, right?

But...

I have the front end off the ground and the car in park. Yet, I can spin the wheel (the hub, if you will) freely. Shouldn't it be immobile, or move just a little if the car is in park? Could this be a transmission issue? There is a little bit of fluid on the transmission near where the half-shaft enters, but it is nothing like the gobs of grease strewn about near the wheel itself.

Whaddya think?
 
  #4  
Old 06-05-10, 09:39 AM
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Question

when U spin the wheel does the drive axle turn with it?

with the trans in park-the other ft wheel should spin the other direction
 
  #5  
Old 06-05-10, 10:24 AM
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Yes. It spins the other way. Makes perfect sense. Yay! The problem isn't the transmission!

Which brings me back to the issue at hand...

Could the joint inside the boot have failed and caused the hole in the boot?

Replace the half shaft and solve the problem?
 
  #6  
Old 06-05-10, 01:07 PM
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More likely the other way around; boot failed followed by joint from insufficent lubrication.

Side note on towing: a wheel lift truck would have been preferable to dragging on and off a flatbed with a wheel problem.

FWIW, I would do both sides rather than just one.
 
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Old 06-05-10, 01:15 PM
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An alignment afterward would probably make sense too.
 
  #8  
Old 06-05-10, 03:45 PM
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On the jacks, the wheel rotates freely. Is there a chance I can drive it the 5 or so miles to the mechanic without risking further damage?
 
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Old 06-05-10, 04:21 PM
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U never did answer-with the wheel bolted on -is there 'any' latteral play-( push/pull at the top of the tire)?
 
  #10  
Old 06-05-10, 04:25 PM
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Sorry, you're right...I missed that.

No play whatsoever, top to bottom or side to side.

I'm thinking issue is outer CV joint. What is everybody thinking?

Must replace the whole half-shaft, right?
 
  #11  
Old 06-05-10, 04:46 PM
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probably buy a recon unit-$125.00.

the earlier post stated- the vehicle did not want to move!/ correct?
if the c/v joint is worn- it only causes a 'clicking' nose-but works - o/k

if there is something loose/ broken in the joint - the drive might not go over.

with veh supported !CORRECTLY!- run the ft wheels up to 30 mph/ listen for noises.
block '1' wheel from rotating( block of wood-etc)-listen to the other wheel-at 15/20 mph/ try other side
 
  #12  
Old 06-05-10, 06:47 PM
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Thin king that if the problem is CV joint, I may try to replace it myself. Did it with a mechanic friend on an Altima and have had the front end on the Taurus apart previously. I have the Ford factory manual too.

Thoughts? Am I crazy?
 
  #13  
Old 06-05-10, 08:17 PM
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suggest-what i suggested-(post-just before) / try to identify your problem!!
just because U have a leaking -c/v boot - don't mean that it is causing your noise concern!!
!!( do not -just throw parts at it! )

also- it can be very difficult -to sepparate the lower ball joint ,from the steering knuckle-(with out the proper tools)
 
  #14  
Old 06-06-10, 02:51 AM
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Alright...that makes sense. I'll try the noise check in the morning.

Just to clarify, to keep the other tire from turning, you want me to wedge a piece of wood between the tire and the wheel well, right?

Also, what would the results mean? If I still hear the noise? If the noise goes away?

I appreciate your help on this.
 
  #15  
Old 06-06-10, 08:51 AM
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place wedge between tire & ground.

if noise goes away-it is in the stopped wheel
 
  #16  
Old 06-06-10, 02:25 PM
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Tired the experiment and got a "Clunk" from the left front wheel when it got to 20MPH. The motor kept accelerating even when I took my foot off the gas. Is that normal?

So I am sure the problem is with the left front. Now there are still several questions:

1) Is the problem with the outer CV joint or the bearing?
2) Can I drive the car the 5 or so miles to the mechanic?
3) If it is the CV joint, is it worth doing myself? I can get the lower ball joint off the steering knuckle...I did it before. I do not want to try it if it's the bearing..did that on a Geo Prizm...what a nightmare.
 
  #17  
Old 06-06-10, 03:09 PM
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I vote for a tow, but I'm slightly biased.
 
  #18  
Old 06-06-10, 03:15 PM
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I vote for the tow, too, but not if I have to spend the $75 it entails. I understand that tow guys need to make a living and do not begrudge them at all, but if I can do something myself (ie. drive the car without causing damage to it or anyone) I'd rather save the money.

The question is whether I can drive it without causing (more) damage to the car. Could driving it hurt anything? Am I more likely to wreck than I would normally be?
 
  #19  
Old 06-07-10, 04:50 AM
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Five mile tow for me is under $50, but I know a lot of places are much higher [often because of Big Brother sticking his nose into the business and his hand into the tow guy's wallet].

My bias aside, given the descriptions of the various symptoms I don't think I would drive it.
 
  #20  
Old 06-07-10, 06:44 AM
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My mechanic agrees....called the tow truck.
 
  #21  
Old 06-07-10, 01:40 PM
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Engine accelerated! Sounds like a blown front motor mount to me.
 
  #22  
Old 06-07-10, 05:02 PM
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It's at the mechanics now. I'll talk to them in the morning about checking the motor mount as well.
 
  #23  
Old 06-08-10, 05:51 PM
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Resolved!

Clunking problem turned out to be a broken caliper bolt(!).

There was grease from the CV Boot, but that was because the boot had become loose the last time around at the mechanics'. They re-greased the joint and repaired the boot.

Once the caliper bolt was replaced, clunking stopped and we are good to go.
 
  #24  
Old 06-08-10, 08:15 PM
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Thumbs up

glad to hear - your promlem is resolved.!

that is why it is almost inpossible for an 'online -tech ' to diagnoise a noise concern!

as 'I' stated earlier-not to replace the 'half shaft' - with out -1st -diagnosing the 'root' noise problem!!
 
  #25  
Old 06-08-10, 09:58 PM
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Good advice, taken to heart. Thanks!
 
  #26  
Old 06-09-10, 02:55 PM
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Glad to hear it was a very easy fix. Gotta love those.
 
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Old 06-09-10, 04:24 PM
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Broken caliper bolt; not something you would see every day.
 
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