Ford Escape With Front End Knock

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  #1  
Old 09-14-12, 11:19 AM
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Ford Escape With Front End Knock

I have a 2005 Ford Escape with 120K miles on it that has developed a front end knock primarily on the right front and is noticeable going over bumps at low speed. It happen also on the left front but not as often. I was told by one mechanic that it could be a problem with control arm bushings. 2 shops say that in this case the control arm needs to be replaced while another said that he could just replace the bushing. The difference in price to replace the control arm vs the bushing is $361 vs $243. Is it necessary to replace the whole control arm as opposed to the bushing ?
Also, they are trying to get me to replace the struts & shocks for $672 Lots of money and something that I have never done on any of my previous vehicles. Wonder if that is necessary also ?

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  #2  
Old 09-14-12, 12:18 PM
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I have a 2001 Tribute that has the same issue...I'm sure it is the bushings as well (although it might be the rubber spring seats). At first it was just one side and was still there even after replacing front struts and bearings and sway bar links. Then it seemed to show up on both sides.
I haven't really worried about it...it's more annoying than anything else. It's my wifes vehicle..if she's not complaining, I'm not spending. Never checked on price...but it looks like a PITA job for access to the mounts. One thing that should be done before replacing them (unless they can positively reproduce/demonstrate the noise on a lift somehow) is to disconnect the links and wire them up out of the way somehow and see if it still makes the noise. If it does....could likely be the strut bearings or the rubber spring seats worn through allowing the end of the spring to bang the metal seat.

If you have some basic tools...you can buy struts for about $85 each. You should also replace the strut bearings. I believe the bearings are a dealer part about $30. You should also replace the rubber spring seat...not sure of the price, but I'm sure it's also a dealer part. You could remove the assy and take it to a garage who will prob compress the spring and replace the above parts for $10-15 each. My local place did it for free since I had had other work done there and compressed the spring myself...so all they had to do was break the big nut free and swap the strut cartridge.

A cheaper and better alternative is whats called a "quick-strut". They didn't have them available for mine at the time I replaced but now they do. It's the entire strut assy including bearing, seat and new spring....no spring compressor required. You or a neighborhood mechanic could swap both sides in about an hour or less, it's only jack it up, pull the tire, loosen a brake line clamp, 4 bolts at the top and 2 pinch bolts at the bottom and the assy comes right out. $136 each for Monroe at Rockauto.com. $200+ ea for a Gabriel product that is the same thing at Autozone. Rear shocks run about $35 ea. The price they quoted you is lower than what I was quoted about 4 yrs ago in CA, not using the quick strut. They wanted over $800. I would get a price breakdown...ask what parts they are replacing, if they are using quick struts and what the labor rate is.

If you have the tools or a shadetree mechanic friend...a DIY quick strut and shocks would take about 3-4 hrs and be a parts only price.
 
  #3  
Old 09-14-12, 06:54 PM
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well, you need to get her on jackstands, and wiggle sway bar with prybar. if sway bar moves in bushings, you got it.
otherwise, same prybar will allow you to check control arm ball joints also.
also, sway bar end links will pop noises.

and don't forget - you do struts - you have to do alignment thereafter.
 
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Old 10-08-12, 10:56 PM
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It'll be the sway bar links, Very common & cheep & easy to do.. Roger
 
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