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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

first forray into the Mondeo/Ford community here - hoping to get the benefit of the collective experience and expertise of the community to help diagnose a problem and get some advice. This is a 2002 Mondeo station car.

There is a clunk or grind coming from what sounds like the front left side - this is a left hand drive vehicle. It didn't start until a few weeks ago - the car had sat unused for 12 days while we were on vacation, and the noise started the first time I drove it when we got back, and has gotten worse.

I had a quick look last week, just jacking up the one side a little and doing a quick check of the connections, the strut, spring, etc. Nothing obvious, though the rubber dust boot on the strut was down, so maybe that allowed more crap to get up into the top mount.

Some initial guesses are top mount bushing, end links binding, or some other bushing binding. It happens when you turn hard right or left. At higher speeds and with the wheel cocked only a little, there is nothing. It is the parking lot kind of turns and in-city intersection turns where you have the wheel far over, then you get a clunk/bang/grind that lasts until you unwind the wheel.

I sprayed some lube into the top mount just in the hopes that it would help a little or quiet things down until I had time to work on it, but no dice.

Looking for some advice before I get the car in the air and start taking things apart. I also just don't know the car that well, and this will be the first time I try any kind of work on it. I really only knew Subarus before this (in Canada), and knew a wrx intimately, which I worked on, modified, and raced for the last 5 years. I'm in Denmark now with my first Ford, and don't have any of the club/community resources I had back home, where there was always someone you could borrow the right tool from if you didn't have it, or could come by and help you out with a job you weren't sure of.

Thanks in advance,
Steve
 

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MEG Commander
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Sounds more like the outer CV joint thats the problem??
 

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steering rack have the same problem myself check your pas fluid and see if it is another colour then red mine was a browny black so i changed it helped a bit but from wat i have read and work done. seals in rack are gone causeing it to clunk when retraction accurs this happens on the inner end of the track rod.
 

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Megger
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Check play in the bearings. Also examine the spring as it may have snapped ( if it's snapped close to one of it's ends this may only be noticeable on full steering lock). Could also be CVjoint or top bearing. Hard to diagnose visually, but have a good look for anything else that may be worn or looks out of place.
 

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well I had similar issue on my mk3 for the last few weeks, sounds just like CV joint issue. But when I did have a look at the joint it is perfect if I turn them by hand there is no sound whatsoever
. Until yesterday's drive belt job, I finally noticed the driver side power steering rack holding bolt was loose by around 5MM, tightened it up and the noise is gone.
 

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Hi all,

first forray into the Mondeo/Ford community here - hoping to get the benefit of the collective experience and expertise of the community to help diagnose a problem and get some advice. This is a 2002 Mondeo station car.

There is a clunk or grind coming from what sounds like the front left side - this is a left hand drive vehicle. It didn't start until a few weeks ago - the car had sat unused for 12 days while we were on vacation, and the noise started the first time I drove it when we got back, and has gotten worse.

I had a quick look last week, just jacking up the one side a little and doing a quick check of the connections, the strut, spring, etc. Nothing obvious, though the rubber dust boot on the strut was down, so maybe that allowed more crap to get up into the top mount.

Some initial guesses are top mount bushing, end links binding, or some other bushing binding. It happens when you turn hard right or left. At higher speeds and with the wheel cocked only a little, there is nothing. It is the parking lot kind of turns and in-city intersection turns where you have the wheel far over, then you get a clunk/bang/grind that lasts until you unwind the wheel.

I sprayed some lube into the top mount just in the hopes that it would help a little or quiet things down until I had time to work on it, but no dice.

Looking for some advice before I get the car in the air and start taking things apart. I also just don't know the car that well, and this will be the first time I try any kind of work on it. I really only knew Subarus before this (in Canada), and knew a wrx intimately, which I worked on, modified, and raced for the last 5 years. I'm in Denmark now with my first Ford, and don't have any of the club/community resources I had back home, where there was always someone you could borrow the right tool from if you didn't have it, or could come by and help you out with a job you weren't sure of.

Thanks in advance,
Steve
ive gone tru evey steering and suspension part there is on my mondeo and i still have the problem went tru hundreds of forums and mechanics(independent and main dealers) im 99 percnt sure you have the same issue i have if not i apoligise for miss diagnoses.im not a mechanic myself but ive been fixing cars last ten years not just my own all my mates ask my advice and work to be done with no complaints.the last thing i done was started my car put wheels full lock to left removed track rod end,sat into car moved steering just off centre were the clunk was,straight away i noticed a slight difference.clunk was lessened.went back down and put back on the track rod end in place ,you might have to give it a litttle pull as it may have retracked back into the steering rack.done the exact same on the other side and low and behold mysterious clunk had almost disappeared.rack had been the culprit after all my rooting and tearing.not sure on how the inside of the rack works but the popping or clunk as people call it is the end of the track rod closest to the rack with the rubber gatters clunking in and out as the seals have gone hope this helps
 

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Megger
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ive gone tru evey steering and suspension part there is on my mondeo and i still have the problem went tru hundreds of forums and mechanics(independent and main dealers) im 99 percnt sure you have the same issue i have if not i apoligise for miss diagnoses.im not a mechanic myself but ive been fixing cars last ten years not just my own all my mates ask my advice and work to be done with no complaints.the last thing i done was started my car put wheels full lock to left removed track rod end,sat into car moved steering just off centre were the clunk was,straight away i noticed a slight difference.clunk was lessened.went back down and put back on the track rod end in place ,you might have to give it a litttle pull as it may have retracked back into the steering rack.done the exact same on the other side and low and behold mysterious clunk had almost disappeared.rack had been the culprit after all my rooting and tearing.not sure on how the inside of the rack works but the popping or clunk as people call it is the end of the track rod closest to the rack with the rubber gatters clunking in and out as the seals have gone hope this helps
Are you talking about the Inner Tie-Rod joint? I wouldn't have thought they would make a grinding noise but I could be wrong. There should also be play that can be felt at the road wheel if they are worn enough to make a clunking noise.
 

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yes the inner tie rod joint your probably right in what your sayin there. i havnt stripped off the gaiter to see exactly but when i put a hand on it with someone turning the wheel i could really feel it more so then any were else i could be wrong.isnt there a thick rubber surrounding the inner end that sits into the rack and i thought if that gets worn,or out of shape from wear and tear this might cause the clunk.if im wrong im wondering is it further inside the rack.could you keep me posted if possible if you hear if its something other then what im suggestin have this problem last few months with no other solution from research or hands on approach.if it is the rack ill just wait till it fails completly before change thanks again
 

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Megger
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yes the inner tie rod joint your probably right in what your sayin there. i havnt stripped off the gaiter to see exactly but when i put a hand on it with someone turning the wheel i could really feel it more so then any were else i could be wrong.isnt there a thick rubber surrounding the inner end that sits into the rack and i thought if that gets worn,or out of shape from wear and tear this might cause the clunk.if im wrong im wondering is it further inside the rack.could you keep me posted if possible if you hear if its something other then what im suggestin have this problem last few months with no other solution from research or hands on approach.if it is the rack ill just wait till it fails completly before change thanks again
Does sound like the inner tie-rod may be the culprit, is it only on one side? Jack up, remove wheel, brake disk etc and pull the steering over to the opposite side. You should then be able to undo the clips on either end of the gaiter (The inner clip is the fidliest bit of this job as access is limited. you can zip tie this back on after) and then slide it down the tie-rod and this will expose the inner tie rod joint. Check for play. Tie rods are about £20 thereabouts.

To replace, undo the track rod end lock-nut (24mm spanner usually) and then spin off the track rod end (assuming you have already disconnected it from the hub. You may then need a tool like this (the tie rod should be about 35mm) if you can't remove the tie rod with an adjustable wrench / grips or other suitable tool - as mentioned, access is limited so a tool like that should get it off in seconds.

Anyway, I'm not sure that this is the issue for the OP. Does sound maybe like a CV joint...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thanks for all the advice guys - great to know there is such a helpful community / forum in the Mondeo world as well!


Haven't had a chance to look at it, and have just avoided driving this week, as it has gotten worse over 2 weeks, and this past weekend it was particularly bad, so I thought I should stop pushing it. Might have a chance to rent some time on a lift this weekend though!

I will try to get an audio clip before then to post so you can hear it - I know it is extremely hard to diagnose without hearing, as there are so many kinds of clunks and grinds that can be made... I am crossing my fingers it is something simple like what cbhhuang suggested, with a loose steering rack bolt. If it is a CV joint, how hard are those to change on this car?

Thanks!
Steve
 

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Does sound like the inner tie-rod may be the culprit, is it only on one side? Jack up, remove wheel, brake disk etc and pull the steering over to the opposite side. You should then be able to undo the clips on either end of the gaiter (The inner clip is the fidliest bit of this job as access is limited. you can zip tie this back on after) and then slide it down the tie-rod and this will expose the inner tie rod joint. Check for play. Tie rods are about £20 thereabouts.

To replace, undo the track rod end lock-nut (24mm spanner usually) and then spin off the track rod end (assuming you have already disconnected it from the hub. You may then need a tool like this (the tie rod should be about 35mm) if you can't remove the tie rod with an adjustable wrench / grips or other suitable tool - as mentioned, access is limited so a tool like that should get it off in seconds.

Anyway, I'm not sure that this is the issue for the OP. Does sound maybe like a CV joint...
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not sure wat you mean by an op ive just been out and removed both track rod ends(marked were steering wheel was before hand)clunk disappeared completly done this with both wheels on the ground cause when car is lifted the clunk goes aswell only happens under weight so would i be right in sayin g tie rods or rack is the issue here was wondering if i get a second hand rack is it possible to recondition it myself
 

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Megger
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Adrainf: OP = Original Poster (person who started the thread)

If the track rod ends or inner tie-rod joints had gone to the extent that you are hearing them knock whilst driving then you should be able to feel the play in the steering at the road wheel whilst the car is jacked up. The clunk has probably gone because there is now no load on the rack. There is a common issue with the steering column itself making a nocking noise - it's well documented in these forums.

OP: I've not yet had the pleasure of doing a drive shaft on a mondeo yet, but having done others I think it's not too bad a job for the amature mechanic. Yes, it is much more involved than changing discs and pads - maybe a 3 out of 5 for difficulty in the Haynes manual?

I don't know if you can replace the joint on the end or if you have to buy a complete shaft (always the easier option), but either way on the left side of the car the shaft will usually need to come out of the box - so you will need to drain the box. Before you do this make sure that you can undo the filler plug or you will be stuck with a dry gearbox!
 

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I have to say I would suspect one of the springs myself.

Especially since it occured as the car was stationary for a prolonged period of time and being in Denmark was probably cold at the time.

They have a habit of breaking on the top coil and only loosing about 2 inches which means the car visually looks level but the spring is grinding away into the bearing and top mount. Makes a bloody horrible grinding/clunking noise when moving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I thought I had a look at the spring the first time I looked under it when I first heard it, but it wasn't high off the ground, and I didn't take the wheel off... if it was cracked up high, and just a ittle bit, I suppose I could have easily not seen it. Is that something you can definitely see well with the wheel off? I'll check that... would be a simple and easy explanation. If it is that, is that going to ruin the top mount? Is it safe to drive on in the meantime (just embarassing, as you grind and pop your way through every right angle turn in town)?
For now I decided to park it until I have a chance to look at it and know a little more about what it is.

Thanks for the feedback!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Update: Here is a audio clip of it:
I couldn't just upload an audio clip, so I had to jump through a series of hoops to put it to a video - ignore the video, just a random one of a dude drumming that I removed the sound for, and added the recording (via voice memo) I took with an iPhone while driving.

Funnily enough, it sounds much worse in person than on the recording, and it may be because I held the phone out the window to try to capture it better, but maybe sound is actually much worse from inside the cockpit. Or maybe the wind just takes away a lot... you certainly get a lot of concerned looks when driving, so people on the street sure hear it too...

I didn't have a chance to use a lift, but I jacked up each corner individually to put the summer tires on tonight, and inspect what I could - without axle stands I didn't want to get under the car with only the jack holding it, so I just felt around the strut, spring, hub, axle, etc. The spring is definitely not cracked in any way I can see or feel. Nothing feels loose or like it has play in it anywhere else... it only occurs on turning, and with only one wheel off the ground and the car on a jack, of course I couldn't turn the wheels.

Anyway, if listening to the clip confirms anyone's suspicions, I'd love to hear it! Otherwise, I suppose I will need to get it on a lift sometime.

Thanks!

Steve
 

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Megger
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You need to get if jacked up properly on axles stands and have a good luck round.

It could be dried ball joints, kbackeref top bearing or broken spring. It sounds like something is really trying to resist the steering being turned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Update - with neither time, tools nor facilities, I ended up just taking it to a shop. It was indeed the outer CV joint. Though once that was fixed and they took it for a spin, the right front wheel bearing was also bad, you just couldn't hear it before over the noise of the axle, so that got changed too. The right rear bearing is making some noise, but will be ok for a while... I'll read up on those and if it is just a bolt on job, I'll do it later this summer. Sucks to have to pay shop prices for things, but it is done and out of my hair for now, so good enough.

Thanks again for all the info and advice! Great to have an active community here.


Steve
 
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