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Below is a collection of Jim Grant's Tech Tips sorted by Vehicle Make. These Tech Tips were answers to questions submitted to Jim by ALLDATAdiy.com users over the course of many years.
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  Jim Grant's Tech Tips

'94 Ford Taurus SHO, Rear Suspension Rattle

Q: I have a ‘94 Ford Taurus SHO that is making a clunking sound like it's coming from the rear suspension when going over bumps or ripples in the road. The clunking is much more pronounced when it's cold outside, not nearly as noticeable on hot summer days. The car has 109k miles. I had new struts put on by the Ford dealer (they thought that was the fix), but that didn't stop the clunking. I tend to think that maybe it is somehow related to rubber bushings since it is more pronounced in the cold. To me, it sounds like it's coming from the upper strut mounts. The problem is no one can see if there's a problem there without removing the strut assembly. I've been listening to this annoyance for 2 yrs. now and it sounds like it is distinctly coming from the upper strut tower. Any ideas as to what this noise may be? Are there inexpensive methods of repairing this? I'm at my wits end. Has this been a common complaint from SHO owners? Any help would greatly appreciated.

- John B.

A: Worn and thumping/banging strut mounts on a vehicle of your age is not an uncommon problem. Also you should be aware that the sway bar bushings that hold the sway bar to the body of the vehicle are troublesome as well. They harden with age and are noisier in cold weather. Due to their location you could be led to believe that they are noisy struts or strut mounts. The only way to answer that question is to dig into the problem. I would first find a section of road that really makes the noise come to life. Next, unbolt the sway bar links from the rear struts and secure the sway bar so it will not hit or get caught on anything. Then drive the vehicle over that just right section of road and see if the noise is gone. If the noise is gone, then look closely at the sway bar bushings, they likely need replacing. If the noise remains then you will have to take enough of the vehicle’s interior apart so one person can drive while the other inspects the offending strut mount. If the cause to the problem proves to be the strut mount, the only way it can be repaired is by removing the strut from the vehicle. I know you don’t want to hear that, but there are no short-cut solutions. The job has to be done the right way.

 
     
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