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Excursion - King of SUVs 2000 - 2005 Ford Excursion

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  #1  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:02 PM
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Front end pop / clunk! Ball joint?

On my way home from work I was turning a corner and felt a pop / clunk from the front end through the steering wheel, and the steering wheel was no longer centered going in a straight line.

With the truck not moving, when I turn the wheel left and right, I can hear and feel a pop / clunk through the steering wheel.

I'm assuming this is a ball joint failure?

Thanks for any help!
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  #2  
Old 12-06-2012, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by volthause View Post
On my way home from work I was turning a corner and felt a pop / clunk from the front end through the steering wheel, and the steering wheel was no longer centered going in a straight line.

With the truck not moving, when I turn the wheel left and right, I can hear and feel a pop / clunk through the steering wheel.

I'm assuming this is a ball joint failure?

Thanks for any help!
I would check the bolts on your lower control adjusting arm first and make sure that you didn't have one pop loose/break if so your drag link can move which you would feel in your steering wheel and it would also pull your wheel off center.
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  #3  
Old 12-06-2012, 06:07 PM
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Jack it up one wheel at a time, put a 2x4 under the wheel to wedge it up from the bottom, and have someone look at the joints moving, or vice versa. With that many miles on it it WILL need them if they have never been done.
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:12 PM
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My guess would be the track bar bolts, they need to be tight, and when you think they are tight, tighten them some more. But with the steering wheel not coming back to center, could be ball joints, that would be a significant failure in a very short period of time to effect the steering that much. Do like EXv10 suggested and work your way up checking every joint in front suspension for play, ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arm, sector shaft on steering box, track bar bolts/bushings....... good luck let us know what you find
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Old 12-06-2012, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammie0126 View Post
I would check the bolts on your lower control adjusting arm first and make sure that you didn't have one pop loose/break if so your drag link can move which you would feel in your steering wheel and it would also pull your wheel off center.
Which bolts are these? I had my girlfriend steer the front wheels lock to lock with the truck not moving while I looked at everything, and there was no movement in the drag link or tie rods that I could see.

It definitely pops going both ways, and sounds like something getting bound up, then letting go.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EXv10 View Post
Jack it up one wheel at a time, put a 2x4 under the wheel to wedge it up from the bottom, and have someone look at the joints moving, or vice versa. With that many miles on it it WILL need them if they have never been done.
Thanks man. What exactly am I looking for though? Just excess play or movement in the area of the ball joints? I definitely think these are not the original ball joints though, as a few of them have zerk fittings on them, and it's my understanding the original ball joints don't have zerks on them. Is that correct?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesbfishin View Post
My guess would be the track bar bolts, they need to be tight, and when you think they are tight, tighten them some more. But with the steering wheel not coming back to center, could be ball joints, that would be a significant failure in a very short period of time to effect the steering that much. Do like EXv10 suggested and work your way up checking every joint in front suspension for play, ball joints, tie rod ends, pitman arm, sector shaft on steering box, track bar bolts/bushings....... good luck let us know what you find
Thanks for the reply. The truck has exhibited a little more wander than usual lately, so perhaps it's not as sudden a failure as I made it sound?

I'll get her up in the air this weekend if I find some time and do the checks that EXv10 suggested. Guess I'll be driving the 4Runner the next few days.
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by volthause View Post
Which bolts are these? I had my girlfriend steer the front wheels lock to lock with the truck not moving while I looked at everything, and there was no movement in the drag link or tie rods that I could see.

It definitely pops going both ways, and sounds like something getting bound up, then letting go.



Thanks man. What exactly am I looking for though? Just excess play or movement in the area of the ball joints? I definitely think these are not the original ball joints though, as a few of them have zerk fittings on them, and it's my understanding the original ball joints don't have zerks on them. Is that correct?



Thanks for the reply. The truck has exhibited a little more wander than usual lately, so perhaps it's not as sudden a failure as I made it sound?

I'll get her up in the air this weekend if I find some time and do the checks that EXv10 suggested. Guess I'll be driving the 4Runner the next few days.
Yes in the area of the joints.
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:35 AM
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Finally figured out what it was. It didn't take that long to diagnose but it took a while to find the time to get under the truck.

The track bar bracket on the axle had rusted through and broken off the axle.

How is that for awesome!?

Any clue for a long term fix for this? I had the axle centered back up and welded the bracket, but is that really the safest / permanent fix out there?
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Old 12-17-2012, 08:35 AM
 
 
 
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