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Small clunk or click when first applying the brakes

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Small clunk or click when first applying the brakes

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  #1  
Old 03-08-2018, 09:36 PM
Fordguy581
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Small clunk or click when first applying the brakes

My dad asked me to take a look at his truck, a 2006 f150 5.4L 4x4. It makes a small clunk when applying the brakes (only at low speeds like 5 - 15 MPH) and when going over speed bumps (not every time, maybe half of the time), it has about 118k miles on it. I thought it was the sway bar bushings and/or links but the sway bar doesn't move even with a pry bar. The click or clunk also happens during acceleration. I haven't been able to find out what it is yet. Also the ball joints, control arms and tie rods are solid, no play at all. Any help would be very much appreciated,
thanks,
Paul
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:15 AM
alloro
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Could be a broken caliper or caliper mounting bracket bolt. In either case it should be checked out and keep the use of the vehicle to an absolute minimum.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 09:29 AM
Fordguy581
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Sure, I can check the calipers. I've looked briefly at the brakes and they look fine but I'll check closer. It just had a state inspection and passed just fine, I'll see if can check it out later my dad drives it everyday and never had any problems besides the small click. He says that the truck has been doing this for maybe the past month or so about 1k miles.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 11:30 AM
Fordguy581
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I haven't been able to check it yet, when my dad brings the truck to my place I'll check it out.
my dad wanted to know how safe do you think it is to drive it, as he needs it for work and his other truck is in the shop for new brake lines.
Thanks again for your help,
Paul
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 03:52 PM
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I don't think anybody here can tell you if its safe or not without knowing what's wrong with it. Sometimes the drive train will make a clunk on slowing or accelerating and the play could be in the front or rear axle or any other component of the drive train, like U-joints, transfer case, etc. You might even go over the wheel lug nuts just to rule out a loose wheel. Fords tend to break front coil springs which could conceivably make a popping noise when being loaded and unloaded. Personally I think it is related to the suspension/steering because it seems to be more related to suspension movement in response to bumps/braking/accelerating. Could be a strut that's loose at one end or the other.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:17 PM
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Sure, I understand that you can't tell without looking.

I might just take it to the dealership and have them see what it is. But first I'll check for loose bolts around the front. It does have about a ⅛" gap between the place where the sway bar link bushings are attached, so I might remove the sway bar and go for a short drive and see if the noise comes back.

Thanks for the help,
Paul
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:32 PM
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The sway bar end links will do this exact noise if the bushings are degraded or the nuts need to be tightened. The support bushings generally won't make noise unless one is actually gone and the bar can hit the bracket.
 
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Old 03-09-2018, 04:37 PM
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Ok, I'll tighten the end links, the bushings look like they are in good shape but there is a gap. The main bushings that connect to the frame look like they are in good shape too, and they have no gaps. None of the bushings are cracked or torn.

Thanks for the advice,
Paul
 
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Old 03-12-2018, 01:26 PM
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I've had this happen and it took forever to figure it out. For me, it turned out that one of the brake pads debonded from the plate. it would literally shift back and forth--just a tiny bit. I couldn't have seen it without taking the brakes apart. I finally found it when I noticed the debonded pad wore unevenly..the front of the pad was wearing faster because it was cocking due to being loose from the plate. I find unless you go with a high quality pad, this isn't that uncommon these days.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:15 PM
jr105
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Originally Posted by dbuck50 View Post
I've had this happen and it took forever to figure it out. For me, it turned out that one of the brake pads debonded from the plate. it would literally shift back and forth--just a tiny bit. I couldn't have seen it without taking the brakes apart. I finally found it when I noticed the debonded pad wore unevenly..the front of the pad was wearing faster because it was cocking due to being loose from the plate. I find unless you go with a high quality pad, this isn't that uncommon these days.
I had the same thing happen to a brake pad on a Mustang that I owned and the symptoms were exactly what the OP described.
 
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:23 PM
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I looked at the truck and the brakes are all tight, so I'm almost certain that it is the sway bar links, they are quite loose. I'll probably replace the links since after looking closely they seem worn out.

Thanks,
Paul
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Fordguy581 View Post
I looked at the truck and the brakes are all tight, so I'm almost certain that it is the sway bar links, they are quite loose.
Well at least that makes it much safer to drive.
 
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:54 PM
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Yes, now at least I don't have worry about the calipers falling off (I was researching about that before I checked the truck)
😀
 
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