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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ive been noticing that my escape has been making a clunk sound over bumps, and every site I've looked at points toward the sway bar link.

so, I've tried to wiggle it around (sitting in the driveway with the wheels turned far to one side) and they dont budge.

Do I have to lift the wheel off the ground to wiggle these things? or should it be loose when just sitting on the wheels?

I know most of you are going to say jack it up or whatever, but we just got probably 3 feet of snow this last weekend/ week so far.

thanks for any help as always.
 

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You might need to get the tire off to get a clear view at it while wiggling it. Sometimes you can't feel the joint being loose, but you can see a bit of travel when you get rough with it. With the large amount of forces involved in going over a bump, that bit of travel can translate into a clunk.

I would wait until spring to work on it, especially if you plan on doing the repair yourself. I got minor nerve damage from just half an hour out in the cold Sunday night without gloves (and that was without touching any cold objects).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Im not sure i want to wait till spring, My grandparents have a garage im sure I can use for a bit, but its a pretty bad clunk.

Im not 100% sure its the link but the evidence leads to it...

Its not too bad in town and stuff, but when we were snowboarding, the parking lots were brutal, full of ruts and holes, it wasnt very fun listening to the clunking...

But should I get the wheel off the ground to wiggle or will I be fine otherwise?

and right now the wheel is turned all the way, and im not sure what the bushing part should look like, but theres almost a gap (hard to describe) like not flush... heres a pic...



the bolt almost looks bent? This look normal when wheel is turned?
 

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That's a ball joint you're looking at. The "bushing" is really a rubber boot to keep the grease in, and the bolt looks bent because the link is pivoting on the ball. It looks rather deflated and empty of grease, although I haven't seen an OEM link in a while (the boot may be that small to begin with). With the wheels turned all the way, there is already pressure on the links and you may not be able to find any looseness.

This Saturday is supposed to be warm, at least in my area of Ontario. You can make do with the tire change scissor jack for checking things out if you are not on an incline, but I would use a proper floor jack and jack stands for repair work. Before taking the tire off, grab the spokes at 3 and 9 o'clock and try to wiggle it. If it moves, look for play in the outer tie rod end or the tie rod itself moving (pointing to loose inner tie rod end). If all is good, repeat by grabbing the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock and checking for play in the strut and lower ball joint. With that out of the way, take the tire off and try to pivot the sway bar link by grabbing it with a pair of pliers. It should not feel too loose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
alright, well thanks for the help, I need an oil change real soon, so maybe i'll pay the extra bit for a quick checkup and go from there

thanks again
 

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Have you looked at the sway bar bushings? If those bushings are cracked, parts of them may be missing, causing the bar to clunk around inside the bushing bracket.

The bushings are much easier to replace, if that's the problem.

viewtopic.php?f=40&t=1008
 

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squishy's post is what i would say, but mine makes the same noise, i just have yet to change the links yet (about 26 bucks a set). sometimes i have just used a grinder and cut the old ones out, and hammered them, then put the new ones in, if you have an impact gun you might get lucky and the bolts will just break and then you can use a punch and hammer to pop them out. i should be doing mine next week, i will try to remember my camera.
 

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The links are really pretty easy assuming they haven't rusted on. I changed both sides in the driveway in under 20 minutes, no tire removal just turning them full lock left for right side, right for left side. Don't forget the hex wrench to hold the threads when loosening the nuts



or you'll be spinning for ever wondering why they aren't coming off.
Another note, one of my elusive front end clunk/ rattles was the brake caliper anti rattle clips left off by the last guy who did the brakes. Amazing how much noise is supressed by a spring wire clip. Auto parts store call this the caliper hardware kit, under $10 for me. Finally, NO clunking and rattling noises from my escape suspension.
 

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if you dont want to do it totally manually. use and impact gun on the nut, and just use a pry bar on the opposite side to keep pressure on it, and zip the nuts off. i did plan on doing this this week, but 2 flat tires on the wifes car leaves us with one vehicle, because snow tires are pretty much on back order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
well, got it into ford today for an oil change and winter checkup and they found that the sway bar links were bad on both sides, they called them the stabilizer links.

Anyway $232 for the labor, parts, oil, multi point check and suspension etc etc...not bad at least I know every single thing on the checklist is a nice big green checkmark :woohoo:
 

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That's pretty reasonable!

:thumb:
 

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i just ordered 2x ball joints and the link kits from UAP, moog lifetime warranty. and the ball joints are greasable unlike the stock ones. parts should be in on monday and then will hopefully be installed next week.
 

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- when you jack up the escape, where do you position the jack since the jack stands are placed where the owners manual tells you to place the jack?

- i tried removing the nuts from links while on the ground (as someone did in a post) but the studs just spun, i have seen people say to use an allen wrench to hold the stud, but i don't see where. the moog replacements i bought have a hex on the inside of the stud but the OEM replacements currently on the escape don't
 
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