Clunk, clunk, clunk, goes my 1999 Ford Ranger

billj

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I have posted this before, but I have done more work trying to solve the problem and have added it to the post in hopes someone has an idea that I can try.
I have a 1999 Ford Ranger, V-6, 2WD, 71,000 miles. It has a clunking noise that sounds like it is coming from the front or near the front of the truck. You can only hear the noise in hot weather, and after the truck is run for a few miles. The longer you drive, the louder it gets. I have replaced the upper and lower front ball joints, upper and lower control arm bushings in the front suspension, Sway bar bushings and links, outer tie rod ends, shocks, and coils spring insulators, also all in the front of the truck.
All the body mounts are tight and look to be in good condition.
The bolts on the rack and pinion steering are tight.
I removed the drive shaft and cleaned and greased the splines. I also replaced the back shocks.
I tried riding the brakes, but the noise does not stop.
I have had this noise for over a year, and no one can find the source, not even my Ford Truck dealer.
I have been over the entire truck several times and everything looks fine, and the Ford people agree.
As I stated this is only in hot weather. I live in Florida, so we have a lot of hot days. In the mornings if it is 60 degrees or less, I can drive for half an hour and not hear a bit of noise.
The noise sounds like when a stabizer bar is loose, or exhaust is clanging against the frame. But both of these items have been checked several times.
By the way, this noise happens when going over an uneven road. It can be heard more on a wavy road than it can on a bumpy road.
Thanks, BillJ
 

opelgt

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Possibly something... like a socket? , has dropped down in the fender well and it takes a bit of driving before it starts to loosen up and clunk around.
 
F

flawrence

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I have a 2000 Mazda B3000 pickup (basically the same as the Ranger) that has the same problem - I've been going the same route of replacing shocks, etc... - checked the front end suspension - can't find the problem. I know it's been a while since you posted did you ever resolve this issue?
 

billj

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Hi, Sorry it took so long to get back to you, but I wanted to try a couple more ideas before I posted back. I'm sorry to say I am about out of ideas. Nothing I have tried has helped. The only other idea I'm thinking is maybe in the rack and pinion steering after the fliud gets hot. I have checked the rack for any inner tie rod play when the rack and pinion is cool, and found none. I have had a few other people contact me with this problem, but no one has a solution.
 

stu

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I have a 2002 which is about same same.

It had been to the dealer on many occassions about the same thing.

I traced it to the stabilizer bushings.

I removed them, placed them in a vice then passed a hack saw through the slit.
This reduced the inside diameter a bit.
They were reassembled and a shim placed between the frame and bushing then tightened up.

That was a few years ago.
No clunks since then.
 

Jim Davis

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Just did a bunch of work on an 02 ranger, the end links where pulling thru the hole in the a-arm, hole was worn too big and link would push and pull thru the hole on a big bump. worth a look.
 

billj

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Thanks for the ideas. I pulled off the stabilizer links today and all looked OK. It did not look like the link bushings were pulling through. As long as I had the links off I replaced them with new OEM links. The bushings that hold the bar to the frame are the MOOG blue (polyurethane?) bushings. I have a new set of the OEM bar bushings, but I installed the MOOG because they fit much tighter. Anyway, I took the truck out for a test run and the clunking started after about 20 minutes of driving. The strange thing about all this to me is the fact that the truck can be driven for 20 minutes with no noise, and then get noisy in a matter of a few minutes after that. As always thanks again for taking the time to reply. Would you believe I have been having this problem for about two years. :'(
 
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