Fornt end rattle....'03 4x4... - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 05-01-2013
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Fornt end rattle....'03 4x4...

Trying to figure out the front end noise thats been developing in my '03 4x4. When your driving at lower speeds (like 10-30mph) on the street you can hear a rattling sound coming from the front end. Truck has newer shocks (checked to make sure they're tight), new sway bar end-links (failed attempt to fix the issue), sway bar bushings appear fine, and can find no other obvious things that could be loose. The caliper bolts are all tight and accounted for as I recently put new pads on and replaced both rotors...one was warped a bit. I'm thinking ball joints. I have noticed that if you "bounce" the truck by pushing on the front bumper there is a noticeable "creaking" noise from the passenger side suspension which would lead me to believe a dried out ball joint but I cannot re-create that rattle noise no matter what I do without driving it. You almost have to have the radio down and windows up to hear it inside the truck but it is noticeable. I don't mind buying and installing new parts but don't want to throw a bunch of unnecessary parts at it. Truck has just under 65K miles but it is 10 years old now so it wouldn't surprise me. I have tried to shake/rock the front tires back and forth while its jacked up but cannot re-create the rattle noise that way and nothing feels loose. Also tried to quickly move the steering wheel just off center back and forth and that doesn't create any noise. All the ball joint boots, CV boots, tie rod end boots look good and I checked all over underneath for any rotted bushings....nothing stood out as being bad. Suggestions?

Funny thing is...we don't drive the truck that much but I noticed the sound last summer when it was warm/hot weather out, seemed to go away over the winter, and now that its warm again its back. Shouldn't seem to matter but it does...no idea why!

Last edited by klc317; 05-01-2013 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 05-02-2013
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Figured it out, lower drivers side ball joint is moving up and down a little. Jacked the truck up and set a big bar under the tire and you can slightly move it vertically. Guess I'll do all 4 ball joints while I'm at it. If one is going I'm sure they all will need replaced eventually.
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