2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4 problem - F150online Forums


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2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4 problem

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Old 02-02-2012, 09:35 AM
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2003 Ford F-150 Lariat 5.4 problem

ok here I go.....

I have a clunk noise coming from my front end. It only happens when I take sharp turns slowly. I've replaced my whole front end, ball joints, sway bar links and bushings, shocks and brakes. Nothing moves when I jack it up and try to find something loose. It's not coming from my stearing either. The only thing I can think of is the long bar that runs under the drivers side that connects to my front end? I noticed a little rust coming from where it connects. What is that bar? Someone told me that it basically holds my truck up! Any thoughts on this?? It's driving me crazy.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:54 AM
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got a midget with a hammer up there?
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:12 AM
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The bar is the torsion bar (there's one on each side). The twisting of the bar is what gives the "spring" to the front end.

I've had the same clunk you're describing on my '99 since I bought it 35K miles ago. I've never figured out what causes it, but I haven't looked too hard either. It sounds like it's coming from the driver side suspension, and only happens when turning sharply and working the suspension at the same time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 11:56 AM
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i have the same problem too! i've noticed it since summer probably 10k ago give or take and it still does it and i can't find what does it. still rides normal. only thing i noticed, might be just me, is when it rains, it happens more often for me
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:09 PM
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I would look under where the adjustment bolt is for the torsion bars and make sure those bolts and brackets are not loose. Then I would check the engine mounts. I know it sound weird but I had similar symptoms on my truck and it ended be the eng mounts. To check them have someone open the hood put the truck in drive then have your friend hold the brake and give it some gas like you would to power brake. Then do it in reverse. if you notice a huge amount of movement during the engine tq over then its the mount. Takes five mins to check.
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Old 02-02-2012, 12:27 PM
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Sway bar bushings?
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:05 PM
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ditto. mine does it too.

Must just be a ford truck thing
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Old 02-02-2012, 03:44 PM
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not mine!
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:14 PM
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I have the same truck, and a lot of my front end is still OEM at 157K... No clunks at any speed, load, or steering angle.
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:56 AM
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Sway bar bushings are new....

My mechanic looked at it and he wedged a bar where the torsion bar attaches in the front. He gets a little bit of movement in there. There is no movement on the other side to just go ahead and drive it.
How hard is it to fix that issue? Is it worth doing it or just put up with the noise.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:08 AM
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I don't believe that the torsion bar in the lower A arm would cause a popping noise. It is constantly under tension unless you fully decompress the suspension while jumping or something. Plus, you described it as only happening when you take sharp slow turns. There are other components you have yet to consider. First though, is it a 4wd or 2wd? I haven't heard you mention that yet. I would key in on your steering system, idler arm and pitman arm bushings. They would make a "clunk" under tension in a tight turn but may seem fine on a lift. If it were popping numerous times through the turn I would consider wheel/hub bearings or cv axles (if 4wd) Also, A arm bushings... when you have the truck lifted, the tires and decompressed suspension would have tension on these areas and make it hard to find any play in them. Still thinking it is steering related.

I just don't see how a torsion bar in a tight turn would make a "clunk" Unless it is ready to fall out of the socket... even then, why only in a turn? You would most likely feel that on every little bump in the road.. not a turn.

Last edited by Toyz; 02-06-2012 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:30 AM
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idler arm/pitman arm can cause some single clunks. Usually on reverse with the wheel cranked......
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Old 02-13-2012, 08:43 AM
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I'm going to bite the bullet and pay someone to look at it. For the life of me I can't find it.

It's now starting to do it more often. I'm positive it's coming from the driver's side. I can feel it under my feet.

When I got the truck inspected a few months ago they lifted the drivers side to check the front end. He said my ball joint on that side was bad. I told him no way, it's all new. He showed me by taking the bar and placing it under the tire. He pulled up and the tire had play. He asked his partner to turn the wheel then put it straight again. This time it didn't move. He shook his head and passed it. Something is wrong.
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