Finding the noise!

Ok, this has become personal!. I’ve been trying to find the source of a horrible noise for months. It sounds like a belt slipping but it only does it sometimes and not when I’m parked or revving the engine.

Replaced the belts, noise remains. I thought it was the power steering pully or the pump itself. Replaced the pump & pully and the noise remains. I thought it was the bearing in the alternator. Replaced it…and yes, the noise remains!

I then thought it could be the wheel bearings so I put the front of the car on jack stands (again!) and checked the bearings. They ‘seem’ ok as there is no wobble, however I have ordered new ones as they probably should be replaced anyway. The front brake pads ‘look’ ok, no stones trapped or anything like that.

When I was checking them out I did notice that the splash shield, the metal shield attached to the spindle designed to stop dust/dirt getting into the brakes was a bit battered. It’s always been battered. I presume the previous owner hit a rock or something. Anyway, the top of this shield touches the brake caliper and makes a sound very much like I am trying to find.

Nope. That wasn’t the noise, but I did cut off a few MM with an angle grinder just to be sure.

I then replaced the worn tyres and went for another drive. The noise was still there but after reviewing the video I noticed that it seemed to be road surface dependent. The good folks on the Mustang Forum suggested tyre alignment or bearings. I decided to replace the passenger side tie rods & idler arm. I really should have done that when I replaced the driver side!

After sorting though the parts I had in the shed I thought I had the inner & outer tie rods. After removing them (car on jack stands yet again!) and comparing with the new ones I found that the inner tie rod was for a six cylinder (smaller shaft) so I had to order new parts, this time from Rock-Auto who seem to be considerably cheaper than CJ’s.

The pictures above show the old tie rods & the one I had in the shed, which turned out to be for a 6 cylinder.

Thankfully the new parts arrived from RockAuto really fast (ordered Sunday and was with me on Thursday). I wasted no time in installing the new inner, outer, sleeve & idler arm. I decided to leave the original idler arm bracket in place.

The first two pictures show the old parts. The second two are the new parts

I then moved on to doing a ‘home’ alignment. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photographs as the weather was closing in, but its just a piece of string that is tied to a jack stand in front of passenger side tyre, stretching around both back tyres and finally tied off on another jack stand in front of the driver side tyre. When the string is just touching the side walls of both back tyres you can then see if either of the front tyres ‘toe’ needs to be corrected. I could see right away that the passenger side needed to be adjusted so I rotated the tie rod sleeve (I had added a little grease when fitting which really helped adjust it when the wheels are on the ground) until the front of the tyre was pointing inwards about 3mm difference from the rear of the tyre. After tightening up the sleeve I went for a drive. Sorry about the quality of the video. I was using my phone mainly to record any sounds.

Victory! – So, after replacing belts, power steering pump & alternator & ordering new bearings & rotor/hubs the issue seems to have been a bad front wheel alignment. The car needs to have a proper alignment performed but the ‘home’ alignment will do for now.

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