Broken bolt in the front subframe

CTX-SLPR

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Howdy,

So my wife was driving the LS today and said it clunked really bad over a speedbump on the drivers side. So we went over another speedbump on the way home and there it was, a solid clunk and only on the drivers side. Pulled the drivers side front wheel off and went looking for something out of the norm and noticed that the vertical bolt on the aluminum bracket that bolts the front of the black steel brace/skid to the front subframe had sheared off and now there was a gap where the two parts meet. Ok, I admit the bolt head sheared off on my over a year ago when I noticed a gap under the head and put a wrench on it but it's not been clunking before. The main bit of the bolt is stuck in the subframe. Anyone else had this problem?
IMG_20140908_215923518_HDR.jpg IMG_20140908_220107152.jpg

Thanks,

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voyeur

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there are a couple of us on here who had attempted to "tighten the lose bolt" and then it sheered off. Basically, we should not have touched it as it was as it was suppose to be. I think I priced the bolt at $10 from Ford. The real effort will be to remove what broke off. Mine broke off over a year ago with no noise since then (IIRC). You could be hearing noise from this assembly, but my guess is that you are hearing some suspension noise....like maybe a worn out ball joint or maybe some end links or sway bar bushings.
 

milehighmikey

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Totally agree with Voyeur, this bolt is not causing your noise. It's there to allow movements required for alignment but is not charged with holding anything requiring any clamping force. Look for sway bar end link trouble, possibly. Both front wheels need to be either hanging or supported at the same level to evaluate the sway bar end links, otherwise, a difference in wheel height across the front end would hold any slack in the end links at the far end of its travel, and you'd have a tough time seeing if it was loose and failed.
 

CTX-SLPR

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Balljoints test out good (grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to rock it with the car off the ground), tie rods test fine (grab the sides of the wheel and try to move the wheel with the car off the ground), doesn't feel like any play in the swaybar links but they are original to the car and that's almost 12yrs and 118K miles ago. Probably will just replace them and maybe do the sway bar bushings (tempted to do sport bars while I'm in there since the car is a base model).
 

BDog21

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sorry to dig up such an old thread, but i did this same thing, does anybody know where i can get that bolt? ive searched everywhere. local dealership told me that "that part is discontinued" :confused:
 

ajv8

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04_Sport_LS

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Balljoints test out good (grab the top and bottom of the wheel and try to rock it with the car off the ground), tie rods test fine (grab the sides of the wheel and try to move the wheel with the car off the ground),

That is not the proper way to check a ball joint on the LS... because the spring/shock assembly is keeping the lower control arm, (and ball joint), under tension... by downforce.

With the front wheels off the ground, (on stands)... you would want to jack up the lower control arm, (enough to take the tension off the ball joint), and wiggle the wheel at 12 and 6 o'clock. That will check for lateral play/slop.

For vertical play... you will want to use a pry bar... and gently pry between the control arm and knuckle. This is easier done with the wheel removed.
 

SultanGris

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Yeah... I know... old thread. But I didn't want anyone to be confused on how to check for ball joint wear.
I appreciate this advice because I did the same thing as him to check my 2003 before I bought it and nothing moved so I bought it, turns out it was mostly trashed and I've replaced lots of the suspension. Had I known this before I likely wouldn't have bought the car. However though it's cost me a few grand I've had fun driving it. Not a bad little car, but my interior is kinda rough too. Still gotta fix the ac and a few other things, but at least the ac seats help, they move way more air than the ac seats in my 2013 f350, might have have to get them checked!
 

04_Sport_LS

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There is a sand dollar sized filter under the seat that twist locks into place.

Your F-350 might have the same setup... possibly the exact same filter.

Motorcraft #FS-102
 
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