Tuesday, July 23, 2024 Detailed Auto Topics
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The Ford Explorer and Sport Trac are popular vehicles. Many also have an annoying squeak or knock when turning or hitting bumps. Difficult to diagnose, one cause is common and can be expensive to correct.

 We purchase these bushings from Ford, which is the only source of supply that I am aware of.  We do NOT sell these bushings other than when we repair the vehicle. 

Many Explorers and Sport Tracs have body mount problems

These vehicles often come in with the complaint of a squeak, squawk or knock. The noise is most noticeable when turning or hitting bumps. Some people also describe the noise like "a hammer beating under the vehicle."

Deteriorated rubber body/frame mount causes noise 

The cause is deteriorated body to frame mount cushions. These cushions appear to have been made of substandard material, much like the Chinese valve stems that caused so much trouble. After a few years the body mounts dry rot, crumble and literally fall apart.

Closer view of dry rotted mount cushions 

Body cushions are supposed to absorb noise and vibration. They insulate the passenger compartment from road noise and bumps. They should also last the life of the vehicle. These inferior body/frame cushions deteriorate the body begins to contact the frame. When this happens noise, vibration and damage to the body occurs.

The body of the vehicle is attached to the frame with long bolts. These bolts pass through holes in the floor and rubber cushions. The cushions are sandwiched between the floor, the frame and the lower cushion.

Detailed view of Ford Explorer body mount 

When the cushions deteriorate and dry rot they must be replaced. This is no small task as access to the bolts is covered by the carpeting and vehicle interior. The seats and carpeting must be removed to access the bolt covers.

Interior and seats are removed to access bolt covers in floor 

Once the bolts are removed the body must be lifted off of the frame, to one degree or another, depending on the mounts to be replaced. This also involves removal of the steering shaft, brake lines, engine fan and removing the bed on the Sport Trac.

Body off frame on Ford Explorer shows mounts

Once the body is lifted, the cushions can be replaced. There are several of these rubber mounts and each has an upper and lower cushion. To date, Ford has issued no recall for this expensive problem.  The Ford replacement part does appear to have been improved.  We have seen no repeat failures using the replacement cushions, and there is no other source of supply that we have found.

Body mounts removed from frame of Ford Sport Trac

Even though Ford seems unlikely to step up and help, AGCO can replace the bushings for you if needed. If you have any of the above symptoms, please call, we will be happy to check the vehicle for you. 

We purchase these bushings from Ford, which is the only source of supply that I am aware of.  We do NOT sell these bushings other than when we repair the vehicle. 

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