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Thread: noisy front-end, most likely strut mounts...

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    '02 Mazda Protege5

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Mount Kisco NY
    Posts
    43

    noisy front-end, most likely strut mounts...

    the front-end is very noisy going over bumps. I hear a popping noise when I go over bumps especially uphill and when turning left. I've already changed the front lower control arms, with the ball joints and everything as well as the tie rod ends, so I guess the only thing left is the strut/spring assembly. The struts and springs themselves don't seem bad (there's no excessive bounce, leaks or sagging) so I assume the problem lies in the strut mount. is that possible to change without changing the whole strut assembly? and as I recall you can remove the whole assembly without having to compress the spring. do I need a spring compressor if I just want to change the mount?

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    2003 P5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    55
    Yes, because the strut shaft extends through the strut mount and is held together by that 17mm nut on top. There is also a bearing in there between the upper spring hat
    and the strut mount that lets the strut rotate when you turn. They can also go bad, either by wearing out or cracking. Changed my mounts & bearings when I was chasing
    a noise, and all that was left of one of the bearings was bits & pieces. That was only part of my noises & clunks...

  3. #3
    Registered Member

    Protege5

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Springfield, MO Area
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    969
    Quote Originally Posted by wrathofpaul View Post
    the front-end is very noisy going over bumps. I hear a popping noise when I go over bumps especially uphill and when turning left. I've already changed the front lower control arms, with the ball joints and everything as well as the tie rod ends, so I guess the only thing left is the strut/spring assembly. The struts and springs themselves don't seem bad (there's no excessive bounce, leaks or sagging) so I assume the problem lies in the strut mount. is that possible to change without changing the whole strut assembly? and as I recall you can remove the whole assembly without having to compress the spring. do I need a spring compressor if I just want to change the mount?
    Yes, to change just the mount you need a spring compressor.

    Check your sway bar links too.
    2002 Protege5 5 Speed, Pure White, FSZE Swap, Konig Incident 17's
    2006 Chevy Silverado 1500 4x4 5.3

  4. #4
    Registered Member

    '02 Mazda Protege5

    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Mount Kisco NY
    Posts
    43
    so, It turns out it's probably NOT the strut mounts making this noise. I've got new balljoints, axles and tie rod ends. end links are good. so this brings me back to the steering system. I've read that other members had this issue, that there's something INSIDE the steering rack that's making the popping sound, because now I hear it when I'm parked and just turning the wheel. What's broken inside it exactly, I don't know. Even saw it on a youtube video. same exact noise, though it was on an 06 mazda3. it's steadily getting worse, although there seems to be no loss in steering quality. soooo I will probably need a new rack and pinion. How hard is that to change? Most likely, i'm going to have to take it to a garage. I once had a VW that needed a new rack and that was $1200. I guess I better start saving.

  5. #5
    Registered Member

    Protege5

    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Springfield, MO Area
    Posts
    969
    My car has always made the clunk-clunk when you shake the steering wheel, has for 60k miles now. Probably the rack bushings, I stopped caring a long time ago.

    Inner tie rods can make the same noise as well. Sway bar links can look fine and make noise when you turn the wheel too.
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  6. #6
    Registered Member

    2003 P5

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Posts
    55
    Inner tie rods can get worn & clunky, possible to change them with the rack on the car but PITA. I changed one chasing my noises, then replaced the rack with a rebuilt from RockAuto. Bigger PITA, but my steering is nice & smooth now. Have to drop the crossmember to get it out; the hardest part is probably getting the steering shaft reattached in the proper alignment. I did it by myself, a second pair of hands would make it a lot easier. Also a good opportunity to replace the front sway bar bushings. If I had known that my rack needed replacing I would have done it the year before when I had the engine out!

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