Poppy Suspension

Discussion in '2010 - 2014 Specific Tech' started by BlackBuggy, Apr 10, 2014.


  1. BlackBuggy

    BlackBuggy Member

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    The suspension on my car has been slightly "poppy" sounding since a few months after I bought it (brand new in 2011). It used to only do it when it was below 50 degrees Farenheit, but has been pretty consistent lately, even during the current warmup/thaw. I took it to Ford the first year I had it and they supposedly replaced the front lower control arms after arguing with me/telling me that the sound was a normal sound that a sports car is supposed to make. Even so, that didn't fix the issue and since it was warming up, the popping went away for the warmer season.

    It has gotten much worse as time has gone on. Since I am out of my bumper-to-bumper warranty, what is a good affordable suspension upgrade set? I don't need anything fancy or lowered... just a somewhat tight-yet-relaxed shock kit that I can install myself with minimal hassle on a Saturday.

    This issue coupled with the excessive oil consumption, the scratched hands-free button on the steering wheel, the bad Motorcraft battery (that corroded the positive line battery cable to death), the broken ground-floor blend door actuator motor, and broken/cheap seat molding reminds me of exactly why I stopped buying domestic/American cars ten years ago- a lack of focus on quality control. Rant aside, what kind of suspension should I get to replace the defunct OEM setup?
  2. BlackBuggy

    BlackBuggy Member

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    Lots of research later...looks like the rear sway bar is the problem. Bad bushings.
  3. BlackBuggy

    BlackBuggy Member

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    Bought some Energy brand replacement bushings for the rear sway bar. Good polyurethane stuff. Replacement just takes a good, safe rear jack up and deep 15mm socket (as well as the breaker bar and socket wrench). I will update on the replacement and see what shakes up.

    I came to this conclusion by lifting up on the rear fender of the car and releasing it, thereby lifting the suspension up and down. I could hear a pop. So I had my dad come out and do the same as I watched the rear undercarriage. I think I traced the sound/movement correlation down to the upper control arm for the rear sway bar. It's like the bushing shrunk and as the car and UCA rise, the bushing is just sticking in place on the sway bar and not rising with the UCA; so when the UCA came back down, I saw it hitting/hammering down on the bushing and sway bar. If this does indeed turn out to be the problem, Ford really needs to put some money into researching elemental wear and characteristics of their bushing material. I know most people don't like the stiffness of polyurethane, but I am sure there is something a little more robust and durable than the shrinking material they are currently using.

    I checked the motor mounts, but they are good and tight...pretty beefy in size and even protected by rubber shrouds.
  4. BlackBuggy

    BlackBuggy Member

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    I forgot to add the broken lumbar support; that went way of the dinosaur during our recent frigid winter. Going to have to dig in and see what exactly broke. It felt plasticy when it broke (like the gears on the blend door actuator), so I am not surprised.
  5. BlackBuggy

    BlackBuggy Member

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    Replaced the rear sway bar bushings with the polyurethane Energy suspension parts. Took a lot of work and the upper control arms of the sway bar did NOT want to go back on the sway bar with the new bushings (inner diameter was too tight, I had to torch material out of the bushing until I could get the parts back on).

    I have to say the 40+-year-old car sound in the suspension is gone. So the poppy noise is gone, car drives tight and smooth (like it did the first few months I owned it), and the steering seems to be a tad more predictable (less bounce-back sway) when taking corners at 60+. All in all, a cheap- but time consuming- upgrade.
  6. WMDPALMER

    WMDPALMER Founding Member

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    BB, I am glad you found a cure for this. I am heading down the same path and this popping sound is bugging the crap out of me. I have a 2010 and only 31K miles. Mine started this a few months ago and some sources say that it is the Strut Bearings. I will try the SB bushings. Thanks!
  7. TT5.0ca

    TT5.0ca Member

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    This has been an issue on s197s since 2005. It's certainly well known and I always direct people here when they complain of rear noise.

    Gotta make sure you get the right Energy kit on 11+. There are 2. One for the 22 mm bar and one for the 24. BBP, TP and I think PP V6 cars, and the GT500, come with 24. All others 22.

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