Ford Falcon Suspension Issues Explained(+7 Tips)

In this brief article, we are going to discuss the suspension issues that occur in Ford Falcon and what causes these failures.

The Top 7 Most Common problems with Ford Falcon Suspension are:

  • Creaking Noise from Rear End
  • Rear bump Stop Rubber deterioration
  • Rear End Drift at high speeds
  • Noisy and Bouncy Front Suspension
  • Rear Clunking Noise
  • Front Knocking Noise
  • Front Clunk Noise

Ford Falcon Suspension

The Ford Falcon is a Full-size sedan car by Ford sold in Australia also known by the names Ford Fairmont and Ford Futura. The Falcon was manufactured from 1960 – 2016. From the XA series (1972) onwards, the Ford Falcon was designed and developed exclusively in Australia.

The suspension configuration of the Falcon and Ford Territory are very similar, especially on the FG series.

The Ford Falcon Front suspension was a Double Wishbone Type with an Upper Control arm, One fwd and one rwd Lower arm each and a Coilover Shock Absorber Strut and Anti Roll Bar.

The Ford Falcon’s Rear Suspension is a 3 – Link set up, namely 1 Upper Control Arm, 1 Lower Control Arms and a Trailing Arm, all assisted by Coil Springs, Dampers and Anti Roll Bar.

Creaking Noise from Rear End

Symptoms:

  • Creaking and Groaning noise from the rear end during acceleration and deceleration
  • Happens especially at slow speed take off
  • Seen mostly in the Falcon BA, BF, FG & FGX model series

Troubleshooting Creaking Noise from Rear End

  • Since the noise is associated with acceleration and deceleration it would be worth first suspecting the powertrain related bushing joints
  • Rear Diff Bush Failure is a known Ford Falcon issue. This is a soft bush connecting the rear differential to the chassis.
  • Replacing this is a simple task as the bush is a Pressed and bolt-on component
  • It would require an appropriate diameter collar and a soft hammer
  • The pressed bush needs to then be bolted onto the Differential

Rear Bump Stop Rubber deterioration

Symptoms:

  • Loud metallic knocking noises going over big bumps
  • Bouncy rear end

Troubleshooting Rear Bump Stop Rubber deterioration

  • Metallic knocking is usually when rubber buffers fail and allow more movement of the suspension arms, leading to the arms hitting other components of the chassis in the immediate vicinity
  • Inspect the rear undercarriage for all suspension rubber joints
  • The rear bump stop is easily removable by hand and can also be refitted by hand

Pro-Tip:

  • Appy mounting grease to both components i.e., the bump stop bracket as well as the bump stop hole. This will allow easy mounting.
  • Aftermarket Bump stops made of higher durability material like Polyurethane can be considered in order to increase Bump stop service life

Rear End Drift at high speeds

Symptoms:

  • While going on highways, during Lane-changing, the rear end of  the truck feels like it’s drifting.
  • Gives a feeling of instability and overall Poor Handling
  • Clunking Noises from the rear end going over bumps

Troubleshooting Rear End Drift at high speeds

  • The rear trailing arm takes up part of the rolling resistance of the SUV, in effect, assisting the springs and Anti-roll bars
  • Cracked or deteriorated rubber in the trailing arm bushes will result in lower roll resistance of the SUV and lead to poor handling
  • The bushes can be replaced as a service-kit or as a trailing arm with the bush press-fitted from the factory
  • While using a service-kit make sure to also get the correct size of collar and an appropriate C-Clamp or custom Lead-screw which are also available online

Noisy and Bouncy Front Suspension

  • Front end pops and squeaks over bad roads
  • The Front wheels feel extremely bouncy
  • Going fast over a rough patch it feels as if the front end is losing grip and floating
  • Handling feels vague with a lot of roll

Troubleshooting Noisy and Bouncy Front Suspension

  • Bounciness is related to weak damping. The shock absorbers are basically unable to dampen bounce.
  • With weak front damping, cornering ability of the vehicle is highly compromised and leads to excessive roll
  • To confirm this, you can do a bounce test.

Bounce Test:

  • At the front of the vehicle, at any one corner, apply your weight vertically downwards in such a way that the suspension starts to bounce at that particular corner. 
  • Push downwards continuously in an oscillating motion till you now, have caused maximum vertical movement of the corner.
  • Now leave the corner and watch how many times it bounces on its own. 
  • If it takes more than one oscillation to settle, then it is confirmed that the shock absorbers have gone weak.

Pro Tip

  • When tightening the Shock bottom bolt, make sure that the vehicle is at its normal ride height.
  • If this bush is tightened at any other ride height, the Bush  always rests in a twisted condition at normal ride height and will result in a reduced Bush service life.

Rear Clunk Noise

Symptom: 

  • Clunking noise when going over even small bumps on the road
  • Rear Anti Roll Bar End-links happen to be in good condition

Troubleshooting Rear Clunk Noise

  • Clunk noises tend to originate in the Anti-Roll bar assembly.
  • In Ford Falcon’s, the rear shock absorber top mount failure is a known issue. Hence, it would be good to inspect this bushing as well.
  • Remove the shock absorber and remove the failed bushing by pressing it out
  • Aftermarket solutions offer more durable shock bushings available as bushings that can be hand-mounted easily

Front Knocking Noise

Symptom: 

  • Knocking noise when turning
  • Knocking when going over a rough road
  • The noise is higher during rainy weather and reduces when the weather is dry
  • Mainly seen in the Falcon FG series

Troubleshooting Front Knocking Noise

  • Front end knocking is most probably due to worn out bushings or ball joints
  • The weather-dependent  nature of the noise points to the fact that Ball-joints are getting corroded and probably even rusted. The rust reduces when it is not raining and therefore causes lesser noise.
  • The worn out bushings and ball-joints allow the suspension arms to move excessively and hit the chassis or nearby components
  • This can be inspected by using a pry bar to check movement at the bushing joints. If any joint moves freely then it could be that the bushing has failed
  • The two lower control arms form the lower pivot for the knuckle during steering and hence are the root cause ina majority of known cases
  • The bushes are not serviceable and have to be procured along with the control arms since the press-fit cannot be done without hydraulic or pneumatic special tools.

Front Clunk Noise

Symptom: 

  • Clunking noise from the front end when going over even small bumps on the road
  • Front Shocks and Tie Rods are in good condition

Troubleshooting Front Clunk Noise: Anti Roll Bar Mounting Bushes

  • You can do so by trying to shake the Anti Roll bar by hand and observing for noises near to the joints
  • The Chassis attachment bushing which holds the Anti-Roll bar(ARB) to the Chassis is a Cylindrical Rubber piece through which the ARB passes through. 
  • If this Bush wears out then it creates a clearance between the ARB and the Bush and allows the ARB to move around, causing noise.

Pro Tip

  • Apply Mounting Grease to the Bushing while mounting it onto the Anti roll bar.
  • You could also think of using a harder Polyurethane bushing from the aftermarket, which is harder and lasts longer

Troubleshooting Front Clunk Noise: Anti Roll Bar End-Links

  • The Anti Roll Bar End-links come with ball-joints at the 2 ends
  • The ball-joints tend to fail of the rubber boot that protects the ball-joint lubrication is ruptured due to either impact or weathering
  • Once the Rubber boot has failed it allows all the lubrication to flow out when the joint becomes hot during operation and friction, which then triggers the onset of corrosion and accelerated wear.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have discussed the suspension issues that occur in Ford Falcon and what causes these failures.

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