Hey guys. New poster, new member. Hope to get some value out of these forums.
So I have a 2008 ford escape XLT (3.0). FWD. I recently replaced both control arms, tie rods, sway bar bushings and sway bar links, and I continue to get extremely excessive vibrations at high-speed, and rattling/clunking from the front end. I had originally thought maybe the tires were wore on the front from the bad suspension, but when I took them off to examine them, they still look brand new. The tire place said that the condition they were in wouldn't cause the vibrations and noise I am feeling and hearing.
The shaking is only noticeable on the highway, at around 70 or higher. The steering wheel shakes quite a bit, and the faster you go the faster and louder a 'thunking' noise gets, coming from the steering area.
The clunking noise I can hear when I am driving, and go over potholes, bumps, etc. There is also an occassional 'popping' noise coming from the front-end when I turn corners, although it's not frequent or really loud. It does it in about the middle of steering wheel travel. It almost sounds like the cv axle is popping or something.
I haven't replaced the wheel bearings yet, but when I had the car apart to do the control arms, tie rods and other front-end parts, I did grab the rotors and attempt to shake them to see if there was any play in the bearings, to which I found none. I am not sure what other ways to test the bearings.
I drive 90 miles a day to and from work, and also have small children that ride in this vehicle too, so getting it fixed is a concern for me, but do not have tons of money to throw at it to 'see if this fixes it', or to take it to an overpriced mechanic for them to 'guess' what's wrong with it.
Are there some places I can start looking to see if I can pinpoint the problem myself?