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I have a 1998 Lincoln Navigator 4WD 5.4L V8 with 156,000 miles. When I am driving down the road it will creak especially if the road is bumpy. It also creaks when I turn and the car is beggining to wobble while I drive. I'm guessing the problem is the ball joints, but I'm not really sure what the problem could be. Any help or info would be appreciated. Thanks!
That is kind of what I was thinking......See a lot of Fords with noisy BJs. If you can duplicate the noise while it's standing still by bouncing the frt end or turning the wheels, get under it and see if you tell by listening where the noise is coming from. Sometimes grabbing the con arms, springs or pieces that is close to the noise helps by being able to feel the vibration
yeah it makes the same noise when i get in or out or push the front left side of the car up and down.
That'll make it easier to find. Seen alot with bad BJ's or tie rod ends. Just have someone turn the wheel & carefully feel around, you'll feel the vibration when you get close to the bad part...
Just to add a note on the creaking - Fords more than others in my experience. Certainly rule out truly worn parts but some from chassis Fords and others can too get a rubber to shiny metal creak/squeek as the bushings for control arms and body mounts to move some. Worse after a salty wet drive when it dries out. I've used WD-40 with luck to correct and redo when wheels are off or there again for some reason. Rubber products don't want real petroleum based lubes. WD-40 isn't perfect for this but not too hard on rubber. Silicone spray if this is the problem works too but I find it doesn't last as long.
The bushings aren't bearings but rely on torquing of the rubber so there is some friction. Generic pic below..........
Thanks for your input. So pretty much I should try spraying that stuff with WD-40 before I try getting all new parts for it? Should I try getting a lube job too? It wobbles when i drive faster and I'm not sure if thats because of the ball joint problem or because my tires are getting worn out. My navigator also has another problem of filling up the shocks at random times so maybe thats causing it to be imbalenced.
The wobble wouldn't be the noise. That needs to be found - wheel, tire, a brake issue, bearing or whatever. By itself a worn part front end part generally won't cause any wobble/shake etc., but makes it worse. It all needs checking out. U-Joints, CV joints and a real bad bearing could - again not so much the front end steering parts,
I'm rebuilding the front and rear suspension on an '87 Cougar. Car has 230K miles on it but is in excellent condition. I'm putting new rotars, calipers, ball joints, bushings, tie rod ends, springs and struts on it and am a little undecided on the rack. The original does not appear to be leaking and appears to be in good working order, but it is 21 years old. Any suggestions ??
Your call....but like you said ,it has 230k on it...
But if your rebuilding it..might as well do it now....
Quick story relating to something like this...
The parts store I used to deal ..the owner had a 77 Lincoln that was in very good condition and had high mileage on it..he decided that even tho the fuel pump wasn't leaking,that it was ( in his words) about due..
So he replaced it with a quality new pump ......
Well after replacement,he ended up replacing that damn pump at least 2 times in the next 3 years..
Said he never should have messed with it...LOL....
Hello, everyone, and thanks for the help! I only just got my first car and am trying to learn how to maintain/repair it myself, so please bear with me as my knowledge base is extremely limited (though I am actively changing that!).
I have a 1994 Lincoln Towncar, 178K miles. I got it (for free) about 1500 miles ago, and everything, aside from having to change a tire and some rust removal, was great. A few weeks ago, I noticed two sounds start up, though I can't say for sure whether they started at the same time or not. One is a whining from the engine. This happens as soon as I turn the car on, may or may not get better as the car warms up, and changes in tone (or "speed") when I press the gas. The second sound is a groaning that comes when I turn the steering wheel. I wasn't paying enough attention to know whether the steering is harder to turn or not, but the car is totally drivable.
So I thought the whining might be a fan belt, but a friend at work mentioned that maybe I'm low on power steering fluid. I had noticed that there was some fluid in my parking space, but I assumed that was an oil leak because the guy who gave me the car told me that I have to add oil every thousand miles or so (before I saw the leak I had assumed that oil was burning off, not leaking). Anyway, what do you all think? I will check the power steering fluid tonight, but is there anything else I should look for? Any other ideas? Is there a way to check what kind of fluid is leaking? If it is leaking power steering fluid, is that a problem, or do I just need to refill regularly? Also, if the power steering fluid is full, might the problem still be power steering related?
Thanks so much!
Can I guess you don't want to spend tons on this car?
First thing is to check and make it a routine to check all fluid levels. For now you probably do have a PS leak and perhaps at the shaft at the pitman arm is somewhat common. I've solved several for years with a product called Trans-X which is a trans and PS fluid "snake oil" that works! What it can do if that's the problem is slowly soften the seal that must control high PS fluid pressures and for the most part sealer stuff is a bad idea but you probably will see a drip or two from the bottom on the PS gearbox at the bottom output shaft. Hoses or other things must be fixed.
If you try that product just use a little (2oz or so at a time) and top up with approved regular PS fluid or ATF as needed. It won't work right away - It can take a few rounds so watch it carefully. If it was so strong to swell rubber products it would trash things and so far that one hasn't hurt anything even if it didn't solve a problem for many cars in my care.
The serpentine belt can make lots of noise by itself. Look at it. If it looks free of cracks and wear just grease the belt with silcone grease on the groved side - just a bit with a tiny flux brush and that can shut them up for quite a while. If you replace the belt get a quality one and count the # of grooves and peaks (6 or 7) as I recall as in that vintage they did sneak in a different one and if it doesn't match it will last a whopping 2 miles!
This is actually a pretty good starter car. Many things aren't so difficult to take care of yourself and despite it looking like it should be a total gas hog you'll probably be surprised that it's pretty good if you just drive gently.
It's enough miles but these can do lots more if they haven't been abused too bad. They are the pick of livery services for being fairly trouble free and tons of room and take high mileage better than average IMO.
If it seems like an old fart's car to you - relax - it is! Just wear sunglasses and enjoy the ride!
Thanks for the detailed response. Actually, I am a huge fan of this car. I generally drove (rented or borrowed) smaller cars up until now, and always enjoyed the zippiness, but I was a convert as soon as I drove this one. I feel like I'm driving around in my apartment, and, while you have to use some pressure on the brakes, the gas and steering are a light touch. And, yeah, I seem to get remarkably good gas mileage, especially when I set cruise control on the highway. And you're right that I don't want to spend too much money on it (I probably could buy a similar one for a few thousand, so expensive repairs don't make much sense), but I'm willing to put in as much time and effort as needed. I figure this is a good way to both keep the car running as long as possible and become as adept at regular maintenance (and maybe even basic repair) as I can. Even if it doesn't help with this car, I'm sure it'll save me a bundle down the road.
So, just so I understand, you suspect that it's most likely the power steering fluid. I will check it tonight and refill it if necessary (does it matter what kind of fluid I buy?). If it is such a leak, you recommend trans-x as a possible method of stopping the leak. Is there any downside to using this product? Can it hurt, or will it simply not help if it's inappropriate for the problem? Is there a way for me to check if the leak is from a hose or something that must be replaced, or something that can be fixed with trans-x?
As for the belt, someone had told me that vaseline works as well as silicone grease, but if grease is better, I'll go out and buy some (or is there something else I might have I might be able to use)?
Thanks again for all the help!
PS fluid just kept full is fine - you can use Dextron/Mercon Automatic Transmission Fluid (ATF) for PS in many vehicles. The trans-x may solve the leak which is why I suggested that. May be hard to find but keep looking and keep the PS filled to prevent damage to the system at least.
The Vaseline is a petroleum product and will work but it's not rubber friendly and really doesn't matter too much with an automotive belt. Silicone is expen$ive but a tube lasts forever and a great grease that doesn't hurt rubber and doesn't wash off with water or even soap and water very well. Used for electrical things and for lubing brake parts and also called "dielectic" grease.
About these cars: I'm a Lincoln freakazoid! Others here would know these cars well too. People think you are a liar when you tell them you really saw 27 MPG with these cars! They really can! Just looked at a new little peice of crap car that boasts 28 HWY and the thing would fit in the trunk of this!
With minimal tools you can do lots of your own things on this car. I own three older than yours right now and worked for a limo company/sedan service that wailed miles on them and they took it well.
Common problems are well known and most fairly easy. Bet your front brakes rattle over a bumpy road! (caliper bushings) - if it has a trunk pull down motor let's defeat that - I'll explain how if so as if it breaks it's a pest to do then. Stupid little device and who knows why they bother with that?
It has grease fittings! Good idea to get a grease gun and do that yourself. Change the grease fittings on inner tie rod ends so you don't have to fight with getting at those.
Lube all the locks and hinges you can find. Save a lot of trouble. That goes for any car. WD-40 first, then spray white lithium grease and you'll never have those break on you.
Let us know how far and much you want to do for yourself on this car. I can spend your money and send you out for a bunch of things you should have to fix things in this and any car really,
DID I SAY I WAS A LINCOLN FREAK! T
You're just the guy I'm looking for, and your help is really appreciated. Like I said, time is more easily available than money, so I'm not looking to spend a lot, but I'll put in the time. Basically, my father-in-law is a lincoln freak also, and apparently I'll be getting his hand-me-downs, so what I learn now will help all along. Plus, I really do love this car, so if I can extend the life a year or two, it's worth it to me.
So I will check the fluids tonight and get back to you on that. I don't have a trunk pull down motor, so that's not a problem. Other than rust (I spend a day sanding rust, applying novarox, and then painting over, so it really looks good), the two minor problems I've encountered are that the power windows and locks are kind of falling apart (the windows go down and up at different speeds depending on the day), there is occassionally a "rumble" from the back when I'm driving (could this be the caliper brushings?) which only started after I got my tires rotated (my wife thinks these are just times we go over rough patches, I'm not so sure), and just two days ago it started to sound like there was wind coming into to the car from somewhere. (Not complaining, just listing).
Other than that, I figure whatever I can do to keep the car running, I'll do. So what do you suggest? After I check the fluids, I'll go to a store and get whatever fluids I need, sounds like WD-40 (where do I spray), and maybe a basic tool kit. Anything else? I'm game. Thanks so much!
Oh, and what are grease fittings (I'm a novice!)?
The steering joints have grease fittings. They look like nipples and if the parts that have them are good now and you keep them greased they last forever. There may be some new parts that have fittings where some originals didn't. For now just make sure a place will really grease them at regular oil change intervals. ASK how many there are and when you/ if you want to do this you'll need a good grease gun and they aren't always easy to find. Later on that.
Noise from brake bushings or disc pad anti-rattle parts will shut up when brakes are applied which tells you they are at fault. The exhaust system might be rubbing or something and that could be what you hear now. I know it sounds like you are getting personal with the thing but wiggle it's tailpipe and shake it around and see if a noise shows up. Hangers and things may need attention. I'm not sure what 94 did for rear shocks?? If the air bag things check on their condition. If regular shocks with coil springs that you can see the shock rubber bushings may be worn or loose at top of back ones. Get that done if so as they are a pain in the a$$ to get at and you probably don't want to go crazy buying tons of tools for one time things.
Hinges etc. Open each door and watch where they are hinged and pivot. They only are lubed when new most of the time and many speedy oil change places couldn't have time in the 10 minute allowance to do all that. Look where the doors latch to the post on the car and spray the WD-40 up, in and all around those too.
Warning if you intend to buy some tools: Watch out for metric socket and wrench sets that DON'T include 16mm and 18mm - they are still sold everywhere and you will need those! Let me know your intentions about that - I could save you some headaches and $$.
Do you have close by Sears, Wal-Mart, Wholesale Clubs, and the salvage stores, chain parts stores or what?
Ask away and we/I'll try,
First off, I'm glad I started a thread with such an awesome sidebar. :-)
Secondly, I bought and added PS fluid (the resevoir was entirely empty). The sounds immediately got better (by about 70%), but definitely didn't go away entirely. The groaning of the steering wheel is mostly gone, and the "singing" of the engine seems to come and go. There is a constant low-volume whine. I'm thinking that maybe it just takes time for the fluid to coat all the bearings and parts, and get any air out, and these will go away. Am I right, or should all the sounds have gone away right away?
Secondly, a new minor issue seems to have arisen. For some reason, I am having trouble closing the hood. The hood latch works fine, but when I press down to close the hood tight, it seems a little off (like it's closed, but not perfectly) and yesterday the hood popped open while I was driving (though the hood latch caught it so I could pull over safely, thankfully). I've learned how to tell if the hood is closed properly or not, but this problem seems to be getting worse. Any ideas? Thanks again!
I see you are surviving this thread which will soon go to page two but stay with it.
1. Expect to replace the PS pump on this - a can do from junkyard. They don't tolerate being low on fluid for long and you've mentioned it for over a day and that's too long! Get that Trans-X - it may help but I doubt it with the noise when full now.
2. The hood latch should be lubed with the WD-40 you should have by now. Those hoods are lightweight and the latches are strong so you have to about throw the hood down on them to latch well. If you just push down hard you can dent/damage the hood - that's a common problem. It can be adjusted to latch securely - I think just 10mm bolts are used. MAKE SURE THE SECONDARY HOOK IS LUBED FREE OR USE A STRING OR SOMETHING TO PREVENT THE HOOD FROM REALLY OPENING WHILE UNDERWAY!! No joking there!
The PS is probably the only noise and not some other problem. Keep that filled as it will buy time. Do look for the leak and report what you find. I expect you'll find as said earlier that the shaft/seal coming out of the bottom of the gearbox is the problem.
You said you were new to car maintenance so I want you to use all caution when it comes to jacking up a car - any car! The jack that comes with cars is really just a roadside emergency jack and if you are hoisting cars you should prioritise getting a decent jack and safety stands. Only jack up on level, secure surface - cement is great - any else, even asphalt is not good. If in doubt about this get help and always minimize any time you are under a car. NO JOKING ABOUT THAT!!
Tom, thanks. So, to summarize, being so low on PS fluid probably damaged the PS pump? How much should a new PS pump cause? Should I wait a few days to see if the sound gets better, or just assume it needs to be done and go to a mechanic? I did buy something like trans-x (they didn't have it exactly in the local garage, but they had a lucas-brand similar product), and it's in there. Should I wait and see if the leak stops from , or just go get it fixed? I had heard that it may take a little time to get all the air out of the pumps.
Also, I don't think I'm comfortable getting under a car at this point (I think a healthy fear of having a car drop on me is not unreasonable), so should it cost a bundle to have a mechanic locate the leak and fix it?
Secondly, I definitely want to fix the hood, that scares me a little. I did buy WD-40, so I will go lube it up soon. Also, you menitioned that pushing down hard is bad? That's how I've been closing the hood: slamming it down a little so it clicks past the safety latch, then pushing down hard to close it completely. Should I just slam it hard it one motion (I thought this might damage the hood)?
Anyway, I would like to adjust the hood so it securely catches. Is this something I need to take to a mechanic, or can I do it myself? Any advice?
As always, I really appreciate your help!
Ok: Power Steering....Go ahead for now and use the Lucas product. I'd just keep it filled and see what happens. It could shut up as you said it comes and goes. Locating that leak would be nice because if it is that shaft seal and it can't be stopped then the gearbox may need to be replaced. The PS pump used is the way to go. They are available new or rebuilt but they are a pain that way IMO. Ask for a complete pump assembly, brakets, reservoir and all and it's a fairly simple job vs the pump alone is all you get and other parts reused - I quit that as they can take too much time and when older especially I'm never thrilled with the separate tank idea and if untouched they stay fine for the most part. The pump is the weak link when they are run low on fluid and usually just that fixes it noise wise. You should find a shop that will work with you with things like this as some of these are one time things and you shouldn't be buying tons of tools for one time things like that.
The hood thing: In the never ending quest to reduce weight in cars the hoods were chosen and they are light aluminum I think and the latching seems to be for a much heavier hood. It's mostly that spring that makes it pop up when released and I've never altered those as it's worse if they don't pop up on their own. I hate slamming things in general, especially doors which is a bad habit of some folks who have been rendered instant pedestrians by doing such in one of MY cars! Many of these hoods I've tried to be civil with but these respond best to a moderate slam vs pushing down hard. I just got used to giving those a "throw" down from part open and didn't get into it further than that as they all do it.
Hood Again: I'm guessing as this is a common problem. It shouldn't need adjusting but with the age and if there ever was a reason (accident) that it had been messed with it might need some work. Just lube it up - latch side on radiator support and the hook and release mechanisms on the hood itself and this should be the last of that. Note where the hook goes into a hole where it catches in the radiator support on its outer edge of hook (hood part that swings) needs real grease so it isn't slowing the next latching process of the more complicated one which is linked to the pull cable from inside car.
As far a hoisting and getting under car when in doubt DON'T! For this car I would try to detail where they can be safely lifted and where to place jack/safety stands but even this car alone could have variables due to rust. If you see flaking rust on structural frame parts note that - it alone can be a reason to give up on a car sadly.
This will go to page two. Rare here but it has happened,
Thanks. I'll keep the PS fluid filled and keep an eye on how fast it's leaking and whether the lucas product helps. Are there any hoses or other that I check under the hood that don't require getting under the car to see if I can find the leak?
On the hood, I will WD-40 it this weekend, and try giving it a solid slam (I also hate to slam things. I was very big and strong at a young age, so I had to learn to be delicate to not break stuff). Thanks!
There are many things to check without getting under the car. The PS has hose and line between pump (where you filled it) and the gear box. The cooling system has large hoses to and from radiator, small hose to recovery tank, and smaller garden size black hoses. Those you can just look at and with it cool, just run a finger on underside - should be dry.
Transmission has cooling lines going to and from the radiator. Find trans dipstick and check its fluid level - engine warm, level ground, running at idle speed. Brake fluid is in a smaller container with cap near firewall on driver's side. Plastic ones you can just wiggle a bit and see the level and min/max marks on the side. USE ONLY NEW BRAKE FLUID IF YOU EVER ADD TO THAT! If it needs much the brakes should be checked.
These things should all be mentioned in the owner's manual. There is heavy oil in the differential case (axle, round thing you see in the middle of back between wheels) that has a plug to remove to check while under the car. Just let that job go for when it's at a shop ask to check it and if it's full and no evidence of seapage you can pretty much forget it for long periods of time. That's actually not so DIY friendly to check and add. Car must be raised AND level, hard to add without a pump for that.
Tires and tire pressure including the spare should be a periodic check. Note when one needs air and others do not as that pretty much means a leak. For these I put 32-35 psi in each year round. Tires are marked as to the max allowable cold psi so don't exceed that. A door jam should have a sticker with the recommended pressures for most any car.
Batteries generally are sealed and maintenance free. They don't age well. Learn how old the one is you have - marked on it somewhere and might be a code embossed in plastic. Some will have stickers or something like "B-2" or "2-2" or even "Feb-02" ---- those would indicate the battery was made (sold is another date not as important) and all I just listed would mean February 2002. That's too old right now and pretty much batteries are only dependable for 3-4 years no matter what they claim on them. Check for corrossion on battery cables. Some stay fine for ages some don't. Basic tools can handle those to clean up and ask if needed.
Tires again: If you are in a snow belt and need tires get real mud and snow tires for these cars and just leave them on year round unless you want to swap them twice a year. None of these cars do well in snow with just all-season tires. They drive along ok in it, it's just not so great for getting up hills, driveways - whatever without some added traction.
How are you doing with building up some tools? Keep an eye out for a tool box too if you don't have one. I suggest plastic (Wal-Mart) or wherever as they don't rust - great to just keep in the trunk,
Thanks. I'm going to WD-40 the hood and the joints as you recommended tomorrow night, since I want to get that done before I drive again. I will also carefully monitor the PS fluid to see how fast it's leaking. I will set aside a few hours either this weekend or next and do all those checks (I'm sure, once I'm familiar with it, that I can check all the fluids and stuff in a few minutes, but the first time it will take a while to get familiar). I am particularly interested in checking the hose running from the PS resevoir to the gear box, since it would be nice if that were the source of the link. I have instructions on how to replace a hose, and that's probably a good place to start. I will check with you between diagnosing anything and actually repairing anything.
I haven't started on a toolkit yet. I figure the next time I hit Costco and Walmart I will see if they have a solid complete kit (looking specifically for the 16mm and 18mm's you mentioned), since that should save me trouble, but if they don't, I'll start building piece by piece.
I live in southern Maryland, so there's not much snow or ice. The battery is actually only a few months old, and I checked the oil a week ago. The oil needs to be replenished every thousand miles or so (and I'm not leaking. I'm told it's likely burning off oil, which has something to do with the head gasket and is supposed to be a non-issue as long as I check and refill regularly).
In amusing other news, after sanding off the rust, putting on novarex, and repainting, I discovered that the touch up paint I got (paint color DK, the code I got off the card on the inner driver's door) is the wrong color, so either I got sold the wrong paint, or they printed the wrong car color.
Quick note on the tools: Wrenches.... combination, offset, 12 point - sizes to include 8mm thru 19mm. Sockets: 1/4 drive for smaller, 3/8 for larger, 12 point also but smaller ones are more likely to be six point. You'll find need for both regular and deep sockets for the same sizes as wrenches. If a great set is missing the 16+18 you could alway buy a single of each at hardware or parts stores. Wally World doesn't carry them last I checked.??
Touch-up paint: Nothing will match perfectly. If you have a chip from the car just match it up by eye the best you can.
Keep at it,
I checked my fluids and have some questions. I will start a new thread. Thanks!
now she called in back up......
Jim! Truce! Kitty heard "back-up" and she took off in the newest Lincoln and see what she did!!!! She backed up allright! T
We know the real cause now. he got in way2old's tonic btw I'm talking about the cat.
And I hear he (way2old) drinks it by the truck load.....
Here's a recent picture of him, caught by the papparazzi, on a recent weekend trip to the store to restock..
THANK YOU, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
O.K NOMORE MR. NICE GUY
Call Homeland Security. There has been a hi-jacking.
Thanks, I'll check these out. I do have walmart and costco nearby, so that might help. I remembered one other thing: apparently the freon leaks so my father in law regularly got freon added before each summer, and it leaked out before the end of the winter. Otherwise, it's a rocking vehicle. Thanks!
Hope you survived some silliness here Don't worry about the A/C right now - well where are you? We don't need to know exactly but here (MA) it's too cold to do squat about A/C. People are here from all over the world - techs included.
Don't go adding one of those fix it kits for the A/C. They cause more trouble than good and when the time comes if you want to do some basics with that you are at the right place.
For tools check at your Costco. Wal-Mart is ok for an item at a time but lousy for sets of things. Sears has the best bang for the buck and full lifetime warranty but you don't really need that for casual use. Harbor Frieght has some decent cheap tools. You should own basics just anyway and if something more comes along tools can be rented - I hear for free with 100% deposit for safe return at AutoZone and no doubt other places like them.
Back to the beginning - check the fluids and I just know the PS is low by symptoms,
Well, you were right. There was nearly no PS fluid in the car at all. I will pick some up tonight and look for trans-x, along with WD-40 and get going on a tool kit. My plan is to conduct my first status check (chekc the fluids, etc.) in the next week or so, if only to learn how to do it.
Just a note to help out, a HANYES repair manual would help out with illustrations cost around $13 to $18 bucks,with this and Tom's advice you can't go wrong.