Mazda Tribute This low-priced SUV allows the driver the versatility of an SUV without the big fuel bill of many of the vehicles in the SUV class.

Help with front suspension and tires

Old 03-03-2019, 07:05 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2019
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Exclamation Help with front suspension and tires

Hello, I bought a 2005 Tribute FWD v6 about a year ago it had 150k miles. I have put 13k on, and since the time it was bought this tribute and I have been through a rough mechanical journey. It started with the converter clogged and the previous owners' solution was to loosen the nuts where the converter connects to the exhaust so it could vent, then put the nut back on cross threaded so it wont fall out is my guess. I cut the bolt and filed the thread and replaced the catalytic converter. Changed fluids, plugs, and filter. Now to the front suspension, I had a bunch of clunks and rattles so I got to troubleshooting, I replaced the warped rotors(causing the vehicle to bounce while braking), sway bar links, outer tie rod ends, and both lower control arms, it still has a slight clunking noise far better than it was. I suspect part of the sound is coming from the sway bar, I checked the bar and it has a little play and the bushings are shot. I am not too worried about the sway bar sound as I am with the loaded struts. It sounds like loose lugs or metal to metal banging, also at high speeds the front driver tire feels like its bouncing or shaking a bit. Enough to make me feel unsafe at those higher speeds(55+). Would a bad strut cause these symptoms? Or possibly the inner tie rod ends? Alignment? Monday Ill be able to take the vehicle to the tire shop I purchased the tires at and have them inspect and balance the front drivers side tire. Today I plan rotate the drivers side tires and take it for a drive, at least then Ill be able to confirm if its the tire or suspension. Also plan to have it aligned after I can be sure that the tire isn't the issue.
Thank you for reading and any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Edit: Problem solved, front passenger strut. Hope this helps anyone with similar symptoms.


Last edited by dark2yea; 03-09-2019 at 06:40 AM. Reason: Solved
Old 03-03-2019, 10:47 PM
simonsi's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Auckland
Posts: 210

Sounds like inner tie rod(s) to me, simply put a hand over the inner joint and have someone rock the steering wheel back and forth with the engine off but steering column unlocked, you'll soon feel any play in the joints.

Other than that I'd go ahead and change the sway bar bushes (cheap and easy), and balance both front tires. Only do an alignment if you are sure there is no play in the steering or suspension, otherwise it will be wasted and you have to do the alignment again when you have solved the play issue.
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