Some 2006-07 Ford Escape and Mercury Mariner compact SUVs may emit a loud squeak or creak from the rear suspension when making slow turns over rough roads.
One probable cause for the noise, Ford reported, is the upper shock absorber bushing disengaging from the shock tower. Enlarging the shock tower mounting hole and reinstalling the shock absorber using a revised bushing is the recommended fix.
Here's the repair drill:
- Start by raising the vehicle on a lift.
- Next, remove the rear quarter trim panel to gain access to the upper shock bushing.
- Now remove the upper shock rod retaining nut and washer, followed by the upper half of the bushing. Continue by pulling down on the shock rod from the outside of the vehicle until it clears the shock tower. Toss both bushing halves.
- Using a stepped drill bit, begin drilling into the shock mounting hole from the top. Continue drilling until the hole is 7/8" in diameter, then stop. Clean the hole of debris, then apply some anticorrosive grease or paint onto the bare metal to prevent corrosion.
- Install the lower half of a new bushing, part No. 7L8Z-18198-A, onto the shock rod and guide the rod through the mounting hole in the tower.When correctly installed, the bushing should be visible from the top of the mounting hole, as shown in the illustration.
- Next, install the upper half of the new bushing, the washer and the retaining nut onto the shock rod. Hold the rod to prevent rotation, then torque the retaining nut to specifications.
- Now take a look at the upper half of the bushing. It should be bulging slightly from underneath the washer. If it isn't, tighten the retaining nut a tad more until it is.
To complete the fix, repeat the repair procedure on the other side of the vehicle and reinstall both rear quarter trim panels.
"Factory Fixes" is written by Jim DePalma, a 30-year veteran of the auto repair business who has served stints as a service manager, parts manager and ASE-certified technician. His column provides vehicle manufacturers' authentic factory technical service bulletins (TSBs) that have been condensed for easier reading. Mr. DePalma advises that techs always check with a dealer or repair information system for the latest revisions before starting to work on a vehicle. He can be reached via email at [email protected].