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Re: noise...driving over bumps...it sound like the front...
If its a squeeking noise the rubber bushes on the shocks or the lower contol arm are worn out, if its a grinding noise it could be the shock itself. If it happens when you turn, a clucking noise might indicate a worn cv joint, or a worn wheel bearing. These are all things that need to be replaced by a professional mechanic, if you have the tools, the bushes might not be too hard to do yourself though. Hope this helps!
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Does it make the noise (or does the noise get louder) when you're cornering? And is it worse when you turn in one direction than it is when you turn the opposite direction? If so it sounds to me like one or both of your constant velocity (CV) joints is/are worn.
CV joints are front wheel drive's equivalent to U joints, you'll find one in each half-shaft (that connects the transaxle to each of the front wheels.) CV joints are protected from road dirt by rubberized boots; any damage to a boot is often followed by premature failure of the joint.
Your tire shop or general mechanic should be able to easily tell you if this is the problem. Luckily there isn't a great deal of danger associated with CV joint failure (as opposed to U joint failure on a rear-wheel drive car, which has potential to be extremely dangerous) but you should still get it checked out soon, to make sure there's nothing else going on, if no other reason.
This sounds to me like a broken strut more than anything. As far as i know you can not remove the front differental, because this is the main drive. The rear wheels are only drivin while in four wheel drive. I would sugest to take your car to a mechanic shop and have them "shake down the front end" for any loose parts. A ball joint can also cause a noise as well as a strut mount or strut.
look at the front lower engine mount. I had similar noise which has been driving me nuts, thought may be thesway bar links, put it on friends hoist and saw that the front engine mount (mounted to bottom of lower radiator support) was cracked and the rubber bushing inside very worn with pieces missing. odd thing is that reving, or putting into gear never caused it to make a noise, just certain bumps. I ordered part from Autozone,hopefully it gets here before the holiday week end is over. Good luck
Ford has a technical service bulletin out on this vehicle that may help solve your problem. The number is 04-6-1.
Here is the info:
Some 2000-2004 Focus vehicles may exhibit a front end creaking, crunching, grinding and/or rattling noise from the front suspension while driving at slow speeds, over bumps, and/or while turning. ACTION:
Noise, vibration, harness (NVH) conditions may originate from many areas. A thorough inspection of the front suspension is necessary to determine the cause. To service, refer to the following Service Procedure and inspect the suggested areas first. SERVICE PROCEDURE
Inspect front strut fasteners and confirm that they are tightened to the correct torque.
Front strut to front knuckle, (one (1) driver / one (1) passenger), 90 N-m (67 lb-ft).
Front strut mount to body, (three (3) driver / three (3) passenger), 30 N-m (22 lb-ft).
Front strut rod to strut mount, (one (1) driver / one (1) passenger), 66 N-m (49 lb-ft).
MEASUREMENT OF TORQUE MUST BE DONE IN THE TIGHTENING DIRECTION.
IN ORDER TO APPLY THE PROPER TORQUE TO THE FRONT STRUT ROD TO STRUT MOUNT FASTENER, A HEX KEY WILL BE REQUIRED TO HOLD THE STRUT ROD IN PLACE WHILE TIGHTENING THE NUT.
Inspect for loose stabilizer bar end links.
Firmly grasp the links and shake them - both along the direction of the link and transverse to the link orientation in the inboard/outboard vehicle direction. If looseness is felt continue on to Step 2b, if no looseness is felt continue on to Step 3.
Inspect the link end joints. If they do not appear severely corroded, torque the nuts (use anti-rotation feature to prevent ball joint damage) to 50 N-m (36 lb-ft), and repeat Step 2a. If links still feel loose after tightening or if the joint shows evidence of severe corrosion, replace the link (YS4Z-5K484-AA).
Inspect for the top spring sleeve coming out of position. This may cause a squeaking noise between the sleeve and indent on the ridge of the upper spring seat, or it may cause a clicking noise between the spring and upper spring seat if the sleeve is completely out of position. If the sleeve is out of position continue on to Step 3a, if the sleeve is positioned properly continue on to Step 4.
Install a new rubber sleeve (1S4Z-8484-AA). Install the new rubber sleeve starting from the top of the spring coil where it contacts the spring plate.
If the noise is a clicking or popping from the front strut, install a service spring end cap (4S4Z-5L302-AA) on to the top spring tip. Reassemble and reinstall strut per the Workshop Manual Section 204-01.
Sounds like the front shocks/struts are too weak to support the vehicle. Stand at drivers front of vehicle and push down very hard watch as vehicle rebounds and bounces until it settles, then try the same on passenger side. Good shocks/struts allow a bounce or so, but will appear firm not loose.keep me posted to your results.