Question about 2003 Mazda Protege

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2003 Protege5 front suspension knocking noise

I have a knocking noise in the left front suspension on my 2003 Protege5 with 80k miles. The noise appears when driving over small or really any size bumps. I checked the sway bar attachments and all the mounting brackets on the suspension and nothing is broken or loose. The ball joint boots are good and it does not seem to be a bad ball joint.
Wheel bearings have no play and cv joint boots appear good too. I almost think it is in the upper strut mount or the strut itself.....but how do you tell which one?
Is there a bearing in the upper strut mount for this car that could be bad? I dont see where it could be installed unless internal to the upper strut mount unit.
Is the strut itself bad that could make this noise?....no leakage of fluid on the strut shaft and the car feels stiff on that corner when pushing up and down on the front fender with no visible rebound issues.
Thanks,
Fred

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Upper strut mounts aren't prone to rattling or knocking as they are usually under load all the time. Very few cars do not have a swivel bearing - a few old Fords are all I can think of. Most current models have the swivel bearing integrated into the strut mount, the main job of which is to insulate road noise from the body. Some cars use a swivel bearing fitted between the strut and lower spring cup.

Worn shock absorber internal valves can be very noisy over small bumps and road undulations and wear in steering rack components can make similar noises especially the rack slipper bearing, the rack end support bearing and the rack end joints.

Many track control arm ball joints have an internal spring to compensate for small amounts of wear. When such a joint has worn significantly it is not always possible to detect free play with hand pressure but they are liable to make noise on the road.

Struts that are housings fitted with shock absorber cartridges retained by a single large nut - the nut can sometimes be loose by a small amount causing the cartridge to knock inside the casing.

The strut piston rod and bush is subject to a great deal of force from the reaction of acceleration and braking and considerable wear can take place between the rod and it's bush. The trouble is any free play cannot be detected when the vehicle is jacked and the wheels clear of the ground and similarly cannot be detected with normal force when the vehicle weight is on the ground. I find lifting the car until the suspension is only compressed an inch or two gives the best chance of detecting wear though considerable strength and energy is still needed.

Posted on Mar 10, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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SOURCE: 2003 Protege5 front suspension knocking noise

Yes there is a bearing on the front stuts on the top under the upper strut mount and it is plastic. But the last guy was right it is most likely your struts, or it is your stabilizer links. There doesn't have to be much play in the links to make a tonne of noise. I replaced all my struts myself and it solved the problem for me. You can buy fully assembled strut kits for most veh so you don't have to compress the spring...just dont loosen fully the top middle large bold on top of the strut lol.

Posted on Jun 09, 2009

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front stuts need replacement, buy this point it would be both. you can tell most of the time buy if you hit a pot hole on the left and it makes a nosie thats the side. but after a few days of driving like this both are in bad shape and need replacement.

there is no bearing its just the strut, you can tell buy getting a jack stand and lifting the front and moving the tire side to side and back to front. usaly anything over 10-20 thouthands of an inch is bad, and that mean if you feel it it's bad.

but anyways to replace it you will need a sop, you have to compress your front srping in order to remove and install a strut.

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