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.
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.
- 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.