Noise Over Bumps Due to Radius Arm Bushing Wear on Ford Explorer

Problem Description and Possible Solution

The radius arm bushing may wear, causing a clunking or popping noise when driving over bumps. To repair, the bushings need to be replaced. Depending on the severity of the wear, the brackets may also need replacement. Driving with worn bushings will shorten tire life and cause tire cupping (uneven tire wear).

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 150,691 (104,531–238,000)
5 model years affected: 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, more2003
13 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 6 of 6 comments
We'd had a terrible ride and bad tire wear for ages (don't drive it often). Regular mechanic didn't diagnose; took it to a different shop and they found it right away. New tires and new bushing, and a MUCH. Smoother ride!
I have a big knock in the front driver side every time I go over a bump or I put on my brakes then release them.
Squeeking or clunking noise when hitting irregular spots on pavement. Radius arm bushing[s] were worn as well as one of the bushing mounting brackets. Replacement bushing kit for both sides was installed and one mounting bracket too worn to hold bushing was replaced.
Jingling and clunking sound from front end passenger side; issue will disappear when vehicle is lifted, because pressure is being applied to radius arm.

Most shops will quote 3-4 hours for repair, as steps include removing the wheel, shock, spring, and various linkages per side, just to replace a $15-20 bushing. Beware of upsells, as the entire radius arm costs $100 per side; many places will not want to (understandably) do 4 hours of work to replace a smaller part like a bushing and would rather do entire assemblies.
1994 Explorer Sport 4x4--Clunks when shifting between gears (automatic) and when applying brakes. I've been told it needs bushings and U-Joints. I can't find a mechanic to fix it for me...must be very difficult to repair. I'm a woman--don't know much about this stuff.