2004 Vibration at 68 mph +

I have a 2004 Base model with 28K. Great condition, never wrecked with brand new Continental tires (second set, I complained about the first set after <500 miles), had balanced and alignment and still get a vibration at anything over 68-69 mph.

It doesn't make sense to me when 2 different mechanics have told me that the other suspension components are good (though rubber boots are deteriorated upfront but not creaking).

Does it makes sense to have the shocks / struts replaced as a next step? I crave a smooth ride at higher speeds.

Are there other issues (bearings, bushings, etc) that could cause high speed vibration?

Also, when I go over even the slightest defect in the road the way the car shudders, vibrates doesn't seem consistent with the quality of ride you would expect from a Lincoln LS or any other car for that matter. My Honda Accord rides much smoother than this car so a little disappointing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Going into shop again on June 9th to see what they can diagnose.
 

RDH

Active Member
I have a 2004 Base model with 28K. Great condition, never wrecked with brand new Continental tires (second set, I complained about the first set after <500 miles), had balanced and alignment and still get a vibration at anything over 68-69 mph.

It doesn't make sense to me when 2 different mechanics have told me that the other suspension components are good (though rubber boots are deteriorated upfront but not creaking).

Does it makes sense to have the shocks / struts replaced as a next step? I crave a smooth ride at higher speeds.

Are there other issues (bearings, bushings, etc) that could cause high speed vibration?

Also, when I go over even the slightest defect in the road the way the car shudders, vibrates doesn't seem consistent with the quality of ride you would expect from a Lincoln LS or any other car for that matter. My Honda Accord rides much smoother than this car so a little disappointing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Going into shop again on June 9th to see what they can diagnose.
I had all my suspension replace and have top-end Michelin on it and she runs fine
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
this car a little disappointing.
Wait, your 18 year old used car with the original suspension doesn't drive as expected? Think about this, that's enough time to be born, go to preschool and start your freshman year in college. Hyperlinked words to replace the various suspension parts which are likely the culprit, it has nothing to do with the car, but the age of it.

 

eldordobird

Well-Known Member
I have a 2004 Base model with 28K. Great condition, never wrecked with brand new Continental tires (second set, I complained about the first set after <500 miles), had balanced and alignment and still get a vibration at anything over 68-69 mph.

It doesn't make sense to me when 2 different mechanics have told me that the other suspension components are good (though rubber boots are deteriorated upfront but not creaking).

Does it makes sense to have the shocks / struts replaced as a next step? I crave a smooth ride at higher speeds.

Are there other issues (bearings, bushings, etc) that could cause high speed vibration?

Also, when I go over even the slightest defect in the road the way the car shudders, vibrates doesn't seem consistent with the quality of ride you would expect from a Lincoln LS or any other car for that matter. My Honda Accord rides much smoother than this car so a little disappointing.

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Going into shop again on June 9th to see what they can diagnose.
Try this, move the front tires to the back of the car and the back tires to the front. Then drive down the same patch of highway and see if there is any difference.
 
I bet your bushings are all bad. Some of them are fluid filled. I have a feeling the suspension is moving some due to the
driving force on the wheels, which is causing the suspension to move out of alignment, and cause the vibration.

Your comment about your car shuddering when going over bumps tells me your suspension is moving to much.

My car did this also, and over two years ago I replaced my suspension, drives perfect now.
 
Wait, your 18 year old used car with the original suspension doesn't drive as expected? Think about this, that's enough time to be born, go to preschool and start your freshman year in college. Hyperlinked words to replace the various suspension parts which are likely the culprit, it has nothing to do with the car, but the age of it.

I hear what you’re saying but how do you explain the thousands of other cars, some older (like mine), that are still performing perfectly?
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
I hear what you’re saying but how do you explain the thousands of other cars, some older (like mine), that are still performing perfectly?
Potholes, drove over curb, could be so many things that could happen in nearly 2 decades. I drove over a wheel/tire in my car on the interstate one time, broke the rack/pinion and had it fixed at my brother in laws shop, you think that will come up on a carfax? LOL
What I learned in the car business 25+ years ago is Honda/Toyota owners have selective auto repair memory. "I never had a problem" from my Honda would fail under lie detector test" LOL
At the time, they would pay an extra 3500.00 for a Honda Accord vs. a Ford Taurus which is obviously the cost of an entirely new engine at the time. As we know now, imports are no longer the safe, bulletproof, reliable cars they once were in the 1980s. I know someone who just paid 850.00 to get the EVAP Canister replaced in a Toyota truck! Cost 285 in my Mustang!
 
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I bet your bushings are all bad. Some of them are fluid filled. I have a feeling the suspension is moving some due to the
driving force on the wheels, which is causing the suspension to move out of alignment, and cause the vibration.

Your comment about your car shuddering when going over bumps tells me your suspension is moving to much.

My car did this also, and over two years ago I replaced my suspension, drives perfect now.
When you say you replaced your suspension, could you elaborate on what exactly was replaced? Still seems weird that a car w 28k on it would need to have such a comprehensive repair. My ‘06 F150 cruises like a dream on freeway and has 101k on it and has all original parts. My guess is bushings too. Will see, I will find the solution!
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Still seems weird that a car w 28k on it would need to have such a comprehensive repair. My ‘06 F150 cruises like a dream on freeway and has 101k on it and has all original parts. My guess is bushings too. Will see, I will find the solution!
Trucks/SUV's are Ford and Chevrolet's bread & butter and are built for a different purpose and more rugged. Since you are not the first owner of this car, you have no idea what's happened to it during the 28,000 miles. As I said, I drove over a tire and wheel at 65 MPH on the interstate and had to replace the rack/pinion on a car once.

I see this often where people say the car "only" has 28,000 miles, but the circumference of the Earth in miles is 24,901 to put into perspective how much the car has been driven and over a 17-18 year period of time.
 
did the problem start after the tire change?has anyone checked that the cross braces under the car are torqued properly?also I would check my wheels for roundness and straight otherwise known as axial and radial runout.simply assuming because they are balanced they are true is not enough as a modern balancer will theoretically balance out a square wheel and tire.a vibration at at a certain speed in my opinion would not lead me to suspect any bad bushings that have passed visual test and checked for play.a completely blown out strut or shock could possibly allow a tire to bounce unchecked at speed this would manifest itself more like a rapid thumping as the tire bounces along unchecked by any dampening.let me know
 
When you say you replaced your suspension, could you elaborate on what exactly was replaced? Still seems weird that a car w 28k on it would need to have such a comprehensive repair. My ‘06 F150 cruises like a dream on freeway and has 101k on it and has all original parts. My guess is bushings too. Will see, I will find the solution!
My 2002 Bird would squeak, and make knocking noises when going over road humps, etc. With only 12k miles, and always kept in a climate
controlled garage, I never figured that all the rubber parts would be rotted. Yes the car was 18 years old, however I have some vehicles at
our ranch that are older, and driven harder, that have good suspension bushings.

I can only figure Ford's supplier may not have used good rubber parts.

I replaced upper, and lower control arms in back, along with sway bar link, and alignment rod, in front I replaced upper control arm,
sway bar link, and steering link. For some strange reason the lower control arm was fine. Some where on this site I posted pictures,
and some detail of my work, I did it all myself.

On my second 2002 Bird, which I bought used with 13k miles (for some reason I wanted a second Bird) I figured the suspension was
also rotted so I subtracted the cost from my final price with the dealer. When I got the car, it also had bad suspension, which I
replaced the same suspension components, except on this car I also replaced the front steering knuckles because the front ball
joints had rotted boots, and had some play in the ball joints, on both front wheels.

Not sure why I did the work myself, but I did. Possibly because I grew up around cars, my dad was a Lincoln Mercury dealer back
in 60's, and 70's, and a Ford Mercury Chrysler dealer in another city in the 80's, 90's, so I spent a lot of time around cars, even worked
there some, before I got into the radio communications business.

Both cars drive great now, at any speed.
 
My 2002 Bird would squeak, and make knocking noises when going over road humps, etc. With only 12k miles, and always kept in a climate
controlled garage, I never figured that all the rubber parts would be rotted. Yes the car was 18 years old, however I have some vehicles at
our ranch that are older, and driven harder, that have good suspension bushings.

I can only figure Ford's supplier may not have used good rubber parts.

I replaced upper, and lower control arms in back, along with sway bar link, and alignment rod, in front I replaced upper control arm,
sway bar link, and steering link. For some strange reason the lower control arm was fine. Some where on this site I posted pictures,
and some detail of my work, I did it all myself.

On my second 2002 Bird, which I bought used with 13k miles (for some reason I wanted a second Bird) I figured the suspension was
also rotted so I subtracted the cost from my final price with the dealer. When I got the car, it also had bad suspension, which I
replaced the same suspension components, except on this car I also replaced the front steering knuckles because the front ball
joints had rotted boots, and had some play in the ball joints, on both front wheels.

Not sure why I did the work myself, but I did. Possibly because I grew up around cars, my dad was a Lincoln Mercury dealer back
in 60's, and 70's, and a Ford Mercury Chrysler dealer in another city in the 80's, 90's, so I spent a lot of time around cars, even worked
there some, before I got into the radio communications business.

Both cars drive great now, at any speed.
Thank you for your breakdown, I am going to encourage my mechanic to look hard into these issues. Your input is valuable and appreciate it versus the somewhat dismissive responses I have gotten earlier. I will get this car riding like it should soon. Have a great summer!
 

RUBY ICE

Active Member
Hi....I have exactly the same problem with my 2004. All and I mean all the suspension has been replaced. I have had four sets of tires and two sets of rims installed and still the same problem. My 2002 did not have the 68-70 vibration and looseness issue. I am the second owner and now have 35,000 miles on the '04. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
 
this is for ruby see my suggestions above finding a vibration is not rocket science many things To consider most of which I already outlined in my response.to rdh FYI rubber boots at bushings and ball joints can be non existent and the joint can be fine the boots serve to exclude dust and retain lubricant not to say a joint with a bad boot will be long lived but the missing boot willl not cause a vibration and while a road force balance has certain advantages a proper dynamic balance done correctly is sufficient .trouble shooting requires a lot of actions each will get you closer to the problem ONLY through a process of elimination and requires a certain level of knowledge to get there unfortunately most mechanics fall short in that department.90 pct of the time an issue like this is the result of something simple and basic that’s been overlooked
 
Something that comes to mind for me when I here of a vibration that is not consistent or only above a certain speed is driveline issues. Have you checked the U-joints and maybe inspect the driveshaft to see if there are any balancer weights that might have come off. Even a slightly bent axle can drive you nuts as it won't be consistent.
Good luck
Ed
 

RUBY ICE

Active Member
Something that comes to mind for me when I here of a vibration that is not consistent or only above a certain speed is driveline issues. Have you checked the U-joints and maybe inspect the driveshaft to see if there are any balancer weights that might have come off. Even a slightly bent axle can drive you nuts as it won't be consistent.
Good luck
Ed
I am thinking this is my next investigation. I do know that it is not a motor mount or trans mount issue but have not check the axles and drive shaft. Thanks for the suggestions.
 
Hi....I have exactly the same problem with my 2004. All and I mean all the suspension has been replaced. I have had four sets of tires and two sets of rims installed and still the same problem. My 2002 did not have the 68-70 vibration and looseness issue. I am the second owner and now have 35,000 miles on the '04. Any suggestions greatly appreciated.
Have you had a road force 4 wheel alignment. not everyone offers this, and not all are good at alignment. The reason I bring this up is my
everyday car was a Genesis G90 which was a great car, but many owners had vibration and other highway speed issues. I never did on my
car, but some did, and had a hard time getting it fixed properly.

A good number did get the vibration fixed after a good road force 4 wheel alignment.

On both of my T Birds right after replacing the suspension I took my cars to the same alignment shop and had road force 4 wheel alignments
done on both cars. They both drive perfectly up to 85 the fastest I have been. Their alignment machine used lasers on their alignment
machines.
 
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