UPDATE - 89 days at the dealer - Ford Service Engineer in-person assessment - new steering rack - not fixed

Spacebird

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My 2016 GT350R went to the dealer on August 18th of this year. I was experiencing a very loud groaning sound at low speeds in tight left turns. Only hard left, and only slow. It may happen at higher speeds and harder lefts, but I did not test for that. This dealership has at least one Ford Master Tech: the kind that they get to go work on Ford GTs and such. The dealer worked for weeks to try to isolate the problem. They replaced wheel bearings, and strut top mounts, and probably a few other things that the service guy told me but I’ve since forgotten. They put chassis ears on the car but we’re not able to identify the location of the sound. After 30 days I opened a case with Ford.

Last week an engineer from Ford flew out and worked with the dealer’s team to find the problem. Upon demonstrating the sound for him, he immediately said, “wheel bearing.” After they explained that the wheel bearings had been replaced, he was out of quick guesses. They again used chassis ears, moving them around the vehicle and found that the sound seems to be coming from the vicinity of the steering rack. A new steering rack is on its way and they’ll be installing it this week. The FoMoCo customer support guy and the dealer service guy seem to have declared the problem solved, or at least they’re telling me that. Tentatively, I’ll be getting the car back this Friday.

I am so glad that I purchased the extended warranty on this vehicle. All the new parts, all the diagnostics, all the labor, will only cost me a $100 deductible.

A few other thoughts—and I would love your feedback on this. I’m pretty skeptical of the diagnosis. I’m not the worlds best wrench, but I do have a degree in mechanical engineering, was an engineer for NASA, and I have a pretty good aptitude for how these things work. I can’t understand how a steering rack could fail seemingly overnight with only 8000 miles on the odometer. I know, complicated things fail in complicated ways, but steering racks aren’t exactly space flight hardware.

My fear is that it’s something structural. I’ve read about buybacks due to bad firewall welds with identical symptoms. This seems more probable than the bad rack hypothesis. It would explain how turning right makes no noise but tuning left does: the structural pieces are compressed one way and pulled apart the other, and the groaning sound and vibration a result of the metal pulled apart and vibrating against itself where the weld has failed.

I guess we’ll know in a few days. Any thoughts or feedback are welcome.





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M.A.N.

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I have not heard of that, but will be interested in hearing what you find out.
 

RPDBlueMoon

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My 2016 GT350R went to the dealer on August 18th of this year. I was experiencing a very loud groaning sound at low speeds in tight left turns. Only hard left, and only slow. It may happen at higher speeds and harder lefts, but I did not test for that. This dealership has at least one Ford Master Tech: the kind that they get to go work on Ford GTs and such. The dealer worked for weeks to try to isolate the problem. They replaced wheel bearings, and strut top mounts, and probably a few other things that the service guy told me but I’ve since forgotten. They put chassis ears on the car but we’re not able to identify the location of the sound. After 30 days I opened a case with Ford.

Last week an engineer from Ford flew out and worked with the dealer’s team to find the problem. Upon demonstrating the sound for him, he immediately said, “wheel bearing.” After they explained that the wheel bearings had been replaced, he was out of quick guesses. They again used chassis ears, moving them around the vehicle and found that the sound seems to be coming from the vicinity of the steering rack. A new steering rack is on its way and they’ll be installing it this week. The FoMoCo customer support guy and the dealer service guy seem to have declared the problem solved, or at least they’re telling me that. Tentatively, I’ll be getting the car back this Friday.

I am so glad that I purchased the extended warranty on this vehicle. All the new parts, all the diagnostics, all the labor, will only cost me a $100 deductible.

A few other thoughts—and I would love your feedback on this. I’m pretty skeptical of the diagnosis. I’m not the worlds best wrench, but I do have a degree in mechanical engineering, was an engineer for NASA, and I have a pretty good aptitude for how these things work. I can’t understand how a steering rack could fail seemingly overnight with only 8000 miles on the odometer. I know, complicated things fail in complicated ways, but steering racks aren’t exactly space flight hardware.

My fear is that it’s something structural. I’ve read about buybacks due to bad firewall welds with identical symptoms. This seems more probable than the bad rack hypothesis. It would explain how turning right makes no noise but tuning left does: the structural pieces are compressed one way and pulled apart the other, and the groaning sound and vibration a result of the metal pulled apart and vibrating against itself where the weld has failed.

I guess we’ll know in a few days. Any thoughts or feedback are welcome.
Nothing really I can say since you are an engineer and worked for NASA.

I wonder if the new steering rack will be the one from the 2020 GT350s which is the one from the GT500. That would be nice
 

stanglife

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Just wait and see if it's fixed before you drive yourself nuts making up more serious issues that it might or might not be.
 

Cobra Jet

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The EPAS rack is quite complex. Most don’t know it, but the rack has an internal circuit board an electric motor as well as a rubber belt. Premature failure of those parts could cause multiple steering problems, as well as NVH.

I compiled the below EPAS info a while back for some others, so if you have time, check out the links; it’s educational for the future when these units do start failing in larger volume and how they could be DIY repaired.

More knowledge is always a good thing, especially with these Mustangs as they become more and more burdened with reliance on cheap electronics....



Aside from the EPAS rack being damaged either externally or internally, that rack not only has a motor inside of it, but also circuit board and an actual rubber belt. The rubber belt is serviceable. So if the motor or circuit board isn’t damaged, it could be a simple broken belt or the belt jumped off the cogged gear from the impact. See here:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/help-identifying-eps-belt-size.127584/#post-2642940

Yes, there is an internal power steering belt (most do not even know it exists). Above link contains pics and belt sizing info.

——
Here’s some other helpful links I had posted on this site in another thread regarding locked EPAS units; last post update in this thread says the OP found there was a loose connection in a harness which had created a fault (no steering).

https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...ower-in-their-steering-while-on-track.127352/

This one touches on corroded battery cables leading to malfunctioning EPAS:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/need-to-replace-my-rack.132063/#post-2724002

This thread has good troubleshooting info if needed:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...king-help-from-a-tech-ideas-on-causes.120707/

This thread has some insight to what is involved with removing the rack for repair effort:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/threads/need-help-steering-rack-replacement.129096/

This thread has some excellent TECH repair and photos of the EPAS with it apart and where the EPAS circuitry is located; thread also discusses FORSCAN flashes:
https://www.mustang6g.com/forums/th...ategies-calibrations-vbf.112549/#post-2611462

——-

Enjoy and hopefully Ford gets you back on the road soon! Keep us posted.
 
OP

Spacebird

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I got the car back yesterday after 57 days at the dealer. They replaced the original steering rack (called a “steering gear” in Ford’s lexicon) and on the short drive home it appears that the issue is gone. I’m going to test it more today to confirm (UPDATE: see post below).

Here’s the parts list of replaced items:

1 FR3Z 5A306 B - Coil Spring Insulator
1 FR3Z 1109 A - Wheel Bearing And Hub Assembly
1 FL 2069 ST - Oil Filter
1 GRZ 3504 D - Steering Gear
2 W714682 S442 - Strut Mount Nut
2 W717106 S439 - Gear Assembly Mount Bolt
4 W714878 S450 - Steering Shaft Bolt

There’s nothing in the documentation about the oil being replaced. I presume they had to remove the filter to get the steering gear out and back in. Today I’ll going to check the oil level and confirm that the filter was torqued to spec.

ADC246D4-BE1C-41BF-A1DC-A1AF203099F6.jpeg


7276FC80-038C-471E-B67D-8D5B1C6042B2.jpeg


8D533B29-A010-47D4-853C-0017C5D54A15.jpeg
 
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Spacebird

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Well, the sound is not resolved. I'm able to recreate it consistently between 15-20mph, just like before. It sounds like a belt slipping on a power steering pump, but of course, we don't have power steering pumps.


I trust that I'm alone in experiencing this noise?
 
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Arknsawchuck

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That almost sounds like a hydraulic squeal. I crewed the C-130 aircraft for 30 years and I've heard sounds from the hydro system on them like that. Its almost always internal bypassing of an actuator or pump. That's my best guess since I'm not an auto mechanic. Good luck
 

Epiphany

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I like to disassemble things.
That almost sounds like a hydraulic squeal.
I had the same thought.

With the car up on a lift and someone in it replicating your sawing back and forth with the steering wheel, can it not be replicated and easier to pinpoint from underneath?
 
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Spacebird

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Update: 89 days at the dealer and still no resolution. The car sits at the dealership, and I’ve been told that a Ford Service Engineer isn’t able to fly out (again) until June 2021. Because I’m on a Ford extended warranty and not the factory warranty that came with the car, it’s questionable that state lemon law would apply. The Ford Customer Service guy said it would be different if I had a 2019 and not a 2016. He assures me they’re working on a resolution, and I believe they are.

I have a law firm champing at the bit to take this on under the federal Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act. I really want to avoid that unless it’s my last resort.
 

460Fred

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Just curious what you consider a “last resort”?
Sorry man but in this case, my last resort would have been a long time ago. You have the patience of Job.
 

09cs

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How has it not been lemoned yet for sitting there that long?!
 
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Spacebird

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Just curious what you consider a “last resort”?
Sorry man but in this case, my last resort would have been a long time ago. You have the patience of Job.
I’ve already missed the prime driving and track season here in Colorado. At this point there’s just not an urgency, other than my wish to use my $70,000+ car that has only 8,000 miles on the clock.

That, and once lawyers get involved everybody loses a little bit. Perhaps legal mediation is a better next step.

How has it not been lemoned yet for sitting there that long?!
It seems that the general interpretation of state lemon laws is that the car has to be under factory warranty. An extended warranty, even if that’s sold by the OEM, is less clear. The law firm I mentioned says that they’d use the Magnuson–Moss Warranty Act rather than state lemon laws.
 
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09cs

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I would seriously look at starting legal action or mediation at this point
 

ZX3ST

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Just curious what you consider a “last resort”?
Sorry man but in this case, my last resort would have been a long time ago. You have the patience of Job.
Same thoughts here. It's already been 3mo and they've basically told you that you're not a priority and can plan for another 7mo before they attempt to diagnose. Let alone how long it will take to get parts acquired/installed. IF that even fixes it.

They've already delivered the car back to you "done" when the problem is still so easily replicated. That alone would send me through the roof.

Situations like this is why people don't buy the warranties. You pay up front, and they get to it when/if they feel like it. "Working on a resolution". They should be embarrassed to even suggest they can't fix your car within a 10mo timeframe. These are supposed to be the experts (according to them) that are the only ones on earth qualified to work on your car.

I'd be digging through the T&Cs of the warranty paperwork if I were you.

EDITED TO ASK: Which ESP plan do you have?
 
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