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brianblue

buying a Gen 1 TC, need advice

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HelloI am new to Forum.. I have test driven a 2012 TC  XLT cargo.  everything works as it should and it is low miles.  It has a LOT. of rattles and 'noises from the front and back as it goes over rough pave.  i kind of expected that, but the most concerning is a 'clunk' from the right front.. ( bad strut???) . the sales guys said the mechanics checked out everything after i mentioned this on first drive.  he said everything ok...  no better on second drive.... i am ok with rattles, but the Clunk worries... any thoughts?

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Man thats a tough one , i noticed how you capitalized " LOT " which is not a good sign .  Do you have an independent mechanic that can look it over because i wouldn't necessarily trust a mechanic that works for Ford.

 

If it doesn't come with some kind of warranty i would stay clear UNLESS an independent mechanic gives it the OK.

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The front suspension is quite fordish. Luckily the suspension parts are cheap. 

But the tie rods only have outer ends. If the inner ones go it's the steering rack.

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With age rubber bushings deteriorate and you can get rattles and looseness.  I'd be more concerned about the clunk.  Many years ago we had a GMC Safari van that had a clunk in the right front - from new.  Dealer said they tore it apart and found nothing, had an independent mechanic look at it, he and I even test drove it and we both could hear and feel it.  Finally a few years later my wife was turning around in her parents driveway.  Clunk and the right front wheel fell over!!!!  Good it happened at 1 MPH - ball joint.  Had it replaced and several years later same think happened, she was going 10 or 15 at the time and just pulled over.  The van went to Pull-a-Part with 200,000 miles on it when I was getting ready to buy the TC a year and a half ago.  She misses it, I don't.

 

I don't think the suspension on the 1st generation is that bad, and if you need to replace parts its not too difficult or expensive.  

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Don't buy it.  Forget about even trying to diagnose it, and negotiating with the seller for presale repairs.  Be patient.  Wait until you find a van you like, without a clunk.

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Is the Body in good shape? Runs well , good price?  Knock 1500 off the price, I bet you can find the Clunk for less

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Define low mileage.  It means different things to different people.  My 2010 makes all kinds of creaks and groans from the rear axle area.  I don't know what those are, but they don't seem particularly dire.  There is plenty of thrumming and creaking from the slab sided body and some light clunks from the sliding doors if I"m going over a really rough patch of pavement.

 

Like everyone else, I would be concerned about the front end noise..  If the price is right and the mileage is low enough, then it's worth taking a bit of a chance.  That's what I did with mine - body damage, but TCs have some quirks which make body repairs less straight forward than you would expect.  As I found out.

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4 hours ago, WillMartin said:

Define low mileage.  It means different things to different people. 

 

A lot of people consider 1,000 miles a month to be "average".  That's a loose rule of thumb which is based on warranty coverage.  3 years, 36,000 miles.  In reality, everyone has different driving habits, commutes, and ex-wives.

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16 hours ago, WillMartin said:

My 2010 makes all kinds of creaks and groans from the rear axle area

Leaf Springs have more noise over time than link and coil spring suspensions, not much of an issue.

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My leaf springs never made a squeak during the 10 years of ownership.

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Posted (edited)

My TC sat for a lot of its life, which means the springs got some surface creakiness.  The creaking is going slowly away now that it's getting a bit more exercise.  Some of it may have been some surface rust on the brake drums as well.  The motor is mostly smoothing out, too.  Machinery needs exercise.

 

Or maybe I'm just getting used to it.

Edited by WillMartin

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