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Vibrations, Steering Issues and Front End Clunk (Fixed I think)

Discussion in 'New Edge Cobras' started by vdubn, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. vdubn

    vdubn Member Established Member

    Aug 1, 2017
    I recently purchased a 2001 Cobra Convertible, and have been working through some of the issues. Within the last 8k miles the owner put an Aluminator into the car, but the rest of the car has been pretty neglected. The car has an AJE K-member, AJE A-Arms, MM Caster/Camber plates and front coilovers. The main issues I have been having are as follows:

    - When I turn, I get a pretty loud pop from the pass side front
    - The steering feels extra heavy, and inconsistent (I figured it was alignment since it pulled to one side and didn't return to center)
    - Seems like a lot of vibration in general. I know convertibles have a lot of rattles, but this seems more than average

    So, first thing I did was to take the car to get aligned, and the alignment shop found that the K-member had some loose bolts and the alignment was way off. They adjusted it all within spec, but nothing they did affected the pop. They did find that the steering shaft was rubbing on the header almost constantly, which explains the heavy steering feel (which is still there after the alignment).

    So, I started with something simple... sway bar. Tonight I removed the end links, and the sway bar, and I found some interesting things. Here is the first thing I found. On the pass side (side with the loud pop) the AJE A-arm is cracked pretty bad at the end link mounting tab. I drove around without the sway bar, and low and behold.... no more pop. Tomorrow I will call AJE and see if they will warranty the arms. The drivers side is tweaked pretty good too, and the end link bushings are toast. See the pics.



    As I was looking over the A-arms, I came across what I think may be causing all of the other issues (vibration, stiff steering, and steering shaft rubbing header). Since the previous owner recently swapped the engine, I think they swapped the K-member at the same time, and both motor mounts are slammed to the bottom of the mount pads on the K-member. Additionally, the oil pan is basically almost sitting directly on the steering rack. See the pics showing the clearance (I can't see daylight between the steering rack and oil pan). My thought is that if I loosen the engine mount bolts, then use my engine hoist to lift the engine so that the bolt is at least at the center of the slot. If I do that, I think it might create clearance for the pan, clearance at the header for the steering shaft, and might end most of the vibrations.




    My question for others with New Edge Mustangs, I should have at least 1/4" or more clearance between the rack and oil pan, right? Just curious what others think of my logic, and if it makes sense that the motor mount should be up higher on the pads,or if possibly the motor mounts are worn, if they are slid all the way to the bottom of the K-member?

    Thanks for reading this whole post, I'm stoked to hopefully be making some progress on the issues the car has.
  2. 01yellercobra

    01yellercobra AKA slo984now Established Member

    Oct 5, 2005
    San Diego
    I'd guess the mounts are wore out. I think no matter how tight you tighten them down the motor going to eventually slide back down. It might be worth trying to see if it helps, but I'd plan on new mounts at some point.
  3. Dave.O

    Dave.O Active Member Established Member

    Apr 14, 2014
    When I rebuilt my engine and added canton rr pan it made contact with my Griggs k member
    After messing endlessly with it to no avail I eventually just took a big screw driver and "clearanced" it
    No problems since

    Also if replacing your a arms go with mm they are robust

    Sent from my iPhone using svtperformance.com
  4. vdubn

    vdubn Member Established Member

    Aug 1, 2017
    Thanks guys... slo984now, I think you hit the head on the nail. After looking things over, I think I will install a set of Prothane engine mounts. I think whats in there are the original rubber mounts, and that is probably what is a large part of the vibration.

    As for the A-Arms, I spoke with AJE today, and found out that those are their first design of A-Arms, and since the car is lowered over 2", I think the failure of the end link tab was due to the fact that no one put shorter end links on the sway bar, and the stock rubber bushings were still on the links. I plan to run shorter links, that will eliminate the twisting of the links in the mount tab, and per AJE, I will open up the hole on the tab to 5/8", from the current 3/8". The hole being just over the size of the link bolts caused it to be too tight, and not allow the link to rotate enough, which is why you see the one tab all bent. Then I will weld some 3/16" plate to the top of the link tab on the A-arm, which will reinforce the tab.

    Finally, I will replace the Sway bar bushings, as the original cracked rubber ones are also still there. Driving it this morning without a sway bar, amazingly quiet during turns.

    What are most folks experiences with the prothane motor mounts? They shouldn't be too noisy, right?
  5. shurur

    shurur Well-Known Member Established Member

    Jan 2, 2011
    Tampa FL
    Prothanes sit a bit higher..supposedly.
    You will want to buy the matching prothane transmission mount as well, as it pushes the transmission tail up too to level it.

    I have prothane motor mounts and Energy suspension trans mount, which I found that I had to shim up a bit with fender washers.

    All the noise about poly noise is just noise IMO.

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