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Vertical X-Brace behind Passenger Compartment

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  • #16
    In my conversations with Earl (007161947), he suggested to me to take a closer look at the soft top. Susie and I took her out for a drive, and Earl's onto something. That which MAY be the normal twisting of this convertible body is simply revealing a soft top that is "responding" more to this twisting than either of my 2 prior Birds (my prior IG was silent - no noises at all). These noises appear to be NOT coming from the top's hardware, but rather squeaking noises made by the soft material. Not sure I'm making this clear or not...
    Best Joey-ism (Friends) ever:
    "The point is Moo. It's like a cow's opinion...it's 'Moo'."
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62necDwQb5E

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    • #17
      I noticed on my 2002 Bird that when I removed the hard top, the car seemed to have a loose feel. More cowl shake. I think the hard top stiffens up the body quite a bit.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by AZTB View Post
        UPDATE: I decided to loosen all 14 bolts to the main x-brace under the passenger compartment, and the 4 rear bolts to the x-brace under the engine. My reason for doing this was simple: with the flex noise I was getting from the car, I began to wonder if the 2 horizontal braces under the car might have been tightened when the car wasn't flat (all the work done on the car by the prior lady was done at the dealership, but I have been in this long enough to know that Ford dealerships don't always know this car). I felt I needed to be sure these bolts were "tight" when the car was flat...or at its "zero" position for tightening these bolts.

        So I put the car on a flat surface (garage) and loosened all 18 of these bolts - I pulled the car out of the garage onto the street, and then backed it back into the garage (allowing the braces to "realign" to a flat position). I then tightened all 18 of these bolts to specs. I then pulled the car out and drove it around the block, turning in both directions, listening for flex noises.

        The noise seemed to be significantly diminished - so I'm going to watch it for a while and see if it's really better. I will be putting the hardtop on here in the next few weeks as our night-time temps start climbing into the high 80's/low 90's. Then I'll check it again. If it gets noisy again, I'm taking it in to have rear suspension looked at and also get a 4-wheel alignment per Brad's suggestion.

        If anyone has any more thoughts/suggestions, I'm always open to this site's expertise.
        Thanks.
        Finally tightened rear X brace, 6 bolts in 2002 version. Also tightened the 4 front X brace rear bolts after driving around the block a few times to let the hardtop decide where it likes the bolts to settle.

        All 13mm. Loosened all first, then torqued (after shakedown cruise) to 45fp. No lift required.
        Factory lock-tight was definitely evident.

        Hermann
        Last edited by HKS; Oct 9, 2019, 07:54 AM.
        2002 Motor Trend COTY Blue/White/Full #24737 (One of 291)
        2015 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0T 240HP, 270FP Torque
        http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/membe...8&username=hks

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        • #19
          Was the result satisfactory?
          .

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          • #20
            Some improvement. Need to do the front OF THE FRONT X brace.
            that may require raising the car somewhat.
            I do everything piecemeal.
            HKS
            2002 Motor Trend COTY Blue/White/Full #24737 (One of 291)
            2015 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0T 240HP, 270FP Torque
            http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/membe...8&username=hks

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            • #21
              I had to pop loose a plastic splash shield to get to all the front "X" brace bolts and did also have to raise the car slightly....its just too low to work a torque wrench under there easily..

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Frank Dreano View Post
                I had to pop loose a plastic splash shield to get to all the front "X" brace bolts and did also have to raise the car slightly....its just too low to work a torque wrench under there easily..
                Did you find any front X brace bolts that required re-torquing to 45fp?
                2002 Motor Trend COTY Blue/White/Full #24737 (One of 291)
                2015 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0T 240HP, 270FP Torque
                http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/membe...8&username=hks

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                • #23
                  HKS, please read your post on "cowl Shake" from two months ago. 46fp is the torque spec for the cross brace bolts.
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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by 5bird7 View Post
                    HKS, please read your post on "cowl Shake" from two months ago. 46fp is the torque spec for the cross brace bolts.
                    You are right. I may check the torque later. That one pound is probably within the 3-5% calibration error.
                    Hermann
                    2002 Motor Trend COTY Blue/White/Full #24737 (One of 291)
                    2015 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0T 240HP, 270FP Torque
                    http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/membe...8&username=hks

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                    • #25
                      Finally drove the Tbird over the 4 blocks of bad road again, same road that made me decide to check the X braces.

                      The potholes on that section of road were spaced just right, setting up a shaking rattle/oscillation.
                      Each pothole added energy to the earlier one resulting in in extreme shaking.

                      Well, I have to report a significant (worthwhile) improvement due to resetting the X brace torque.

                      There was a rumble caused by the tires, but the body rattling noises were insignificant.
                      I think it had a lot to do with letting the hardtop decide where the X braces like to be centered. So, in my case, doing the X brace re-tightening with hart top on was correct.
                      See post #18 also.
                      HKS
                      Last edited by HKS; Yesterday, 03:50 AM.
                      2002 Motor Trend COTY Blue/White/Full #24737 (One of 291)
                      2015 Ford Escape Titanium 2.0T 240HP, 270FP Torque
                      http://www.thunderbirdnest.com/membe...8&username=hks

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by HKS View Post
                        Well, I have to report a significant (worthwhile) improvement due to resetting the X brace torque.There was a rumble caused by the tires, but the body rattling noises were insignificant.HKS
                        Glad to hear this, Hermann...congrats!
                        Best Joey-ism (Friends) ever:
                        "The point is Moo. It's like a cow's opinion...it's 'Moo'."
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62necDwQb5E

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