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Clank in rear when cornering

It’s the '99 Escort again, about 80K miles, now with the son and his bride in Chicago. He reports a clanking noise, maybe from the “rear axle” (a misnomer, I believe), when cornering at the high end of normal cornering speed (15 mph??). No noise at low speed. No info on if the noise is periodic or if it varies with speed (except on/off). No info if braking changes the noise. Lug nuts are tight (my not hopeful wild guess of a cause). I told him it’s probably not DIY anyhow, and the car goes to a mechanic tomorrow.

Any ideas of what we should expect to find (just to gain confidence in the diagnosis)?

A 99 could have a few issues, many of them probably minor. I would be looking at the shocks being tight and rubber bumper or bushing problem.

These cars had severe rust problems that can leave the rear suspension less than secure…

The noise could be caused from a broken rear stabilizer bar end link.


Thanks for the advice. Any more is still welcome.

Additional info: 1) The clank happens only on right turns. 2) The rear springs had been replaced a cuple of years ago because their bottom ends had rusted out (my local trusted mechanic says that is a common problem with that vintage Escort).

BTW, in case it matters, what should I have called it instead of “rear axle”?

Rear suspension. This covers both an axle/beam type rear suspension, or an independent type rear suspension.


Generall these problems are just dried up/shrunken/wornout bushings, but the only way to find the clunking is to get under the car.

A pop bottle in the trunk??

Turns out the clank was in the right front – a bad brake caliper. From a hurried telephone conversation with the tech, the hdwr that holds the pad into the caliper was falling apart (rust??), the slides were sticking, and the pad was rusted to the rotor. (The tech disparaged the Escort’s Mazda brakes.) They changed both calipers, and when they did the left they discovered a failing wheel bearing. So they fixed that too.

I’m glad it was caught before something bad happened. Thanks for all the advice.

Thanks for posting back. We get feedback so very rarely, it’s nice to hear.

I too am glad the problems were found before becoming serious…and they would have done so.