Grinding-Thump noise in 95 Escort.

I have a '95 Escort LX Manual Hatchback. In the last couple months I've started hearing a strange noise. I can best describe the noise as a "grinding thump". It doesn't follow a regular rythm. I hear a
couple/few grinding-thumps, then it stops. Then it'll start again. I usually hear it as I'm starting from a stop. Sometimes I hear it just as I'm rolling to a stop (clutch in, brake applied).
It occurs often, but not always. I never seem to hear it at high speeds, but that may be because road noise it drowning it out. It doen't seem to be coming from anywhere specific. It almost sounds like it's coming from the whole car, which may mean it's right underneath (???).
FYI: I few weeks ago, when I had my inspection, the mechanic said I need new struts (which I haven't done yet). Also, today I put some more air in the tires and the noise seems more pronounced now.
Anyone have any ideas?
Thanks,
Jeff
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Try tightening the control arm to body bracket bolts on both sides. They are on the inboard side of each control arm and are probably the cause of the noise you are describing. Your struts are fine. I forget the size but you will need a deep socket to reach the bolt heads. I had the same problem occur and would go away after the bolts were tightened but would eventually come back after another year or so. No big.
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Slight correction, they are called the control arm pivot bolts and you might not need a deep socket because the nuts might be accessible from underneath the car. Not familiar with the 95 models, but that's how it works on a 90 model. A box end or crescent wrench might do it, but probably better to torque them down to about 50 ft lbs.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in

50 wont do it..I think it's 90-100
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The 1990 spec is "45 - 55 ft. lbs", and that's all I have to go on. Can't speak for the 2nd gen. But to hell with the spec, whatever it is, with these bolts you can just make them "real freakin tight" and not worry about the textbook stuff. One or two 1/4 turns with a breaker bar after it's ratchet tight should do it. Should be all steel down there.
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