Re: 04 Ford Explorer
Don't forget, multiple components that aren't 100% in spec can make noises and can be hard to pinpoint. It ads character to older vehicles! Sway bar bushings are a culprit on A LOT of SUV's. One way to tell if the bushings are going is (if you have the means), lift up the front end with the tires off the ground; work in some grease in and around all the bushings, you may have to unlock and turn the wheels to get the best angle. Don't go light on the grease either, gob it all over the place. If the noises go away after a few miles you'll know what the culprit is!
You can re-torque shock bolts and visually inspect them (try to shake them with your hands with the wheels removed and off the ground). If there's even a slight amount of play then you've found the problem. Alas, shocks should be replaced every 60-70K irregardless how bad they look visually. Bad shocks can lead to poor braking performance and increase your distance to stop safely.
'11 Ram Quad Cab 4x4 SXT 5.7L HEMI (stock); 48,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 64,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 28,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!