How to check for a worn strut mount & bearing plate? '04 Intrepid

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Old 01-29-08, 03:06 PM
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How to check for a worn strut mount & bearing plate? '04 Intrepid

I have an '04 Dodge Intrepid with 70,000 miles that makes clunking noises from the front end going over bumps and potholes. I checked the sway bar links and they are tight. I'm thinking the upper strut mount or bearing plate might be worn out. What is the best way to check without having to remove the strut?
 
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Old 01-30-08, 09:20 AM
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Boy would I like to know the answer to that !!!

I have a car making squeaking noises that I'm certain are coming from the suspension at the rear.

This car has struts and springs separate from each other, so it could be the rubber parts at the ends of the springs or the bearing mounts at the ends of the struts. Some people have suggested that it is one and others that it is the other. It would be nice to know before taking the thing apart.

Anyone ????
 
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Old 01-30-08, 09:34 AM
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noises

atikovi...I'm at the same point with a different car. I'll see what anyone says about your issue, but I'm pretty sure thats my problem, as almost every other moving part has been replaced..lol

quickcurrent... separate struts and springs? or shocks and springs? Coil or leaf springs? Anyway, a quick check would be to spray a little silicone spray on one connection point at a time (like the rubber at one end of the spring) then drive over a bump you know makes it make noise. I did this with my truck, and it turned out the "anti-squeek" pads between the spring leafs were just worn out. Only cheap fix was to re-spray whenever I washed it.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 09:41 AM
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After 50,000 miles, I replace all 4 struts. Factory equipment is not meant to go past that.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 09:46 AM
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gunguy45--jack up the front corner of the noisy side, supporting the vehicle by the frame or unibody, allowing the wheel/tire assembly to hang free off the ground by a few inches. using a long bar (old piece of pipe, for example), place it under the tire and lift as if you are trying to raise the vehicle by the tire. watch the strut (or better yet, have a helper do the grunt work with the bar) or place your hand on the spring inside the wheel well and you will feel looseness or play as the suspension is lifted and released. there should be zero movement up and down.

you can also raise both side at the same time and then try turning the wheels by grasping the either tire and turning (don't forget to turn the ign key to the steering unlock position) left and right. if a strut bearing is failing, you may hear grinding/crucnching noise...or it may just be difficult to turn by hand. it should turn pretty easily this way...but you do have to have both side off the ground at the same time.


QC-- this should have been a new thread...suspension squeeking/squawking noises when going over bumps (esp speed bumps) is often the isolators that wrap around the stabalizer bar. the bar rotates in the rubber parts when the suspension cycles up and down...when the rubber is dry, it makes noise against the smooth metal bar, take the isolators loose and put some graphite based grease on them...or replace them if they are severly worn and the noise will go away. the stabalizer bar supports no weight so taking it loose doesn't require any special precations.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:25 AM
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I tried the pry bar under the tire and everything is tight.

you can also raise both side at the same time and then try turning the wheels by grasping the either tire and turning
Then I tried the above and noticed some play as I move the tire back and forth. The play is transmitted back the tie rod to the rack on both sides. Although the steering feels good and tight I assume there should be no play. Would this indicate a worn rack? Could this cause the cluncking noise?
 
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Old 01-30-08, 10:43 AM
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clunking noise=yes

worn rack=unlikely

it may take two people for this...the play you feel is abnormal...have a helper wiggle the tire back and forth while you feel the outer tie rod (that ball and socket looking thing that is out by the tire). if you don't feel the movement there, it's most likely the inner tie rod. it's located inside that plastic accordian boot thingy inboard of the outer tie rod. it screws onto the end of the rack and generally requires some special tools and a toe reset on the alignment rack after installation.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 03:24 PM
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These Intrepids have a different style rack. The inner tie rods are external and meet up together at the center of the rack. I checked the service manual and it mentions inner tie rod bushings as a service item.
 
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Old 01-30-08, 03:52 PM
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well it's a center take off rack and it still has inner tie rods. bushings and tie rods are two different things...the bushings provide isolation between the rack and the body of the car so as not to transmit noises to the passenger cabin.

just follow the steering linkage with your hand while someone else wiggles the wheel (not the steering wheel) and you'll find the play....good luck
 
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Old 01-30-08, 04:01 PM
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Will do. I found this two piece tie rod bushing kit:


With this style kit does it mean I don't need to take the inner tie rods out of the car, just have to unbolt them from the rack?
 
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