front end noise

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  #1  
Old 01-06-10, 04:37 AM
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front end noise

I have a 2002 PT cruiser ( 25,000 miles on it!) that once again has developed some knocking in the front end. This past April ( about 1500 miles ago) I had front end knocking and the mechanic checked the whole front end out ( bushings, ball joints, tie rods, control arms, bushings etc.) and found the tie rods to be bad. He changed them out and that corrected the problem back then. About two years ago I had new control arms and bushings put on by the dealer. Now once again their is some knocking going on in the front end that appears to happen when going over fairly good size bumps or holes. IT seems to happen on both sides. Any thoughts what to look for. Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 01-06-10, 10:46 AM
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Another possible cause could be worn out, or getting close to worn out sway bar links. They don't always feel loose by just grabbing them without taking them off, or at least that is my experience, and also some good advice that I received here on the forum. You probably can buy them for $30 a side. With everything else already replaced or checked out these are worth taking a look at by pulling one off and checking for loose ends. If the other suspension parts didn't hold up, these may not have either.
 
  #3  
Old 01-06-10, 10:54 AM
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Okay, how difficult are these to take apart and change if necessary for a DIY project. If you can let me know the steps to doing this. Thanks
 
  #4  
Old 01-06-10, 02:02 PM
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If it is a problem with worn out links, and remember it could also be something else, they are usually pretty easy to change out. Probably a 1 hour job. With my vehicle it was only a matter of undoing the top and bottom attaching nuts. Pull the car up on ramps to get easier access, but keep even weight on both wheels, and do one side at a time. Some GM cars have an allen wrench opening at the back of the ball joints to keep them from spinning when trying to loosen them. If not like that on your Mopar, vise grips could work to hold them, and if you are replacing them it won't matter if you damage them anyway. I know some shops cut, or grind them off when the nuts are badly rusted, and to save time, but mine came off fairly easily with a socket. Some cars have different ones for the right and left side. My knocking was for sure due to this problem, and there was no easy way for me to check for looseness without taking them off. On my GM I could not feel any loose play on them by grabbing them alone with the vehicle weight on the sway bar. I spent $60.00 for 2 and one hour of my time. A simple and rewarding DIY job in my case at least. Hope this helps if this is the problem on yours. 25k is not many miles to wear these out, but with the other parts going so soon, this could be a cause of your latest suspension noise, and something that the previous mechanic wasn't able to find, or wasn't an issue at that time.
 
  #5  
Old 01-06-10, 11:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
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Upper strut mount bushings/bearings can cause the noise you are hearing also.with the hood open remove the plastic cap on top of the strut and "bounce test" the car the center of the strut where the nut is should not move if any play shows up you found your noise when driving.Unfortunatly not an easy DIY project without a strut/spring compressor to compress the spring to tighten or replace the bushing/bearing.Can't remember for sure if the upper mount has a bearing in it or not but do know it is a replaceable unit and about an hr and a half job a side then you will need to get it alined.
 
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