Strut bearing replacement

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  #1  
Old 11-08-10, 09:33 AM
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Strut bearing replacement

Hi all,

I have an 02 PT cruiser with only about 28,000 miles on it. Everything has been checked out in the front end by a mechanic but there is still some clunking in the front end on both sides. This has been going on for about 8 months now and was never to bad until now it is getting a bit worse. Happens when I go over sizeable bumps such as a speed bump or other high spot in the road. A few mechanics have advised it could be the strut bushings going. MY question is if the bushings are going bad can these alone be replaced or do the struts need to be replaced as well. The struts seems good when I bounce the car up and down but I am wondering if leaving bad bushings in there it will eventually destroy the struts themselves or something else. Also how much labor is involved if t bearings alone can be changed out so I have a ballpark of what it will run. Thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 11-08-10, 10:01 AM
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Well...couldn't help anymore with your laptop issue (the questions were more for the Pros)...but this I know a bit about. Yes, the bearings (sure they didn't say bearings? That's what mine are.) can be replaced separately...but will still require complete removal and disassembly of the strut assy. Mine were about $35 each over the counter at the dealer. I took the strut assy out, had my own spring compressor, but couldn't break loose the big mounting nut. Took the whole assy to my friendly local shop and they swapped the bearings for free. Well, free and a 6 pack for the guy who did it.

Taking the whole assy out isn't that tough..but there are some heavy torqued bolts and they need to be retorqued properly.

I'd say in a shop it's not much more than a 1 hr job..but the book rate may be more.
 
  #3  
Old 11-08-10, 12:19 PM
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Once the:

Ball joints
Lower control Arm
Lower Control Arm Bushings
Stabilizer Bar (Sway Bar)
Steering Knuckle


Have been ruled out, then you can turn your attention to the below.

On the PT Cruiser the shaft of the strut is bolted to a part that attaches to the inner fender well. With this design the spring is always loading the bearing. When taking it apart note, that the top is in three pieces.

A stamped steel plate that the spring rests against.

A nylon bushing that rests in the plate.

The top plate that the shaft of the strut bolts to and attaches to the fender well.


By design, this set up prevents any kind of motion. Based on your description, it sounds like the nylon bushing is worn out. You should be hearing a metal to metal grinding sound before feeling/hearing a clunk. Expect the rear lower control arm bushing to fail regularly on your PT Cruiser, and to produce a clunking noise. If the rubber bushing appears to be squeezed and out of shape, then itís shot and that is your problem. The bushing sits in the vertical position in the control arm with a bolt passing through it vertically. The natural motion of the suspension is squeezing the rubber bushing verses the twisting motion found in almost all other rubber bushings. To resolve the issue you are describing once and for all you should use Dorman products.

Click on the link below

Dorman Products


 
  #4  
Old 11-08-10, 06:15 PM
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well, let me quote you first:

Happens when I go over sizeable bumps such as a speed bump or other high spot in the road. A few mechanics have advised it could be the strut bushings going. MY question is if the bushings are going bad can these alone be replaced or do the struts need to be replaced as well. The struts seems good when I bounce the car up and down but I am wondering if leaving bad bushings in there it will eventually destroy the struts themselves or something else. Also how much labor is involved if t bearings alone can be changed out so I have a ballpark of what it will run. Thanks

so, what exactly is that you are replacing - bushings or bearings? as bushings are normally poc to replace, and bearings are different animal and require more labor. and in mcpherson strut assy, bearing is hidden inside upper mount plate.
bearings do not make any sense to replace, as they are located horizontally on top of the strut, and there is no way to make a clunk when driving over the bump.

so, i can see bushings going bad, but you don't really have any. bushings are in shocks absorbers. ain't none in struts. bushings are polyurethane or rubber inserts into shocks "ears" where they connect to control arm or subframe, and have metal rod running in the center. bushing goes bad - rod hits shock's "ear". clunk. but they will clunk on any road imperfection, continuously.

here's bushings sample:
energysuspension.com | Shock Bushings

you have jounce bumper, but that is for when car jumps in the air and lands with huge impact on that strut. shock absorber, so to speak. and excessive range limiter, so that strut does not collapse on you and break.

you may have upper mount loose, but i seriously doubt. re-tighten 3 nuts on the mount bolts under the hood, on the fenders.

so, here's 2 suggestions for you. as i am fairly familiar with drive over the bump clunk.
1. engine mount. or any other mount.
2. steering shaft.
 
  #5  
Old 11-09-10, 04:18 AM
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Somebody with better memory correct me, but didn't we recently have a thread running on a PT Cruiser with front end issues.
 
  #6  
Old 11-09-10, 06:46 AM
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Yes Tow Guy. There was for sure one a few months back at least I remember also where they finally found it was faulty bushings for the sway bar I think. Jcraft are you sure that your mechanic checked those out. Using a prybar is one way to confirm play on the bar mounting. It sometimes is not easy to feel for worn sway bar links either without taking them off. Both situations can cause the same knock effect that you are hearing
 
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