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Discussion Starter #1
What's the best way to tighten the nut on top? Did a strut on my Spirit, and it's now clunking over bumps. I'm going to tighten the mount nuts and I want to tighten that big nut more (I know it's loose-ish) but I can't seem to turn it without rotating the piston rod.
 

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Hold the rotating strut rod with a 10mm and then tighten the nut.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Gotcha, nice and tight now, had to use a big offset box but it worked. Almost right after I posted that I realized what I had to do... derr..
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I know this really doesn't apply to the original issue, but does anyone have the alignment specs for a '95 Spirit? It's getting aligned today and I'm not sure the shop will be able to pull them up
 

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Should be this:

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another really doesn't apply to the original question but the car makes a loud banging noise when I brake normally while backing up. If I brake softly, there's no noise. There is no noise when braking going forward, and it only bangs once when I brake in reverse (it bangs every time I put it in reverse and brake normally, but only once per reverse cycle.
 

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I'd pull the rear wheels and inspect the brakes right away. Are they drum? Could be a broken "nail" for the hold-down spring for a shoe.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Rears are drum, I will take a look at them. What's the "nail"? I haven't really done a whole lot of brake and suspension work, so apologies if the answers are really obvious.
The noise sounds like it's coming from the front of the car, driver's side, whoch is the side I just put the strut on. It's a sharp bang with a sort of springy tone to it as well. If the car is not put in reverse, it will bang like this over the first big bump, and no others, like something is misaligned and is settling in, almost. Does not bang on hard cornering, even over bumps. The anti-rattle clip for the driver's side is missing (it broke), could that be the issue?
 

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Well, you do need that clip. It could be that, or it could be a problem remaining with the struts.

The "nail" is the fastener that goes through the backing plate and is used with the hold-down spring and a lockwasher to secure the brake shoes to the backing plate. I had the nail break once, so the shoe was free to flop around a little inside the drum.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well here's what I did today:
-Installed the anti-rattle spring.
-Tigthened the caliper guide bolts (not that they were loose)
-Tightened the strut nut (sheared a 1/4" adaptor doing it, I think that's as tight as that's going to get)
-Checked the lower ball joint (grease seems to be coming out where it shouldn't, but I couldn't move the zerk fitting, so according to both Haynes and Chrysler it passes)
-Greased tie rod end and lower ball joint
-Tightened lug nuts
All of the strut parts are new, save for the coil spring. Here's the noise:
http://youtu.be/rOyuAWIqxkk
 

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When I try to play it, the window comes up with the text "This video is private." and it won't play.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whoops, should be fixed now. As you can see, it only happens once upon backing up per time it's in reverse.
 

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Wow! Sounds like a door slamming to me. I have to agree with Bob about it possibly being a loose brake shoe though. I don't see how the repairs you just did could make this sound happen. But then again, I'm not a mechanic.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The noise is definitely coming from the front, driver's side.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Had a thought today. Is it possible the sleeves that the caliper bolts go in are worn? I lost a bolt while i was driving and was driving around for a while with only one bolt in; when I bought new ones, they came with sleeves. Do these sleeves wear down? I can't see why they would, but I can't see why I would leave that bolt so loose that it fell out either.
 

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They need to be in the sleeves. Are they now, and lubed with bearing grease?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
They're in the old sleeves, which is what I was getting at, should I put the new ones in? I didn't grease them, I didn't know you were supposed to.
 

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Yes, I'd use the new sleeves, and bearing grease on the caliper guide bolts (the whole length) is mandatory. The Toyota dealer apparently forgot that once, when they did my wife's brakes, and within 30K miles the car was taking too long to stop, and one pad was seized and worn badly at an angle - full thickness on the front edge, bare metal at the rear. Caliper was not moving.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well it helped. I put the new sleeves in and greased the bolts and the threshold that the noise happens at is higher. It still happens, but I can brake harder. I'm going to try greasing the sleeves today. If that doesn't work, I'm going to drop and reinstall the sway bar. I don't knoe if that will help, but it's a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Bob, you mentioned that there could be something wrong with the strut-- what could this be? I did assemble it myself, the only part that seemed a little tricky was the bearing, and even that only really wanted to go one way. The car clunks over bad chuckholes (like the ones that the water turn-on caps make, they always seem to get pushed a few inches below the surface on the bad roads, so you have a hole about 4" in diameter and about half as deep) , the same sort of noise it makes in reverse. I hate it, it's just like nails on a chalkboard and when you've put time and money into something to fix a problem that won't go away, it gets really frustrating. The only reason I bring the strut up is that we only did one side due to time contraints and are looking to be doing the other side in the near future, so I figure if I have to re-do something on the driver's side, might as well do it while I have tools and help...
 
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