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http://www.boblincol.../strut-info.pdf Observe the note about the upper spring seat's notch being aligned with the lower end of the strut (strut clevis is the flat part that the lower bolts go through). If it isn't, the spring can be bowed and rub against the fenderwell, or maybe clunk. And you should always do the struts in pairs. It's difficult to identify which side makes a noise, sometimes.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
The noise is definitely coming from the front driver's side. I think the problem may be me. I was greasing the guide bolts and sleeves last night (they are heavily greased now, so that rules that out), and I had the caliper off to remove a broken bolt. This morning, I went out to the car and the brake pedal went all the way to the floor, and I had to pump it to get it to normal. I assume this is because i must have pushed the pistons back into the housings, but is this supposed to happen when reinstalling a caliper? It made a horrendous crunching sort of bang this morning after I got going, backing up in reverse, hard brake to see if the grease had fixed things. I think I might be doing something wrong.
 

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Since you are considering dropping the sway bar, try driving it a little without the sway bar installed. That way, if the problem is with the sway bar bushings, (or sway bar contacting lower control arm), you'll know right away if there is no noise. R&R ing the sway bar is a bit of a nuisance to do in the driveway. Take note of how it goes in.
 

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There's a serious problem if the brake pedal goes to the floor. I would not drive it until I had inspected it. It's not normal after pushing the pistons in.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
That's what I was kind of thinking too Bob... it hadn't done that in the past when I had the caliper off. The brakes are normal now, stopping is powerful and smooth, but the fact that they weren't working concerned me. What should I be looking for? Could this be connected with the clunk?
 

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I'd double-check that the calipers and pads are assembled correctly. You can then have someone step on the brake while you watch the caliper action, with the wheel removed and car elevated.
 

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I think you mentioned that you had pushed the caliper pistons in when you were checking things. The pedal going to the floor may have just been caused by the pistons pushing back out to make contact with the pads. That would be normal if it just happened that one time.... and you would have to give it a couple of pumps to get a hard peddle.

Now if it goes to the floor again, you either have an external leak or an internal leak in the master cylinder (seals).
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Well, I'm bumping this because I'm now getting noise on the passenger side, the strut I just replaced. The suspension only clunks going down. I drove over some curbs (my neighborhood has nice rounded asphalt curbs that have about a 25 degree angle on the edges), and even when I was going pretty fast, the noise only came going down. It's a popping noise almost, like a sharp bang, similar to the pop the hood makes when it releases. It does it over very small bumps at low speeds, small bumps at higher speeds, etc, nearly any time the passenger side deflects. I think all of the strut mounting bolts are tight enough. I tightened the strut rod as much as I could with it in the car. Pinch bolt is tight, tie rod nut is tight and cottered, wheel lug nuts are all tightened properly. I replaced the strut, which I assembled myself, and the front wheel bearing on that side. No other issues, ride quality is firm and tight, handling is better than before. This noise wasn't here before I touched the strut, though. I can't seem to reproduce it by pushing on the fenders, even putting my entire weight on them and bouncing. There is a little bit of a noise that seems to be connected to movement of the passenger side motor mount when the car is rocked back and forth in park (i.e. pushed back until it stops, allowed to roll forward and pushed back again decently quickly). Any ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thought I'd share a bit of my tale of woe:
Took the sway bar off the car to see if that stopped the noise, which it didn't. Pulled back into the driveway, tried to torque the top nuts down a little more, one stud stripped and another sheared. Blast. Took the strut out and replaced the top mount. I followed the torque specs in the Chrysler manual this time, 55 on the top nut, and I'll do the 20 on the nuts. Still, I think the strut mount may have been bad. The stud that sheared had a pretty obvious "bubble" inside that caused it to fail. I know I over torqued the nuts, but there's no way I should have been able to break that with a 3/8" ratchet and one hand. The threads on the studs also didn't go all the way to the bottom of the stud, so I may not have been able to get them to torque properly at all, in retrospect. Hopefully this fixes things. The FSM says that the symptoms I have are either sway bar or strut mount, and it isn't the sway bar. Old top mount was Mevotech, I believe. Not buying that again. Any ideas as to what this could be if this doesn't fix the problem?
 
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