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Front-end clunks (all the basics seemingly check out fine)

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:28 pm
by alturic
I forgive the wall of text, and truly hope you read it as I'm fairly confident to get a "big picture" of what's been happening it's all related-ish. I've included any and all "symptoms" as to give a potential "oh, this sounds exactly like X part is bad or going bad", you know?

At this point, I haven't been able to find anything that's loose or has movement. Everything in the actual wheel-well seems all solid, no movement to write home about, etc. I can't seem to reproduce the problem with it just sitting, and that's just bouncing it up/down (returns to level almost instantly), pushing it side-to-side, etc. I haven't had time to get a solid look at the mounts/bushings in the R&P like Eric describes but the clunk really does sound like something is just "loose" and banging around freely when hitting bumps/front-end "flexing".

I've taken this car (05 Neon) to 3 different mechanics with none of them supposedly able to find (mind you, none of them have charged me any sort of diagnostic fees so they might simply be looking for the obvious without being guaranteed money) what's causing my clunks. I even told them I'd pay an hour labor for them to really take a look at it but none of them seem to want to charge me? lol

So that's three mechanics, none of which could actually find anything that would cause clunks like I'm having, which is simply something "loose" banging around on bumps or something "bottoming out" when hitting bumps. Seems to come from the side the bump is actually hit on. Can feel the "clunk" through the steering wheel as well as the pedals.

Honestly though, not to re-hash another thread of mine but here's a current running tally of what's been happening and what's been fixed.

Symptoms:

Growl above 35mph when wheel is straight and turned right. - SOLVED PARTIALLY (more on this below)
Clunks when hitting SOME bumps AND feeling it in the pedals/steering wheel, all at varying speeds and sometimes not at all.

What's been replaced:
Upper, Lower, Driver-side/Tranny motor mounts - I did NOT replace the "middle" mount so the clunks (although they come from BOTH sides on the front-end depending on the bump hit, as well as feeling it in the pedals/steering wheel) may or may not be related to this at all.

Driver/Passenger bearings (reading this is needed for full context) - First place I ever went to said driver bearing, which I assumed with the above symptoms. Needless to say they replaced the driver bearing and nothing changed. I took it back since I needed the car for the week so the next week I took it back for them to do the passenger side (for free) and all growling is gone.

The real interesting part about the bearings - BOTH bearings were replaced ~1 week ago and the second shop I took it to (literally for the front-end clunks) called me up and said "both rear control arm bushings are bad (which I thought as well) and your passenger bearing is bad". Now, this second location is a different "branch" of this family owned service center and had literally zero knowledge of any prior work performed at the first branch. Needless to say I just told them to replace the entire control arm, with the bushing and new ball joint already pressed in. So I have 2 new control arms, ca bushings and ball joints. They told me that although there's literally zero complaints of growls or anything like that it was "bad" since the hub was loose? Either way, taking it in tomorrow to have them replace that (free this time as well lol, so I'd find it hard to believe this place is going to eat the cost of these parts AND labor unless these things are really bad - and yes, they do have the bearing as I seen the one they ordered for it so it's not a "scam" going on or anything) and balance/rotate/alignment.

BOTH WHOLE Control Arm Assemblies (with bushings and ball joints already pressed in) - Both rear control arms bushings were bad and yes I know they were. To give some further context to this the passenger side rear control arm bushing was replaced exactly 1 year ago. Now, something to add to the control arm aspect is that yes, I did need an alignment before they did it but when I got the car back (pisses me off that they apparently don't test drive vehicles after replacing parts......) the alignment was worse than before the control arms (and they swear up and down that control arms won't affect the alignment to the extend I'm talking) and I mean the steering is loose as hell, oddly when hitting bumps with the left wheel doesn't cause any noticeable "jerk" when hitting bumps but the passenger side is a whole different story. Also, (my friends all call me a hypochondriac at this point, but let's all be real we all know when something just isn't "right" with out cars...)

Now, this is going to sound funny with the hypochondriac statement above, but I SWEAR since getting the vehicle back after replacing the control arms, depending on just how much of a "dip" either wheel "goes in", it seems like when it's coming back "out" of the dip it "spins" real quick before gaining traction again is the best way I could describe it. Think "spins" in terms of what it "feels like" when doing a burn-out. The same "feeling" of a "spin" seemed to happen a few times when hitting 50mph and shifting from one gear to another. Until the alignment is done and this new passenger bearing is put in, I'm not going to worry too much about this yet. LOL

So, that's 2 locations that actually replaced parts. Both of which I knew the parts were bad, so no I know it's not "scam mechanics" or anything like that. The 3rd location (not related to the above "branches" was purely with "hey I have some clunks, go for a test drive so you can hear them", which they did. They didn't charge me a dime, so I'm really unsure if they spent any real amount of time digging for the cause but needless to say called me up to say "I looked at everything and can't find anything that sticks out. So outside of throwing parts at it, I really have nothing to tell you."

So that's three mechanics, none of which could actually find anything that would cause clunks like I'm having, which is simply something "loose" banging around on bumps or something "bottoming out" when hitting bumps. Seems to come from the side the bump is actually hit on. Can feel the "clunk" through the steering wheel as well as the pedals.

I keep telling myself, as much as it definitely clunks, and the mechanic who actually took me for a test drive felt and heard the clunk saying "I can't find anything, as much as I know it obviously clunks" that I'm just going to get this passenger bearing replaced (again) and get an alignment and drive it till it breaks. No-one wants their car to break and I definitely don't need it breaking when doing highway speeds with the kids in the car either though. :P

Thanks again!

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:56 pm
by 05MoparSRT4
Referring to your mounts you said the middle one was not replaced? I'm not sure if it's the same for Dodges but for Honda (I work for Honda shitty cars by the way I never liked them to begin with and working for Honda makes me despise them and I judge everyone that buys one Toyota is better anyways......) to test the motor mounts/trans mounts we power brake them. We put the car in drive press down really hard on the brake pedal (hand on parking brake just in case) and give a little gas and hold it. As if you were doing a burn out. Usually you can hear and feel the clunk You can try that out maybe but the only thing that leaves me at a loss is the fact you feel it in the steering wheel, and gas pedal.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:14 pm
by alturic
05MoparSRT4 wrote:Referring to your mounts you said the middle one was not replaced? I'm not sure if it's the same for Dodges but for Honda (I work for Honda shitty cars by the way I never liked them to begin with and working for Honda makes me despise them and I judge everyone that buys one Toyota is better anyways......) to test the motor mounts/trans mounts we power brake them. We put the car in drive press down really hard on the brake pedal (hand on parking brake just in case) and give a little gas and hold it. As if you were doing a burn out. Usually you can hear and feel the clunk You can try that out maybe but the only thing that leaves me at a loss is the fact you feel it in the steering wheel, and gas pedal.
I've tried it a couple times (with the parking brake actually on I might add heh, can't be too safe lol) and while I don't gun it, I normally just push it real quick to 1.5-2k rpms? Should I technically be hitting higher just to see?

Either way, with the RPMs I have done it at, there's no real visible movement and the only reason I want to say it simply "can't" be that middle mount is due to feeling it via the steering column/foot pedals and hearing it on both sides, you know? :-/

One quick addition, when taking it for that test drive with the last mechanic, we stopped on a pretty steep grade hill and he "floored it" almost as how you would floor it from a steep incline to get that initital momentum and it made what I'll say is the clunk, but it was loud/harder than normal. He was like "is that it?" and I was just like "well I definitely never heard it sound like that before, but I would have to say that's going to be the actual part".

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:17 pm
by 05MoparSRT4
alturic wrote:
05MoparSRT4 wrote:Referring to your mounts you said the middle one was not replaced? I'm not sure if it's the same for Dodges but for Honda (I work for Honda shitty cars by the way I never liked them to begin with and working for Honda makes me despise them and I judge everyone that buys one Toyota is better anyways......) to test the motor mounts/trans mounts we power brake them. We put the car in drive press down really hard on the brake pedal (hand on parking brake just in case) and give a little gas and hold it. As if you were doing a burn out. Usually you can hear and feel the clunk You can try that out maybe but the only thing that leaves me at a loss is the fact you feel it in the steering wheel, and gas pedal.
I've tried it a couple times (with the parking brake actually on I might add heh, can't be too safe lol) and while I don't gun it, I normally just push it real quick to 1.5-2k rpms? Should I technically be hitting higher just to see?

Either way, with the RPMs I have done it at, there's no real visible movement and the only reason I want to say it simply "can't" be that middle mount is due to feeling it via the steering column/foot pedals and hearing it on both sides, you know? :-/


1.5K RPM is fine usually, have you tried it with someone looking at the mount itself???

Perhaps you're thinking of the usual suspects and start looking at things under the dash that could make clunking noises. I'm not much of a help I apologize but it does make me wonder about it too

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:18 pm
by alturic
05MoparSRT4 wrote:
alturic wrote:
05MoparSRT4 wrote:Referring to your mounts you said the middle one was not replaced? I'm not sure if it's the same for Dodges but for Honda (I work for Honda shitty cars by the way I never liked them to begin with and working for Honda makes me despise them and I judge everyone that buys one Toyota is better anyways......) to test the motor mounts/trans mounts we power brake them. We put the car in drive press down really hard on the brake pedal (hand on parking brake just in case) and give a little gas and hold it. As if you were doing a burn out. Usually you can hear and feel the clunk You can try that out maybe but the only thing that leaves me at a loss is the fact you feel it in the steering wheel, and gas pedal.
I've tried it a couple times (with the parking brake actually on I might add heh, can't be too safe lol) and while I don't gun it, I normally just push it real quick to 1.5-2k rpms? Should I technically be hitting higher just to see?

Either way, with the RPMs I have done it at, there's no real visible movement and the only reason I want to say it simply "can't" be that middle mount is due to feeling it via the steering column/foot pedals and hearing it on both sides, you know? :-/


1.5K RPM is fine usually, have you tried it with someone looking at the mount itself???

Perhaps you're thinking of the usual suspects and start looking at things under the dash that could make clunking noises. I'm not much of a help I apologize but it does make me wonder about it too
I added this after your reply but figured it might help some? lol Oh yea, and of course I had someone looking at the engine while doing it. :P

One quick addition, when taking it for that test drive with the last mechanic, we stopped on a pretty steep grade hill and he "floored it" almost as how you would floor it from a steep incline to get that initital momentum and it made what I'll say is the clunk, but it was loud/harder than normal. He was like "is that it?" and I was just like "well I definitely never heard it sound like that before, but I would have to say that's going to be the actual part".

The only other thing that would be more "involved" to look at would either be R&P bushing/mounts being busted or maybe something with the manifold, but I don't think I'd call something aluminum "clunking" that would be a different sound than steel on steel, you know?

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:19 pm
by 05MoparSRT4
You know come to think of it....what about strut mounts??? Did you visually check your sway bar and end links??

*EDIT*
Upper Strut Mounts not strut mounts as stated in below link:

http://www.srtforums.com//forums/f163/h ... on-632371/


similar situation?

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:20 pm
by alturic
05MoparSRT4 wrote:You know come to think of it....what about strut mounts??? Did you visually check your sway bar and end links??
Well, how exactly would you recommend checking the mounts themselves? I'd assume I'd hear/feel movement when bouncing up/down or pushing left-right on the car, no? :-/

Sway bar/link and all rubber/bushings look completely fine as well although after seeing the picture of the links in that thread, unsure if that would be considered bad actually? Trust me I WISH it was simply links. LOL!

EDIT: The picture of the links, the ones on the right look exactly like the ones I have now, nothing seemed to move when I was playing with both sides, but I suppose throwing $20 (10 a piece) into it wouldn't be a horrible thing either but again, nothing seemed to move or make any noise when I was looking at those but the rubber looked exactly like the white ones in your link.

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:37 pm
by sidepipe87
05MoparSRT4 wrote:You know come to think of it....what about strut mounts??? Did you visually check your sway bar and end links??

*EDIT*
Upper Strut Mounts not strut mounts as stated in below link:

http://www.srtforums.com//forums/f163/h ... on-632371/


similar situation?
these things were going to be my suggestion

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:39 pm
by 05MoparSRT4
Well from the service manual (alldata) I got this. I wouldn't call my self a C tech but I am a tech and I'll honestly say I don't know how to check for a bad strut mount other than a visual inspection and to bounce the car by applying all the pressure on the strut itself



Image


Inspect the strut assembly for the following conditions (Fig. 54):

Inspect for a damaged or broken coil spring.

Inspect for a torn or damaged strut assembly dust shield.

Lift the dust shield and inspect the strut assembly for evidence of fluid running from the upper end of the strut fluid reservoir. (Actual leakage will be a stream of fluid running down the side and dripping off lower end of unit). A slight amount of seepage between the strut shaft and strut shaft seal is not unusual and does not affect performance of the strut assembly

Lift the dust shield and inspect the jounce bumper for signs of damage or deterioration (non-ACR vehicles only).


Image



Inspect the clearance between the shock tower and the coil spring. Make sure no fasteners are protruding through the shock tower possibly contacting the coil spring and strut. Because of the minimum clearance in this area (Fig. 55), installation of metal fasteners could damage the coil spring coating and lead to a corrosion failure of the spring.



CAUTION: At no time when servicing a vehicle can a sheet metal screw, bolt or other metal fastener be installed into the shock tower to take the place of an original plastic clip. Also, do not drill holes into the front shock tower for the installation of any metal fasteners into the shock tower area indicated (Fig. 55).

Posted: Thu Mar 06, 2014 10:42 pm
by alturic
05MoparSRT4 wrote:snip
Yea, there's definitely no visible leaks or anything like that anywhere on either assembly but I'll play around with it to see if I can come up with anything I guess.

Like I said, for ~$20, if the ones in that picture in the thread are bad, I suppose I'll throw two new links on it as well since mine look almost identical to how those look. I did jack up the control arm when looking for stuff and no noise came from the sway bar or link but I guess you never know.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:20 am
by Donkeypuncher
If the middle/rear motor mount was bad it would cause some vibrations inside the car. In the beginning it happens when hitting big dips in the road. As the mount gets worse it can start making clunking noises over bumps and vibrating under acceleration. Eventually it sounds like a war zone inside the car when it completely tears apart.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:05 am
by alturic
Donkeypuncher wrote:If the middle/rear motor mount was bad it would cause some vibrations inside the car. In the beginning it happens when hitting big dips in the road. As the mount gets worse it can start making clunking noises over bumps and vibrating under acceleration. Eventually it sounds like a war zone inside the car when it completely tears apart.
Funnily enough, the vibration noise at idle (only after replacing the other 3 motor mounts I might add) completely goes away above 800rpms.

I'm not saying you were saying the vibration was or wasn't caused by the replacement mounts, but I just found that odd.

Silly question, why is the "middle" mount considered the "rear" mount? I understand looking under the hoot the engine is on the left, tranny on the right but wouldn't that middle mount technically be considered the "front"? I just figure the tranny mount would be considered the rear, if anything? heh

EDIT: Outside of the 4 "main" mounts everyone talks about, is there anything else the actual engine/transmission "sits" on between it and the frame? The only reason I ask is because I can't find anything about it, but more-so because if the lower was as bad as it was. In the same token, the upper wasn't terrible (sure it was noticeably bad, but nothing like the lower) and the tranny side looks identical to the replacement in terms of any sort of seperation looks but with the time it took to tear everything apart to get to it, let alone removed it to actually even inspect it I didn't think replacing it would cause such problems. lol

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:09 pm
by alturic
This shit is seriously getting annoying now and I think I found a "branch" (albeit locally owned) service center I will make it my life mission to boycott and ensure they receive nothing but negative reviews.

So, as I was mentioning 2 weeks ago a branch replaced both driver and passenger bearing. All growling noise was gone. They couldn't figure out (two times) what could have been making the clunking noises, so I went to the other branch and they said "your passenger bearing is bad, and we can't find the clunking".

I just get back today from them replacing the bearing (free, but still) and getting an alignment done and they were all like "oh, you have some major camber problems, in both the front and back (both seem to be passenger side according to this printout) and wanted me to pay something like $325 for literally 4 bolts so they could adjust the camber? According to the printout the pass front was -0.6 (driver was 0.4) and pass rear was -1.2 (driver was 0.2) so I said screw that, just do the alignment.

Needless to say the "after" printout shows pass front being -0.4 (driver 0.3) and pass rear being -1.1 (drive 0.1) so I'm curious if I've never had camber problems before or somehow within a year (exactly to this date is when I had an alignment last) camber became an issue AND you need special bolts (literally) to fix it?...........

I ask the question of "Do you think it's any particular coincidence that I've went through a passenger control arm bushing last year, another one this year (same side), 2 passenger side bearings, within 2 weeks of each other (although there was no audible or feelable (it's a word!) problems in the 2 week timespan of when it was originally installed) and get "probably not". I know cars are finicky little bastards but to a layman, using common sense it would at least seem to warrant a "you know, that is some crazy coincidences in the least.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:41 pm
by 05MoparSRT4
Camber or toe? I thought camber wasn't adjustable

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:12 pm
by alturic
05MoparSRT4 wrote:Camber or toe? I thought camber wasn't adjustable
Camber, and with it being unadjustable it'd make sense they wanted me to buy this kit, which according to them is nothing but smaller bolts basically?

Either way, according to both before and after alignment printouts I have, camber was adjusted, whether inherently because of the other adjustment or because they adjusted "what they could" without getting the "kit".

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 7:21 pm
by Ramroid
Had something like this happen to me. Turns out it was a combo of a bad lower motor mount and the fact my battery wasn't bolted down..lol

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:10 pm
by Donkeypuncher
alturic wrote:
Funnily enough, the vibration noise at idle (only after replacing the other 3 motor mounts I might add) completely goes away above 800rpms.

I'm not saying you were saying the vibration was or wasn't caused by the replacement mounts, but I just found that odd.

Silly question, why is the "middle" mount considered the "rear" mount? I understand looking under the hoot the engine is on the left, tranny on the right but wouldn't that middle mount technically be considered the "front"? I just figure the tranny mount would be considered the rear, if anything? heh

I had the same thing happen when I replaced the torque struts on mine, but the middle/rear mount was so bad the vibration came back within a few days and was even worse.

Not sure why they call it the rear mount, just one of those wonky chrysler references. There isn't anything else holding the motor to the frame so I'm not sure what else could be clunking. My gut says it's one of the control arm bushings but that's weird if they've been replaced already.

Only other things I can thing of is the steering rack, strut mounts, or maybe even the radiator bushings. My radiator bushings had pushed in and it bounced around making noise, but not what I would call a clunking noise.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:30 pm
by alturic
Ramroid wrote:Had something like this happen to me. Turns out it was a combo of a bad lower motor mount and the fact my battery wasn't bolted down..lol
I WISH it was that easy, funnily enough it really does sound like it's something like the battery just bouncing around in there, as in a "heavy" clunk sound.

Either way, battery is tightened, and lower mount was already replaced. The only one I didn't do (yet... since it's a PITA) is the middle/rear (some call it rear) mount.


@Donkeypuncher:

Heh, the suggestions I've been getting could all (afterall they are all just guesses) be possibilities, but again nothing seems out of place with any of them, or the parts have already been replaced.

The only reason I thought the radiator comment was curious was because after I did the lower/tranny side and the vibration was there, the radiator (assuming you mean the two plastic "tabs" (that really seem to do nothing but hold it in place, while still allowing some movement) on the top of the radiator "move around" but definitely not something that is vibrating and again, unless all of this can be tied to one "root" cause, the clunking (if it was the radiator) started happening almost identical to the time the passenger bearing started growling.

You know, I don't think I ever actually put it that way to anyone, the growling (bearing) noise was almost the exact (if not the exact) same time as the clunking started.

Also, this is going to make me sound like a real hypocondriact and at this point, who know I might be but again I still fall back to "we all know how our individual cars drive, and we all know when something is different", but do bearings tend to be really finicky?

Like I said, I didn't have any complaints after the one shop replaced the passenger bearing 2 weeks ago which I why I was surprised the second shop wanted to replace it (and did so today) but I SWEAR there's no "growl" but when I got to about 40ish+ today on the drive home it seemed like there was the beginning of some noise coming from the bearing.

It's actually really damn sad/frustrating/annoying because outside of these past 4 weeks of mechanics looking at my car, I never had a single complaint outside of the original symptoms.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:40 pm
by Donkeypuncher
alturic wrote: I WISH it was that easy, funnily enough it really does sound like it's something like the battery just bouncing around in there, as in a "heavy" clunk sound.

Either way, battery is tightened, and lower mount was already replaced. The only one I didn't do (yet... since it's a PITA) is the middle/rear (some call it rear) mount.
I thought you were saying that you already changed the rear mount. How many miles do you have on the car? Mine started going bad somewhere around the 75k mile mark. It wasn't until the rubber ripped and leaked out all the fluid that I noticed the clunking noise though.

You could pull the plug in the wheel well to expose the head of the motor mount through bolt and have someone power brake the car like mentioned above. You may be able to see the head of that bolt move as the engine torques on the motor mount.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:42 pm
by alturic
Donkeypuncher wrote:
alturic wrote: I WISH it was that easy, funnily enough it really does sound like it's something like the battery just bouncing around in there, as in a "heavy" clunk sound.

Either way, battery is tightened, and lower mount was already replaced. The only one I didn't do (yet... since it's a PITA) is the middle/rear (some call it rear) mount.
I thought you were saying that you already changed the rear mount. How many miles do you have on the car? Mine started going bad somewhere around the 75k mile mark. It wasn't until the rubber ripped and leaked out all the fluid that I noticed the clunking noise though.

You could pull the plug in the wheel well to expose the head of the motor mount through bolt and have someone power brake the car like mentioned above. You may be able to see the head of that bolt move as the engine torques on the motor mount.
The only three mounts I did was upper, lower, tranny side mounts.

You know, I never thought of doing the power-brake while looking through the mount hole. The car does have 76k on it, it doesn't appear to be a typical bolt head either, looks like it's a star bolt unlike the rest of the mounts? The bolt did appear to be directly in line with the hole opening though.

From what I remember reading that mount does seem to be the "biggest" in terms of load being placed on it but with a good upper and lower I'd assume even if that mount was shot, unless the bolt was sheered (which apparently a lot of people tend to have happen?) I couldn't imagine it causing clunking if the others don't move.

Also, funny you say there's fluid in them because even two separate dodge dealers swear there's no fluid in them.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:38 pm
by Donkeypuncher
alturic wrote:
The only three mounts I did was upper, lower, tranny side mounts.

You know, I never thought of doing the power-brake while looking through the mount hole. The car does have 76k on it, it doesn't appear to be a typical bolt head either, looks like it's a star bolt unlike the rest of the mounts? The bolt did appear to be directly in line with the hole opening though.

From what I remember reading that mount does seem to be the "biggest" in terms of load being placed on it but with a good upper and lower I'd assume even if that mount was shot, unless the bolt was sheered (which apparently a lot of people tend to have happen?) I couldn't imagine it causing clunking if the others don't move.

Also, funny you say there's fluid in them because even two separate dodge dealers swear there's no fluid in them.

The torque struts kind of work in harmony with the middle mount, using it as a pivot point to dampen vibration and torque. Mine had no engine movement at all even though the middle mount was trashed. Had a long thread about it a while back: viewtopic.php?t=60058


I was always told that the automatic had the fluid filled mounts, but sure enough mine was ripped and leaking out when i finally pulled it off.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:00 pm
by alturic
Donkeypuncher wrote:
alturic wrote:
The only three mounts I did was upper, lower, tranny side mounts.

You know, I never thought of doing the power-brake while looking through the mount hole. The car does have 76k on it, it doesn't appear to be a typical bolt head either, looks like it's a star bolt unlike the rest of the mounts? The bolt did appear to be directly in line with the hole opening though.

From what I remember reading that mount does seem to be the "biggest" in terms of load being placed on it but with a good upper and lower I'd assume even if that mount was shot, unless the bolt was sheered (which apparently a lot of people tend to have happen?) I couldn't imagine it causing clunking if the others don't move.

Also, funny you say there's fluid in them because even two separate dodge dealers swear there's no fluid in them.

The torque struts kind of work in harmony with the middle mount, using it as a pivot point to dampen vibration and torque. Mine had no engine movement at all even though the middle mount was trashed. Had a long thread about it a while back: viewtopic.php?t=60058


I was always told that the automatic had the fluid filled mounts, but sure enough mine was ripped and leaking out when i finally pulled it off.
Yea, maybe I'll take a closer look when spring finally breaks and I replace my serp belt.

OOC how difficult is a timing belt replacement since I believe I have to take the big ass plate that the serp belt is on to get the mount off anyway? I mean outside of simply "rushing" to get it done, I'm guessing you can really destroy something if done wrong, right?

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:17 pm
by sidepipe87
Once you have the side engine mount plate off, you're right there to do the timing belt. It's a pretty easy job in my opinion... I've done a few, but it shouldn't take you more than 4 hours start to finish and yes, I'd suggest replacing that mount when you're in there. Nothing sucks more than having to rip it back apart to replace it because it ripped while dangling the engine for the timing belt job... ask me how I know. I always replace it with the PT cruiser part since it's solid rubber, not fluid filled.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:29 pm
by alturic
sidepipe87 wrote:Once you have the side engine mount plate off, you're right there to do the timing belt. It's a pretty easy job in my opinion... I've done a few, but it shouldn't take you more than 4 hours start to finish and yes, I'd suggest replacing that mount when you're in there. Nothing sucks more than having to rip it back apart to replace it because it ripped while dangling the engine for the timing belt job... ask me how I know. I always replace it with the PT cruiser part since it's solid rubber, not fluid filled.
Yea, I figure I'll turn it into a all day project and do timing belt, serp belt, middle mount. Should I do water pump while I'm in there or?

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:34 pm
by Donkeypuncher
Yeah I did the same thing, changed the timing belt then had to tear it back apart for the mount a year later.

Pulling the mounting plate and crank pulley off are the hardest part of the job really. The tensioner and water pump are just a few bolts to remove.

I believe you can do some damage to the valves if you turn the crank or cam sprockets with the belt off. I remember somebody said if you loosen the rocker arm bolts it closes the valves so you don't have to worry about that.

Also, it can be tricky to line up the cam sprocket and crank to TDC once you get the belt on and put tension on it. Took me a few tries before I got it perfectly lined up.

Posted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:41 pm
by alturic
Donkeypuncher wrote:Yeah I did the same thing, changed the timing belt then had to tear it back apart for the mount a year later.

Pulling the mounting plate and crank pulley off are the hardest part of the job really. The tensioner and water pump are just a few bolts to remove.

I believe you can do some damage to the valves if you turn the crank or cam sprockets with the belt off. I remember somebody said if you loosen the rocker arm bolts it closes the valves so you don't have to worry about that.

Also, it can be tricky to line up the cam sprocket and crank to TDC once you get the belt on and put tension on it. Took me a few tries before I got it perfectly lined up.
Well, I would imagine if you drastically (as in 1/4" or more) turned any of the sprockets while not turning the others you'd have problems.

I've seen a ton of different ways people do them, marking the sprocket/backplate, sprocket/belt, etc.

Oh yea, I don't remember anyone really answering do Neons have no camber adjustments to where needing these 4 bolts (odd how they are called a camber kit imo, especially since you buy them seperately) in order to align camber? Just seems so odd to me how I've never had problem with camber all these years with alignments now all of a sudden camber is out AND you need special bolts to actually adjust it?

Posted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 4:31 am
by Donkeypuncher
With the oem bolts there is not camber adjustment. The camber bolts have mixed reviews around here. Some say they can move if you hit a pothole which means you'll need to have another alignment done. Some say they work fine and haven't had those problems.

The sure fire way to adjust camber is to have the struts slotted for camber adjustment. Most places can do it but they do charge, or you can do it yourself with a dremel tool.

Not sure why the camber would change like that, but -0.4 isn't that bad. It's within range of the specs for our cars. The rear is -0.7 so that camber is a little off. Usually anything under -1.0 isn't too bad for the rear, you won't see too much tire wear from that.

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 2:04 am
by alturic
Donkeypuncher wrote:With the oem bolts there is not camber adjustment. The camber bolts have mixed reviews around here. Some say they can move if you hit a pothole which means you'll need to have another alignment done. Some say they work fine and haven't had those problems.

The sure fire way to adjust camber is to have the struts slotted for camber adjustment. Most places can do it but they do charge, or you can do it yourself with a dremel tool.

Not sure why the camber would change like that, but -0.4 isn't that bad. It's within range of the specs for our cars. The rear is -0.7 so that camber is a little off. Usually anything under -1.0 isn't too bad for the rear, you won't see too much tire wear from that.
Thanks for all the replies. I'm pretty sure the only thing out of alignment (and this is strictly camber I might add) is the pass rear. The odd part, I'm thouroughly frustrated with the shop that's done all the work (multiple times since I needed the car back before they could do certain things) because the car still pulls either left or right instead of straight when no hands on the wheel.

Like I said earlier, they did both bearings, then a week later wanted to do the passenger bearing (mind you, they never test drove it when they wanted to replace it, it was literally because there was vertical movement when pulling) which they did and after ALL that? I have what I'd deem the same sound (growling) above 35mph but instead of it being a "deep" growl, it's a "hollow" growl which I can only assume is... one of the bearings.

The part that pisses me off the most? Before this year, I literally never had anything major and even at that, with the crap this place did to have all these problems to where I've literally gone back 5 different occasions... ridiculous. I'd take it back for yet another free bearing replacement (if that's what it is ofc) but at this point me and the wife are just like "fuck it".... :(

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:26 am
by A@ron
Honestly this shop sounds like they enjoy throwing parts at an issue to hope it goes away. I'd find another shop.

If the car is jacked up off the ground and you grasp the tire with both hands do you have any play in it horizontally or vertically? http://youtu.be/scFbb43fwqk?t=5m57s

I've seen cars with the pulling one way or the other be things like a bad tie rod, bad tie rod ends, and a few other things.

Does the hollow growl get worse when you turn one way or another?

Posted: Sun Mar 16, 2014 5:27 pm
by alturic
A@ron wrote:Honestly this shop sounds like they enjoy throwing parts at an issue to hope it goes away. I'd find another shop.

If the car is jacked up off the ground and you grasp the tire with both hands do you have any play in it horizontally or vertically? http://youtu.be/scFbb43fwqk?t=5m57s

I've seen cars with the pulling one way or the other be things like a bad tie rod, bad tie rod ends, and a few other things.

Does the hollow growl get worse when you turn one way or another?
Nah, I knew the CA bushings were bad, I just told them to put whole new control arms on it so I don't have to bother with ball joints, etc for a while.

I knew one (the symptoms seemed like driver side) of the bearings was bad. They put the DS bearing on and the noise was still there so they did the passenger and it went away. Keep in mind, when I tried pulling up/down on the wheels while lifted I couldn't get any movement, but all the symptoms were still pointing to a bearing so when they said "oh you have a bad bearing", I didn't think they were trying to scam me or anything anyway.

Then, because both times the original "shop" (remember, it's a locally owned multi-branch "shop") couldn't figure out the clunks, I took it to another branch. They couldn't figure out the clunk but said "hey the passenger side bearing is bad", then when I told them "orly the other location just replaced it 2 weeks ago" they were all like "well, there's movement when pulling vertical on the wheel". I had no complaints about the bearing, but figured what the hell keep throwing new replacements on. :P I did actually watch them do it so I know they replaced these parts.

----

So I had them do an alignment after they replaced that pass bearing/both control arm assemblies since I needed it bad. That is when the "hollow" whirring/growling sound started.

The car does pull, like I said, which it didn't do before the alignment, before the alignment it was just extremely loose in the steering. I haven't jacked it back up yet to see if there's any movement in the wheels since having the work all done but even at that, I couldn't feel any play in the wheels before the "original" bearings were replaced earlier anyway.

The hollow "growl" (idk if I'd call it a growl, it really just seems like it's some sort of vibration-ish hollow noise) seems to be regardless of steering position, but only noticable above 35mph. When I get it back up in a few weeks I think I'm going to get a little crazy and put it in D when one side is lifted to see if I could narrow down a side at least.

Tie-rod ends at least don't have any sort of play in them, and I would assume when doing an alignment they'd do a quick check of tie-rod inners and such since they could easily try making more money from a customer, no? :P

TL;DR At this point, I still have the clunks over bumps (going to do sway bar links since they do have some deformations to them, as much as I can't get them to move) and the only other problem I have is the "hollow" growl, again, which I'd say seems to be a vibration type hollow growl.

The only reason I haven't just jumped ship to another shop is because total so far I've paid $280 for 3 bearings, $450 for both control arms and then $80 for the alignment/balance/rotate.

As shitty as it is, I have no problem with them replacing bearings as a.) it resets the warranty and b.) I'm not being charged each time they do it.