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Repair Questions and Answers.

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 #395547  by JohnnyP
At Rock Auto, the Gabriel "Ultra Ready Mount" are in stock, left and right are $147.79 each. For KYB's, they are only showing the left one in stock at $140.79.
Welp, I guess the Monroe's are going back. :)
 #395549  by rustybronco
Dale: Thanks for details on a strut rebuild. But I'm in a condo with a small garage, no real place to do front end work.
All it requires is a floor jack, a few tools and a spot in the driveway. Compressing the spring and swapping parts is the only difference between buying quick struts and re-shocking yours. All the rest is the same. The difference in cost you'll need to figure out which works best for your situation.. ... 63262.html I use an O.E.M. tools strut compressor. These look the same. ... 6BNT&psc=1

If you aren't allowed to work on vehicle in your driveway may I suggest moving?
 #395550  by rustybronco ... R9Kv_ereYw

KYB struts are $55.79 ea

KYB upper insulators are $8.74 ea
KYB lower insulators are $9.82 ea

Monroe upper insulators are $4.77 ea
Monroe lower insulators are $4.71 ea

plus shipping.
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 #395562  by In-trepid
I use the KYB struts and Monroe insulators on all four struts. On the rears, I use either the stock strut mount that is currently on the car or any one of the aftermarket mounts as the rear strut mounts are stationary pieces and unless they are stretched, torn, or mushy they are probably still good. Both are the same. On the fronts, I use only Mopar strut mounts and bearings. The mounts are side specific, and the aftermarket seems to treat both sides as the same. Never an issue with the Mopar front strut mounts and bearings. After reading numerous posts and horror stories on this and other forums about either aftermarket mounts and/or bearings by third party manufacturers, I will always spend the extra money for the Mopar pieces. It guarantees that you only have to do it once!
 #395563  by rustybronco
I received the KYB SM5167 this afternoon. She's indexed close to the proper right front upper mount plate. It's off by about 30 degrees. Instead of pointing to the right of the closest stud to the square hole at the 10 o'clock position, it aims directly to the edge of the square hole closest to the stud. (10:15?)

Made in India just like the NAPA right upper mount.

I have pictures of the mount.
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 #395564  by FIREM
Step by step with pictures and detailed information about struts, mounts, bearings and isolators here :viewtopic.php?t=19430
 #395568  by JohnnyP
Thank you everyone for all your help. I'll have the struts rebuilt at a later time. For now I'm just going to have inner and outer tie rods, links, and strut rod bushings bushings replaced by a local shop.

The garage in my condo is too small to do any work. Originally it was an open four bay garage with separate doors, serving four residences, but I enclosed mine with a wall on both sides.
 #395737  by JohnnyP
I had a local shop do the suspension work. They replaced inner and outer tie rods, control arms, links, strut rod bushings, and replaced the strut assemblies with KYB's. He wanted to use Monroe but that was a no go. They also did a four wheel alignment, giving me data sheets showing the readings before and after.

There is a little torque steer, not as bad as before the work. It wants to push to the left when accelerating, then goes to the right when I let off.

Also, there is about an inch of play in the steering wheel when coasting, and about half an inch when accelerating. It wanders as the camber in the road changes, so you have to pay attention. My 2000 Intrepid ES has no torque steer and the play in the steering wheel is half an inch, accelerating or coasting.

I guess the only thing left is the rack? I bought one, was about to send it back. Any thing else it could be?
 #395738  by rustybronco
ImageI'm wondering if the KYB upper strut mounts will have something to do with the torque steer. The one I have is on a drastic angle.
How are the steering gear bushings? Cradle mounts?
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 #395745  by TrepKing95
Post your alignment sheets, they could have clues about the Torque Steer. (Just because the sheet is "green" doesn't necessarily mean its good! I noticed a lot of Torque Steer in my Intrepid when the motor mounts failed, causing the C/V Axle geometry to go out of whack. I wonder if that's part of the issue.
 #395750  by JohnnyP
I think the steering wheel play is related to the torque steer. The play goes away when I am on the throttle. Even light throttle.

Here are the before and after alignment data sheets.
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 #395760  by JohnnyP
I posted a comment that I took it to the dealer last month, complaining of three noises. A clunking noise in the suspension, a hissing noise from behind the dashboard when accelerating, and a meowing sound when I applied the brakes. Diagnostic cost was $375.

Their conclusion for the meowing was the brake booster. The hissing was the plastic manifold ("these old cars all do that"). The clunking, was to replace everything.

So I ordered the front suspension kit from rock auto and had a local shop that I used before to install it, plus KYB shock/strut assemblies, cost was $2300 plus the cost of the suspension kit.

But it still wandered and had torque steer, so I took it to another shop, as they had a "second opinion" promotion. I rode along with one of the mechanics for the initial test drive, and he validated it does have torque steer, but he didn't really listen to me when I pointed out the excessive play in the steering wheel. The mechanic and the owner were keyed in on the alignment, and the differences in my set of "mix and match" tires. They rotated the tires, putting a matched pair on the front and inflated all four to the correct pressure and drove it again, no change.

I told the owner my concern with the initial test drive, and said I think it's related to the rack, not the tires or alignment. They kept it overnight and called with some recommendations the next day. Replace the rack, new tires, and replace the brake booster. They had also noticed the hiss, and traced it to a line from the brake booster that comes inside the passenger compartment. Somehow the dealer missed this while they were running my debit card.

I told the new shop to proceed. I checked with them this morning after they had replaced the rack, and they found one of the bushings was damaged on the old rack causing the steering issue. To be fair, the dealer had also mentioned this but I had discounted it as upsell BS.

I asked the new shop if this is something the first shop should have found when they replaced all the tie rods, the owner said yes, they should have seen it and said something. They also found that shop lost one of the washers for one of the inner tie rod bolts and left it off. The new shop found the washer sitting on top of the transmission. From their photos, it also looks like the first shop did not install the plate with the locking tabs. I'll check and update this if not correct.

So, I'm getting five Pirrelli P4's, a new (rock auto reman)rack, brake booster, all brake lines and power steering lines flushed, rotors turned and pads surfaced (there was shimmy, even after having this done in December), and a realignment. Ready on Monday for pickup, cost is just over $3400.

On the lot the car was $5995, the paint and body were almost prefect, with 89k miles. So I'm well beyond the purchase price. Oh well, it's a beauty. :)
 #395761  by rustybronco
they found one of the bushings was damaged on the old rack causing the steering issue.
How are the steering gear bushings? Cradle mounts?

After working in dealerships for 43 years on and off, in the repair business for 5 years (forklift, automotive.), I'm of the opinion most repair people are nothing more than parts changers. A lot of money spent needlessly. Sorry.
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 #395778  by JohnnyP
In an earlier comment I said the car made three weird noises: a clunk, a hiss, and a meow. I paid the dealer $375 for a diagnosis, which they didn't really provide.

They said the rack needed replacing, as it had internal gear noise, and the brake booster, as it was the source of the meowing noise.

As for the hissing noise, they attributed it to the plastic plenum, saying some of the engines on these old cars just do that. They didn't identify the clunking noise. It was like muffled thunder when going over imperfections at slow speed. They basically said replace everything.

The first shop installed an 8 piece front suspension kit I had ordered from rockauto, plus a pair of KYB strut/shock assemblies. That fixed the clunking, but it still had some torque steer. I had hoped replacing the inner tie rods would clear that up, but no. I had also ordered a steering rack, and almost sent it back. Before I turned the car over to them, I said, about the suspension kit, if it doesn't need replacing, leave it alone. They installed everything.

The second shop spent time diagnosing the torque steer and the hissing noise, saying the rack and booster needed replacing. The brake booster seal was leaking into the passenger compartment, causing the hiss. They removed the rack and found the mounting bushings were cracked, and the internal gears had excessive play.

The tires that came on the car were mix and match, only two were Falken, all were way out of date. They suggested new tires and I agreed, as I was planning on that anyway. I mentioned that I was looking at Michelin or Pirelli P7's on DiscountTire. They suggested P4's so I went with those, and had them order a fifth for the spare.
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 #395781  by LUNAT1C
I think you're the first I've heard of outside of the Jeep world to replace the spare tire along with the four primary tires... definitely a good thing to do since it's probably the original 21 year old spare. I still have my 22 year old spare tire and occasionally consider replacing it... but then my four primary tires are a size up due to my upgraded wheels, so I've only ever used my spare twice after bending wheels on the old tire size...

I digress. Hopefully after ALL THIS work, the car is fully sorted and you can start enjoying it.
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 #395805  by JohnnyP
THANK YOU, thank you. Yes, I picked it up earlier today. NOW it feels like quality.

I'm surprised at all the work it needed at 93k miles. The body, paint, and interior are almost like new, well taken care of.

I test drove it yesterday and noticed the brake pedal had a lot of travel before engaging. I asked them if they could get the pedal back up near the top, like it was when I brought it in.

The owner is a young guy, he said there is no adjustment. So I walked across the street to another shop I use and asked the old dog in there about it. He said let me go over and talk to them. We pulled the old booster out of the box and he showed them the actuator rod. It was very corroded, but you could see it has threads and an adjusting nut. So they removed the master cylinder and made the adjustment, saying it took three tries before they were satisfied. I left them a very nice tip. The owner protested, but I said it's for your men.
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 #395817  by M-Pressive
Sounds like you got things sorted out!

Now you can enjoy the car!
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 #395819  by LUNAT1C
Never a better feeling than having a fully sorted and tight car! Roll back that sunroof (if equipped) and enjoy it!
 #395855  by JohnnyP
Surprise surprise, the new brake booster is leaking, can hear it hissing. Shop replacing it under warranty today.

Drove it a couple hours over the weekend, and it was pulling slightly to the right and wandering. The alignment shop had passed it but when re-checked, found the right wheel is towed out.

The first shop that replaced the inner and outer tie rods messed up by threading the sleeve all the way onto the inner tie rod, so the outer one butts ends when trying to adjust it. My new shop called to say they had to pop the right outer tie rod out and adjust it by turning the tie rod, not the adjusting sleeve.
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 #395858  by LUNAT1C
If it ain't one thing it's another. At least this time you have a warranty saving you from any new costs and what sounds like a good shop.

Unfortunately aftermarket parts are a crap shoot these days. I follow a YouTube channel called the Car Wizard, who is a seasoned independent mechanic in Kansas for everything from your mother's 1997 Taurus to the CEO of your company's new Ferrari, and he's made multiple videos talking about the poor state of aftermarket parts. Both availability and quality, often going through several parts before landing on a good one. Very frustrating for the vehicle owner, and for the mechanic that has to do the labor multiple times and deal with the frustrated customer.

Some of us here regularly check eBay and Facebook Marketplace for NOS OEM parts and good used parts, even if they're not immediately needed, just to have on hand for when the part breaks and avoid aftermarket parts debacles.
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