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Sway bar bushings questions

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 09 Nov 2015, 08:15 am
ew55's Avatar
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Default Sway bar bushings questions

Months back I had my control arms replaced with the Rock Auto problem solver ones. I'm pretty sure the clunking went away. A little time after I had hub and bearing and otter tie rods replaced. Now I'm hearing the a clunk again not as bad as before. So more then likely it's the sway bar bushings? Do they just go bad all of a sudden? If they were lose you would have thought the shop would have told me or heard the noise themselves after driving it. The shop said $150 to replace the bushings. I asked the shop mechanic if he thought it was for sure the sway bar bushings. He said it could be the strut but would start with the bushings since it's cheaper. Thoughts....

I also need to find out how much is ok for shop to do a tune up. I can't find a good side mechanic that I trust and doesn't mind working on PT's. That's why I'm using a small shop that was recommended to me. The owner/head mechanic drives a Cadillac V. Business must be good. I hope he doesn't raise prices. lol Thoughts...

My 2003 PT dream cruiser 2 has 90k and been a great car for 5yrs. Hopefully this is it on the repairs so I can save for the timing belt.
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Old 10 Nov 2015, 09:04 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Control arm bushings are cheap and not a lot of labor to put in. It may have been your problem to begin with but after disturbing them doing the control arm bushings, the noise went away as they were now remounted in a slightly different position.
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2001 PT Cruiser LE 5 spd, original owner, no mods, MOOG arms with spherical bushing (ride is now a bit harsher vs OEM)
- 109K replaced timing belt/WP/tensioner/idler/crank&cam seals with same 1st gen design. That was a fun day and half!
- 119K Gates water pump failed after only 10K miles. Replaced with Airtex. This time around it was a 7 hour job.

2001 PT Cruiser LE AT 59K miles. Bought used, newest addition to the family

Last edited by Probedude; 10 Nov 2015 at 10:06 pm. Reason: spelling
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Old 10 Nov 2015, 09:33 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ew55 View Post
Months back I had my control arms replaced with the Rock Auto problem solver ones. I'm pretty sure the clunking went away. A little time after I had hub and bearing and otter tie rods replaced. Now I'm hearing the a clunk again not as bad as before. So more then likely it's the sway bar bushings? Do they just go bad all of a sudden? If they were lose you would have thought the shop would have told me or heard the noise themselves after driving it. The shop said $150 to replace the bushings. I asked the shop mechanic if he thought it was for sure the sway bar bushings. He said it could be the strut but would start with the bushings since it's cheaper. Thoughts....

I also need to find out how much is ok for shop to do a tune up. I can't find a good side mechanic that I trust and doesn't mind working on PT's. That's why I'm using a small shop that was recommended to me. The owner/head mechanic drives a Cadillac V. Business must be good. I hope he doesn't raise prices. lol Thoughts...

My 2003 PT dream cruiser 2 has 90k and been a great car for 5yrs. Hopefully this is it on the repairs so I can save for the timing belt.
Just for comparison, my local dealership charges $190 for what they call a tune-up, which is just replace the spark plugs. It's mostly all labor because they have to remove the upper intake plenum to gain access to the plugs. Some shops may charge additional as they call it an "access fee" to remove the plenum. But while they are at it and have the area open, it would be wise to have the plug wires replaced as well, you're only paying additional for the parts and maybe a little bit additional labor.
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Last edited by rckstein; 10 Nov 2015 at 09:35 pm.
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Old 10 Nov 2015, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

In a related question about the LCA bushings, do you need to have an alignment done after replacing them?
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Old 11 Nov 2015, 05:22 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
In a related question about the LCA bushings, do you need to have an alignment done after replacing them?
Alignment is not affected so no.
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______________________________________________
Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, "What else could this mean?
______________________________________________
2001 PT Cruiser LE 5 spd, original owner, no mods, MOOG arms with spherical bushing (ride is now a bit harsher vs OEM)
- 109K replaced timing belt/WP/tensioner/idler/crank&cam seals with same 1st gen design. That was a fun day and half!
- 119K Gates water pump failed after only 10K miles. Replaced with Airtex. This time around it was a 7 hour job.

2001 PT Cruiser LE AT 59K miles. Bought used, newest addition to the family
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Old 11 Nov 2015, 06:05 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by chuzz View Post
In a related question about the LCA bushings, do you need to have an alignment done after replacing them?
When ever any suspension component is replaced it is wise to at least have the alignment checked!
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Old 11 Nov 2015, 06:10 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

So the lower control arm (that includes the bushing) has been replaced, right?

So we are talking about the sway bar links and possibly the bushings under the chassis? The the sway bar can make a bumping sound when the bushings wear out or they become loose for one reason or another. The original links are made up of a very thin bolt and nylon bushings. You can replace them with the OEM type or a universal type with a larger bolt and rubber or polyurethane bushings. The other bushings under the chassis can also get worn out. And sometimes the bracket bolts for these will rust and break off. That's reported quite often here for PT's in colder climates where salt is used on the roads.

If it was me, I'd check both the links and bushings under the chassis. However, you may not be able to easily tell if they are warn or not. Luckily, both are fairly cheap and easy to replace if the bracket bolts are not rusted up.

+1 on the alignment check.
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Last edited by Handy_Cruiser; 11 Nov 2015 at 06:13 pm.
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Old 11 Nov 2015, 06:23 pm
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
When ever any suspension component is replaced it is wise to at least have the alignment checked!
Thanks, Nitro. That's what I was thinking.
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Old 13 Nov 2015, 08:02 am
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Probedude View Post
Control arm bushings are cheap and not a lot of labor to put in. It may have been your problem to begin with but after disturbing them doing the control arm bushings, the noise went away as they were now remounted in a slightly different position.
I thought that buy my control arms definitely needed replaced.



Quote:
Originally Posted by NitroPT View Post
When ever any suspension component is replaced it is wise to at least have the alignment checked!
I had a alignment after my tie rods were replaced. So after I have the sway bar bushings replaced have the alignment checked? How much is that? So my mechanic that replaced my control arms should have told me my control arms needed replaced? Not that it matters now.
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Old 13 Nov 2015, 08:23 am
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Default Re: Sway bar bushings questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by ew55 View Post
I thought that buy my control arms definitely needed replaced.

I had a alignment after my tie rods were replaced. So after I have the sway bar bushings replaced have the alignment checked? How much is that? So my mechanic that replaced my control arms should have told me my control arms needed replaced? Not that it matters now.
Those control arms are a little crusty, your PT will thank you for the new ones! An alignment can be anywhere from $69-$99. I would think that your mechanic should have noticed the LCA bushings were in need of replacement. After all, he is right there working in the area and should be looking around at all the other components, most do so that they can sell you extra services.
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