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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 21 Jun 2017, 09:55 am
Roadcuda's Avatar
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Location: Central CT
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Default Oh Snap!

I hate to admit that I haven't been here for a while and am happy to see the site is still active. I have an '03 PT with about 70k on it. I was sitting at a traffic light and heard a loud snap, like metal breaking, and it felt like the car dropped a little. Also as I drove slowly home there was clunking noise that sounded like it was in the front end as I turned the wheel, and there was a noticeable pull to the left. I jacked up each corner and pulled the tire to check things out and found no obvious problems. Now, my house is surrounded by a lot of trees that really hold the moisture and since my sits a lot there is a lot of scaly rust underneath it. And about 2 years ago both LCAs were replaced because of rust problems. Does anyone have an idea of where else I can look for a problem? Thanks in advance.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 10:02 am
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Lake Wales, FL
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Check your lower engine mount. Maybe the front bolt that threads into the block broke on you. If not that, then check your coil springs around the struts.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 10:13 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Also check your lower control arm and ball joint.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 10:17 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Basically all of your suspension in the front end. And pay particularly close attention to the sway bar end links. Several members have found those broken due to rust eating through them. I didn't even consider that until I looked back and see you're in CT. I'm guessing they use quite a bit of salt on the roads in the winter there.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 10:53 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadcuda View Post
I hate to admit that I haven't been here for a while and am happy to see the site is still active. I have an '03 PT with about 70k on it. I was sitting at a traffic light and heard a loud snap, like metal breaking, and it felt like the car dropped a little. Also as I drove slowly home there was clunking noise that sounded like it was in the front end as I turned the wheel, and there was a noticeable pull to the left. I jacked up each corner and pulled the tire to check things out and found no obvious problems. Now, my house is surrounded by a lot of trees that really hold the moisture and since my sits a lot there is a lot of scaly rust underneath it. And about 2 years ago both LCAs were replaced because of rust problems. Does anyone have an idea of where else I can look for a problem? Thanks in advance.
You need to get both front wheels off the ground. Make sure the jack is under the body and not the front suspension. Grab and pull in all directions on each from wheel. Put the car in neutral and turn each wheel by hand in both directions. Turn the steering wheel to each side and repeat. Then remove tires, crawl up under the front of the car (well supported on jack stands and well scotched) and inspected everything while pulling on it.

Chances are you will detect the problem. Since there's a heavy rust problem, it could be any of the suspension and/or steering or even the car's chassis where these connect. Since you first heard this while sitting still, it may not be the CV shafts, but check them and the motor mounts anyway.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

With the drop you stated. I'd look again at the coil spring. Shock tower under the hood.
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Old 21 Jun 2017, 02:20 pm
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

yea sounds like a coil spring gave up the good fight
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Old 22 Jun 2017, 09:30 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Thanks guys. The coil spring was one of the first things I checked. Still in one piece. I did look at the other things mentioned and unless I missed it, I didn't see any problems. A friend backed the car up while I looked from outside. As he turned the wheel there were clunking sounds from that wheel, and it appeared that the wheel was hanging up on something as the car moved. I also noticed that there is about 2 inches less space between the top of the left front tire and fender then there is on the right side. so I'm pretty sure the problem is there but I'll take another look. I may have a shop look at it as I'm getting to where I not able to do the big jobs like that any more. I just want to have an idea of what may be going on when I take it in. It sucks to get old!!!!
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Old 22 Jun 2017, 09:34 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadcuda View Post
Thanks guys. The coil spring was one of the first things I checked. Still in one piece. I did look at the other things mentioned and unless I missed it, I didn't see any problems. A friend backed the car up while I looked from outside. As he turned the wheel there were clunking sounds from that wheel, and it appeared that the wheel was hanging up on something as the car moved. I also noticed that there is about 2 inches less space between the top of the left front tire and fender then there is on the right side. so I'm pretty sure the problem is there but I'll take another look. I may have a shop look at it as I'm getting to where I not able to do the big jobs like that any more. I just want to have an idea of what may be going on when I take it in. It sucks to get old!!!!
Based on what you've said, I strongly advise looking at the strut mount on the top of the strut assembly. If me, I'd remove the strut assembly from the car. Damage to the mount on top, if present, will be obvious when you try to rotate it.

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Old 22 Jun 2017, 11:47 am
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Default Re: Oh Snap!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadcuda View Post
Thanks guys. The coil spring was one of the first things I checked. Still in one piece. I did look at the other things mentioned and unless I missed it, I didn't see any problems. A friend backed the car up while I looked from outside. As he turned the wheel there were clunking sounds from that wheel, and it appeared that the wheel was hanging up on something as the car moved. I also noticed that there is about 2 inches less space between the top of the left front tire and fender then there is on the right side. so I'm pretty sure the problem is there but I'll take another look. I may have a shop look at it as I'm getting to where I not able to do the big jobs like that any more. I just want to have an idea of what may be going on when I take it in. It sucks to get old!!!!
are you sure? lol from my personal experience coil springs never crack or break in the middle where you can easily see it.. usually around the top.. it doesnt take much for a broken coil to lower the car. i think its like half a coil missing will lower a vehicle like 1 inch..

but def do what handy said.. your best bet would be to remove the entire strut from the vehicle.. then you can do a thorough investigation...
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