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Front End Knocking and Vibration

 
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 10:51 am
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Default Front End Knocking and Vibration

Hi All ... This is my first post and I think you guys are awesome! I would like some help on diagnosing a problem I just experienced today with my 2001 PT manual. I've had the car for a month and love it. It has 116,000 km (approx. 70,000 miles) and it has been driving smooth as silk ... until today. It started with a vibration at all speeds similar to driving on uneven pavement. As I drove further, it started to develop a low knocking / tapping sound. It wasn't coming from the engine and would disappear when the car was stopped. When I got on the highway, the sound got louder to the point that I thought the front end was going to fall apart. The vibrations can be felt in the steering wheel and when I got off the highway, the knocking was as loud as when I was driving fast. I love this car and bought it even though people advised against it. I have a lot of plans for this car and have already diagnosed a faulty bell crank and clockspring. Can anyone suggest a possible cause and I will check out the car when I limp home tonight.

Thanks!!!
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 11:04 am
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Welcome to the forum. You have to get it up on the lift and start looking at things like the half shafts and CV joints. Check all the boots for tears and rips. Maybe others will have some ideas.
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 11:20 am
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

almost sounds like something on one fo your wheels??? i guess a really really bad bering or something else that is broke in the frount end like cruzin siai a rack is you friend
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Old 08 Mar 2011, 12:45 pm
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Jack it up yourself, feel if wheels are loose, if so, diagnose where the
looseness is. I'd say Snow in wheels being in Canada, but sounds more
extreme than that
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Old 09 Mar 2011, 11:34 am
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Update: I got the PT home despite the sound/vibration getting worse. After jacking the car up and removing the hub caps, I noticed that the lugs were not snug (I was able to remove them with my fingers). As I've only had the car for a month and it passed an inspection, I assumed that everything was in top shape and concentrated on the tune-up and fluid changes ... Lesson learned.

Bottom line, Lug bolts, nuts and rim need to be replaced. The bolts were nearly sheared off, the bottom of the lug bolts were rounded and the rim bolt holes were misshapen (oblong) due to the wobble. I will check more thoroughly this weekend for more damage that may have occurred.

Thanks to everyone for your input.
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Old 09 Mar 2011, 11:53 am
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

I'd have to guess that whoever did the inspection FORGOT to tighten down the lugs after checking the brakes. They might have put them on finger tight and didn't torque them down. You might go back to wherever they did the work and complain. it might have happened before and a particular mechanic is known for their sloppy work. They might reimburse you for the damage. Do you have the receipt with the inspector/mechanic's name?
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Old 09 Mar 2011, 12:53 pm
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Location: Toronto, Ontario
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Unfortunately no. The previous owner got the safety and the paper work done before I bought it so all I had to do was change the ownership. I did check the torque on all the other wheels and they were all fine with the exception of the front driver's side. The PT seems to run fine and since I need a new rim anyway, I might as well replace them all.

What kind of rims are you running Crewzin? They look amazing and I like the modern retro look, if that makes any sense.
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Old 09 Mar 2011, 01:03 pm
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Wow.

Front Drivers is always the one to loosen, is it an aftermarket rim???????

Chrysler used to use left hand threads on Driver's side, but stopped
sometime in the 60's, IIRC.

They very worst vehicles to do this were conversion vans;
1. they always used aftermarket wheels,
2. had very high loading on fronts.

Note that heavy duty equipment always uses left hand threads.

Certainly it could be happenstance that this was simply the one forgotten,
as Crewzin says.
It's EZ when you're working in a shop to forget, you need to develop a
system. Even then things happen. Remember when the AirForce accidentally
diddy-bopped across the US with a 'stowaway' load of nukes???????

yikes.
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Old 10 Mar 2011, 09:22 am
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

Not an aftermarket rim. I've been driving it since the incident and I'm not sure if it's just my head playing games but every now and then I seem to feel some minor front end vibration but nothing felt through the steering wheel. I'll have to check it out when time allows. It's a bit of a pain and may have tarnished the initial joy of driving the car but I'm sure that once everything is done I'll fall in love with it again ... and it's still not as bad as flying 6 nuclear cruise missiles across the country unprotected. FAIL!!!
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Old 10 Mar 2011, 12:05 pm
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Default Re: Front End Knocking and Vibration

didnt you hear they wwere heading to area 51 to help power the flying sacuer that we reverse engenered
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