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03 2.4 questions

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 21 May 2012, 08:52 am
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Default 03 2.4 questions

I have a 03 stock 2.4 having some issues. I've hacked them down to their causes and now need to repair these.

Problems, Banging , popping in front end, lots of rear wheel play.

Causes: Bad ball joints in front, Control arm bushings shot, swaybar links dead, Bad rear wheel bearings.

I also have years of experince on different vehicle repairs so im not a newbie :-D haha

My questions are:

I plan on buying complete front Control arms which are pre-loaded with the bushings and ball joints......DO i need specialized tools to replace the control arms/sway-bar links? or will my normal sockets, extensions and torque bars do the trick without renting ball-joint presses etc?

and second

I know the rear wheel bearing hub assemblys are pressed units, requiring a press to remove the bearing from the hub. But i am planning on replacing BOTH hubs completely. Can i do this myself without a press? kind of un-bolt the hubs , pull them off and then slap the new ones on? or do i need a press to remove the entire hub?

Third:

Is doing a 4 wheel alignment 100% necessary? I am on a VERY fixed budget of about $130 a week income due to a neck injury, so springing for the couple hundred dollar price list of the parts i need is tough as is, and a $100 alignment is nice, but if avoidable it would be nicer haha

any help would be greatly appreciated :-)
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Old 21 May 2012, 10:19 am
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

Rebuilding the arms would be cheaper. That said,you should have no trouble doing this and the rear hubs are a bolt on thing. The other ,well see how it drives.
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Old 21 May 2012, 10:26 am
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

Yeah new bushings and joints would be about $150 cheaper haha however i have fractured my L1 and L2 vertebra in my neck, so doing that while cheaper is a lot more labor on me. And i dont have any car-savy friends here in sunny saco Maine to help so. Faster is better haha.

Appreciate the help. im looking at $120 for both hubs at my local parts store, and thats more than enough. so not having to pay someone else to press anything gives me a little more cash haha. i need a few other things as well, rear struts/springs, and a canister valve, so im looking at a total tally of $509 as it is if i do it all myself. every bit helps haha
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Old 21 May 2012, 12:18 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

Rear hubs are a cartridge AFAIK- Remove the nut, replace old with new, replace the nut.
No press involved.

Usually only rear bushing is bad on LCA- Replacing ball joint and front bushing isn't necessary if they aren't bad ...
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Old 21 May 2012, 01:06 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

well the front ball joints and bushings are shot, there is alot of play in the front end
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Old 21 May 2012, 06:21 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

so i was going through the service logs on my car. and i realized.......angrily.......that my control arm bushings were replaced 25k ago AT a Chrysler dealer......now granted that was in 09' but that also shows how little this car was driven......is it normal for arm bushings to destruct after only 25k?
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Old 21 May 2012, 10:07 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

Yes. These were far too compliant- And, as mentioned, started with the first Neon's in '93.

I know, I know, but when a Tempo/escort etc came in, the entire front end was shot- guaranteed.

Cadillac had it's problems with the original Northstar

Buick had headgasket problems with their mid- V-6 3.8's (which they now solved)

Porsche had a shaft fail on their early Boxter engines ($$$$$)

Mercedes seven speeds woofed off left and right ($$$$$)

Horses are pretty good, you just have to feed 'em
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Old 22 May 2012, 05:06 am
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

haha yes the neons were crap. i have had owned 2 99's and dumped about 4 grand into each before i got the hint haha.

the buick engine. yep.......proud former owner of a 96 century so i know that one as well.

the horse haha they also need shoes :-p

i've just never seen a bushing like this go that quickly.


another small question.

VIP said my rear end was "shakey" due to a bad suspension.

now i have wheel play top to bottom on both sides in the back. heres the tricky part. the wheel play is when the car is not jacked up, and actually sitting full weight on the ground., if i push on the top end of the wheel, it moves inward towards the body of the car and makes a "clunk" noise.

now seeing as i am on a strict budget. i am over thinking this issue.

is this truely a shock/strut caused problem? or could this be toasty wheel bearings in disguise? i ask for safety reasons and for cost haha 2 wheel bearing hub assemblys will run me $120.......shocks and struts installed will run me cost to $325 haha
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Old 22 May 2012, 01:02 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

Struts can 'wear out', our 'blow out' or 'rust out'.
Only complete failure (cry over the broke Koni, boys) would allow such movement


Wheel bearing generally don't have such play, unless, again, there's total failure.

Upper strut mount bushing can and will fail and cause issues, but likely vehicle's weight would prevent such movement.
I'd look, listen feel-

Jack it up and look is my suggestion
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Old 22 May 2012, 10:30 pm
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Default Re: 03 2.4 questions

You need a proper diagnosis to detemine what needs to be replaced. I've gone through 3 front wheel bearings in a very short time because 2 were defective. It's a very common failure. Tire shops usually give free inspections.

The cost of one wheel bearing is under $50. If you do the work yourself, a machine shop should charge about $25.
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