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2002, CV problem

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 29 May 2013, 12:42 pm
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Default 2002, CV problem

I bought a 2002 PT Cruiser. 2.4L, no turbo, no ABS, 152k miles, purchased with broken motor mount and broken CV. The subframe has been replaced with a new one, as the previous one was rusty.

So, replaced the lower right motor mount, installed new CV, it broke immediately - lasted less than a hundred yards, blobs of grease and fragments of metal all over the ground, loud noises, etc.. It was a cheap rebuild, the mechanic told me it was defective. Bought another rebuilt one from a different car parts store (as the "new" ones were unavailable for any price from the first two car parts stores I tried), also replaced upper right side motor mount - it wasn't broken, but seemed a little loose.

And, CV broke before I got out of the driveway. This one didn't spill parts all over the ground - but it still wouldn't make the car move.

So I'm now waiting for a new, not remanufactured CV joint from a third car parts store. The mechanic assures me that my remaining motor mount isn't a problem. If/when this CV breaks, aside from the reportedly fine motor mount, are there any other things I should be looking for?

Last edited by StrayCatalyst; 29 May 2013 at 12:45 pm.
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Old 29 May 2013, 12:58 pm
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem



there are a lot of little pieces in the CV joints, and the only thing holding them in there is the boot. stretching them when installing them can make the rollers fall off their pegs. take great care when you install it to make certain that you are not causing this to happen. there is no reason these axles should be breaking like you describe.

where are they breaking?
are there scrape marks anywhere on the axle or suspension parts?
does the motor sit level or is it at a weird angle?
do you have pictures?

after you install it, rotate the tire to make sure it spins freely. if you have access to the drive up ramps, pull the car up and see if the axle is touching anything with the suspension compressed.

or is the mechanic doing the work?
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Last edited by rob342; 29 May 2013 at 01:04 pm.
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Old 29 May 2013, 01:37 pm
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

An experienced mechanic is doing the job, as I'm busy at work. He has 12 years and is ASE certified.

Both of them have broken at the inner joint, the first one pouring grease and metal splinters into the parking lot - sharp enough to require pliers to remove from fingers. The second one failed but not as spectacularly.

The motor - as I've never owned a PT Cruiser before, I have little to compare it with, but it looks level, and the engine does not move freely when I put my hands on it and try to shove or twist it. I've read all too many complaints about motor mounts, so I replaced the two that looked iffy.

I haven't noticed scrapes or damage to the places around the CV. The subframe and other parts do not appear damaged or bent.

I'll see about getting pictures this evening. Any parts in particular you'd like to see? There isn't currently a CV installed - the original broken one and the second replacement (broken) ones are in the back, so I can return the one and use the other as a core for the new part.
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Old 29 May 2013, 04:44 pm
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

You are going to need to download or buy a FSM and take measurements from the body section-
Obviously something is horribly wrong-
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Old 29 May 2013, 04:55 pm
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrayCatalyst View Post
The subframe has been replaced with a new one, as the previous one was rusty.
this really sounds like someone hit something and you got lied to. i mean, here is a link to the only other person that had issues with a rusty subframe: My 02 PT Cruiser literally fell apart with only 48,000. miles on it
is the rest of the car rusty enough that you really believe the person you bought it from? i dont mean surface rust, i mean like rot

if the rest is rusty, do you think perhaps they drove the car until it failed and bent something else?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StrayCatalyst View Post
If/when this CV breaks, aside from the reportedly fine motor mount, are there any other things I should be looking for?
is the pencil strut in place?(see attached)

i was looking online for problems like yours and it seems they are all caused by previous accidents, frame damage, or severely worn balljoints. most people also seem to say they break during or right after making a turn.

i would inspect everything very slowly and carefully for bends, creases, tears, welds, or overly new areas that seem suspicious(shiny paint, undercoating, etc). check the shock towers inside and out, fit and finish of the body panels, make sure the paint matches on all the panels, check the radiator support top and bottom, make sure the swaybar bushings don't look like the swaybar moved(like if the bar were shiny 1/4" to the left on both bushings where it attaches to the body), measure the distance from tire to tire front to back, side to side. see if the fron A arms appear to be the same age, anything you can think of. IMO grab a beer and play detective.
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Last edited by rob342; 29 May 2013 at 05:02 pm.
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Old 29 May 2013, 11:01 pm
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

Didn't think of the pencil strut you linked:


In anycase, DO get the body specs, cars aren't built to exact measurements, so it's only tape measure close.

And the subframes do rust- Mine was a goner- saw several others.
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Old 30 May 2013, 08:35 am
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

The rest of the car isn't rusty - considering that it's in New England and is over ten years old, it's not rusty at all. The subframe looks new to me, but I haven't spent a lot of time crawling around under the car. I didn't pay much for this car, so there's a possibility that the previous "repair" gave it a problem that the previous owner got tired of being unable to fix, but I'm hoping not.

The new CV is on its way - the car parts store got the wrong part, but they're delivering the correct one later today. The weather is nice today, I'll pull the wheel off and look for the pencil strut.

If this car has been crashed in the past, it's been well repaired - the lines are straight, the spacing between the body panels is even, there's no obvious signs of repairs or frame straightening that I've seen so far. I'm not familiar with PT Cruisers, but I've owned plenty of cars in the past, and know to look for those signs. The tires also don't show signs of uneven wear, which pretty much always happens with frame problems, and all of the paint matches to a visual inspection - granted, the car is white, so that might not be as good an indicator as it would be with other colors.

I'll download the FSM and take some measurements to see if the subframe is the problem. I'm also going to contact the previous owner and ask him how many times he had to replace CVs - if he had to do it more than once for that corner, I'll consider that a smoking gun pointing to the problem.
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Old 30 May 2013, 08:40 am
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

One other thing, that I've just learned - the second CV broke as soon as the mechanic took it off the jack - he didn't even drive it. It separated but didn't shatter like the first one. I don't know if he tried to turn the engine on and spin the wheel while it was still on the jack stands. He's an experienced mechanic, so I assume he knows not to pull the CV joint apart while installing it (car parts counter guy theory number 75 for why their parts aren't defective).

The wheel, when the tie rod end is off, is difficult to pivot. The ball joint doesn't look damaged to a visual inspection, but I'm (again) not all that familiar with this sort of front suspension, I'm more used to air cooled VWs.
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Old 30 May 2013, 09:21 am
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

Maybe there is a different axle for auto or straight and your getting the wrong one. IDK Just a thought. Sounds like the axle is to short.
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Old 30 May 2013, 10:06 am
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Default Re: 2002, CV problem

It's possible. The left one is far shorter than the right (the third car parts store ordered the left one, it was identifiable as too short for 30 feet away, without even taking it out of the box). None of the car parts stores have asked me about auto vs. manual trans, just ABS or non-ABS. I still have the original broken one, which (guessing from the labels, apparent quality, etc) looks like a Chrysler part, so I'll compare the length before I install the new CV.
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