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Front suspension advice

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18 Apr 2011, 02:31 pm
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Location: NW Ohio
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Default Front suspension advice

Hello all- my first post and thanks for all the great information shared at these forums!

I have a '01 with 146,000 that we've owned since '05 when it had around 50K on it. It's been well taken care of and last year I finally replaced the timing belt after finding this forum and reading I was living on the edge with the miles i had on the car. This past winter has really taken a toll on the front end (lots of noise, banging, and a constant thumping noise at low speeds) and I was just quoted nearly $1200 from the local dealer (as a matter of half block from home convenience) stating my car needs "links, bushings, tie rods, control arm bushings, and a right axle". Obviously, I am getting a second opinion, but am concerned about investing this much in a car with nearly 150K. I forgot to mention, it will also need a set of tires soon as well.

What are some of your opinions on this type of outlay on a high milage car? Fix, upgrade, or ..... I really like the car, but am concerned about it turning into a money pit sooner than later. Thanks for any input.
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Old 18 Apr 2011, 04:03 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

Whether to fix or flay, that's going to have to be your decision to make. Like me, after my recent wreck my insurance company wanted to total my PT and I had to go into a huge argument to keep that from happening.

Me, I've got so much time invested in it, and there are still so many positive aspects of it that I am not about to let it go unless I positively have to. If it became a safety issue, then I'd weigh the cost to repair/upgrade versus a new vehicle.

I just went through this with my PT and the repair and upgrade won the toss. Ended up ordering custom parts for the car to get it back road worthy, and upgraded the IC while I was at it. Car has to be completely retuned now, and I still have some minor body work to do, but it's part of that decision to keep it.

Anyway, just my two cents worth. Personally, I love the PT's and am hanging on to mine as long as I can.
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Old 18 Apr 2011, 06:57 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

Thanks Chromenut,

Other than the high miles, the car cosmetically, looks almost new when detailed out and anyone that sees it is amazed at how old it is. It is driven year-round and sits outside in the NW Ohio winters most of the time since we only have a one-car garage.
It goes in to another mechanic Thursday for them to check out. I'm hoping I can get a "fair" assessment of the problems.
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Old 18 Apr 2011, 07:49 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

don't know anything about this stuff but i just wanted to stop by and say hi. I'm Danny, my Pt is Eve and we say hello from San Antonio.
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Old 18 Apr 2011, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

Also, a lot of those issues you say they quoted, they aren't all that hard to resolve yourself. Depends on how many tools you've got and your level of experience. There are several though that will require multiple touches. For instance, you replace the tie rod end, you better get your steering checked for proper alignment.
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Old 28 Apr 2011, 08:08 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

Thought I'd report back with progress.
I took the PT to another shop and it was determined to be the control arm bushings and a third of the original quote. He also replaced the sway bushings as well as an alignment. I really did contemplate doing this myself but just don't have the time right now. When I picked the car up, it was nice and tight like new but it still has the "thumping" noise at low speeds (under 50mph). The mechanic thinks it may be the rotors because when you brake, it goes away. I just couldn't hear it so well before as the front end banged so loudly.
Pads are ok, rotors are a little "grooved"

Anyone have any other thoughts on this noise. I've been thinking of a brake upgrade eventually anyway, but could it be anything more serious like a CV joint or ?
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Old 20 May 2011, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

When the Watt's Link goes it makes quite a racket. That could be your thump.
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Old 20 May 2011, 12:23 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

mmm not saying it's not the watts link, but it would make the noise mainly when cornering, running straight and smooth the watts link system isn't hardly moving. Did they check the CV joints when they had it in? See any leakage around the front boots?

Also, pulling the front calipers is not too difficult, I'd say over a weekend, just slip them up to where they clear the rotor, if anything falls out, that's your problem...lol... I had this where a brake pad came loose but stayed in the caliper, when I pulled the caliper up, it fell out, disconnected from the backing plate.
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Old 21 May 2011, 01:46 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

Checked out the brakes and the right front caliper was pretty much not working. There was also quite a bit of rust on the outer edges of both rotors, so I just replaced rotors and pads on both sides. Problem solved. Drives out like a new car. Since we had such a nice day (finally) I spent most of today doing the sping detail. I think I'll keep her for a bit longer.
Thanks to everyone for the input.
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Old 28 May 2011, 07:25 pm
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Default Re: Front suspension advice

I love to read these stories about faithful owners and high mileage PT's. Lets me know these cars are much better than some folks previously thought. Not to many people believe that a Chrylser/Plymouth could make 100,000 miles or more. I've always believed that if you take care of your car it will take care of you!!!!

Keep On Rollin'
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