Front suspension help needed. Any GM techs in the house?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by hardwaregrrl, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Ok......2003 pontiac Aztek. Yeah, yeah......ok wipe off your keyboards. Here's the skinny. I was rear-ended about 2 months ago. She tore up my rear bumper cover and bent the crap out of my tow hitch/mount, and broke my propeller on my driveshaft, torsion and motor mounts. Well, I took the car to a really great shop, but they specialize in 4 runners/Land crusiers. The completed all of the repairs and called to tell me my struts were done. Not because of the crash, I had the money so they replaced both front struts and mounts with KYBs. They were awesome!!!!!.....for a few days. Then I heard creaking and popping at low speeds. Turning, braking pop pop, creak creak. So I took it back. They said the bearing on one side was toast. So they replaced the strut mount with a heavy duty one from NAPA. Then a few more days go by, the other side is now making noise. So again, they replace with the NAPA unit. Well, 2 weeks later and it's god awful.

    The shop is at a loss....they asked me to find a GM tech to see what the deal was. Maybe they installed them wrong, but it seems pretty standard for GM cars. Anyway, they don't have time to get some advice from a GM tech or to find out why the bearings keep failing. There is no info on the net about this problem. Anybody have any advice?? If you're a GM tech, I 'd love a copy of strut mount assembly from the shop manual or something. There is absolutley nothing on line about this. Thanks all!!!
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  2. sieg

    sieg Long timer

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    So they can't figure it out, and they want you to. WTF? You are very lucky to have a "really great shop" to deal with. :wink:<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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  3. BtoV

    BtoV FNG

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    Make sure the springs are seated in the plates correctly, I did one correct and one incorrect on a Tacoma. It creaked and popped until I took it off and seated the spring.
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  4. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    I hear you....but my goal right now is to fix my car. I'll deal with them later on this matter.


    @Btov: Thanks! I'll pass that info along.
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  5. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    My money is on a bent frame. If you were hit hard enough to break drive shafts and motor mounts... That car's done and her insurance should take care of it.
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  6. hardwaregrrl

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    Frame isn't bent. Was checked by 2 body shops.
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  7. sieg

    sieg Long timer

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    Oh well that makes it simple, take it to a GM tech.
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  8. hardwaregrrl

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    Yeah, I don't have the cash. I need to figure out what the shop I already paid is doing wrong so they can fix the problem. Sorry, but I'm self employed with a 30 year old bike and a 10 year old car. If I had a shit load of cash, I'd buy a new car. Help me out with the tech info, not "what would you do?".

    They want to fix the problem but are unsure if it's bad parts or installation problems. They are about to order OEM ACDelco parts to try now.
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  9. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    This is the closest suspension diagram I could find on an 03 Aztek: http://www.gmpartsclub.com/parts-ca...-4l-v6-gas/front-suspension/lower-control-arm

    From the looks of the diagram, it is pretty standard. The popping and creaking typically comes from a bad lower ball joint. Did they replace those? If not, they should (or replace the lower control arm if that is less expensive). Unfortunately, the shop does not sound very competent.

    Here is one DIY approach to figure out if the problem is the lower arm control ball joint(s): Take off the wheel - use two jacks for this, one for the body and one for under the control arm so the arm can be moved up and down safely. Inspect the rubber boot for the lower ball joint. If it is torn - that is the smoking gun. Otherwise, clean off the boot with some brake cleaner or wipe it down as best possible. Then pierce the boot with a lithium grease can extension tube (straw) sharpened end. Spray grease in the boot. Wait a couple of hours for the aerosol solvent in the grease to partially evaporate. Test drive the car and listen if the pop/creak is still there. Good luck!

    Edit: not a GM tech - but I have worked on several strut and standard suspensions including Ford and GM.
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  10. hardwaregrrl

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    One guys mistake doesn't mean the shop is bad. One tech worked on it and made a mistake. We're only human and they're trying to solve the problem. It is the strut mount. No question. Outer tie rods, control arms, cv axles,wheel bearings, ball joints are all under 10k miles. If you put your hand on the mount and have someone turn the wheels, you can feel it and hear it. No question. Sorry if I wasn't clear, but when the strut mount was replaced, the noise was gone. But just for a few days to a week.



    #10
  11. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

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    Sounds like the part is defective and should be replaced. However, there are two locations where that popping/creaking could be from, the strut top bearing - which is new and the lower ball joint. Good luck!
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  12. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    There appears to be a bearing up there, too. If they replaced only the mount and not the bearing, that could be the source of the noise. And beware, some aftermarket struts don't use a bearing, so they'll be OK long enough to drive out of the shop, but won't hold up.
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  13. hardwaregrrl

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    Yep, they got the bearing as well. Pretty much always comes with the strut mount. The bearing is plastic which I think is pretty nuts.
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  14. sieg

    sieg Long timer

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    <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p><o:p>I was trying to help. If you pay for competent repairs in the first place it may be the first step in having a "shit load of cash" someday. It don’t matter how good you think they are, or how bad they want to fix the problem. A shop that can’t fix it right in the first place, doesn’t know if it's bad parts or a bad install and wants you to figure it out so they can try again is not the place that will save you money. Wake up! :scratch<o:p></o:p>
    </o:p>
    </o:p>
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  15. hardwaregrrl

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    Hey man, go rant in someone elses thread.
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  16. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    That sounds like the insulator, not the bearing. Stan's link let me find the strut components, here:

    http://www.gmpartsclub.com/parts-ca...v6-gas/front-suspension/suspension-components

    Hopefully the replacement doesn't have a plastic bearing, but I've heard of some super-cheap struts that do. KYB is supposed to be better than that, though.
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  17. hardwaregrrl

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    Bearing is made of plastic.

    <a href="http://s814.photobucket.com/user/hardwaregrrl/media/washer_zps08e7f552.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i814.photobucket.com/albums/zz66/hardwaregrrl/washer_zps08e7f552.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo washer_zps08e7f552.jpg"/></a>
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  18. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    How incredibly cheesy of GM. Sorry. Here's a pic from the acdelco site, showing the upper mount with bearing. The bearing looks just like yours, just a different color.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck.
    #18
  19. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

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    I'm still thinking tweaked frame... any signs of cracked/blistered paint near the strut mount? If something was pushed out of the plane it should be in, a bearing wouldn't last long. If your car was hit hard enough to break a motor mount FROM A REAR END COLLISION, it was hit hard enough to bend a frame. Maybe not much, maybe nearly impossible to detect, but enough to trash new parts.
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  20. hardwaregrrl

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    Aztek has a weird motor design. On impact the motor will tilt under the car instead going through the firewall. Downside. Motor mounts torsion mounts are very easily broken when struck from behind. I was worried it was bent but the frame was measured by two different body shops.
    #20