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

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

  1. big-t

    big-t Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Oddometer:
    491
    Location:
    left corner of VA
    I have run into this problem several times and it was usually traced back to where the lower part of the spring seats against the strut.Usually there is a rubber in between the two that could be missing or worn thru.When the wheel is turned the spring slips on the dry metal and creates all kinds of racket.

    A quick check to see if that is where the noise is coming from is to spray a liberal amount of WD 40 all the way around that spring seat so it can leak down between the spring and seat.Don't worry about putting to much on as the first time you go thru a water puddle it will be pretty much gone.

    Hope this helps
    #21
  2. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    On my Pontiac that would mean lubing all the crap that accumulates in there. Dirt...rocks and all turned to cement by the calcium chloride, can't even get it out at the car wash, have to physically pick and scrub when I do the tires switchover.

    Well now I know that I probably have plastic bearings.:eek1 I guess I'll see them when I replace the struts. Coming soon, they need replacing at 35,000 miles.:eek1
    #22
  3. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    What's so crazy is that this car had 110k on it when I was hit. My struts never creaked or popped prior to having the new ones installed. The fact that the bearing is plastic is beyond logic. Not even an aftermarket alternative with metal. If you have someone in the car turning the wheel slowly, you can watch the spring turn, get stuck, creak, then pop into position. ACDelco mounts ordered on their dime, and they have a program that allows them to look at any shop manual. Why this wasn't done the first time:dunno. At least it's just my time and not my money being wasted.
    #23
  4. troidus

    troidus Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    16,781
    Once everything is clean, would it help to spray everything with chain lube a couple of times a year so the CaCl<sub>2</sub> can't stick?
    #24
  5. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    Yeah...got to oil the whole car and start using that Salt-Away I bought before the radiator disintegrates just like he AC condenser did.:D I do have a faint squeak on the RH side with steering turned, I may have found it through this thread.:cry Darn more work on that POS....will have to wait for tires switchover. Maybe another brake job at the same time....would be the third one in 35,000 miles.:D
    #25
  6. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    6,883
    Location:
    central USA
    Frame measurement checks a few reference points on the frame, there still could be some twist to the area where the bearing goes. Looking at the failed bearing, if the wear is on one side, the frame was bent.

    I also recommend getting a strut bearing from GM, often the aftermarket does not have access to the original design plastic types.

    Rod
    #26
  7. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Done. I'll have them look at the bearings on disassembly. Both sides are making noise, which is why I believe the mounts were not installed correctly.
    #27
  8. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,675
    Location:
    VA
    FWIW, there is a Pontiac Aztek fan club: http://www.aztekfanclub.com/

    They even have a garage section with the tires-wheels-suspension category. I expect someone there may have had a similar problem. No guarantees. Good luck!
    #28
  9. Bayner

    Bayner Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,628
    Location:
    Penticton, BC

    I think this is the point that sieg was trying to make earlier...
    #29
  10. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    no kidding. I was unaware this software existed until they told me the other day.


    The aztekfanclub.com is totally defunct. you cannot access their site, meaning you can't join??? I've been trying for months, finally found an email to send to and still, nothing. So I can't post on the site. The Yahoo group is garbage. no one there spins wrenches, they just go to the dealer. Thanks for finding it though, if I hadn't known about it, I'd be there now thanks to you STan!!
    #30
  11. Stan_R80/7

    Stan_R80/7 Beastly Gnarly

    Joined:
    May 12, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,675
    Location:
    VA
    I found this post by starbird1 on page 4 of the tires-wheels-suspension section @ www.aztekfanclub.com:

    "For weeks after changing my 2001 AWD Aztek Air Conditioning condenser I developed a bad popping sound when I pulled out from a stop or went to backup. I first thought it was the ball joint, replaced that, still no change, then replaced control arm bushings again no change, So I just knew it was the CV shaft [​IMG] same old crap.
    Yesterday as I was looking under the hood as my wife held the brake and put the Aztek from reverse to drive I happened to notice a very slight movement in the front brace that the air box sits on. Torqued the two little bolts a little tighter and guess what? No more popping [​IMG] . Hope this might help someone from going through what I went through."

    No idea if that could apply to your situation. Strange that the site is up but you can't join. I also noticed that Google site: searching did not work. Hope the ACDelco parts fix the problem.
    #31
  12. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Yeah, me too. I'll try to shoot some video of the spring getting hung up on the mount if anyone is interested.
    #32
  13. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    The online shop manuals????:wink: Yep my local mechanic wasn't too impressed when I told him about about the free back door access I found. He pays quite a large yearly fee for that.:rofl

    My bloody Pontiac was built in Georgia, looks like they used their leftover parts as they did not sell them in the USAs 2008-9. Dumped them all into the Canadian market and closed the factory.:wink:

    I bought that thing because they told me it would take a 4x8 sheet of something in the cargo area. Hum....what they didn't tell was that it is exactly 4 feet wide, no wiggle room and scratched plastics. And then if more than 3/4" thick like 3 sheets of drywall the tailgate won't latch all the way and you will be driving back home with the seat all the way forward and nose into the stering wheel.Just did that a couple days ago!:lol3

    I'll send you a PM....looks like we will both need the manual to keep them things alive.:rofl
    #33
  14. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,200
    Location:
    The Teton Rockies
    :ear

    Any new word from the shop?
    #34
  15. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Awaiting parts.
    #35
  16. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    4,750
    Location:
    Hiding off Hwy 6, B.C.
    And I'll be curious as to where the ACDelco parts come from nowadays.:earHave a good look at the packaging if any.:wink:

    My family went waaaay back to the 30's and 40's with GM. I must have installed 100s of their parts in my youth. Recently cut up one of their "new" oil filters, wasn't impressed with the quality and the obvious manufacturing defect.:eek1 Not putting them on my bike that's for sure.:eek1

    If you can, maybe pics of the "defective" aftermarket parts, should be some wear marks somewhere if creaking??? And then pics of the ACDelcos if just for quality control. Another winter of bad roads and I'll really need to restore the handling on that pig of mine and really don't want to do that twice.:huh
    #36
  17. rapidoxidationman

    rapidoxidationman Easily trainable

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Oddometer:
    9,200
    Location:
    The Teton Rockies

    ....

    Is it time to find a new shop yet?
    #37
  18. sieg

    sieg Wearing out tires......2 at a time, day after day.

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,018
    Location:
    Southern Illinois USA
    So that's it? WTF Still waiting for parts? What happened?
    #38
  19. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    7,730
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Well, they farmed it out to a domestic shop. Got the car back and as soon as I turned out of the shop (after hours) i've got a new noise. Sounds like a bad ball joint would sound, but that's not it. I jacked the car up and took the wheels off, used the go pro and tried to make the sound. Then i took a mallet and beat everything in the front, found a very loose bolt on the control arm to the frame. Now I'm wondering if the fastners loosen in the crash and now my bushings in my control arm are blown. Now my compressor for my air ride rear suspension gave up, and I've got to figure the rear out now. I haven't gone back or called them, I'm sure that they're sick of me but the suspension seems sound. No more creaking or popping from the strut and the spring is turning just fine. I'm going to take a guess and say that my rack and pinion is probably gone, and my control arm bushings. So as far as the shop is concerned, they've fullfilled their obligation to me. I paid no more money to the shop fyi. Thanks for all your help. I tried to video several times but had to have the car running and couldn't replicate the sound via video.
    #39