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  1. #1
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    Dec 2009
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    Polyurethane bushings

    Hello to all,

    I am tired of the knocking noises I get out of the left front wheel well when going over very small bumps in the road. One example is the "turtles" on the freeway when making lane changes. My 2005 RT Magnum (I have had for 11 months) came with a Hotchkis front sway bar and polyurethane bushings in the front. I have replaced the struts, upgrading to Bilstiens. The top mount rubber was scrutinized my the shop installing the struts against a new set and determined to be ok. All bolts and mounts were checked for tightness and found to be good. It has been suggested to go back to rubber factory bushings to eliminate this problem but it just seems to me that something is being missed. The car steers straight and tracks like a slot car on corners. I really don't want to give that up. An ex-dealer mechanic suggested checking a mount to the uni-body in this area.
    I once experienced a similar problem of noise on '67 Fairlane Wagon that had a bad idler arm. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Dan



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    I can say with 95% certainty that's it's the poly bushings.

    I HATE mine too. :(



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
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    I have a hotchkis swaybars and have been replacing front bushings 3 time per year I have the same problem don't want to go back to stock but would like to find something. I think I will try to make some with delrin the next time. I made some with nyloil (oil impregnate nylon) last year work good but the squeaking was driving me nuts.

    Robert
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by FactoryD View Post
    I can say with 95% certainty that's it's the poly bushings.

    I HATE mine too. :(
    Quote Originally Posted by Dustcanblue View Post
    I have a hotchkis swaybars and have been replacing front bushings 3 time per year I have the same problem don't want to go back to stock but would like to find something. I think I will try to make some with delrin the next time. I made some with nyloil (oil impregnate nylon) last year work good but the squeaking was driving me nuts.

    Robert

    you guys are referring to squeaking noises that are well known with the bushings. This is different than a knocking noise as the OP described (we all know the hotchkis bushings squeak like crazy but they don't knock). There are a lot of factors that go into diagnosing suspension noises so without more info it will be difficult to run through things. How many miles are on the car? Does the car make a similar knocking sound when you first start braking? (upper ball joints if so). how are your tie rod ends? There are many things to inspect, but if it's an actual knocking sound then you have to look at physical joints and what is allowing them to play around to create the noise. Go through all the bolts, and give everything a good shake or shove while on jack stands or a lift and you might get closer to diagnosing things. Remember, we have a rather complicated suspension geometry for our vehicle that prematurely wears out some components. every join is suspect.

    I also saw you put Bilsteins in. My factory SRT Bilsteins would sometimes rattle in situations like that going over the turtles.

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Fultonville NY (Upstate)
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    Quote Originally Posted by CT-MSRT View Post
    you guys are referring to squeaking noises that are well known with the bushings. This is different than a knocking noise as the OP described (we all know the hotchkis bushings squeak like crazy but they don't knock). There are a lot of factors that go into diagnosing suspension noises so without more info it will be difficult to run through things. How many miles are on the car? Does the car make a similar knocking sound when you first start braking? (upper ball joints if so). how are your tie rod ends? There are many things to inspect, but if it's an actual knocking sound then you have to look at physical joints and what is allowing them to play around to create the noise. Go through all the bolts, and give everything a good shake or shove while on jack stands or a lift and you might get closer to diagnosing things. Remember, we have a rather complicated suspension geometry for our vehicle that prematurely wears out some components. every join is suspect.

    I also saw you put Bilsteins in. My factory SRT Bilsteins would sometimes rattle in situations like that going over the turtles.
    What he said. Check out the tension struts first, I was getting a knock and it was the severly undersized balljoint in the TS went bad. Changed it out and my car was like new.

    Jay
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  6. #6
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    Yup, check the ball joint on the tension strut for sure.
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  7. #7
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    Unfortunately the Hotchkis bushings can also elongate and cause the swaybar to move vertically, thereby creating the thumping noise.

    The way this came about is somewhat convoluted; Hotchkis in their infinite(!) wisdom elected to deal with some customer complaints of squeeky (inner) bushings by relaxing the clamping force by including 4 (maybe it was 8) washers. These washers were placed between the frame and the bushing clamshell, which allowed a greater degree of freedom as the swaybar moved while driving.

    Problem was, this solution may have illiminated the squeeking but allowed the swaybar too much vertical movement now, thereby elongating the bushings, and you guessed it now creating a thumping noise as opposed to squeeking. Silly bandaid solution, and bound to fail.

    Now whether they have actually redesigned the inner bushings I can not say. I do know that I have replaced mine twice now over a 3-4 year period. But I expected to be replacing them! I have replaced others on other folks vehicles, 4 sets so far. Those whose bars I installed I told them to expect to do maintenance (lubricate them) periodically.

    If must be made clear that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the origianal bushings They are a maintenance item just like shocks, tires, etc. If one wants a tighter ride with less body roll you have to realize that things wear/rub differently and are produced from firmer/different materials than the OEM versions.

    A good example of this is folks replacing their OEM braking systems with hi-performance pad material or a Big Brake System...and complaining they squeek. That's life folks...you want better braking you gotta deal with the performance-related parts and their (well known) characteristics. You want a quiet smooth ride then stick with the OEM parts.

    So back to the bushings, if you do not properly lube them prior to installation with the RIGHT grease (very important), and periodically remove and REGREASE them, they will start to make noise and eventually fail.

    They require maintenance...
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  8. #8
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    Dec 2009
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    It rattled before the Bilsteins and I now have 62,000 miles on the car. I put the Bilsteins in at about 50K. I will take the responses under advisement and try to diagnose it further. I have had it on the rack and checked by three suspension shops who swear everything is tight and lubed. No thumping noise under braking just the bumps in ANY road. Small or large the noise is relative to the bump and just in the left front wheel well. I swear I can feel it with my left foot on the foot rest.

  9. #9
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    Audible noise such as you state, if it is from an inner swaybar bushing would surely mean one could actually get under there and move it (vertically) by hand and see/feel the bad bushing.

    It might take undoing the the outer attachment (on the left side by the sounds of it) to give enough play...especially with the Hotchkis bar which are one of the stiffest out there...

    EDIT; are there washers holding the clamp away from the vehicle's frame? Check that...

  10. #10
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    I once had a cluck in my front end. I rechecked all of the bolts for tightness and it still was there. I then "gorilla" tightened the lower shock bolt and it went away. I have heard of others solve it that same way.

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  11. #11
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    How true; especially if the bolt was not tightened properly in the first place allowing the mounting hole(s) to become slightly elongated...

  12. #12
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    I had the same problem but the shop forgot to lube the bushings and after the lube no more noise all good now.


  13. #13
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    Just got it back from the shop (not dealer). They diagnosed (correctly) and replaced the STRUT ARMS with factory replacements that are a new design for this model. At the top of the strut arms was a pivoting knuckle that was wearing out on both sides, probably due to the stiffness of the poly-bushings. The left, which was the culprit of the noise, had play in the socket.
    The shop could not remove and re-install the poly-bushings so I just went with the factory rubber. Bottom line...NO MORE NOISE, still tracks like a slot car AND my extended warranty covered it less my $100 deductible and alignment.
    Last edited by captain dan; 10-24-2010 at 10:23 PM.

  14. #14
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    Jul 2009
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    Good thread. Just bought a magnum SRT8 and it is making a sound from the right front. Will look at the strut arms.

    Climberccm
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    You might want to check your front brakes. There was quite a discussion here about front end rattles that continues following front end part replacements. It was discovered that the front brake pads on most magnums did not come with anti-rattle clips to hold the pads tight against the caliper. Instead they have an adhesive backing on the pad that comes loose over time. If you search the site you will find an array of others that have experienced the same rattles. The product that I and others used is; Permatex part# 80077 Disc Brake Quiet. This worked great, I simply cleaned up my pads and sprayed it on and attached it to the caliper. Worked just fine. Perhaps this may end your noise. Good luck.

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