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    Thread: Front Strut Mounts Loose - WTF???

    1. #1
      Senior Member Thymeclock's Avatar
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      Front Strut Mounts Loose - WTF???

      I'm really PO'd. Today I took my car in for the yearly mandatory state inspection and it didn't pass. It's an '09 with only 19K miles on it. The mechanic told me the whole front suspension was loose. I couldn't believe it!

      I took it home and checked it myself. He's right: when either front side is jacked up the whole top of the strut mount is loose with at least 1/2" play vertically between the flanged top metal cap bushing and the body mounting hole. I tried adjusting the lower nut (the one under the cap nut) but nothing would take out that gap. The whole strut assembly will move up and down if there is no weight on it. Both struts have the same looseness. The struts themselves are good; the car is always garaged, very clean, low mileage - it's much too young to have this sort of absurd problem.

      The inspection sticker is expired so I'm desperate to have it pass inspection so I don't get a ticket. I found a way to rectify the situation, though. I scrounged through my materials and found two heavy rubber shock mounts that are about 1/2" thick and about 2" in diameter, with a hole in the center that is about the same size as the threaded strut rod. I put each rubber block on each strut rod, so it is covering the body panel hole, then put on the metal cap bushing and tightened down the top nut. It worked and it took out all the excess play. I'm taking it back tomorrow and hoping it will pass inspection.

      What's with this bull****? Is this cheap suspension supposed to 'float', or not???

      Chevrolet is going to hear from me on this one until this nonsense is rectified.



    2. #2
      Senior Member Chevy Customer Svc's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
      I'm really PO'd. Today I took my car in for the yearly mandatory state inspection and it didn't pass. It's an '09 with only 19K miles on it. The mechanic told me the whole front suspension was loose. I couldn't believe it!

      I took it home and checked it myself. He's right: when either front side is jacked up the whole top of the strut mount is loose with at least 1/2" play vertically between the flanged top metal cap bushing and the body mounting hole. I tried adjusting the lower nut (the one under the cap nut) but nothing would take out that gap. The whole strut assembly will move up and down if there is no weight on it. Both struts have the same looseness. The struts themselves are good; the car is always garaged, very clean, low mileage - it's much too young to have this sort of absurd problem.

      The inspection sticker is expired so I'm desperate to have it pass inspection so I don't get a ticket. I found a way to rectify the situation, though. I scrounged through my materials and found two heavy rubber shock mounts that are about 1/2" thick and about 2" in diameter, with a hole in the center that is about the same size as the threaded strut rod. I put each rubber block on each strut rod, so it is covering the body panel hole, then put on the metal cap bushing and tightened down the top nut. It worked and it took out all the excess play. I'm taking it back tomorrow and hoping it will pass inspection.

      What's with this bull****? Is this cheap suspension supposed to 'float', or not???

      Chevrolet is going to hear from me on this one until this nonsense is rectified.

      Thymeclock, I apologize for your frustrations with this issue. Hopefully you're able to get to the bottom of this. Have you scheduled an appointment with your Chevy dealership for a diagnosis for this issue? Please keep us posted on the outcome or private message me with any additional concerns or questions.


      Vanessa
      GM Customer Service
      Don't forget to check out my.chevrolet.com link and take advantage of a wealth of vehicle information!

    3. #3
      Senior Member Pickles's Avatar
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      If i remember correctly the suspension is supposed to float like that. I read about it in quite a few other threads on here

      EDIT: clicking on the suspension forum on the first page yielded this result Trying to Understand "Floating" Front Suspension

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      i'm not sure about what you mean by "either front side is jacked up the whole top of the strut mount is loose with at least 1/2" play vertically." BUT if you are putting more weight on the a arm to lift the whole front end, then the gap will enlarge because the added weight per side will force flex to the strut mount.

      The question really is if the weight of the car is proper distributed, what is the gap set at then?
      Where did you take it for inspection?


    5. #5
      Senior Member Thymeclock's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Pickles View Post
      If i remember correctly the suspension is supposed to float like that. I read about it in quite a few other threads on here

      EDIT: clicking on the suspension forum on the first page yielded this result Trying to Understand "Floating" Front Suspension
      Thank you for posting this reference. I had read other references to it here, but not this particular one. However, the idea that this condition is 'normal' is merely an opinion, and anecdotal. I haven't been able to locate a more official source, just the opinion in this forum that it is normal. I'd appreciate seeing other references to this 'floating' suspension in print, from a more official source to verify the claim.

      Today my car passed state inspection only because I had added the rubber block material to both strut mounts to remove that 1/2" vertical play completely. Bear in mind that in my state, inspection carries the weight of law with a violation attached - and the inspection agent would not accept the idea that a suspension was supposed to 'float'. I showed him a similar reference to it in a printout from this forum citing it, but he remained unconvinced.

      No compliance = no inspection sticker = violation.

    6. #6
      Senior Member Thymeclock's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by petrified.rabbit View Post
      i'm not sure about what you mean by "either front side is jacked up the whole top of the strut mount is loose with at least 1/2" play vertically." BUT if you are putting more weight on the a arm to lift the whole front end, then the gap will enlarge because the added weight per side will force flex to the strut mount.

      The question really is if the weight of the car is proper distributed, what is the gap set at then?
      Where did you take it for inspection?
      If the car is sitting on the ground, a gap of 1/2" is evident at the top of the strut mount between the metal cap and the body. Both sides are the same. My struts are not worn or defective.

      If you jack one side up so the front wheel is off the ground the gap will close, but you can lift the entire wheel and strut assembly up and down (vertically) to witness that 1/2" of play. That's considered a no-no in this state.

      In New York our yearly inspection is mandatory and conducted by licensed inspection stations. If the inspector deems it to be not in compliance he won't issue a sticker. No sticker = violation = ticket bait.

    7. #7
      Senior Member Thymeclock's Avatar
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      Here's how it ended up. I removed one of the rubber bushings I made from the strut on one side and took the car to a Chevy dealer (one that had a much better service dept. than the one I had previously dealt with.) In effect they told me that the 1/2 inch gap at the top of the strut column is normal and there was no problem present. They gave it to me in writing on the work order release. Apparently this is the way the strut mount is designed.

      I removed the rubber bushings that I had made to eliminate the gap on both struts. I'll wait until next year when the car is due for state inspection again. At least now I have some documentation with which to refute the decision of the state inspection agent, if anyone should make an issue of it in the future.

    8. #8
      Senior Member Aveo5_boy's Avatar
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      You have to go through all this BS because of some inspection agent who has no clue of the cars design? Absolutely crazy!

    9. #9
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      Maybe your inspector wasn't aware that the car is what it is. Tell him you can't change that. He should understand.

    10. #10
      Senior Member Thymeclock's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by odypilots View Post
      Maybe your inspector wasn't aware that the car is what it is. Tell him you can't change that. He should understand.
      Actually I'm on good terms with this shop. They are honest, experienced guys. The owner is probably well over age 60 and the mechanic doing the inspection is at least 50. The owner told me that he's never seen a strut suspension like that. Since it isn't bolted down at the top of the strut tower, everything can float up and down on both sides when the car is on a lift. Frankly, I'm close to 60 myself, and I had never seen strut mounts like this either. Aveos are very uncommon in my area. When they pulled the car into the shop it goes over something like a speed bump, which will cause this floating suspension to clunk. That's what prompted the mechanic to go looking for what caused the noise, so he told me.

      It wasn't as if they were trying to sell me struts. They agreed that the struts work fine. It was the way they are mounted as a floating concept that was unfamiliar to them. By my adding the rubber bushings to eliminate the slack it put them in the position of having nothing left to complain about - so they had to issue the inspection sticker. But the shop owner wouldn't accept my explanation that it appears to be designed that way. He searched the web while I was in his office and found nothing on the subject. I also did a search at home, and can find nothing official that verifies that the 1/2" gap and the floating is normal.

      At least now I have documentation from Chevy that they inspected it and found no problem. Frankly, I still think this is a cheaply designed suspension and not a good idea - but it's one we have to live with.



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