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Old 10-13-2016, 07:48 PM   #1
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Suspension Wear Items

I know there are some basic items that wear out, but a lot of times they can hide their true failure... I ask this for the simple reason of what to look for?

Let me explain. Tonight on a spirited highway run of between 110 and 125 I noticed a slight amount of looseness, or play if you will from the wheel, I don't think it was the road due to the way the wheel was responding, it actually felt like a ball joint needed grease or a tie rod bushing was loose. I have been under the car before and have checked these somewhat, but this time it had my attention. At 91k miles, where are common failure points in the suspension and what should I be looking for?
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Old 10-13-2016, 07:52 PM   #2
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Rubber Hammer

Get up on jack stands, and start tapping things with a rubber hammer and see what rattles or just looks worn. Rear control arms are notorious for getting worn and becoming very noisy over bumps at slow speeds. Not what you posted but the rubber hammer can find things. Also compare wear from side to side...do they match or any bright silver places on contact points.
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Old 10-13-2016, 09:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mgfranz View Post
At 91k miles, where are common failure points in the suspension and what should I be looking for?
If the control arms / drop links / roll bar mounts etc are not rattling or squeaking, then I would say @ 91K miles the shocks themselves are getting towards the end of their life. A very good wheel alignment maxing out your negative camber with a smidge of caster helps "feel", but if the shocks damping has deteriorated, you will get that floating sensation as road speed increases....
My experience with the rattling Boxster suspension took many weeks of pushing, pulling twisting and hitting with a rubber mallet - nothing worked. You cannot trace worn suspension parts easily while the car is on jackstands - even though my drop links and coffin arms were loose (rattling on corrugations), in the end I had to bite the bullet and change out the complete front suspension. Only after the worn parts are removed from the car can you feel the wear.
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Old 10-14-2016, 04:42 AM   #4
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Hadn't thought about the shocks fading out, sounds like it's time to do some groping and prodding... Thanks
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:21 AM   #5
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bolts on each front wheel clamp the bottom of the strut to the wheel spindle/carrier. Before going any farther, make sure those bolts are torqued to spec,which is 63 ft lbs I think.
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Old 10-14-2016, 05:58 AM   #6
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Wheel bolts I believe are 96 ft/lbs

Car has 91k miles, if there has been no replacement then a few things will be worn
Lower control arms(Ball Joints), Tie rod ends (maybe inners), drop links and bushings, wheel alignment.
What about your tires, what kind of shape are these in? Any noticeable uneven wear?
Tire pressure? These cars are so sensitive to tires and pressure.

There is no greasing or Ball joint replacement on these cars, you replace suspension components
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Old 10-14-2016, 10:26 AM   #7
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You actually can grease your ball joints and tie rod ends, (I did when I rebuilt the >100k suspension on my 2001), but it's not as simple as injecting grease into a zerk fitting. To avoid damaging the rubber boot, you'll need to disconnect the wheel bearing housing/steering knuckle from the ball joint, remove the c-clip around the end of the rubber boot, then use something like a toothpick to insert dabs of grease down inside the boot, before reinstalling. (I'd recommend rotating the joint 90 degrees when doing this also, to vary which surfaces of the joint are encountering the loads.)

I've also heard of some people piercing the rubber boot and spraying a lubricant through the pierced boot - and this could be done without disconnecting the wheel bearing housing. But with the pierced boot, however, this may be a very temporary fix.
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Last edited by jakeru; 10-14-2016 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:00 PM   #8
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I've done the squirt thing to keep lower control ball joint quite but when I finally replaced them the ball joint was so loose
As far as taking apart and re- greasing
Maybe seems at those miles it's time to replace anyways
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Old 10-14-2016, 12:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Steve Tinker View Post
then I would say @ 91K miles the shocks themselves are getting towards the end of their life.
At 91K miles, the original shocks are almost certainly completely worn out.
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