Dodge Repair Questions? Ask a Mechanic for Answers ASAP
Hello I will help you with your question,
The subframe mount bushings fail on this vehicle and I need to know what the alignment shop said if they knew of the loose steering and erratic action. Did they just go ahead and do the alignment without trying to determine the source of the problem?
Yes the bushings that the subframe bolts run through are what wears and leaves the subframe with a rattle and the steering can shift with the subframe.
You had the other wear item replaced? The inner tie rod ends/bushings? These are also a common problem but the way I read your question these have been replaced.
The shop that did the alignment owes you your money back if the steering shifts as you posted and they went ahead and aligned it.
If the engine has been replaced you need a shop you can trust to find what has become loose and concentrate on finding the problem not just replacing parts hoping they will hit it.
This should not be hard to find if you demonstrate the problem to the tech on a short testdrive.
Let me know how I can help you with this
The subframe bushings are easy to do, just loosen all the bolts and lower the front, replace the bushings by pulling the bolt out an popping the bushings out of the subframe and installing new then loosely install the bolts and remove the rear bolts. Control the subframe droop with a stand or floor jack..
The bushings will not affect the toe but they do rattle. I would be replacing the inner bushings if they have not been done. These do cause darting steering and can drastically affect toe. There has to be something loose for the steering to dart to one side then the other and the inner bushings are known to wear quickly.
The inner bushings are not hard to do, maybe 45 minutes.
Let me know how I can help you and I would find another shop to do the next alignment as this one only cares about taking your money not repairing the problem.
It might be a shaft but with the rattle it may be the engine/trans moving the subframe. Just a 1/4 inch on each wheel being pulled on the lower control arm would result in 1/2 inch of movement. I think if you can get everything tightened up and then align it the steering will feel normal again.
A shaft would be unlikely as it is rotating so there would be a vibration to go along with it but bearings certainly could do the shift for the steering. Ball joints and bearings are checked together by lifting the wheel about 2 inches off the ground and grasping the wheel top and bottom and rocking up and down to feel for play. You should feel very little. Then a bar under the wheel to lift and rock the wheel while feeling the ball joint to the lower arm movement. Any movement is too much and means the joint is loose.
The acceleration/deceleration movement would be worse if you had any looseness of the ball joint or the subframe so maybe all of this is the subframe bushings. They are not expensive and should take less than an hour to replace so then you will know if you still have more work to do after those are replaced.
Let me know
You can always post to this thread, it never closes to you and I will be notified when you make a post so any follow up questions are welcome.
I am curious what you find when you pull the bushings out, usually they are pretty worn and come out in pieces. You can look for shiny spots where the metal is sliding on metal for the noise and movement while you are replacing them.
Let me know what you find out
Glad to help and I will watch for your post when you get a chance to check it out
Thanks for using JA!!
Ahhh that is the problem.
Let me know if you have further questions
Thanks for letting me know
Glad to help and I did get paid so I thank you for that.
I have the service information so I'm good there
Thanks again and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you in the future