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6th Gen ('00-'05): Bad Spring?

  #1  
Old 03-15-2015, 10:28 AM
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Default Bad Spring?

2001 Monte Carlo SS

So I have a slight sag on the passenger side rear. Enough that I notice it when I'm driving and the wheel well sits about an inch lower to the tire than the driver side. My nephew checked the spring and said it didn't appear to be broken but he also couldn't get it up on his hoist 'cause he had another car on there. The strut or shock appears fine also. So is this likely a spring failing? Maybe causing that side of the car to sag a little? Is there something else we should be looking at?

Thanks for any advice.
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 07:32 AM
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Anyone? Any suggestions or other things I might have to look for?
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:58 AM
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Hi, how many miles on your Monte?
You Strut may look good but that has no bearing on its condition. Coils don't normally go bad, unless you have been Constantly Overloading it, or going off roading. Lol
You springs do hold your car up. But only to a point. Yous strut, in combination of your spring and strut give your car it's ride height. Are you old enough to remember the commercial,
"Your Old Car Shocks Just, Ain't what they use to be"? Well I think you strut is shot.
If you find this to be true then I suggest replacing the complete assembly. Most strut manufactures sell individual part and complete struts. Getting it complete makes the job easier. Even if your spring is shot it is still under a lot of pressure. I've done all 4 Struts on My Minion. Complete strut assemblies is the way to go.
I would also recommend replacing both sides. 2 reasons, if one is done, the other will soon be there too! And you want to maintain you ride height on both sides.
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 06:06 PM
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Ah yes he mentioned that he thought it could possibly be the strut....but was leaning more towards the spring failing. There are 142,XXX clicks on it at the moment.

I already ordered the springs so I guess I could also order the shocks/struts right? He said he can change out the spring since my buddy has a spring compressor to do the job with.
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:12 PM
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I'm with JC's thoughts. I'm voting struts.

I've changed just struts and it's annoying. Now companies offer "quick struts", it's a pre-assembled new strut, strut plate and coil. Pop the old struts out, pop this in, go for an alignment and your done.

Odds are the struts all around on the car are shot if they are still factory.
Just expanding on JC's comments, over time and coupled with changes in weather and driving conditions, the seals on the struts fail and they quit holding pressure. It now leaves you riding completely on the springs. Sometimes you notice it right away (as the car will literally bounced like a kid's playground ride). Other times it may still seem "OK". But if you are riding on the coils at this point, you are over stressing them. I know someone who cracked two coils because of that same issue.

JC can tell you, new struts all around, car will feel like new
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Maniac View Post
I'm with JC's thoughts. I'm voting struts.

I've changed just struts and it's annoying. Now companies offer "quick struts", it's a pre-assembled new strut, strut plate and coil. Pop the old struts out, pop this in, go for an alignment and your done.

Odds are the struts all around on the car are shot if they are still factory.
Just expanding on JC's comments, over time and coupled with changes in weather and driving conditions, the seals on the struts fail and they quit holding pressure. It now leaves you riding completely on the springs. Sometimes you notice it right away (as the car will literally bounced like a kid's playground ride). Other times it may still seem "OK". But if you are riding on the coils at this point, you are over stressing them. I know someone who cracked two coils because of that same issue.

JC can tell you, new struts all around, car will feel like new
I'm not sure what the issue is now....

I did an oil change today and had the car jacked up on the front passenger side to allow easier access to the oil filter. After I dropped the car down....voila' no lean (my steering wheel was tilted slightly before but not now) and it seems to ride "smoother".

Also I think the struts are fine as I don't get any "bounce" and when I lean on them and bounce them I can hear/feel them compress and expand just fine. Also another tell tale sign of bad struts/shocks is the "pitch" and "rock" or "dip" when you stop....I don't get any of that either.

So I'm not sure what the hell is wrong? LOL I'm not sure how jacking up the front of the car on the passenger side would have made any difference in the suspension on the rear?

Thoughts? Comments?
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 10:51 PM
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When you have the car lifted and no weight on the wheels (they are just hanging), the suspension is fully extended. When you lower the car back down, typically it sits a little higher until it "settles".

You may have temporarily resolved the issue. Give it a night, it will probably come back.

But is this a squeal (related to a noise from something spinning) or a squeak (related to something bouncing or going up/down or left/right)?
 
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:03 PM
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Originally Posted by The_Maniac View Post
When you have the car lifted and no weight on the wheels (they are just hanging), the suspension is fully extended. When you lower the car back down, typically it sits a little higher until it "settles".

You may have temporarily resolved the issue. Give it a night, it will probably come back.

But is this a squeal (related to a noise from something spinning) or a squeak (related to something bouncing or going up/down or left/right)?
No noise at all. I did notice some noise the other day. I was heading back from a Dr. appt. and there was this "thump", "thump" almost like I had a flat tire and I looked over at the passenger side and the seat was shaking so bad it looked like one of those fat reducer machines. LOL So I pulled over to look at the tires 'cause I honestly thought I had a low tire or flat tire. All was good with the tires, I also leaned down on the rear and bounced it on each side and all seemed good with the struts/shocks. So I thought OK maybe there was some snow or ice or something stuck somewhere causing that. So I drove home.

Flash forward to a couple days later and as I was driving I noticed that my speedometer didn't seem "centered" LOL. I know seems like nit picking but hey you get used to the way stuff looks in a car. So as I'm looking at the top of the speedometer I notice the steering wheel is also off center. So I get out and start walking about the car. As I get to the back I look at the wheel wells on both side and I can see a good deal of spring on the driver side surrounding the strut/shock....as I look at the passenger side I notice I cannot see as much of the spring. Now mind you its not a "huge" difference but enough I can see it with the naked eye. So I get a screwdriver out (I didn't have a tape measure handy) and measure down from the wheel well to the top of the tire on the driver side....then do the same thing on the passenger side. I notice the passenger side is about 1" lower.

Then like I said today I do the oil change....and everything seems normal. Speedometer is nice and centered again when I'm driving, steering wheel is not off, and the wheels seem to be the same distance from the wheel well.

So like you said maybe it will come back....hopefully not. LOL
 
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:07 AM
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Im with Jason and JC on this one...

Factory recommends changing the struts every 40,000 miles.
Your obviously waaaay over the recommended replacement mileage.

The clunking could also be the strut mounts have/are failing as well.
I experienced this same condition on mine last year...
Like JC I did a complete suspension change... Now it drives/ rides like a dream again.

I would also dbl check the rear strut mounts inside the trunk area...
You maybe "Shocked" at what you may find...
They have a tendancy to rust out do to GM's design of the mounts./weather/road salt etc... It could be that the mounts may also be compromised...
 
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:39 AM
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Originally Posted by STUMPMI View Post
Im with Jason and JC on this one...

Factory recommends changing the struts every 40,000 miles.
Your obviously waaaay over the recommended replacement mileage.

The clunking could also be the strut mounts have/are failing as well.
I experienced this same condition on mine last year...
Like JC I did a complete suspension change... Now it drives/ rides like a dream again.

I would also dbl check the rear strut mounts inside the trunk area...
You maybe "Shocked" at what you may find...
They have a tendancy to rust out do to GM's design of the mounts./weather/road salt etc... It could be that the mounts may also be compromised...
Thanks I'll have my nephew check all that out.

I actually had a strut/shock on my '96 Olds Cutlass one time that developed a "pin hole" I guess in it? And would freeze up in winter weather. Anyways....eventually it totally snapped away from the upper mount and was resting on the wheel well. That was not very fun to drive.
 

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