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Discussion Starter #1
Well I haven't driven the the wife's 2k Vulcan (with a whopping 54k mi) in a few weeks so I took it for a spin and it had this kind of dull knocking/rattling noise in the front end only when going over bumps with the steering wheel feeling normal and no noises when turning.

I took it to the local independant shop. They showed me a broken rear pass side spring and said that they thought the front end noise was probably one or both strut bearings. They wanted $1100 for both rear quickstruts including swaybar replacement if necessary and $550 for rear springs only. They said no alignment was necessary. Quickstruts for the fronts were quoted at $985.

With those prices I called the local dealer who has been pretty good and they quoted a max of $695 for both complete rear strut assemblies including an alignment so the car is at the dealer with authorization to do the rear (which they said would probably be ~$400 if the struts aren't leaking) and they will let me know tomorrow about what's going on with the front end. Unfortunately, I don't have time to do it myself right now but what have people been paying for front strut bearings and rear sprngs? Do strut bearings sound like the front end issue? The dealer said that frozen stabilizer, not loose, links might be the problem up front. Sound possible?
 

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The first quote you got on rear Quickstruts is complete BS - I would not have it done at that shop. What do they think the swaybar needs to be replaced for? With 54k, that's HIGHLY unlikely.

FWIW, the labor on my rear struts was $30/side, plus the quickstruts themselves. The dealer's $695 including the alignment is much more in the ballpark.

I'd look at the endlinks in the front before the front strut bearings. I'm on my fourth set (and soon to be fifth - don't get the Autozone ones) of front endlinks and still on my factory strut bearings. If you can move the endlinks easily. they're definitely bad - but if you can't, that doesn't necessarily mean they're good. I've had them seize and make awful screeching/grinding noises when turning the wheel, and clunk without being easily movable, but they're the most common noisemaker in the front end. Especially with low mileage, I'd look there first, and it's something you might want to tackle yourself. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I checked the pass side front and all was nice and tight. I did not check the driver's side but the mechanic said everything was tight both with the wheels on the lift and up in the air including swaybar links, endlinks, ball joints, subframe bushings and engine mounts. Now that you mention it, I wouldn't be surprised if I needed to replace a spindle due to trying to drill out a rusted pinch bolt since this is a rust belter albeit always garaged all day... but not a swaybar. I've used this shop before and they tend to be on the pricey side (the owner who I have always dealt with was on vacation this week) but I usually prefer to have any major work done at the dealer. The local dealers are getting more price competitive these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well the dealer called and since the struts are fine all I needed were new rear springs which including the alignment is $469 which is fair considering Chicago labor rates. They removed the front stabilizer links and the noise went away. Put them back on and it came back. They want $303 for both links which is a little steep but it probably covers their diagnosis time so I told them to do it. I have this 5% off discount card so I'll pick it up later and hopefully all is A-OK.

I hate to pay dealer prices for something I can do myself but I hurt my hand recently so I'm on the DIY bandwagon until it heals. My wife just shakes her head everytime she sees me working on something electrician style (left hand behind my back). Now if things would only break when they are supposed to that would be a treat. Thanks for the input guys. I'll post back if anything is amiss after I pick it up and with the final totals.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rear Springs
280.00 labor
77.60 parts 2 ea 4F1Z-5560-DA
109.99 alignment

Front Stabilizer Links
41.65 3F1Z-5K483-AA Left
41.65 3F1Z-5K484-AA Right
219.98 labor

16.09 tax
25.00 service material
==
811.96 total

Note that the links were tight on the vehicle but had some axial play when removed. I thought this was interesting.

They were nice enough to drop me home, pick me up (15 min each way) and balance the front tires for free. I did have a few problems: they scratched the paint (nothing that I can't buff out and I need to buff anyway) got grease on the steering wheel and door plus they forgot to pull the seatbelts from behind the rear seat so I spent 15 min doing it with one hand but they tossed in a free oil change for the hassle. Also earned a $40 credit toward any future service. Now if they could just fix my pinging on regular :rolleyes2:
 

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QUOTE (ford_ses @ Mar 23 2009, 08:42 PM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=711600
ly.

FWIW, the labor on my rear struts was $30/side, plus the quickstruts themselves. The dealer's $695 including the alignment is much more in the ballpark.[/b]
wow that is CHEAP.. At the rate the dealer I work for charges ( about 100 a hour) that would pay me .6 to do both struts...

If my boss asked me to install rear struts on a taurus/sable for 6 tenths of a hour I would roll my box right out the door and tell him to do them himself.

Since it was a quick strut it is a lot easier since you dont have to mess with the old strut but no way I could get them both done in 6 tenths up here with the rust we have.


So you got a great deal, I doubt many others will have any luck getting somebody to work that cheap
 

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That was regular price at the NTB I went to...no special deal and I don't have connections there or anything.

It took maybe an hour from the car going up on the lift to me picking it up, even on my rust belt car that lives in lake-effect snow land. I was very surprised it took that little time - apparently my pinch bolts weren't as bad as I expected.

They may have made up a little on the price they charged on the Quickstruts...but it wasn't out of line and they certainly need to make a profit, and I wasn't going to do it myself in the driveway in a ice storm :lol2:

I want to find out if they'll do that rate if I take them the parts. If I can have my own struts installed for $30 a corner I'd never even bother doing it myself. I don't know what dealers near me charge, but I'd think it'd be in line with what your place charges, but I won't put OEM springs back on as replacements.
 

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I paid $666 for both rear struts and springs about three years ago. That was installed from an independant garage. I have a 2000 sable.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
QUOTE (bob10345 @ Mar 30 2009, 11:13 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=713632
QUOTE (CDChangerGuy @ Mar 30 2009, 11:10 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=713629
QUOTE (bob10345 @ Mar 30 2009, 11:08 AM) index.php?act=findpost&pid=713627
I paid $666 for both rear struts and springs about three years ago. That was installed from an independant garage. I have a 2000 sable.[/b]
Did they do an alignment also?
[/b][/quote]

No didn't need it....
[/b][/quote]

Hmm...I wonder why my dealer did it. Possibly due the broken spring? The main service advisor is really good about not pushing unecessary services on me.
 

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humm.... an alignment is necessary... well at least an alignment check. usaly if they put the car on the rack you are charged.
 
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