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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I've searched this topic over and over, but have yet to find a definitive answer.

I know our year / make / model and being AWD is pretty specific. I read where someone ( maskedavenger in peppo31, Feb 6, 2011 post
Shock/Strut Question
) stated " So to summarize Sensatrac #'s 71126, 71130 and 71131 ARE NOT AWD COMPATIBLE from today's exercise!!! "

Monroe says the 71130 and 71131 front left and right are a direct replacement and so I bought them and replaced the factory struts with them. When I changed them over I also replaced the steering mount bearing and plate as well. After installing I still have the horrible, and yet all to familiar strut banging around noise you'd get from most struts when the bearing is lose. The clunking noise seems to be coming from both sides constantly when going over the slightest of bumps.

Could it be something else entirely ? Did I get bad info on the struts I replaced ? I didn't change the springs at all from the factory ones either. Would you all suspect this to be the issue ? That would mean both springs were worn out at the same time. Or any other parts for that matter if I am hearing it from both sides.

So, aside from the strut replacement I've also replaced the ball joints, inner/out tie rods, sway bar links and hub bearings. The only thing I haven't changed front end wise are the lower control arms.Alignments have always been within spec and it doesn't eat tires. For the life of me while on stands I can't find anything wobbling lose or otherwise. I am tired of throwing parts at it and it is for that reason I am worried about taking to dealer.

Any other ideas, or info would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you have any questions as well.
 

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Welcome back to the Posting side of the Forumz!
A few things of your suspension challenges.
(1) There have been numerous complaints of the Monroe "quick struts" still giving the noise you post of. Some have worked exhaustively to cure , and have gone as far as replacing the bearing part(need a spring compressor) multiple times. One FORMER Avenger owner finally thought he had it cured when he went to lowering springs, BUT no long term eval as he traded for his "dream" Hemi Charger!
The reg./ Touring/ RT suspensions spring rates and strut valving are the only differences...NOTHING different,as all will interchange, If you want to compare, the Monroe's are made more of a "one size fits all" usually with the shock valving and springs used somewhere in the middle of the "ride range".
One area I would suggest taking a CLOSE look at is the REAR bushing of the front lower control arms, I haven't seen an older mopar yet that didn't have worn out bushing there at one time or another, so any slight bump or hole will cause a banging sound when the arm moves around in that area.
(2) The rears are a AWD rear strut specific, so the FWD model ones do NOT fit. YUP they are expensive.
Good Luck, and feel well that you are not alone in trying to find "the fix" for a long standing complaint.
 

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2013 Dodge Avenger R/T 3.6l Flexfuel
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I just had the exact same issue only I have the 13 R/T. I kept having this horrid clunking noise for MONTHS only mine was coming from the passenger side. I looked at everything! Changed the balljoints, outer tie rods, the inner rods were still good, struts had no signs of being worn. Checked the motor mounts, EVERYTHING! I took my control arms off looked at them (by the way good luck replacing those stupid bushings on your own if you decide you want to) everything was fine. I went to put my passenger side control arm back on and it was sticking out about an inch longer than the other side so I couldnt get the control arm to match up with the balljoint and whe. I did, the knuckle wouldn't mount to the strut. Needless to say, the CV joint/drive axle was SHOT! But I would have never know if I didnt take everything apart cause it looked perfect fine when everything was together. Replaced the axle and no more clunking :). I also took mine in to several shops and everyone told me there was nothing wrong. . . Proved them wrong :) Maybe try taking a look at those of you havent already?
 

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So, I've searched this topic over and over, but have yet to find a definitive answer.

I know our year / make / model and being AWD is pretty specific. I read where someone ( maskedavenger in peppo31, Feb 6, 2011 post
Shock/Strut Question
) stated " So to summarize Sensatrac #'s 71126, 71130 and 71131 ARE NOT AWD COMPATIBLE from today's exercise!!! "

Monroe says the 71130 and 71131 front left and right are a direct replacement and so I bought them and replaced the factory struts with them. When I changed them over I also replaced the steering mount bearing and plate as well. After installing I still have the horrible, and yet all to familiar strut banging around noise you'd get from most struts when the bearing is lose. The clunking noise seems to be coming from both sides constantly when going over the slightest of bumps.

Could it be something else entirely ? Did I get bad info on the struts I replaced ? I didn't change the springs at all from the factory ones either. Would you all suspect this to be the issue ? That would mean both springs were worn out at the same time. Or any other parts for that matter if I am hearing it from both sides.

So, aside from the strut replacement I've also replaced the ball joints, inner/out tie rods, sway bar links and hub bearings. The only thing I haven't changed front end wise are the lower control arms.Alignments have always been within spec and it doesn't eat tires. For the life of me while on stands I can't find anything wobbling lose or otherwise. I am tired of throwing parts at it and it is for that reason I am worried about taking to dealer.

Any other ideas, or info would be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you have any questions as well.

Try looking at the CV Joints/Drive axles. I posted a short message of my horror story.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Welcome back to the Posting side of the Forumz!
A few things of your suspension challenges.
(1) There have been numerous complaints of the Monroe "quick struts" still giving the noise you post of. Some have worked exhaustively to cure , and have gone as far as replacing the bearing part(need a spring compressor) multiple times. One FORMER Avenger owner finally thought he had it cured when he went to lowering springs, BUT no long term eval as he traded for his "dream" Hemi Charger!
The reg./ Touring/ RT suspensions spring rates and strut valving are the only differences...NOTHING different,as all will interchange, If you want to compare, the Monroe's are made more of a "one size fits all" usually with the shock valving and springs used somewhere in the middle of the "ride range".
One area I would suggest taking a CLOSE look at is the REAR bushing of the front lower control arms, I haven't seen an older mopar yet that didn't have worn out bushing there at one time or another, so any slight bump or hole will cause a banging sound when the arm moves around in that area.
(2) The rears are a AWD rear strut specific, so the FWD model ones do NOT fit. YUP they are expensive.
Good Luck, and feel well that you are not alone in trying to find "the fix" for a long standing complaint.
5rebel9,

Thanks much for replying. I have a set of control arms just waiting for time to change them. When I had my wife turn the wheel 1/4 turn, or less I did see some movement from the rear. It didn't seem excessive, or loose but it does have 130k on it now and I've already replaced 3/4's of the front suspension so I'll give it a go and report back.

My only fear with the struts that I changed over to is that I didn't change the springs and I am hoping those aren't worn out to the point where I created an issue that way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Try looking at the CV Joints/Drive axles. I posted a short message of my horror story.
Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be sure to look at this as well. I would have thought I'd hear a constant noise should that be the issue, but I be sure to check them out.
 

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Thanks for the suggestion. I'll be sure to look at this as well. I would have thought I'd hear a constant noise should that be the issue, but I be sure to check them out.
That's what I thought too, which is why I didnt even think to look at them. I wish I knew how to upload pictures, I took a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
That's what I thought too, which is why I didnt even think to look at them. I wish I knew how to upload pictures, I took a few.
Geeze, you must be a third shifter like myself. Lol

So the joints were bad / loose and banging around and you heard this constantly at all speeds, or just over bumps ?
 

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Geeze, you must be a third shifter like myself. Lol

So the joints were bad / loose and banging around and you heard this constantly at all speeds, or just over bumps ?
It was banging around at all speeds when going over the slightest bumps/cracks/etc. If the road wasnt completely smooth it would rattle, clunk, and sound like something was just beating on metal.

It was just the passenger side. Like I was saying, I would have never known if I didnt completely disassemble everything. It was super weird.

See if this link works:

https://www.avengerforumz.com/data/attachments/12/12197-305cdd88b34d52be24c4b18b45469cf2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It was banging around at all speeds when going over the slightest bumps/cracks/etc. If the road wasnt completely smooth it would rattle, clunk, and sound like something was just beating on metal.

It was just the passenger side. Like I was saying, I would have never known if I didnt completely disassemble everything. It was super weird.

See if this link works:

https://www.avengerforumz.com/data/attachments/12/12197-305cdd88b34d52be24c4b18b45469cf2.jpg

Link to pic worked fine. So, is that dent in the boot actually a tear that let all the bearing grease fly out and go dry ?
 

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Link to pic worked fine. So, is that dent in the boot actually a tear that let all the bearing grease fly out and go dry ?

Negative, it is still attached. The axle rod came out of the housing cause it was so loose and was just being held together by the boot. It never leaked or dried out. I did end up cutting the boot open after I replaced it just to see what it looked like inside.

The clunking noise was coming from the rod banging around inside the housing.
 

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I will have to admit that in all my years of wrenching on FWD vehicles, that I've only seen maybe 3 cars destroy an inner joint. UNLESS improper work had been done and the joint was not properly seated into the trans. YES I've seen MANY outer joints go bad, and many carrier bearings of the 2 piece long shaft axles(usually the pass. side). So @ member Geeving, ...to me you did have a rather ODD part failure.
Lesson to all..don't rule out driveshafts/joints and if equipped the carrier bearing!
 

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I will have to admit that in all my years of wrenching on FWD vehicles, that I've only seen maybe 3 cars destroy an inner joint. UNLESS improper work had been done and the joint was not properly seated into the trans. YES I've seen MANY outer joints go bad, and many carrier bearings of the 2 piece long shaft axles(usually the pass. side). So @ member Geeving, ...to me you did have a rather ODD part failure.
Lesson to all..don't rule out driveshafts/joints and if equipped the carrier bearing!

Thats crazy! Yeah, I don't know. It has to either a assembly or part failure because I baby the hell out her over bumps and know the normal road wear and tear from the roads and me driving it was definitely not me.
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well, the control arm swap didn't address the issue. There was slight movement in the bushings on the car, but all in all they were pretty rigid when comparing to the new ones. I had the parts already so I changed them anyways.

Geeving,

Drive axles look good and solid /w no play whatsoever. My father in-law owned the car before me and he's babied the hell out of it and so have I.

I really want to pull those struts back apart, but I need to investigate further before go and do that. There has to be something loose that I am missing. I am going to inspect the rack and mounting next if I can get at it.
 

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Well, the control arm swap didn't address the issue. There was slight movement in the bushings on the car, but all in all they were pretty rigid when comparing to the new ones. I had the parts already so I changed them anyways.

Geeving,

Drive axles look good and solid /w no play whatsoever. My father in-law owned the car before me and he's babied the hell out of it and so have I.

I really want to pull those struts back apart, but I need to investigate further before go and do that. There has to be something loose that I am missing. I am going to inspect the rack and mounting next if I can get at it.
Believe me brother, so do I, I baby the hell out her. The drive axles looked good and solid until I took everything apart. There was no play in mine either, but for some reason when I read the Haynes manual it said to keep the joint elevated. When I was working on the drivers side my neighbor was helping me and took the passenger apart and dropped it below the point cause he didnt know and it fell, literally fell, out of the joint. If there is no oil and gunk/signs of leakage on your actual strut then it isnt the strut. Not saying there isnt something else wrong cause I cant see it. This was just my situation. It was so bizarre and extremely unlikely to find if it didnt happen the way it did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So, the -20 degree days kept me out of the garage for a bit. Looked over the CV joints and nothing has any excess play in it. Rack and every other thing that could be bolted down, or have a bushing has been looked at, or replaced. I keep coming back to these Monroe struts that I used. Whey I called their tech line support I was told pretty much what 5rebel9 stated above and that were a direct replacement for our touring suspensions. My next thought is then whether the original springs wore worn and I should have replaced them. I guess I'll try new springs and I'll replace the bearing, plate /mount again as well.
 

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So, the -20 degree days kept me out of the garage for a bit. Looked over the CV joints and nothing has any excess play in it. Rack and every other thing that could be bolted down, or have a bushing has been looked at, or replaced. I keep coming back to these Monroe struts that I used. Whey I called their tech line support I was told pretty much what 5rebel9 stated above and that were a direct replacement for our touring suspensions. My next thought is then whether the original springs wore worn and I should have replaced them. I guess I'll try new springs and I'll replace the bearing, plate /mount again as well.
Did you take the front end apart (just the side you hear the issues coming from or just look over it? Strut, hub assembly/knuckle, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
That was all done prior to taking to the dealership which I did as a last resort. So, $80 in labor and they told me everything in the front end is obviously new and nothing stood out. They attributed it to hung up calipers in the rear and supposedly the pad jumping around was reverberating to the front where I hear noise. Needless to say, I was aware of this and that is definitely not the source of the noise. I guess I should have known better than to think I was going to get anywhere with a certified mechanic. Such a let down. Just glad it was only 80 bucks.

We are due to get another foot of snow, so it'll be a while before I get back to this nightmare. Keep you all posted.
 
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