Blind auto mechanic or Sabotage?!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by coopdog, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. coopdog macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    #1
    So my 95' Ford Explorer was making a rattling sound and the front end felt "wobbly" like the tires were really under inflated. I took it to a general auto mechanic instead of Ford like I usually do to save $$$. The exhaust hanger broke and the muffler was rattling around, problem fixed and cheap! It has about 120K on it and is driven less than 10 mi. per day. After getting it back from the shop, the front end still felt strange like the front wheels were going to come off.

    I assumed the mechanic had it on a lift and would have found any obvious problem with the front end and not knowing much about auto mechanics... I went to check/fill up the tires. Total coincidence, when doing a sharp U-turn in the parking lot I realized I couldn't crank the wheel all the way left and the car started jumping. A quick inspection made it obvious what the problem is:
    [​IMG]

    I don't understand how that bolt with nuts attached on both ends would be able to rotate 90 degrees out of it's hole when their is no apparent damage or enlargement of the hole where it attaches. The bolt on the other side is completely gone. It seems someone must have removed the nut and put it back on? :confused:

    Driver's Side: [​IMG]

    What does this bar do and how dangerous was it driving with it like this?

    Thanks!
     
  2. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #2
    Looks like a torque bar of some sort to me, and the bolt has sheared-off.

    It needs to be replaced.
     
  3. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #3
    yep that what it looks like to me. Could of been that wobbly part was the bolt flexing or was loser than it should of been. Mechanic did not see it because it was still attached and plus not really looking for it after they found the exhaust hanger. Btw the exhaust hanger is on the back 1/2 of the car and a lot easier to spot. It is a quick fix and easy to spot. The busted bolt a little harder to spot at in a completely different area than they were looking.

    Like iJohn said get that fix ASAP.
     
  4. coopdog thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    The Great Midwest
    #4
    Thanks guys! Any idea on a price range to fix this?
     
  5. Fezwick macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2002
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #5
    Looks like the sway bar to me. Sway bar stiffens the front end when making a turn so there is less body roll.

    There should be end links on each end of the sway bar. The sway bar itself doesn't have to be replaced, but the end links do. They shouldn't run you more than fifty bucks.
     
  6. coopdog thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    You're clearly the saboteur. :D
     
  7. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    having a drink at Milliways
    #8
    darn, you got me! :D
     
  8. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #9
    Yep, thats the sway bar all right. Those things don't tend to just come loose. More than likely is was impacted somehow, or else it was worked on and the mechanic forgot to reconnect it while busy working on other things. (btw, certified mechanic here)
     
  9. nospeed411 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2010
    Location:
    east coast
    #10

    WRONG...I own an auto repair business. The bolts on the swaybar endlinks are constantly breaking. Thats why every autoparts store known to man sells endlink repair kits. I have replaced thousands of them over my 25 year career. It's not sabotage...its a new phenomenon called rust. Will cost you about 100 bucks labor and roughly 50 bucks in parts.

    God damn people piss me off....every time their car falls apart they blame the mechanic....yeah he prolly should have noticed it but from the sound of it he wasn't working in that general area. Hell all it takes is one good bump or pothole and both of the rusty bolts could have let lose.


    Typical replacement kit for ref...
    http://www.autopartswarehouse.com/details/QQFordQQExplorerQQMoogQQSway_Bar_LinkQQ19952009QQMOK7275.html?apwcid=P1135867996W43b3f85c7ab9e&gan=1&apwiddWrbY7M
     
  10. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2005
    #11
    ^ chill out and slow down buddy. I agree that not everything is a conspiracy, but you take it to another level. Many of us work jobs where over-entitled people somehow believe that nothing goes wrong because of their negligence. It's life.

    As for the OP. I have first hand knowledge that the bolts do in fact break on their own because of rust. $275 later the issue was fixed but when the bar breaks and you're in a fast turn the results can be catastrophic.
     
  11. .JahJahwarrior. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2007
    #12
    I replaced those end links on my Ford Ranger for something like $70. The bushings on mine wore out, it was cheaper to buy an aftermarket upgrade kit for something like $30 per side than to get new OEM bushings, and faster, too. Took all of an hour to do myself, you just need two wrenches.
     
  12. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #13
    On the right hand side, is the bolt thats left still shiny or is it rusted? If its rusted Id say its been like that for a while. You can get new sway bar end links for oreillys for probably $20-$40 and install them yourself in half an hour.
     
  13. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #14
    Are there torque recommendations with replacement?

    If so, two standard wrenches will not do the correct job.
     
  14. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    #15
    Have you ever looked at a Haynes manual? Every freaking threaded object on you car has a torque recommendation, from the cylinder heads down to the bolts that hold that washer fluid reservoir to the fender. Some just have tighter tolerances than others.
     
  15. cantthinkofone, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #16
    OP from the way the ends of the sway bar are positioned, I would say they were moved by hand. If both ends were to break at the same time ( better odds of winning the $1 billion lottery) and then for one of the connecting rods to come off ( $2 billion) I would say that is the only occurrence in human history. Then after they both snap at the same time wouldn't it be safe to say they would be rotated up and not down? The lower control arm would push them up as the suspension moves from driving.

    What kind of shop did you take it too? I wouldn't walk in there accusing them of sabotage but maybe find a new shop to go too.

    Actually they will. A box end and a ratchet and socket will do the job ;)

    For sway bar end links you just tighten them until they are tight and then give them another quarter or so turn. They will have lock nuts so they wont back off.
     
  16. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    #17
    Such an angry young man??

    Are you hormonal today? ;)

    And no, I have never read a Haynes manual, although I have heard of them.

    Something like Auto Mechanics For Dummies, right?
     
  17. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #18
    Im gonna go ahead and assume this must depend on the area where you live...Where I live its uncommon for even a 70's model to need these parts replaced.
     
  18. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #19
    I think the biggest desiding factor is how often the roads are salted. But at the same time I could see them breaking pretty often if you hit a pot hole wrong it could do it. Hell I have bent a sway aim on a car before by slamming into a curb. I figured if you hit something right it could snap a bolt. Honestly I would want the bolt to be the failure point over the bar. The bar is a hell of a lot more costly and harder to replace.
     
  19. Bonch macrumors 6502

    Bonch

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Lithuania
    #20
    Mechanic probably busted it off. I think one pissed in my radiator the other day. Something yellow in there.
     
  20. ErikCLDR, Mar 8, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2011

    ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2007
    #21
    If you had steering issues BEFORE taking the car into shop I would suspect that this was not sabotage. A broken muffler hanger would have nothing to do with your steering.

    I assume the pictures you have taken are of the front of your car. It is very very unlikely he would have touched the suspension of the car working on the muffler.

    I'd say the mechanic was blind or easily distracted by your exhaust issue. Some mechanics might be good at fixing things but may suck at diagnosis. You definitely should not drive the car like this as it could wreck other components of your suspension/steering as well as ruin your tires. Get it towed and get it fixed.

    I actually kind of agree with the "pissed off" previous answer. I think it's a little rude to jump the gun on calling someone a saboteur, while evidently not considering the situation. Keep in mind your car is 16 years old too.
     
  21. dime21 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2010
    #22
    That is your sway bar. The smaller parts on either end that have become disconnected are called the end links. Sway bar end links commonly fail on cars that are 10+ years old or 100k miles old, they are a wear item. They are inexpensive parts, and a mechanic shouldn't charge more than 1 hour of labor to replace them.

    Should your mechanic have noticed that these were broken? Maybe. Did he sabotage your car? Highly doubtful. Take the car back, be polite, do not be accusing. Point out what you have photographed here and they'll fix it. If you brought the car in for muffler work, your mechanic was working on the back end of your car and may not have looked up front at all... not his fault... and definitely not sabotage.

    You car is fine to drive like this, but be aware that the handling will be compromised... do not take any turns at very high speed, or jerk the wheel or make other very sudden movements, or you could roll the vehicle... it's a top-heavy SUV after all. Low speeds and around-town driving is fine though.
     
  22. Sydde macrumors 68020

    Sydde

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    Aug 17, 2009
    #23
    No, Haynes are pretty thorough guides to just about anything you need to do to your car, though they do use some odd terminology, like "spanner" (wrench), "renew" (replace) and "liter" (quart). I think if you took your car apart and reassembled it by their book, the steering wheel would end up on the wrong side.
     
  23. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    SEMO, USA
    #24
    This is why I mentioned being impacted in my first post. A strong sudden impact will definitely snap that bolt.
     
  24. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #25
    which I think goes back to what hte other guy saying that they see them more often. Could be potholes are more common there so it breaks more often.
     

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