AutoFocus: A fix for squeaky Mitsubishi bushings
SUBJECT VEHICLE: 2001-2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse, Eclipse Spyder or Galant.
COMPLAINT: A squeaking or hard rubbing noise from the rear suspension.
CAUSE/SOLUTION: The noise may be caused by the rear suspension trailing arm bushings rubbing together or possibly contacting the vehicle underbody. To correct the condition, replace the rear suspension trailing arm bushings.
A Mitsubishi owner may complain of a squeaking or a hard rubbing noise from the rear suspension when traveling over bumps.
This condition usually happens when operating the vehicle during cold weather. The squeaking or rubbing noise may be caused by the rear suspension trailing arm bushings rubbing together or possibly contacting the vehicle underbody (see Figure 1).
• Some vehicles produced before 5/4/01 may have bushings constructed of a rubber compound which can cause such a noise.
• Vehicles built before 2/25/02 may have bushings shaped in a way that there is body contact by the bushing in the trailing arm mount area. NOTE: If the vehicle is built after 2/25/02 and has no bushing to body contact, the source of the noise may be somewhere else.
Repair procedure for bushing/stopper squeak
If the vehicle exhibits bushing noise but no body contact and was built before 5/4/01, replace all eight bushing/stoppers (both sides). The new bushings listed in the parts information are made from the correct rubber compound with improved lubrication to reduce the tendency to squeak.
Repair when body contact is identified
a. If body contact is evident and the vehicle was built before 5/4/01, replace all eight bushing/stoppers with the new parts listed in parts information.
b. If body contact is found and the vehicle was built after 5/4/01, replace the bushing/stoppers only on the side where the body contact was discovered. These vehicles already have bushings with the improved rubber compound. The new bushings listed in the parts information have a modified shape and a beveled edge for more clearance in the area of potential body contact.
NOTE: Make sure you first interview the customer and record the conditions present when the squeak/rubbing noise was first noticed (speed, while turning, over large bumps, etc.) Verify the noise so you can confirm that the following procedures were effective by duplicating the conditions with a test drive.
A. Trailing arm removal.
1. Raise the vehicle on a lift so the suspension is extended and remove the rear wheel/tire assembly.
2. Remove the knuckle and trailing arm rear bolt/nut (A).
3. Remove the body plug to access the trailing arm attachment bolt/nut (B).
4. Remove the attachment bolt/nut (B) then remove the trailing arm to access the bushings.
5. If the vehicle was built before 5/4/01, proceed with Section C, bushing/stopper replacement. If the vehicle was produced after 5/4/01, inspect the vehicle for trailing arm bushing contact on the body panel using the instructions in Section B, inspection.
If the exact location of the abnormal noise cannot be determined, first check the installation of all suspension related parts for abnormal wear, damaged parts, and tightening torque. If these items are OK and you have determined that the abnormal noise is coming from the rear trailing arm area, inspect the body panel area above the outer trailing arm bushing mounting location for contact. If there is evidence of contact, replace the bushings/stoppers.
1. Check the body mounting bracket areas where the trailing arms attach for evidence of rubbing from the trailing arms stoppers.
2. Check, also, the outer diameter of the stoppers for evidence of contact or wear.
3. If any body contact is identified, proceed with bushing replacement using the instructions in Section C, bushing/stopper replacement.
C. Bushing/stopper replacement
1. Replace the bushings, reassemble then reattach the trailing arm assembly to the body mount and knuckle using the original bolts and nuts. (The smaller diameter, notched bushing is the outside bushing and the larger diameter, circular bushing goes on the inside.) Temporarily hand-tighten the nuts.
• If body contact is evident and the vehicle was built before 5/4/01, replace all eight bushing/stoppers.
• If body contact is found and the vehicle was built after 5/4/01, replace the bushing/stoppers only on the side where the body contact was discovered.
2. Verify the contact is eliminated either by rotating the part in the bracket, or applying chalk to the stopper and checking for transfer to the body.
3. Install the rear wheel/tire, and then lower the vehicle to the ground before final tightening of the trailing arm attachment bolts and nuts.
CAUTION: The trailing arm nuts should be temporarily tightened when on the lift, and then fully tightened with the weight of the vehicle on the suspension. Unless these tightening procedures are followed closely suspension noises may still be present after bushing replacement.
4. Tighten the trailing arm assembly mounting nut which attaches the trailing arm to the body to the standard torque value of: Eclipse: 147 ± 10 Nm (109 ± 7 ft.-lb.); Galant: 137-157 Nm (101-116 ft.-lb.).
Tighten the knuckle and trailing arm assembly connecting nut to the standard value of: Eclipse: 128 ± 9 Nm (94 ± 7 ft.-lb.); Galant: 118-137 Nm (87-101 ft.-lb.)..
5. Replace the body plug to cover the access hole.
6. Test drive to make sure the repair was successful.
For more information on OE repair information, please visit www.alldata.com/promo/mtd3tt/. ■
Written by ALLDATA Editor Dennis Shortino and Technical/Marketing Writer Jeff Webster. Shortino has over 32 years of experience as an auto technician/shop manager and nine years as an auto instructor and contract trainer. He has written for Check Chart’s college level auto repair text books and ASE study guides. He’s an ASE Master & Advanced Engine Performance Technician and is certified by the California Bureau of Automotive Repair as a Master Trainer. He has been with ALLDATA for nine years as an editor. Jeff Webster has 20 years of experience as a writer/editor. The database is provided by ALLDATA, a registered trademark of ALLDATA LLC. ALLDATA is a corporate division of AutoZone Inc. The company’s Web site is www.alldata.com.