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1997 Dodge Intrepid
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have SEVERE clanking and clunking when I go over bumps, accelerate, let off the accelerator, and several other instances that I can't think of right now. The engine cradle bushings are COMPLETELY gone, it's loose, has lots of play and metal on metal clanking. I purchased 4 new engine cradle bushings from Rockauto and I'm planning on replacing them on my next off day. Has anyone done this particular job before and can give me any tips/ pointers/advice on anything I should do or NOT do while replacing these?
Sorry for my ignorance, like I said in some other posts, this is my first LH car.
 

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If your replacements are the Dormans, I believe they are crap - I know they are for 2nd gen LH, maybe for 1st gen also. Search for threads that mention "Johnny". He made custom polyurethane cradle bushings I think for both 1st and 2nd gen. Check with him to see if he still has them.

Hopefully your bolts aren't too rusted.

EDIT: Here's Johnny's page on the1st gen bushings: polyurethane FWD Mopar transmission mount
 

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1997 Dodge Intrepid
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Peva, thanks for your reply. I'm not sure if they are "Dorman" or not, but if Dormant is what Rockauto sells, then that's what they are. I had to warranty some parts a while back, so I had a credit with Rockauto. Using that merchandise credit, these only cost me about $28. Had I known about the poly ones Johnny sells PRIOR to buying these, I probably would have went that route and saved my Rockauto credit for other parts. Oh well.... These are made out of a yellow "foam" type of material, so I can see why they don't last. But I hope they at least last 5yrs, because I seriously doubt I will even own this car longer than 5yrs. But then again, maybe I will, I guess we will see how reliable it ends up being.
As far as replacing the bushings I already replaced them this past weekend, which was easy and a pain at the same time. Actual replacement was really easy, but getting the engine cradle aligned was a pain. I replaced them one at a time and ended up leaving them very loose until I got all four of them installed so I could get the bolt lined up with the hole. One of the old bushings gave me a LOT of trouble as far as getting it out. The two halves did NOT want to come apart. I was prying on it and hitting it with a hammer but it wouldn't budge. I then decided to just cut it off with a reciprocating saw. And the second I touched the saw blade to it, it literally decided to fall out at that very moment. Lol! I swear, it's as it it got scared of the saw and decided to finally let go. I was laughing and relieved at the same time, since that saved me a few more minutes of work. But anyways, I got them all replaced and the car drives and handles SO much better now without the drivetrain clunking around at every start and stop, and over ever bump. I'm confused as to why the previous owner let them get so bad. The two front bushings only had a small amount of material left on the top half and nothing at all on the bottom. The two rears had absolutely NOTHING left, it was literally just metal on metal slapping back and forth at every stop and start.
My next job/project is to start on the suspension. I plan on replacing the bushings, balljoints, tie rods, struts, and any other bushings I find need replacing.
 

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The Dorman bushings for 1st gen may be OK, but apparently the bushing set for 2nd gen are awful - very poor fit and pretty much unusable according to pretty much every thread/post I read about them. The 2nd gen set came with the bolts (hard to find otherwise), and the general advice was to buy the set just to get the bolts, throw the bushings away, and get the bushings from Johnny. 👍
 

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For the rest of your suspension bushings and other parts (control arms, etc.), I recommend getting them from NAPA. They generally have two or three quality/price levels of any given part - get the 2nd or 3rd level, and prices are reasonable for a significant bump up in quality. There's a lot of junk in aftermarket suspension parts for these cars.
 

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1997 Dodge Intrepid
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I can definitely see some cars needing new bolts, ESPECIALLY cars up north in the rust belt. Thankfully we don't have to deal with rust down here in Louisiana, and according to all the paperwork I received with this car, it's lived it's entire life here and had one single owner since 1997. I was easily able to remove the bolts that have been there for 25years and they only have VERY light surface rust on a few of the threads. I didn't even have to use penetrating oil. I did use my DeWalt cordless impact though, which made easy work of it. I re-installed the bolts by hand though, as I was afraid on cross threading any bolts, especially since I had some trouble getting them lined up with the bolt holes.
As far as NAPA, I buy a lot of parts from there. They actually just sent me a 15% off discount code, which I'm glad to share with other members here. "HAPPY15"
Also, if you you the code "NAPATEXT" that will get you $20 off of a $50 or more purchase. I don't know if that code is still good or not, I used it right before Christmas and it was still working.
 

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Great news on a one-owner, relatively corrosion-free LA car - and apparently no flood damage either! 👍

Good on you for sharing the NAPA discount codes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I tried to use the NAPATEXT code today. Seems like it's only giving $10 off now instead of $20. But it still works......
 

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Just for future referance, the Poly bushings ones are amazing. I was a test person with the second set ever made and after 10+years they are still solid. The only issue anyone could argue about is increased vibration from drivetrain. But I am not bothered by it.

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