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While turning onto my street this morning on my way home I heard a loud bang/clunk in the front end. I pulled to the side of the road and stopped immediately. I noticed smoke and a burned rubber smell. Luckily I was only going about 10-15 mph and traveled only 20 ft or so after the noise. What greeted me as I inspected the the car was that the front end was about 2" lower than it should be! Closer inspection reveled the issue....


Apparently the spring perch completely rusted out!



Here you can see how the perch completely seperated.


When this happens your perch slams down onto your tire and luckily for me only caused minor tire damage. I am confident if this happened at highway speeds I would most likely be typing this from a hospital bed due to an accident. The tire would have blown out for sure and lead to loss of control.

SO this is a public service announcement for everyone in the rust belt to go out and inspect both sides of your front end at least and make sure your struts are not compromised. The condition is hard to see without jacking up the car and removing the tires.


This is my passenger side that didn't break, but is just as bad looking as the drivers side that broke. Here you can see that with the tire on and car down you can't really see much......but once jacked up it looks just like the one that broke above!



So if you are running original struts....please please get them checked out thoroughly. Like I mentioned you really need to at least jack up the car and remove the tire for better visibility.








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I hit **** with sticks!
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Damn, glad you caught it. Definitely keep an eye out for that stuff.
 

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get off my lawn
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we have seen this a few times,, very common on ford taurus also, (rears)
 

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get off my lawn
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got to love salty roads
 

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I'm so glad I live in a desert. Only snows once or twice a year. Little rain. NO SALT on the roads. That's probably a big culprit on your crapped out strut. Thumbs down on that damned rust. Two BIG thumbs up on the write up/advice.
 

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This happened on two of my cars, one at 150K and one at 180K. Right rear on the first and right front on the second. Good times...good times I'd do 10 front struts before I will do another rear!
 

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This happened on two of my cars, one at 150K and one at 180K. Right rear on the first and right front on the second. Good times...good times I'd do 10 front struts before I will do another rear!
^^^ X2 on that! Even with the best of tools etc. Rear struts are a B*tch!
 

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105K....no fluid leaks and drove smooth as butter.
Yep! The weak rust really provides a cloud-like ride! :hit1: :D

You're right about being lucky you were only moving slowly. That damage at speed would have been one wild ride.

Add to that the possibility of getting stuck on the road with no way to get to the break-down lane. I passed an accident yesterday where there was an apparently a simple CV axle failure. However that was compounded by an inattentive driver smashing into the rear of the disabled car.. :baller:
 

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Farticcus of Plenticcus
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Damn glad you found it at low speed.
That is horrible....
 

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1st Gen FTW - It's AutoMedic!
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I had the exact same thing happen to me while driving 70MPH down I35 just north of Albert Lea, MN, driving a 1983 BMW 533i. Passenger side let go, and slammed spring into the tire - took out a 1/2" wide section of tread on the inner ridge of the wheel, down to the wear bars. Big plume of blue smoke rolled from the front end of the car. Fortunately, I was right at an exit and pulled off. Used a farmer's shed (with permission) to jack the car up, get a spring compressor to compress the spring, then installed two exhaust clamps around the body of the strut. Released the spring compressor and drove home - never did anything to fix it for a few years, and sold the car (with full disclosure to the new buyer!).

Glad you got out of your situation safe... Great pictures - I'd better go check my 1994... Original struts in all four corners, rust belt car too!
 
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