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Rear Cradle Broke loose?

20910 Views 46 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  hunttriumph1500
What a day what a day.

Wife and kids where off to six flags today so I went for a little
joy ride. Left rear tire pressue pop'd an alarm shortly after leaving
the house, 23lbs would get me to the store and back so I didn't
worry about it, just kept an eye on it.

Took the long way home, through some somewhat curvy two lane,
then on to the freeway. Above 60 I was getting a groam from the
left rear so I decided to pull off and throw some air in it so I could
get back up to speed to make sure that was the source of the groan.

I left the service station and hit a red light on a slight incline. She
rolled back a bit so I eased the clutch with some throttle to pull
it back forward and "BAM". Nice loud bang out of the left rear, scared
the crap out of me. Pulled 100 yds into a parking lot with quite a bit
of rattling. Underneath, behind the left rear axle, a bar coming from
around the differential has pulled loose from the body. Looked like it broke
loose at first.

Luckly I was only a block from the dealer so I limped it into the service

A little closer look at it and it looks like the arm attaches to the body/subframe with a rubber bushing and it looked like the bushing
may have failed and allowed the arm to pull loose. The bolt was still
intact with what appeared to be part of the bushing still attached to
it. The left rear wheel seemed to be suffering a small amount of
negative camber as well.

I'm not real familiar with independent rear suspension and I couldn't find
a good diagram/photo of this location of the car.
My description is as accurate as possible given the situation and short
time I had to look at it.
I was still a ball of nerves when I left the dealer so I didn't snap a pic
of it bad.

From the research I've done this afternoon, I beleive the arm I was looking
at was part of the cradle that holds the suspension. I haven't been able
to find any other instances in the forum.
I found some "squeaky suspension" threads that look like may have been
resolved by replacing this bushing.

I just thought I'd throw the story out there to get any thoughts on
the issue. I'll have more info early next week when they can get it in
and have a look at it.

Now I just have to convince the wife that I wasn't having to much
fun with her baby when it happened :)
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It sounds like the lateral link (black lateral bar in picture where it attaches at hub with bolt and large silver washer) or the forward link may have broken - could have been a defective casting.


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Thanks for the pick but that doesn't look like the one that broke.
If that picture is taken from the rear looking forward then the connection that broke would be up and to the left just out of the pricture frame. Connecting directly to the body/subframe with the bolt pointing
up/down and not fwd/back.

If you can get another pick it would be appreciated.
WOW, this sounds like the first of the new design strut bars that broke. The old style was aluminum and they broke all the time on the LX cars. They updated to the new steel design and have not heard of one breaking until now. Im almost 100% sure it is called a strut bar. I had mine replaced on my Charger SRT8 to the new design. Is it this bar in the pic???
Thanks, but that's still not it. Dang I wish I would have snapped a pic of it.
I'm trying to orient myself with these photo's. The first photo looks like it's
probably rear side of the right rear taken from the rear?
This is the opposite side of mine, but the same arm should be there
up and to the left.

The second looks like the left rear taken from the front outward?
This is the correct side, except my issue was behind the left rear axle.
If you move the second pic straight back one entire pic. frame, you
should capture the connection that broke.

You've probably seen the connection and said "there's no Frick'n way it
was that one" :). The service mgr. first words were "oh sh!%".

thanks again.
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Attaching a pic I found in the LX forum. Not sure how different my R/T
is but the affected piece looks similar. This one is obviously dropped out
of the car but I've marked the right and left arm where it bolts to the
body. Like I said earlier, the bolt is still intact on the body with at
least most of that round part that looks somewhat like a bushing.

Now that I look at this I'll have to assume they'll need to drop the
whole thing and replace all four corners.

I'll be at the dealer in the morning to get a rental, I'll try to snap a
pic of it then.


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That would be the attachment point of the cradle itself where it bolts to the body - unusual, but it might have been a defect in the manufacturing and the cradle split where the weld would be.

With all the folks that go to the track, I haven't heard of the IRS cradle breaking, but I think yours may have been a faulty assembly and just let go when the part fatigued and broke at the weak point.
Wow - thats scary good thing you weren't driving hard in a corner or something. Good time to swap out your diff and axles if you're thinking about it.
Damn, it's worse than I originally thought. Both left and right sides
broke free. Yea, if I'd been in a curve when this happened she'd be
in the scrap yard right now.
The first pic is the left side taken from the rear. The second is
the right side taken straight from the bottom looking through
the attachment point.
Crappy pics. There's only a few inches of clearence.


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Sorry to hear about this issue with your Challenger. Keep us updated on the repairs.
Thats a major failure. Chrysler better look closely at that one. Was the car run real hard over rough road, or crashed and repaired or something? Also looks like where it is broken is not a very thick metal piece imo.
That is extremely out of the ordinary, I wonder what the heck caused that to happen.
Looks like a casualty of extreme wheel hop. Might be good time to look into better cradle bushings.....solids even.
Come on.......that is the story for the wife and dealer.

Tell us you had the tires smoking 300 feet before they grabbed and then chirpped em at every shift, just barely able to keep it runnin' straight.

Seriously, sorry to hear. Glad no body got hurt. Hope the dealer takes care of you.
(then go out and try to above) j/k
Quick update and then the real story.
They're replacing the bushings and shocks (3 to 5 days).
Shocks apparently got bent slightly in the carnage.
But they said everything else looked ok. I'll go have a look when they
get it back on the lift for assembly. Of coarse they looked it over to
make sure it hadn't been hit by something, they have no idea why it
failed and apparently noone else has had this issue.

As for this car's history. We bought it new mid year 2010. It has
a little over 11K. Never recked/repaired.
It's actually my wife's ride and she babies the
hell out of it. I don't get to crazy when I'm in it. I've probably rolled
the tires over twice on take off. I do love to scratch 2nd, 3rd and
4th when I have the room and don't mind getting hit when she's with me.
I wheel hop'd it once going to 2nd but
very brief, I lifted and re-engaged.
Given the driving style, I won't upgrade any of the
components at this point but I'll deffinetly be keeping an eye on it.

I'll re-post after I get to see it on the lift.

In reply to Furious' post.
Here's what really happened.

Wife and kids where off to six flags today soooooo.......there
I was. Pack of Marbs rolled up in my sleeve. Reds not lights, coarse
you can't call'm lights anymore.
Candy in the right seat. I know, I know, but that's what name
she gave me. We'd met a few minutes earlier in what, I would immediately
find out, was a heavily surveillanced area of town.
I'm running 70 down a pothole infested back alley with two Johnny laws on my ass.
Buildings to the right, a drainage ditch to the left, I grab second
and power slide from behind a Crazy Carls adult novelty and sandwich
shop (you know the one). I'd mis-judged the turn slightly causing
the left rear to glance off a small retaining wall bordering the ditch.
Candy was flying all over the car.
I compensated with more throttle and as the tac hit twelve and a half
it was a smooth transition onto a narrow two lane only to be met by
red lights and railroad cross bars in the down position.
That's not a big deal I thought, been there done that. But as the
tire smoke cleared a bit, a glob of pink grabs my eye. A group of
"walk for the cure" folks consume the right lane. But again, it's
just another day at the office.
A little extra correction, ease the throttle a touch and increase
the arc. We settle into the left lane and dohh!!
Yea, you guessed it. A bus load of school kids sitting in my preferred
path of travel. Eye balls as big as dinner plates, jaws hanging
inches from the gum incrusted floor board of a 1997 Blue Bird.
They looked amazed as the machine and the man within, seemed, just
for a moment, to merge into one, one living organism, one
purple (PLUM) living organism of determination and focus.
My only chance was to veer farther left, off road? Plum has gotten
me out of more than one pickle, but I'd never asked her to go
off road.
Speed was my ally, but before my brain could finish
the decision, left foot, and right hand, thinking on their own,
had coordinated to put the pistol grip into the three hole. On the
other hand (or foot), possibly out of complete terror, or shear
boredom, right foot remained mashed against the floor board as if
made of lead.
Over the curb, and across a short patch of blue bonnet's before
rattling across the exposed tracks and down a slight embankment
on the other side. The 4:15 out of Pamosa missing us by mere
Back to second with a slight fishtail and onto a smooth gravel road.
I could hear an awful groan coming from behind and when I looked
back I could tell she was done. Rearend drooping, fluids oozing
from every oriface, nails broken. Yep, Candy was finished.
Ol' Plum on the other hand was solid as a rock, purring like a
kitten. She'd pulled me out of another close call but what
happened next might have caused her to break.
I've probably said a little to much already so I'd better keep
the rest to myself as not to upset my better half.
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Thats the first I have seen a total failure of a rear cradle bushing. DAMN!!!!
Ahhh, and I bet you didn't think we could handle the truth!!! Now don't you feel better?
Dam, even Kowalski didn't break shi. like this, not even the Dukes of Hazard,

As other poster mentioned, frequent and severe wheel-hop from original owner may have contributed to fatique, etc.

I know I busted a Dana 12 bolt diff on a 69 Chevelle from excessive wheel-hop,
Just glad this didn't end up with anyboby getting hurt.
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