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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello folks,

So I've been happy as can be with my 2010 R/T. It's been a great ride and lots of fun... until this past Wednesday.

I was coming home from a very long road trip and while I was merging from one highway onto another I looked over my shoulder to merge into traffic then I heard a single, loud pop from the rear of the car. Scared the crap out of me. I had no idea what happened, didn't feel a whole lot else. So I cruised down the highway to the nearest exit and pulled into a gas station. I felt a very slight wobble in the steering wheel at the top of the off-ramp. I got out and looked under the car expecting to see something ugly. To my surprise, I didn't really see anything. I didn't see any fluids leaking, nothing sagging that I noticed. I checked the tires for anything abnormal. No punctures, checked lug nuts, nothing loose. So after a pretty good look-over and i didn't hear any noises with the engine running I decided I would drive some more and pull over if anything seemed amiss. I got back onto the highway and everything seemed well enough... until i got maybe 1/2 mile down the road. There was a boom from the rear followed by some absolutely horrible grinding noises. I took manual control of the transmission and tried to switch into a different gear and started to slow down and get out of traffic. Then it happened. Big boom and hundreds of pieces in my rear view mirror. Limped over into the grass, got out to look under the car, then a semi-truck hurls a very large bolt at me (from my transmission I assume) and blasts the top of my hand and splits me open and I was sure it broke my hand. What a day...

What I've learned in hindsight (not 100% knowledgeable in car setups). The first pop I believe was the bearing holding one side of the rear suspension cradle up. The 2nd pop was the other side cradle bearing which dropped that cradle down and broke the rear axle, which created a pitched up drive bar into the transmission hub which sheared out all the gears and created a shrapnel grenade. This blew everything out and down which grinded my exhaust into the pavement. Who knows what other damage may have occurred.

The car is almost 4 1/2 years old and 35K miles. Never raced and never treated poorly. Never driven in the snow/salt. Just state inspected a month ago. Chrysler is refusing this as a warranty issue. Having the insurance come out to look at it this week to determine if an impact occurred that caused the failure. If that falls through I have comprehensive Zurich coverage. Between the two of them I'm praying that one of them will cover it. I'm sure I won't be able to afford the repairs. I'm incredibly disappointed that something like this failed in a car with such low miles and the manufacture shrugs off the responsibility.

Some pictures to help anybody identify a potential failure point.
 

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Ouch! Thank goodness your ok and nothing more happened to you, hope you got medical attention for your hand. Sucks that Chrysler wont warranty it, hopefully one of the other two will come thru for you.

Not getting a whole picture from the images you posted but it looks like the cradle bushing mounts failed on you. Make sure they check out the drive line and transmission as well when they look it over.

Hope it gets fixed soon and back on the road for you!!

-Kenny
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm curious if any of you have seen any other occurrences of this type of failure? (I went through the searches also)
Possibly looking to build a case if this has happened to many others as well.

One I was able to come up with was this:
http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f188/rear-suspension-broke-127265/ (Involved suspected racing, but it's a start i suppose)
 

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I am disappointed in Chrysler, seems to me why even have a warranty if they won't cover something that looks like it should be covered.
 

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Fuq dude good thing that metal didn't get hurled into your head ! Also if you hear a pop or crack of some sort it's always better to get towed and not try to drive
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Fuq dude good thing that metal didn't get hurled into your head ! Also if you hear a pop or crack of some sort it's always better to get towed and not try to drive
Agreed I consider myself very lucky in that regard. If I would have known then what I know now, definitely wouldn't have decided it was safe to continue after I inspected it. Every time you hear a strange noise but don't feel anything drastic in the handling, I'm not sure many would pull over and call for a tow right away. I was definitely planning to take it to the garage when I got home though.
 

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:up_to_something:
Agreed I consider myself very lucky in that regard. If I would have known then what I know now, definitely wouldn't have decided it was safe to continue after I inspected it. Every time you hear a strange noise but don't feel anything drastic in the handling, I'm not sure many would pull over and call for a tow right away. I was definitely planning to take it to the garage when I got home though.
Yes I hear you bro. Reason I say that my previous cat was a heavily modified evo x. And if something popped and I inspected and it wasn't a popped off intercooler pipe I would have a flat bed on the way. Never hurts to be safe
 

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WOW, glad you made it home alive... that could have got real ugly.

On a lighter note some shops charge a ton to remove the factory cradle bushings, you seem to have found a faster way.

Although I have hated the extra noise the Hop Not kit puts into the car, for once I can see where it could help.
 

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Demiskus,

Wow, what a horrible event. I hope your hand will be okay. As a wheel hop fix-it measure I'm having the rear cradle bushings and several other bushings replaced. The car should be done Tuesday. The upgrade cost is ~$2k (parts & labor).

When you get this fixed INSIST on aftermarket cradle bushings. Do not let them install the factory ones.

Maybe we should call this problem Cradle Death. :grim:

I've read too many horror stories about broken/damaged rear suspensions that were caused by crappy bushings.

I agree this needs to get the same level of attention that the timing chain recall received. Force Dodge to admit it's a design or parts flaw and announce a recall.

This story and others should scare Challenger owners to not abuse their rear suspensions and maybe go in for an inspection.

Regards,

Green Man
2011 R/T M6
10.3k miles
 

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Discussion Starter #14
What is Chrysler's reason for not warranting it?
I was told the only factory warranty still active was the power-train and since the suspension is being fingered as the root cause of the problem that caused the cascade failure of the other components.

I'm guessing the suspension would have been covered under the 3 year / 36K mile basic warranty. I meet the mileage but not the years. Since I only drive it 6 months of the year, you'd think that would count for something >.>
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Demiskus,


I've read too many horror stories about broken/damaged rear suspensions that were caused by crappy bushings.

I agree this needs to get the same level of attention that the timing chain recall received. Force Dodge to admit it's a design or parts flaw and announce a recall.
Hello Green Man,
Thanks for the concern. I'm sure my body will recover. Do you recall reading about the damaged rear suspensions on these forums? I've been trying to hunt down specific examples just in case I need to go down that road. I've been scouring, but if you know the stories are out there, I'll have to scour harder!
 

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That is the first I've heard of a failure like this...and wow is that a stellar failure event!

As noted in an earlier post, I would definitely press the dealer on what exactly they "think" could cause this kind of failure in their cars. 3 yrs warranty or not, a suspension shouldn't be failing like this, period, unless we were talking about 50 yrs into the future or something, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #19

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Even if it is a case of racing/track use, is that really what Chrysler expects to happen on this car?...a rear cradle separates from the car??? Something sounds very wrong about that. At worst, you snap a half-shaft because you were using slicks, or the diff goes out after many bouts of severe wheelhop, right?...but the rear cradle breaking off?
 
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