I did it! I finally figured out what the rattle sound was in the front end! It was the shock mounts! After replacing the Motor mounts, the sub-frame bolts, and the dogbone insert while looking for this issue, I went back to the suspension and replaced what I should have done the first time. I just did not think the strut mounts could be the problem because I thought I had replaced them when I did the suspension. I looked back at my receipts and found that I did not. Below is a summary of what I had to do to replace them.
Break the lug nuts on your wheels before you start jacking the car up. It is much easier to loosen the lug nuts while the wheel is on the ground!
Then, you need to be safe! Make sure you have the car up on jack stands before you start doing any of this work. I usually place the jack stands at the jacking points for the car. To do this, I jack the car up, and then I use another jack underneath the control arm mounting point and then remove the jack. I then place the jack stand in the appropriate place.
Unfortunately, I did not take many pictures of the repair this time around. However, the procedure is the same as when I did the front suspension job. Look over that post to see what I did to take it out. I will tell you that to make this job easier, I made my own tool. After struggling with the cup that the strut sits in I found that I could make a strut spreader out of an old ratchet extension. This was a life saver and I was able to grind that old ratchet extension down on 2 sides and make it narrow enough to slide in between the opening to the cup. I then just put a ratchet on it and turned it! This opened the cup right up and it dropped right into place. Awesome!
Below is a picture of the strut mount that I took out of the car. It completely shattered when removed. This was the driver’s side strut but the passenger side was not too much better. This is what I believe resolved my rattle issue.
Unfortunately, during my repair, the 3 bolts that hold the ball joint assembly to the lower control arm snapped off! So off to the auto store I go to get my ball joints and they don’t have any! I end up having to order them and wait a week. That was annoying! What made this even worse, and the reason for the lack of pictures, is that the following weekend was freezing! I was working as fast as possible to get it done to limit my time outside. Too bad for me, I don’t work too fast and I was out there all day. Sometimes being an amateur mechanic sucks!
So, replacing the ball joints is not too bad as long as you have an air compressor and an impact gun! I believe that the bolt that holds the ball joint in is a 19mm but I can’t really remember. Either way, as I had the strut out of the cup I put a long extension on the socket and used the impact gun to loosen it. It took awhile and a little bit of PB Blaster but it eventually came off. I then used a hammer to bang it out.
Once out, I lined up the new one so that it would match with the lower control arm and put the new bolt on the stud for the joint. Using the impact gun, I tightened it as tight as it would go. I then bolted up the lower control arm and finished putting the front end back together.