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Noisy Over Bumps  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: 09-08-2005 04:49 pm
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Jay
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Joined: 08-05-2005
Location: Canton, Ohio USA
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In a search to find some of my road noise, I took a breif look under my Jensen Healey. I discovered that my right front shock's lower connection has considerable play and creates a clunk sound when you quickly move that corner up and down (by hand). I can feel movement between the eye of the shock and the adjacent mounting bracket. Although this accounts for some of the noise, I am wondering if there may be other ways to find sources of such noise (those noies, rattles and clunks you get when going a rather bumppy road). I have been reading some post and noted that some replacement shocks are supplied without a steel sleeve in the center of the rubber. Do you think my shock maybe doesn't have the metal sleeve? Or do you think that maybe the rubber has just worn out? Or both?
My Jensen has both the front and rear sway bars. I thought they were original equipment. After seeing the front sway bar listed in the "Warehouse", the note "You'll need to relocate your lower A-arms from each side in order to mount correctly." got my attention. I'm now figuring that the front sway bar is an added upgrade. Is this so? Is the rear sway bar an upgrade also? The reason I was wondering is that if these have been added, maybe the suspension bushings have been replaced also. Is there something that I could look for to determine if my suspension bushings have been replaced? As for the loose shock mount, could I repair the lower shock connection (short term) rather than replacing the pair of shocks? Any information or reply is appreciated.

I also noticed that one of the brackets that mounts the front sway bar to the body/frame has gotten smashed a little. Is the bracket and bushing(s) available as separate items, or do I need to fashion a sutiable bracket.

Thanks,

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 Posted: 09-08-2005 10:29 pm
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Mark Rosenbaum
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Joined: 03-12-2005
Location: Kingman, Arizona USA
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Finding Noises.
I don't know of any special method to find chassis/suspension noises other than to (a) bounce the car with its wheels on the ground, or (b) put the car on stands and bounce the suspension, one corner at a time.  In either case, one must (a) listen for clunks and/or (b) look for relative motion between pieces that should be fixed with respect to each other.  Sometimes even a very small relative motion can result in a large noise.

Shocks.
For your RH front shock, the easiest way to tell what's gone wrong is to take a look.  If you have the required metal sleeve it should be visible from directly beneath the bottom end of the shock.  If not, or if you can't tell, then removing the shock with its bracket is fairly easy.
     As a safety matter, any worn or damaged hardware should be replaced with Grade 5 or better parts -- do not use cheap Grade 2 stuff as it will fail.
     You can replace whatever is worn without needing to buy new shocks, provided that if you change rubber parts on one side, you also replace the equivalent parts on the other side.  For a short-term repair, any rubber bush that fits should be adequate.

Sway Bars.
A front bar was standard on the GT, but neither front nor rear were standard on the JH.  The lower suspension arms are identical except for the position of the bracket that accepts the vertical link from a sway bar.  For the JH, if these brackets faced the front, one would have to swap the arms from side to side so the brackets would face the rear of the car.
     There are at least two vendors for the sway bars generally seen on JHs, and AFAIK their brackets are not interchangeable.  If you determine which brand was installed, you could contact the manufacturer for replacements.  More likely, though, you'd have to fabricate new brackets, or measure your sway bar's diameter and find aftermarket brackets and bushes that will fit (check Moss, TRF, J.C.Whitney, the various racing vendors, etc.).  

Bushings.
The original 'Metalastic' bushings were a medium-hard black rubber, while the replacements now being provided by Delta are a considerably harder black urethane plastic.  Sometimes you can tell the difference between the two by poking the bushing with an awl or scribe.  Visually, the replacement bushes have flanges, but so did the original bushings for the front upper arm, and the differential.
     Most likely your bushings are either the ones installed when the car was built, or were replaced by original type bushings long ago.  You can mix-and-match bushing brands without compromising safety.
     Balancing out the relatively low cost of new bushings and the fairly extensive amount of labor involved in changing them out, I would advise to change all the bushings on the car's front, or rear, at the same time -- though it is possible to change things one pivot point at a time (but always on both sides of the car!) if absolutely necessary.

Hope this answers your questions.

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 Posted: 09-09-2005 12:25 pm
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Jay
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Mark,
Thank You Very Much for you informative reply. I'll be takeing the front shocks off soon. I will attempt to replace their bushings. Over the winter months, when the car is not expected to be driven, I plan on getting to a more extensive repair of the suspension systems.
Thanks Again!

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 Posted: 05-09-2010 03:19 am
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dwalls1
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I had a "clunk" from the front when the brakes were applied.  On a hunch and a tip from Delta, I replaced the strut rod bushings. The one on the right wasn't too bad, but I could see the left one was bad when the rear nut and cup washer were removed. No more clunk and the steering is improved.

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