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2009 Dodge Challenger tension strut

All, I have a 2009 Dodge Challenger R/T, with the 5.7 V8. It has around 112K miles on it.

Lately I’ve been trying to chase down a strange noise coming from the front right (passenger) side wheel area. It’s something like a clunk or dull rattle that happens when going over some, but not all bumps in the road. Typically you can only hear it at low/city street speeds, not on the highway.

I had a similar noise problem a while back, but fixed it with some new brake pad anti rattle clips. This noise is fairly recent, and happens regardless of whether the brakes are being used or not, which leads me to think it’s something in the suspension.

Just this afternoon, for another issue, I had the front right wheel off. Out of curiosity, I started pulling/pushing on some of the suspension components to see if anything might be loose. To my surprise, one piece did actually move more than I think it should have, probably around 1/4 to 1/2 inch just using my hand. Looking at some diagrams, I believe it’s the dreaded “Tension Strut” on the right hand side. Please have a look at this diagram; I believe it’s #15

I’ve read this is a fairly common item to fail on these Challengers/Chargers. However, before I take the car to a mechanic… SHOULD this tension strut (if that’s what it is) move as much as I found it would? If so, would the whole piece need to be replaced, or just some bushings/spacers, that kind of thing?

I don’t know a whole lot about front end/suspension, so I hoped to get a little more informed before heading to the mechanic. Thanks to all.

It’s also called a lower control arm.

There should be no play in that component.

And if that side is bad, the other side isn’t far behind.


Sigh. That’s what I was afraid of…

“You just gotta keep livin’, man.”

Yup. There’s an old axiom I like:
“when you’re going through Hell… keep going.”