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My wife recently asked me to take my stepson's 07' Caliber SXT 2.0L for a test drive. The car has 60K miles on it. I immediately noted a creaking i.e. dry bushings when backing out of the driveway. What really got my attention was upon quick acceleration the car would literally dive to the right! I immediately suspected a broken engine mount. I had my wife place the car into Drive while holding the brake. She then revved the engine repeatedly while I observed. The engine appeared to have far to much movement to my mind.
I removed the driver's side mount as it is the easiest. I removed the long bolt which runs through the insulator releasing it from the engine mount bracket. I then removed the 3 bolts attaching the brace and simply dropped the assembly out. The insulator appeared to be in good condition so I next removed the passenger side mount. I found that the rubber was torn right along the insulator sleeve. It is interesting to note that the rubber in the insulator is hollow and filled with a damping fluid as it was leaking out through the tear. "Aha" I thought. Problem solved. I replaced the insulator with the OEM replacement. $103 from the dealership.
Upon re-installing the driver side mount I then realized that the bolt is 3/8" OD while the steel sleeve through which it runs is 5/8 'ID! Common sense tells me that this ain't right so I found a piece of fuel line with a 3/8 " ID and 5/8" OD and and made a bushing for the bolt. I can only guess that it is a manufacturing mistake. Rather than scrap a batch of motor mounts engineering probably prescribed a fix similar to the one I used. However this car must have been built on a Monday and someone forgot to add the install the fix. My theory is that the slop in the driver side mount allowed too much twist on the passenger side causing it to fail.
After re-installing everything I had my wife test it once again and was suprised to find the engine still has a lot of movement, at least in my mind. I now have to assume that this amount of flex is normal.
Upon road testing it was obvious that this did not cure the creaking sounds. It no longer jerks violently to the right upon acceleration but the steering still feels a bit squrrielly and the "creaking" is still there. So next I will have to look closely at the suspension.
 

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Thanks for the fix notes. Valuable info.

Have you had a look at your tie rods? There had been a service bulletin on those because they were not properly torqued at manufacturing causing them to fail prematurely.

The symptoms of that were creaking sounds from the suspension on acceleration, breaking and going over speed bumps and the like.

I had my previous R/T AWD serviced (under warranty) because of that.

It's the first I hear about broken engine mounts though.
 
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