You have to look at how did this all go together on the assembly line the fastest or most efficiently. GM is the master at building complete assemblies that are quick to put together but then they make you buy those same assemblies for a very high price. The aftermarket industry usually comes up with less expensive alternatives, usually in the form of individual replacement parts. Chrysler has always been at the other extreme making the parts available resulting in lower repair costs. In fact, some independent national trainers claim Chrysler is the third highest in the world when it comes to customer-friendly business practices. You still may have to disassemble a lot of stuff to replace the part though. Brackets are not considered common replacement items so they aren't designed with ease of replacement in mind.
As far as how it happened, some people get a little rough when performing other procedures and they might pry on parts to get them apart or together. That could start a hairline crack that may expand over time. Even just disassembling parts can crack off that heavy oxidation, (corrosion), and that can get stuck in between parts when they're reassembled. That debris can result in putting a part under constant stress, like adding a washer or spacer where it doesn't fit. Add normal engine vibration and a crack could result.
Fortunately we don't see failures like this very often, even on heavily-stressed suspension parts, so I don't think I'd spend too much time worrying about another failure. The most important thing is if there is anything with a pulley attached to this bracket, be sure that pulley is in perfect alignment before any welding is done. A pulley that is tipped or turned even a little will result in a belt squeal. There is usually some way to correct it later but the hardest part is identifying the offending component and determining how to correct it.
Monday, July 8th, 2013 AT 11:51 AM