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Old 04-19-2016, 09:42 PM   #1
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Sounds like Sway-Bar Link; Isn't

This problem presented about a year ago and has gotten worse. If anyone has had a swaybar link go bad, or come loose in the control arm, and experienced that "knnaaknockknockknock" over bumps/oscillations in the road surface, this is exactly what it sounds like, under the same conditions. It's on the passenger side of the car (LHD)
However, I've jacked the car up and the pried the sway bar and drop links to test for play, or for shot sway-bar+droplink bushings--everything is tight as hell. The inboard bushings--the ones that mount to the subframe--display no slop whatsoever when I really bitch that swaybar around, too.

The spring does not appear broken, nor does the perch, and the tie-rod ends are tight too.

I've had a friend or two bounce on the car while I checked to see if the strut mount was causing the noise--silent, although the inner bell does move around a bit.

Control arm bushings are tight as well, and so too are the caliper carriers on the brakes (had that happen where the caliper carrier bolts backed out and it made the same sound as a bad droplink)
What could it be?
-Cm
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:33 AM   #2
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Bet it's a loose strut collar (?)
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Old 04-20-2016, 10:53 AM   #3
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or the bushing that holds the sway bar to the subframe
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Old 04-20-2016, 01:48 PM   #4
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Bet it's a loose strut collar (?)
Is that the threaded ring that holds the actual shock inside the strut, because that is tight too.

The bushings that mount to the subframe that hold the swaybar in place are also tight as far as I can see.
-Cm
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Old 04-20-2016, 04:43 PM   #5
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Is that the threaded ring that holds the actual shock inside the strut, because that is tight too.

The bushings that mount to the subframe that hold the swaybar in place are also tight as far as I can see.
-Cm
Yeah that's what I meant; that may not be your problem though, I had one that seemed tight but wasn't, and the symptoms seem to line up. For some reason on one 9-3 I had, the driver side kept getting loose.

After tightening it a few times I finally used a pipe wrench and made it really tight, that fixed it. I don't know what you're using to check tightness but if you have a pipe wrench you could see if you can turn it tighter, would only take a few seconds because you can do it through the coil springs with the car on the ground.

Otherwise, maybe the strut bearing like Craig said, they can fall apart in there? Check the center lock nut too I guess. Steering arms and stuff are tight too? I think between me you and Craig we've just listed all the moving parts now, if it's not one of them, then maybe engine mount or something else incidental that's moving?
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Last edited by Drew in Houston; 04-20-2016 at 04:45 PM.
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Old 04-20-2016, 08:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Drew in Houston View Post
Yeah that's what I meant; that may not be your problem though, I had one that seemed tight but wasn't, and the symptoms seem to line up. For some reason on one 9-3 I had, the driver side kept getting loose.

After tightening it a few times I finally used a pipe wrench and made it really tight, that fixed it. I don't know what you're using to check tightness but if you have a pipe wrench you could see if you can turn it tighter, would only take a few seconds because you can do it through the coil springs with the car on the ground.

Otherwise, maybe the strut bearing like Craig said, they can fall apart in there? Check the center lock nut too I guess. Steering arms and stuff are tight too? I think between me you and Craig we've just listed all the moving parts now, if it's not one of them, then maybe engine mount or something else incidental that's moving?
I've already replaced the engine mount on the passenger side, as it was worn, and I thought the noise might be the engine tapping the frame rail. New mount did nothing to help the problem. As far as I can tell, everything is tight!
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Old 04-20-2016, 09:03 PM   #7
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I had a similar noise that only appeared when turning one direction and hitting a bump. It was the strut collar. I fixed it exactly how Drew described; a small 8-10" pipe wrench through the spring with a cheater bar.
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Old 04-22-2016, 05:31 AM   #8
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Nailed it! Was indeed the strut collar. It must have unscrewed itself and then frozen with rust. After really crankin on it, it tightened up in 3/4 of a turn.
Noise is gone!
-Cm
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Old 04-22-2016, 07:18 PM   #9
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Excellent, glad to help!
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