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Old 05-25-2011, 05:42 PM   #1
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Death rattle; passengers rear area - 900 vert

In my '88, I have a terrible rattle coming, from what appears to be down inside where the top apparatus is? It is absolutely NOT anything suspension related, like a clunk or bang. It is a higher pitched rattle, like a loose rod or something hitting against sheet metal. It occurs when I hit the smallest bump.

I have pulled off the panel that holds the rear speaker, and tried to move the window regulator. Nothing; tight. I pulled the rear carpeting out of the trunk and looked down into the wheelwell, and up where the top appartus is; nothing. I've attempted to look down into the cavity, basically right next to the rear seat, but there is a large leather flap there that trims out the interior where the top sets into, and it doesn't seem easy to move it for looking down in.

Has anyone else had this? Is there a common rattle found in the vert apparatus? Its driving me nuts.

My next move was to have my wife drive down the road with me creeping around in the back, hoping to narrow down the source.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
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Have you pulled the lower portion of the back seat out? (Mine stays unbolted.) Did the top motor/reservoir maybe come unseated?
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Old 05-26-2011, 04:45 AM   #3
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I did have the lower portion out when I first got the car running, and I could hear the rattle. According to my eldest (4yrs), he says its coming from behind the speaker on the passengers side.

As best I can tell, he's right. It sounds like a portion of the rear window regulator has come undone and is bouncing around, but the window moves perfectly up and down, and the rattle doesn't change if the window is up, or down.
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Old 05-26-2011, 05:47 AM   #4
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Check the rod end on the convertible piston. It may have broken off and the piston rod is loose and rattling. The top will still operate as long as the other side is intact. It could also be that the bushings on either side of the rod end where it fits into the convertible top frame have disintegrated.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:34 AM   #5
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Check the rod end on the convertible piston. It may have broken off and the piston rod is loose and rattling. The top will still operate as long as the other side is intact. It could also be that the bushings on either side of the rod end where it fits into the convertible top frame have disintegrated.
Piston is attached at the top, at both sides. Bushings are tight, and whatever little play there is seems to be even from passengers to drivers side. I again pulled off the inner tirm panel to poke around by the window regulator, and all looks and feels tight. I also raised the top 1/2 way up which allowed me to peer down in behind the regulator, all the way from the door jamb to the front edge of the rear wheelwell, and all I can see (without flashlight) is an empty hole with a patch of sound deadening material, then a spring between the door glass, and the body of the car, laid horizontally and attached to something......but its run through a clear plastic tube and appears to be in tact and functioning; doubt its the culprit.

How does one remove the upper portion of the rear seat? Guess that's the next step?? Remove all seats and ensure it isn't something under the rear seat (highly doubt, but I'm up for anything at this point...)
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by VI009DZ View Post
I did have the lower portion out when I first got the car running, and I could hear the rattle. According to my eldest (4yrs), he says its coming from behind the speaker on the passengers side.

As best I can tell, he's right. It sounds like a portion of the rear window regulator has come undone and is bouncing around, but the window moves perfectly up and down, and the rattle doesn't change if the window is up, or down.
Good that you're getting him into SAAB diagnosis. Never too early to learn.
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Old 05-26-2011, 06:58 AM   #7
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Good that you're getting him into SAAB diagnosis. Never too early to learn.
Double-edged sword. As his diagnostic ear honed in on the source, he pointed to the center of the speaker (which had no grille on it), and ripped off the center paper cone tweeter portion of the speaker. "I think its coming frommmmmm...................HERE!" whammy. hole in speaker.

1) OEM crap stuff
2) Got no radio, so.......
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Old 05-26-2011, 07:02 AM   #8
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check your rear brakes.i had a locked up rear caliper and the pad was rattling away on every bump.check all the bushings back there as well.
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Old 05-26-2011, 09:59 AM   #9
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SOLVED

There were areas of accurate debug, and areas which I had not pegged so correctly.

The problem was the nut & washer attaching the top of my passengers rear shock. For some reason, the nut had backed off. (I installed these shocks when I got the car, and instead of 2 thin nuts used in locking-fashion like my 9k, these shocks came with 1 regular thick nut.) The nut was finger-tight, and I was able to put about a turn on it with just my fingers, but over every bump, the washer between the rubber insulator and the nut, would bounce all around like a cymbol on a drum set.

The location was correct; by back seat on drivers side.
My assumption of suspension NOT being the issue, was wrong.

Either way....quietness rules the day once again.
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