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Old 11-11-2006, 05:31 PM   #1
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Default Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Hello, I have 97 SL2. I changed the horn on my car today, and I had the car jacked up to do so in case I needed to get underneath, after all was done. I put the car down and left the house. I began to hear a loud, violent, snapping/clunking noise coming from drivers side back of the car. I am able to reproduce the sound by opening the back drivers side door and standing on the frame/foot step and jumping up and down to bounce the car. It sounds awful and I am supposed to be taking a trip in the morning. Any help would be wonderful. Thank you very much.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:43 PM   #2
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

it's the bushing/ ball jointy thing on the end of the little dogleg that comes down from the swaybar. It was going to break soon but the stress of being jacked up made it think now's the time.

The car is mostly safe to drive but might handle a little funky (IE like a stripper SOHC which has no rear sway bar) if the thing totally breaks and as you notice the noise might drive you nuts.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

swaybar links make squeaking creaking noises when they go bad. replace both sides at once to be safe.
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Old 11-11-2006, 05:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Quote:
it's the bushing/ ball jointy thing on the end of the little dogleg that comes down from the swaybar.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eRic 02sc2
swaybar links make squeaking creaking noises when they go bad. replace both sides at once to be safe.
are these both describing the same thing, swaybar links? If so, are they difficult to replace?
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

yeah they're the same thing eric just knew what they were called.

shouldn't be that tough to fix, especially if you've ever done a ball joint or tie rod end. Never had to do one myself tho...
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Old 11-11-2006, 06:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

I've never done either of those. I'll have to look into it. So the car is definately safe for now? just took a look underneath and what I think are the swaybar links seem to look like they are still attached, I could be looking at the wrong thing though. Thanks
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Old 11-11-2006, 07:52 PM   #7
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

what you would look for is a bar that goes across the rear suspension then there are these 5 inch long vertical "dogbones" that attach that bar to the rear hub/ knuckle.

The sway bar doesn't support any weight or hold the wheel on; its mission is if one spring on one side gets compressed b/c you're cornering it will pull the other side down too so the car doesn't lean. So yes you're safe... relatively.
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Old 11-11-2006, 10:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Yes, it's sway bar end links we're talking about. Each one is, as described, a "dog-bone" with a ball-joint on either end. They may both be still attached, but give each one a tug. It wouldn't surprise me that one of the ball-joints will just pull out of the socket when you do so. Sometimes the link itself will break in two. Maybe one of yours is broken, but when the car is "at rest", the two halves meet and you don't see that it's broken.

Only sources I know of are the dealer or CarQuest. The CarQuest part is cheaper, and has zerk fittings on the ball joints. No idea how they compare wrt quality.

Yet another reason why I always prefer to use ramps to raise the car, unless it requires removing a wheel. I had to replace my horn recently, along with a bunch of body work, including the inner fender. I did it all with ramps, leaving the wheels on.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:24 AM   #9
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

To answer a question that was asked here. The sway bar end links are simple to replace. Jack up the back end, take the wheels off and they're right there. Two nuts. You have to hold the hex head on the back side with a wrench. The only hard part is that the lock nuts on these things mean it. They're pretty hard to turn all the way to the end of the threads. Air tools are nice for this job but, not required.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Yes, sway bar links are real easy to change, won't take you more than a 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
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Old 11-13-2006, 10:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Thanks everyone for the reply's. I haven't had a chance to confirm that they are broken but it definitely seems like that is the problem. There is one more thing that I'm curious about. It rained yesterday and today, and I haven't heard the noise nearly as much. Could it be that they parts are just wet so they are sliding past each other?

Hopefully I'll have a dry day to get out there and check it out and I'll let you guys know how it goes. Thank you very much!
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Old 11-14-2006, 03:35 AM   #12
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Hm, I wouldn't even jack it up or remove the wheels. IIRC, it's easier to remove the link with the suspension sprung normally. Just back it up on ramps.
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Old 11-19-2006, 02:44 PM   #13
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Well it finally stopped raining up here I had a chance to check it out. Sure enough it was broken. The other one seemed fine. Should they both be replaced at once? Would it be bad if I only replaced one? One more thing. I called Saturn and the sway bar link is around $52 I believe. I just checked Advanced Auto Parts online and they have a moog sway bar link kit for $38, and advice on which on I should go with?


Thank you all for your help!
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Moog is a great brand name in suspension parts, I'd go with that.
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:29 PM   #15
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

thanks! That'll be a little better on my wallet.

What are your thoughts on replacing only the broken one opposed to replacing both at the same time?
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Got a link to that part at Advance Auto? I can't find it, all it brings me to is a $4.99 bushing.
Is that $38 for 1 end link or both?
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Old 11-19-2006, 08:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Quote:
Originally Posted by fetchitfido
Got a link to that part at Advance Auto? I can't find it, all it brings me to is a $4.99 bushing.
Is that $38 for 1 end link or both?

link to part

It's says kit, so i'm not sure how many that is but the saturn dealership said 1 was around $50 or $52 each so i'm guessing that it's 38 each on that site.
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Old 11-19-2006, 09:03 PM   #18
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Default Re: Loud Snap/Clunk from rear of car 97 SL2

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigormusic
It's says kit, so i'm not sure how many that is but the saturn dealership said 1 was around $50 or $52 each so i'm guessing that it's 38 each on that site.
Thanks, I've been looking for something like that for a while now. No matter what I searched for it just brought up the bushing that I don't want. 1 step closer to adding rear sway bar to my SC1



btw, I'd change both if you can afford it. Kinda like struts, if one needs to be changed then you might as well do both at the same time and know both will be good for another 100k miles.
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