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Old 02-25-2009, 03:13 PM   #1
hufhouse
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Default Please help a worried Dad

My son is away at college about 100 miles away. He is leaving today for a long weekend break at his roommate's home about 4-1/2 hours away.

He called me and said that his car is making a "creaking/clicking" noise from the rear, and he asked me what to do. I told him to get under the car and bounce it and see if he can figure out what is making the noise and if anything obvious looks broken.

He sent me a photo from his cell phone and said "the circle-shaped thing" seems to be where the noise is coming from, but it looks just like the one on the other side. I have attached the photo.

As best I can figure, this is where the trailing arm connects. I'm guessing it's just a worn bushing. He said that he heard the sound before, but it wasn't really that bad, so he never mentioned it.

I told him I thought he would be safe, and we'll get it fixed when he comes home.

What do you think?
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Old bushing. Nothing to worry about.

But next time include some vitals. Such as car, year, model, MILES, etc etc
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Old 02-25-2009, 03:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Sorry. It's over there on the sidebar. It's the 2001 SL2.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

By the way, rc1488, thank you for the reply. I forgot to say that!

Oh, and I think it has around 80,000 miles on it.
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Old 02-25-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

He's got a cell phone, he'll be fine as long as it's charged up.

When I was in college, a broken car meant walking or hitchhiking til you found a pay phone.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

to the above post^^^^^


way to date yourself man...

i cant really ever remember life with out them being there. not that iv always had one but i remember them always being around. even though it was analog.
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Old 02-25-2009, 06:42 PM   #7
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

The bushing could be wearing out, but I'd go with the easiest fix first assuming its a dirty bushing. No serious harm at this point.

But the bushing is sticking and grinding based on the description.
The road salt and corrosion can wear the bushing down.

A quick run by the spray wash and power some of that stuff off. Get some of what appears to be road salt out, and spray it down with Liquid Wrench or a spray oil (Duralube or WD-40 type) after it dries to break down the corrosion.

I would keep treating it with the oil until is clears up.
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Old 02-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

I'm sure your son will be just fine. When I was a teenager, I went to visit my grandparents who lived about 300 miles away. I was driving a chevy vega with an auto trans. The 2nd gear wasn't working. I would have to take it from 1st to 3rd. Also, the car used about a quart of oil every few hundred miles. My parents tried to talk me out of going, but I was determined. I patted my dad on the back and I said "don't worry dad, we'll both get through this!" TRUE STORY!
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Old 02-25-2009, 08:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

It's not the bushing making the noise, it's the sway bar link, visible in your back behind the axle towards the front. Small dogbone shaped metal bar with two ball and socket joints, one on each end. Replace them with the Moog part, they have updated the links with grease fittings, as opposed to factory non greaseable links. He could drive around the globe with the car like that, even if one broke, he would never know the difference. Replace them in pairs, easy DIY project for a weekend morning.
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Old 02-26-2009, 11:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Hello all new to the Forum here, last poster is probably right likely the sway bar link. I just happen to work for the company that makes the OEMS THK. By looking at the picture that link is one of our older metal to metal links which are good links but by metal to metal I mean there is nothing but grease between the bearing and casting. Our newer links that are on the mid 2007 and up Saturns are what we call resin ball links there is actually a resin band between the bearing and wall of the casting. I do the testing on these links and they will last longer without grease ( how we test them even though we of course apply grease to the one we sell)then any link on the market with grease. That style on his vehicle would have a rubber dampener under the cap which helps reduce noise due to no resin band, what usually happens is the dampener wears out over time allowing noise to escape, the link itself is probably good for another 100,000 miles if he can stand the noise.

And yes perfectly safe to operate if it should happen to break.
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Old 02-27-2009, 06:05 AM   #11
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl1driver View Post
I'm sure your son will be just fine. When I was a teenager, I went to visit my grandparents who lived about 300 miles away. I was driving a chevy vega with an auto trans. The 2nd gear wasn't working. I would have to take it from 1st to 3rd. Also, the car used about a quart of oil every few hundred miles. My parents tried to talk me out of going, but I was determined. I patted my dad on the back and I said "don't worry dad, we'll both get through this!" TRUE STORY!
Haha, how many quarts per mile? jk
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Just wanted to followup and let you know we replaced the "dog bones" today with the Moog's and everything is great. I can't believe the difference!

One of the four nuts was frozen on and we wound up cutting it off with a Dremel tool. If not for that, it would have been a 30 minute repair.

Thanks to everyone who pitched in. Really made me feel better about his trip a couple weeks ago.
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Old 03-14-2009, 11:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by sl1driver View Post
I'm sure your son will be just fine. When I was a teenager, I went to visit my grandparents who lived about 300 miles away. I was driving a chevy vega with an auto trans. The 2nd gear wasn't working. I would have to take it from 1st to 3rd. Also, the car used about a quart of oil every few hundred miles. My parents tried to talk me out of going, but I was determined. I patted my dad on the back and I said "don't worry dad, we'll both get through this!" TRUE STORY!
this one's inspiring.
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Old 03-15-2009, 12:53 PM   #14
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Good to know it worked out for you to replace them. They are an easy replacement piece but for people reading this in the future who dont have time or money or skill set Ive been able to knock them loose again using a bunch of WD40 or PB Blaster etc. and a big adjustable wrench. Spray the ends and walk away from about 10 or 15 min and come back to them with the wrench... spray them again and give the ends a couple light taps then adjust the wrench to the width of the center of the dogbone (mine were flat on 2 sides) use the wrench to rock them loose and than spray them like crazy and keep rocking to clear out as much of the rust as possible... in a pinch this will ease the humiliation factor of a whining car over speed bumps...
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

I have a question about the sway bar link. I have the same creaking noise on my 02 SL2 when I'm going slow through a parking lot. Just checked the sway bar links and I can twist/rotate both of them quite a lot on there bushings - is that normal?

I've ordered the Moogs and plan to replace when I get a chance - will the replacements rotate the same?
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:42 AM   #16
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgreany View Post
I have a question about the sway bar link. I have the same creaking noise on my 02 SL2 when I'm going slow through a parking lot. Just checked the sway bar links and I can twist/rotate both of them quite a lot on there bushings - is that normal?
No, that is normal. IF there's that much play, then the sway bar end links are worn out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by coolgreany View Post
I've ordered the Moogs and plan to replace when I get a chance - will the replacements rotate the same?
No play at all on my Moog endlinks.
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Old 06-06-2009, 06:50 AM   #17
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

Thanks - yes, there seems to be lots of play - so much that it almost seems like I could pull them off the bolts!
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Old 06-06-2009, 07:46 AM   #18
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Default Re: Please help a worried Dad

likely the rubber has worn down or the bolt is loose and the sleeve is rubbing on the bolt. This wont crash the car but needs to be fixed.
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