2006 Saturn Ion front end noise

Tiny
STAN CORUM
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 SATURN ION
I have an annoying noise when ever I go over a slight crack or depression in the road surface. I believe I have traced it to the front stabilizer bar. I can hit the end of the bar that goes between the stabilizer bar and the rod that attaches to the coil spring seat, and get a pretty good sound. I believe the joint where the two are attached has wear. How do I determine if the hole in the end of the sway bar is worn, or if the bolt assembly in the drop down bar has play? I am thinking about removing the nut from the drop down bar and try to determine which part has the defect that is causing the noise. The car has 89000 miles on it which is low, and it seams this part has went bad prematurely.
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Friday, July 26th, 2013 AT 6:15 PM

3 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
89,000? On some models that use this design the anti-sway bar links go bad at 19,000 miles, and the new and improved ones last, ... 19,000 miles. You have gotten WAY more life out of yours than most people do. Don't worry about the holes in the bar or on the strut. The nuts would have to have been loose to allow the studs to pound up and down to stretch the holes, and even then you would just tighten the new links, then they won't move. It's the ball and socket that has the wear. If you reach over the tire and wrap your fingertips around the link, then use your arm to push up and down on the fender a little, you'll feel the light knocking. That is the proof you need that the link is causing the noise you're hearing. You can also make the noise occur and easiest to hear when driving very slowly through a parking lot, and it will get perfectly quiet when you turn a little either way. Turning puts a twist on the bar and tension on the links that holds the ball and sockets from moving and making noise.

This is a real common repair. It can be fairly difficult with only hand tools because those nuts rust tight and are hard to remove. It can help if you heat the nuts with an acetylene torch, but I use a vice grip pliers to grab the stud through the rubber dust boot, then use an air impact gun to spin the nut off. The stud is going to spin under the rubber boot. If you do that long enough, as in 10 - 15 seconds, the boot will start to smoke and burn away, then tighten the pliers and keep doing that until the nut walks off.
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Friday, July 26th, 2013 AT 9:37 PM
Tiny
STAN CORUM
  • MEMBER
You were correct, it is a difficult job using hand tools, very hard to even use a air wrench to get at the lower nut. I succeeded using an air cutter, with the thin round blade to remove the top of the nut, and then walking the nut off with an open end wrench. I was not able to hold the stud with vise grips either before cutting the nut. Probably could have if I would have been able to heat the nut first. I thank you for your help. This repair really took care of the noise I was having. Unbelievable.
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Sunday, August 4th, 2013 AT 9:49 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Dandy.

Even a blind mouse bumps into a piece of cheese now and then.
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Sunday, August 4th, 2013 AT 1:26 PM

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