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Old 08-04-2009, 07:43 PM   #1
Jimh64
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2003 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Rattling Noise in Front

When I drive over expansion joints on the highway my front end has a rattling noise on both driver and passenger sides. The struts seem ok as there is no excessive bounce when I push on the front end.

The car has over 160,000 miles and has not had any modifications or any front end work other than an occasional alignment.

Any ideas where I should start looking?

Thanks!

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Old 08-04-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
jcollins
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2002 L-Series 2.2L Sedan
Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Check the front sway bar links. On my L200 the driver's side went bad around 90k, then the pass side around 100k. They would clunk every time I went over a bump. They are about $30 each to replace. You will need a box wrench (forget which size) and a Torx set to get them off. Alternatively to fighting the rust you can use a combination of drill, sawzall and angle grinder like I did.

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Old 08-05-2009, 07:53 AM   #3
Jimh64
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Thanks! if I remember right, to check them, if I lift the front end, and grab the sway bar, there should be some play at the joint is the right?

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Old 08-05-2009, 12:45 PM   #4
GregS&L
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2001 L-Series 3.0L Sedan
1995 SL2
Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

^^^Yes, just grab the sway bar link and try to move it up and down. It is a vertical bar about 1/4" or so in diameter near the front brake calipers. If it is worn, you will feel the play and also hear the infamous rattle/rattle.

Both sides went bad at about 40,000 miles on mine. A very annoying rattle - rattle over the slightest little bump on the road.

It is an easy driveway job. The nut holding it on is an 18mm. A Torx bit is needed to hold it down so it will not rotate.

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Old 08-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
Wolfc70
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Check the springs. I too had a rattling noise over bumps, turns out the driver side spring broke. The last part of the coil on the bottom of the spring broke off and was laying in the spring cup (for lack of a better term) and causing the rattle. Since there was still half of a coil holding the car up, there was no way to tell something was wrong, other than the noise. The springs are dealer only and are on back order (not a good sign) for my 2000 LS1. The springs are also $160 each. So by the time I get new struts and springs, it will be close to $1000. Sigh...

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Old 08-10-2009, 02:14 PM   #6
Robman
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

I'm going to have to add to the "check the links" theory. this is a common problem as it is not the best suspension ever made and usually wears with time. you can probably get a set for $14 on ebay and springs are better bought (not through the dealer) on ebay as well because of better materials. a good set of springs could run you max $300 a set.

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:03 AM   #7
MikeNW
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1997 SL
Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

This is a great thread.
I was just about to ask, does the L200 (2002) have any weak points in its suspension, my GF car rattles and clunks over small bumps.
SOME of the noise is in the steering column, I was told that the shaft needs to be greased but it's not an easy job.
Most of the noises are in the suspension. We can hear it clearly.

Now I have somewhere to start.

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Old 08-12-2009, 12:38 PM   #8
cavalier
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Same issue here.

Just rolled past 189,000 miles the other day on the LS1 and guess what I'm starting to hear over the bumps.

My question is....which until now hasn't seem to have been asked....is what can really happen if I DON'T have these sway bar links replaced?

Is this a critical repair that NEEDS to be made and what are the ramifications of not doing so? (increased tire wear, etc.)

I'd really rather not spend the money right now on it.

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Old 08-14-2009, 09:47 AM   #9
rnelson
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

My lw300 has 160,000kms and the front sway bar links have been replaced 3 times, they do make an annoying rattle when the rubber bushing wears out. The most recent repair was broken front springs. I noticed that there was a loud rattling noise when going over bumps, my mechanic thought it was the sway bar links again but fished around and found a broken coil on the left. He advised replacing in pairs and I'm glad he did as the right was broken as well. Had to replace the strut mounts as well as they were shot. The struts still are in good shape which I'm a little surprised at considering the mileage but the mechanic thought they were fine. It sure drives like new again, funny how you used to things wearing out.

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Old 08-14-2009, 03:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

One more Q, are these bushings available at Autozones or similar places?

...
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08 Burgman 400
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Old 08-23-2009, 01:12 PM   #11
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Aha! One was worn. About $30 at Advance Auto (Moog parts).
Cheaper on Rock Auto but the shipping was about $15.

...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
08 Burgman 400
02 Haro MTB- can't kill it, still trying though

The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

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Old 08-24-2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front


I guess I wasn't paying attention at Advance Auto, for some stupid reason I thought a stabilizer link "KIT" was both of the links, but it's only one, so I gotta get another one.
Also, the Moog parts have grease fittings, which is OK but now I have to get a teeny grease gun.

...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
08 Burgman 400
02 Haro MTB- can't kill it, still trying though

The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

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Old 08-31-2009, 11:31 AM   #13
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Just an update then I promise, no more posts

If you have an L that clunks and rattles, REPLACE THOSE LINKS! What a difference! And it took less than an hour (the left side was kind of awkward).
It rides like a new car!

Just a little clunking remains, in the steering column but it's nothing like before.

...
97 SL. Born 6/5/97, bought 7/7/97
08 Burgman 400
02 Haro MTB- can't kill it, still trying though

The Schofield Kid: Yeah, well, I guess they had it coming.
Will Munny: We all got it coming, kid.

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Old 10-12-2009, 04:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

New to this forum.. sorry for being late to the thread!

I have this very problem with my car. Run over a bumpy road, and I hear all the rattles from around the front tires. Even when I suddenly take off, or go from gas to break, I hear a clunk. I have a 93 SL, 180,000 miles.

I cannot confirm this problem tho, when I inspect things. I jacked up my driver's side today, removed the tire, and grab and firmly wiggled everything. No clunk, no sign of anything loose.

Question to y'all, how can I identify what is really wrong? I don't want to be under there randomly replacing parts, that can run into time and money, and not fix the problem.

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Rattling Noise in Front

Quote:
Originally Posted by tom_94305 View Post
New to this forum.. sorry for being late to the thread!

I have this very problem with my car. Run over a bumpy road, and I hear all the rattles from around the front tires. Even when I suddenly take off, or go from gas to break, I hear a clunk. I have a 93 SL, 180,000 miles.

I cannot confirm this problem tho, when I inspect things. I jacked up my driver's side today, removed the tire, and grab and firmly wiggled everything. No clunk, no sign of anything loose.

Question to y'all, how can I identify what is really wrong? I don't want to be under there randomly replacing parts, that can run into time and money, and not fix the problem.

Tom, you have posted this question to the L-Series forum. Your Car is an S-Series. You should post this question as a thread in the proper forum. You will get a much better answer.

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