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Old 12-12-2006, 11:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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2001 Sable LS, Seems whenever I hit the slightest small bumps in the road, I can hear a clunking noise which seems to be coming from the front driver side tires. I had the Ball Joints, Tie Rods, checked, and was told they are all fine. I asked him to check the struts, and he bounced the car and said they were fine. The car does not pull to the left or right at all, and it seems the steering is nice and tight to me. I did notice though when he was checking the tie rods, he jacked up the car on the drivers side, and turned the wheel by hand, and when he was doing that, the steering wheel was turning quite a bit. About a half turn,(90%), or better. Should this be possible if everything is alright, especially with the passengers side still on the ground? Anyone know what the sound is? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'd put my money on the front sway bar endlinks. They're plastic from the factory and don't hold up very well. Pull the wheel off and see if you can twist the endlink by hand...if it moves easily by hand, it's worn out and needs to be replaced.

I wrote up a how-to for changing them in the Wiki: Front Endlink Replacement
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Old 12-13-2006, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This sounds right, and koodos for the great how to illustration. Do you think these would be a safety issue yet since there is no play in the steering? Do you have an estimated cost for them?
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Old 12-13-2006, 09:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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another thing to check will be the front subframe bushings.

swaybar endlinks are probably the most common noise maker up front though.

estimated cost for front endlinks, $30 for a pair of cheapies, and $50 for a pair heavy duty ones.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The ones I used (as shown in the writeup) are Duralast steel links from Autozone...they're about $20 a piece.

Subframe bushings are definitely a possibility, but I'd check the endlinks first since it's easier and they probably need replacing anyway.
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Old 12-13-2006, 11:56 AM   #6 (permalink)
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strut mounts is what id put some money on, i have the same problem on my passenger side, its annoying as heck
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Old 12-14-2006, 10:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
strut mounts is what id put some money on, i have the same problem on my passenger side, its annoying as heck
[/b]
I bet its annoying as heck, I have a plastic panel that you can see when I open the door that hits the door after high speed runs....lol, it gets annoying.
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Old 12-21-2006, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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My car is in the shop for this exact issue right now. While it was being raised and lowered in another shop I noticed the pass side front moving while the drivers was not. I think that is similar to what the original poster was describing as well. The first mechanic told me he didn't see anything wrong and suspected struts and strut mounts. Ouch... I passed and took it someplace else. This mechanic said the pass sway-bar endlink had play, wasn't sure that was the problem but thought it more likely than the struts. I hope so b/c it's a lot cheaper. BTW, safety. I can't comment with an expert opinion but mine has been like this for several months. I should be able to let you know how it turned out tomorrow.
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
I'd put my money on the front sway bar endlinks. They're plastic from the factory and don't hold up very well. Pull the wheel off and see if you can twist the endlink by hand...if it moves easily by hand, it's worn out and needs to be replaced.

I wrote up a how-to for changing them in the Wiki: Front Endlink Replacement
[/b]
same exact thought i had. i couldnt figure out for the life of me what it was until i replaced my struts and noticed the top stud for the endlink had separated from the rest of it. luckily they're cheap and fairly easy to replace. one thing i noticed for removing and installing the bottom end of the end link is wrenches with the ratcheting box-end work great, they save alot of time when removing the end link.
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Old 12-29-2006, 01:17 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
strut mounts is what id put some money on, i have the same problem on my passenger side, its annoying as heck
[/b]
My grand am has been doing that for the last 2 years. A ratty loose sound.
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