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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I searched this forum, and there are like 6 or 7 threads about the same issue I am having, but none of them include the resolution to this issue, so I am still without an answer.

I have a 2004 9-5 Aero sedan at roughly 108,000 miles, bought at 91,000. As far as I know, no real suspension work has been performed by the previous owner. The front suspension is extremely creaky. There is no grinding, and I don't believe there is clunking--just creaking, like a wooden floor. This only happens at very slow speeds, like when I am just leaving the driveway or creeping forward at a stop sign. It happens when I am going straight ahead--not dependent on if I am turning. I actually think it's a lot quieter when I'm turning. It almost sounds like the suspension "groaning" when being unloaded under light acceleration. Anyway, I am trying to determine which parts I should replace and in which order. It sounds like it is coming more from the "top" of the car (not 100% sure), so I am thinking front strut mount kits (bearings, mounts, seals, etc.), control arm bushing sets, and new sway bar end links (I would spring for the thicker SAS versions. Please let me know if you have experience with these). If this doesn't solve the issue, I would move on to subframe bushings and the dampers/springs themselves.

Have any of you successfully fixed this problem in your 9-5? And if so, what was the culprit? If not, any recommendations are welcome. Some of the old threads mention a certain subframe bushing, but those people had different symptoms than me. For example, they would only hear noises when turning right, whereas mine is not dependent on turning.

I can record the creaking upon request. Thanks in advance!
 

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I have replaced all the front suspension components in my car. I am confident that it is the subframe bushings making your noise. I had a similar noise when taking off at slow speeds, loading and unloading the suspension, that only went away after the subframe bushings were replaced. It's not a fun DIY and you'll need an alignment after.

Also I would use Moog K5345 sway bar links. They are larger than stock and half the price of the SAS ones. I've taken mine off a few times for various jobs and they still look great a year later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
I have replaced all the front suspension components in my car. I am confident that it is the subframe bushings making your noise. I had a similar noise when taking off at slow speeds, loading and unloading the suspension, that only went away after the subframe bushings were replaced. It's not a fun DIY and you'll need an alignment after.

Also I would use Moog K5345 sway bar links. They are larger than stock and half the price of the SAS ones. I've taken mine off a few times for various jobs and they still look great a year later.
I had a bad feeling someone would say this. I might just have a local shop do the job. Should I go for the Powerflex ones, or just generic ProParts poly ones? ...Or OEM rubber? The price differences are enormous, and I have also heard that ProParts is junk. And thanks for the tip on the end links!

Edit: Just did another search, lots of discussion on subframe bushings. I'll probably end up going with the OEM ones, as I'm seeing lots of negative talk surrounding poly bushings in terms of comfort.
 

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Personally I used the proparts bushings. I can't say exactly how long they will last but I am happy with them for the couple months they have been in. When installing them I tried using a hydraulic knockout punch (very powerful) to pull the bushing through the hole but it looked like the material was under too much stress and might not survive the journey to the other side of the subframe. I didn't want to destroy them so I cut them in half like any other polymer bushing and installed them that way. I don't know how other folks are installing them but I could potentially see the premature failures being caused by the material failing on installation and not lasting long after.

That said, it's up to you what route you choose.

Since the job is quite an undertaking I might suggest first getting an inspection done at a place your trust. They should be able to tell you the condition of all of your components and maybe there are a couple other parts you could change while the subframe is out too.
 
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