SaabCentral Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
2004 95, 180 k, a question about front struts. I replaced both front struts 18 month-30 k miles ago and when it started to get cold this fall I developed a clunk over bumps. I couldn't see play in the sway bar links but replaced them- clunk persists. Took off a strut and disassembled it and there is approximately 1" of travel on the strut before any resistance but it seems to only happen at full extension. Do new struts act that way or do the ones I have gone south and new struts should fix the clunk or do I need to keep looking for the clunk ? Subframe bushings were replaced at the same time as the struts with poly bushings. The front end is tight otherwise.
Thoughts ?
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
The strut mounts seemed ok and the top nut was tight. Sachs struts. I remounted the strut with new bearings and mounts and it's still going clunk so I don't think it's strut related. I think I will have to look closer at the subframe bushings but they were also new at the time the struts went in. Ball joints are tight too. What am I missing ? It is both sides of the car so I will have to concentrate on the subframe bushings first.
Thoughts ?
Thanks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,042 Posts
Check control arm bushings or ball joints. Use a lever to pry in all directions. They see the most movement on every bump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
same problem here: new struts, new strut bearings, new strut mounts, new ball joints, new bar links, new subframe bushings.
clonking still exists, next parts will be control arm bushings (front and back) although they looked ok at pry bar test. But I do not know if you can put so much force on it compared to real driving conditions.
You could try to dismount one link to exclude sway bar.
Another annyoing noise seems to come from top of struts, I assume there is some squeaking on the strut mounts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I went through the whole front end 18 months ago that is what is so annoying. Should struts act that way: depress an inch without resistance ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks all, I will probably warranty the struts with new ones as they are not lifting to the top all the time. I will also check the rear subframe bushings as they were poly and it's my first experience with poly bushings. I may have two oe bushings on hand and may try to install them without dropping the subframe or I might just put two new poly ones to see if the clunk goes away. Front end is tight, new bushings on control arms, rear suspension is tight, new rose bushes, new shocks with spacers for ride height and new front, rear control arm bushings. Obviously something is not right but I just have to find it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
again same here: new rose bushes and control arm bushings at the rear.
I am 99% sure that it is something in the front.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,471 Posts
I've seen several new struts that didn't push themselves all the way, especially the last inch or so. The real test is how they perform when they're constantly going in and out. I bet if you push and pull them in and out a few times, they'll push themselves up that last inch. Sachs struts aren't like Bilstens. They're not going practically shoot themselves up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,110 Posts
Thanks all, I will probably warranty the struts with new ones as they are not lifting to the top all the time. I will also check the rear subframe bushings as they were poly and it's my first experience with poly bushings. I may have two oe bushings on hand and may try to install them without dropping the subframe or I might just put two new poly ones to see if the clunk goes away. Front end is tight, new bushings on control arms, rear suspension is tight, new rose bushes, new shocks with spacers for ride height and new front, rear control arm bushings. Obviously something is not right but I just have to find it.
Which struts did you buy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
according to #3: Sachs. (I believe that refers to the new ones).

Force of a strut is equal to the velocity, not the travel (like a spring).
As I do not have a test bench for struts to simulate different velocities:
I take the strut between my feet, take a piece of wood, put it to the top and let my body weight fall onto the wood.
Bad struts go easily to the lower stop, while new ones will create a decent amount of force not allowing you to reach the stop or slow you down at least.
The test might somehow be equal to what happens when you hit a bump.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
So.....the 18 month old struts are Sachs and since they do not extend all the time in an upright position I will probably try to return and warranty them. But should I be able to ? In other words, is the strut really defective? There is no oil on the outside but the shaft doesn't always return/extend. If they aren't really defective then I will probably pay for them.
Sway bar links are new and tight, no clunks; I am not sure about the sway bar bushing at the mounts on the subframe. I really am thinking, without crawling under it, think blue sky garage, that the poly subrame bushing have gone south. I will have to crawl under it soon though because it is getting noisy. Last time I was under it I did pry on the rear subframe mount and it didn't move much but I will have to try again and watch when I first start jacking the car.
Thoughts ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Did you performed the quick check described above?
Sway bar bushing will be ruled when a single link is dismounted, no counter force from the opposite site, not force on the bushings.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
A quick check of the old strut vs. a new strut reveals that the old one goes to the bottom stop easier than the new one. So it is worn but I am not sure to the extent that it would create a clunk. I will have to wait until Saturday to remove a sway bar link and drive around but I doubt that they are the problem as they are only 2 weeks old and are moog. That being said I will know better on Saturday. I will also replace the back two subframe bushing on Saturday after driving with the Sway bar link disconnected. I will update after a little work.
Thanks all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
So I finally got a chance to remove on sway bar link from the strut and give it a drive. All was quiet. So it is either the links or the bar bushings. I pushed down on the link and it started going clunk and I could feel it and see it move at the bar bushing. Connected the link and went for another ride; clunk is back. So I guess I will have to start spraying the bar clamp bolts with some PB Blaster for a couple of days before I tackle this one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
129 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
It is not the new links that are bad but the bushings where the sway bar mounts to the subframe. Not much room to work in there without possibly lowering the back of the subframe to get better access for the rear bolt. The wis says to remove the front bolt and only loosen the rear bolt, we will see how that goes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
210 Posts
Ok.
Use of pb blaster highly recommended. I broke off one bolt. Luckily the subframe was not in the car. Drilling out the old screw is only possible with removed subframe.
You could spray some pb from underneath. The bushing sleeve is on some kind of bracket which is open on both sides. From there you can reach the lower rusty part of the screw.
I used a wrench with an pipe for a longer lever. Turn the screw slightly only a little bit back and forth. Mine broke off after a few turns because I didnt follow this approach.
I might remember that it was impossible to remove or fix again the sleeve with only front bolt removed. It ended up with slightly bending the sleeve.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top