SaabCentral Forums banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just replaced the struts on my '01 9-3 Base HB with 175,000 miles. I now have a big 'clunking' sound on the driver's side when I go over a bump.

New: struts (Sensen; I know, I cheaped out); strut mounts; strut bearings; swaybar links; control arms. There was no 'clunk' before I replaced the struts.

I know that the big-*** nut holding the strut insert in its housing is tight enough. The nut on the top of the strut rod might not be tight enough. The strut turns with the nut when I try to re-tighten it and I can't adequately hold the top of the strut rod as it only has an 8mm two-sided configuration vs a real nut that I could put a socket or a wrench on.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive design Rim Hood


I've double checked that everything is tight underneath: control arm, ball joint, swaybar link and tie rod. Before I tear things apart again and re-replace the strut, I thought I would appeal to smarter minds than me in the hope that I'm missing something.

I appreciate your insights!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Its not FDA approved, but I always use an impact on the top nut. Don't murder it, just let off with minimal (1 - 2) ugga duggas. If you still have a problem after that you need to jackup the corner, look for free play by manipulating the wheel, then jack up the suspension arm to load the suspension & ensure again nothing moves when you do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Maybe the spring doesn’t sit probably. The mechanic who helped me replaced the spring told me the spring is fxxking difficult to be sat properly.

Also, did you replace the lower spring seat? 4779724. I was told this part worn over the years, even it is visually ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Premium Member
SAAB 900S, 1997, 2L,manual.
Joined
·
140 Posts
The nut on the top of the strut rod might be tightend by a socket turned by a pipe wrench (not by the ratchet). It gives acsess to the 8mm top of the rod. Anyway it needs only 90 Nm/66 lb ft torque.

The klunk may also come from the (new?) shock absorber inner mecanism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Its not FDA approved, but I always use an impact on the top nut. Don't murder it, just let off with minimal (1 - 2) ugga duggas. If you still have a problem after that you need to jackup the corner, look for free play by manipulating the wheel, then jack up the suspension arm to load the suspension & ensure again nothing moves when you do that.
Appreciate the tip Bob!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Maybe the spring doesn’t sit probably. The mechanic who helped me replaced the spring told me the spring is fxxking difficult to be sat properly.

Also, did you replace the lower spring seat? 4779724. I was told this part worn over the years, even it is visually ok.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I'm pretty sure the spring is seated okay. Did not replace the spring seat. Will check it out when I have things apart again. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,420 Posts
Did you change the strut mount?

I would jack up the clunking side and watch what the top of the strut and the mount do as the wheel leaves the ground. My 9-5 had a failure of the strut mount that was really obvious when the car was jacked up--top of the strut just dropped right down as the wheel came off the ground.
 

·
Registered
Current: 2000 9-3 Aero 5d, Family: 85 900i 3dr.
Joined
·
1,205 Posts
Reading this I was thinking Strut mounts like EdT as well.
Now I'm not sure about the history of your car - but I've read posts here that have described the coating of the spring getting damaged, and this leads to the end of the spring rusting & breaking for a small section.
Check the bushings associated with your front anti-sway bar as well.
The other item people above haven't talked about yet is: Engine Mounts. That would cause a clunking sound given the right conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,382 Posts
Its not FDA approved, but I always use an impact on the top nut. Don't murder it, just let off with minimal (1 - 2) ugga duggas. If you still have a problem after that you need to jackup the corner, look for free play by manipulating the wheel, then jack up the suspension arm to load the suspension & ensure again nothing moves when you do that.
Yeah... we know of a number of folks who have stripped the strut threads doing that. I wouldn't recommend it.

@safetynetzero : Did you try tightening that nut with the suspension back on the ground? I usually find that doing it with the weight of the car helping to hold everything in place it goes a lot easier.

Is the spring properly positioned in the upper rubber mount and the lower steel mount? The ends of the spring need to be carefully rotated and checked as you release the spring to make sure they are in the recess and against the "stop".

Those lead shields aka "space" under the spring are sacrificial and should always be replaced. They're basically galvanizing, super thick, and replaceable. But they dissolve by design, so always replace them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah... we know of a number of folks who have stripped the strut threads doing that. I wouldn't recommend it.

@safetynetzero : Did you try tightening that nut with the suspension back on the ground? I usually find that doing it with the weight of the car helping to hold everything in place it goes a lot easier.

Is the spring properly positioned in the upper rubber mount and the lower steel mount? The ends of the spring need to be carefully rotated and checked as you release the spring to make sure they are in the recess and against the "stop".

Those lead shields aka "space" under the spring are sacrificial and should always be replaced. They're basically galvanizing, super thick, and replaceable. But they dissolve by design, so always replace them.
Thank you Bob. I was pretty careful with making sure that both ends of the spring were resting against the stops.

I did try re-tightening the nut with the car on the ground... to no avail. It's possible that I stripped the strut threads.

Would you say that a bad/defective/loose strut alone would not cause the clunking noise? Others point to the mount or bearing as to the likely cause, but both are new. I must say, the old ones looked fine; even with 175,000 miles on them.

Appreciate your input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Reading this I was thinking Strut mounts like EdT as well.
Now I'm not sure about the history of your car - but I've read posts here that have described the coating of the spring getting damaged, and this leads to the end of the spring rusting & breaking for a small section.
Check the bushings associated with your front anti-sway bar as well.
The other item people above haven't talked about yet is: Engine Mounts. That would cause a clunking sound given the right conditions.
Thanks for your input Mort. Very much appreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,420 Posts
The "jack up your car" test may give a pointer. Without further investigation, we are speculating.

I went through exactly this with my 9-5, a loud clunk or bang. Here is what I did:

If you don't get this behaviour, I would start to look at something else, such as the end links.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The "jack up your car" test may give a pointer. Without further investigation, we are speculating.

I went through exactly this with my 9-5, a loud clunk or bang. Here is what I did:

If you don't get this behaviour, I would start to look at something else, such as the end links.
Thank you for the link. I will certainly check it out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,382 Posts
If the bearing is bad, you tend to get creaking when steering left/right.

If the nut is stripped you would get serious noise on bumps. It would be hard to strip the nut with a reasonably sized wrench (no impact) and/or no way to stop the shaft from turning. So, I am doubtful that you did that.

I would try bouncing it on that side in the driveway. It would be best if you could get a friend to lean on the bumper and bounce it. Then you can check the spring and strut for noises. You can sometimes find problems by putting your hand on the spring, strut, etc. But watch your fingers when it bounces you don't want to squish them between the coils of the spring.

Pay special attention to the strut mount -looking down on it from the top. When they are bad they will allow the internal rubber to move independently of the mount. It should move a bit to absorb shock - that's the whole idea. But the rubber shouldn't be independent of the steel structure of the mount. For what it's worth, they all tend to look good out of the car even when they're bad, IME.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
705 Posts
Yeah... we know of a number of folks who have stripped the strut threads doing that. I wouldn't recommend it.

@safetynetzero : Did you try tightening that nut with the suspension back on the ground? I usually find that doing it with the weight of the car helping to hold everything in place it goes a lot easier.

Is the spring properly positioned in the upper rubber mount and the lower steel mount? The ends of the spring need to be carefully rotated and checked as you release the spring to make sure they are in the recess and against the "stop".

Those lead shields aka "space" under the spring are sacrificial and should always be replaced. They're basically galvanizing, super thick, and replaceable. But they dissolve by design, so always replace them.
I hear ya, common sense isn't so common & people think they need to kill things with impact guns. A 1 second press is usually all it takes
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
153 Posts
Never have installed the Sensen strut inserts so I am not sure how close they fit. But on the ng 900's we often used to wrap the insert with electrical tape (like it was a hockey tape on the stick) to get rid of a knocking sound over bumps. That was 1 of the 5 or so tricks you had to do to the struts on those cars to rid them of noises. But if you had the nut holding the insert in the housing removed and were able to shift the strut around side to side the tape may help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
Just replaced the struts on my '01 9-3 Base HB with 175,000 miles. I now have a big 'clunking' sound on the driver's side when I go over a bump.

New: struts (Sensen; I know, I cheaped out); strut mounts; strut bearings; swaybar links; control arms. There was no 'clunk' before I replaced the struts.

I know that the big-*** nut holding the strut insert in its housing is tight enough. The nut on the top of the strut rod might not be tight enough. The strut turns with the nut when I try to re-tighten it and I can't adequately hold the top of the strut rod as it only has an 8mm two-sided configuration vs a real nut that I could put a socket or a wrench on.

View attachment 284377

I've double checked that everything is tight underneath: control arm, ball joint, swaybar link and tie rod. Before I tear things apart again and re-replace the strut, I thought I would appeal to smarter minds than me in the hope that I'm missing something.

I appreciate your insights!
To me in the picture it looks like the strut mount isnt seated properly but i cant see the back side completely so im not sure thats the issue however it should more or less have even spacing around the radius of the strut tower/strut mount if you know what i mean. Try loosing the 3 bolts and taking the steering knuckle from below the car and give it a good old shake (i think this is possible with the balljoint and control arm connected BUT dont quote me on that you may have to take it apart) and see if you can get it to sit nice and even, then while holding it in place from below screw the 3 nuts on and torque them ( helps to have someone help but its possible alone if you have long enough arms. I know it seems like when tightening the tower bolts it would seat itself properly but the torque isnt high enough potentially to do that job. Im almost positive i had this issue at one point had a small clunk like you mentioned and the process i described fixed my problem. Admittedly theres a very low chance this is your issue and i could be crazy for even suggesting this because youd think the weight of the car on the strut would force it into the correct position but i somehow recall mine not being seated 100% correct just an idea...

Also how many miles on the new strut mount/bearings? If you cheaped out on aftermarket ive heard of them failing with very low mileage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Never have installed the Sensen strut inserts so I am not sure how close they fit. But on the ng 900's we often used to wrap the insert with electrical tape (like it was a hockey tape on the stick) to get rid of a knocking sound over bumps. That was 1 of the 5 or so tricks you had to do to the struts on those cars to rid them of noises. But if you had the nut holding the insert in the housing removed and were able to shift the strut around side to side the tape may help.
I hadn't considered that aspect of the strut insert being loose inside of the housing. I will look for that when I take it apart and maybe use your tape method. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
80 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
To me in the picture it looks like the strut mount isnt seated properly but i cant see the back side completely so im not sure thats the issue however it should more or less have even spacing around the radius of the strut tower/strut mount if you know what i mean. Try loosing the 3 bolts and taking the steering knuckle from below the car and give it a good old shake (i think this is possible with the balljoint and control arm connected BUT dont quote me on that you may have to take it apart) and see if you can get it to sit nice and even, then while holding it in place from below screw the 3 nuts on and torque them ( helps to have someone help but its possible alone if you have long enough arms. I know it seems like when tightening the tower bolts it would seat itself properly but the torque isnt high enough potentially to do that job. Im almost positive i had this issue at one point had a small clunk like you mentioned and the process i described fixed my problem. Admittedly theres a very low chance this is your issue and i could be crazy for even suggesting this because youd think the weight of the car on the strut would force it into the correct position but i somehow recall mine not being seated 100% correct just an idea...

Also how many miles on the new strut mount/bearings? If you cheaped out on aftermarket ive heard of them failing with very low mileage.
Thanks for your insights Jeff. I will play around with the strut mount as you suggest.

The clunking noise was there immediately after replacement so the strut or mount would have had to be defective out of the box.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top