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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Spent the afternoon replacing the ex system on my 97, from Cat back..
Aftermarket (starla) ex bits sure don't last long as they rust out pipes and cans even the flanges look like they fished out of the ocean.. ~3years,
In a no snow/salt free environment yet.
Anyways.. all fitted with lots of Copperslip and SSteel fasteners. Nice subtle ex burble only.. now.

But realised the steering/suspension? makes a Click and / or popping sound when cycling the steering wheel.. Or starting off .. Or going over gentle bumps.
Inconsistently, sometimes being noisy then it won't be again for a while.... seemingly just to make it even more difficult to identify the noisy bits.
Ball joints are less than 5k old as are Tie rod ends.. A arm bushes are fairly new. (will check mounting bolt security though)
Wheel alignment last summer. No issues found.
Car does a max of 4 k kms annually.
Car drives & tracks well, no functional problems.. yet.
Fitted fresh Sway bar ends ..a month ago.. And those instantly produced similar noises.
Tightening up the bottom nut, compressing the Bush rubbers 'seemed' to stop the noise.. At least for a while
But it's back.. even more than before. I can only Guess .. this is the problem source
Have Oem bushes as well as Poly (blue ones) on hand and will attack it tomorrow.
Too hot 'n sweaty today to do more after my exh adventure.
What noises do Front Strut bearing/mounts make when failing ?? I have No idea... as those are the only bits I've Not yet replaced.
 

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My front right does it. It did when I bought it about 11,000 miles ago, and I don't think its deteriorated since. The specialist indie thinks it is strut top bearing.
 

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The strut top plate or bearing. Lift the corner of the car by the subframe and then see how much wiggle the knuckle has up and down. Use a pry bar and some blocks to give you leverage to 'jump' the knuckle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great ! thanks people.. I had assumed strut mounts .. But only as guesswork.
Will try the 'test' . today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Worked on my Saab today (hot 'n sweaty 'here') Found that there seems to be Zero observable play or other odd actions from my Strut mount/bearings.
Did find that the drivers side Ball joint was Messed. Torn boot (Wheel align shop ?) and grit had chewed the thing into serious slop.
Only 12 ~ 15 k Kms on it.
A Febi part .. Claimed ' German' but 'Made in Taiwan'. Luvely !
Fitted a fresh on hand Identical Febi Joint ! Steering was instantly far more precise.
Noises entirely eliminated entirely.... For about 5 miles.. Then they were Back !
Presumably the weight off the suspension time interval ...allowed 'something' to work/reset again.. albeit Briefly.
Feels almost like the rack had issues. But During the everything working interval... there was No steering noise issues at all ( Had double checked Rack mount bushes.. just in case) ..
They seem Rock Solid.
Will be ordering a pair of Strut mounts ...And another Febi Ball joint ..for the right side wheel hub.. as insurance basically.
Have Steering Rack Inner tie rods on hand as a backup... but the rack has Zero palpable play.. so far
 

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Have fixed clicking/clunking front 9k noises in the past where all parts are 'good' by simply tightening up all bolts for suspension mountings and steering. Don't go crazy, easy to strip the bolts under car holding the plates for the front butterfly bush, but if any of those are loose it will make noise.

Get SKF strut mounts if keeping the car, they are OEM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Yess thanks. Was thinking about the possibilities of the A arm bushes or their mounts being a tiny bit loose .. somewhere.
Will examine all suspects when my RA order arrives (Fitting a New ball joint to passengers side to match the new one on drivers side).. later today.
Got the SKF mounts.
Although I doubt there are problems with the ones currently in there.
Certainly little that isn't patchable by a Moly grease repack.
Will only insert as last resort... Saving strut disassembly adventures for a planned set of Konis

Pesky car though.... every single time I work on something, I find Collateral issues.
IE;
Alternator Vr / brush replacement led to a Shop rebuild, Fresh Serp belt, New idler pulleys, And tensioner shock. Annoying as those bits were ~ 8 yrs / 30k old.
Cyl head retorque (wee oil leak) led to a New DI cassette. Jury is still out on long term effectiveness of the retorque tho. HG job is a possible.
Ex burble involved a New ex system.. from cat back
Brake pad upgrade involved fresh Discs, Braided brake lines and Complete caliper rebuilds.

Then there are the Fresh Chains notions.. sigh.
Darn Kumho Ecsta tires (highly shilled at purchase time) are almost worn out at 15 k..

Gawd .. I hope I'm running out of Needed repairs.. Too much time and $ for a 25 yr old car.
 

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Kumho tires, especially the Ecsta series, are super-soft compound for grip. I've never had a set last more than 20k miles. Cooper are similar, especially the Tiger Paw. The best priced, best grip and life combination tire I've ever purchased has been the Continental ExtremeContact DWS. I had a full set on my turbo'd v6 Genesis Coupe and I regularly beat the crap out of them (launch spins included) and they retained tread for a long time as a daily driver. Great wet traction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah.. I looked at the Conti DWS Lustfully a while back . But during hands on examination I found that their sidewalls were Glove thin.
Absolutely Not good for anyone (like me) who even accidentally rubs a curb while parking.... three rub events and it's New tire time.. like it or not..
Local has a set of Conti on his modded 9-3 X. It has almost no wheelspin, even in heavy rain.
He is fastidiously careful when parking it though.
Just ordered a set of Michelin Cross Climate 2 for wife's car.
 

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The higher performance the tire, the faster it wears... it's pretty much that simple. I run only high performance summer tires, and 20k is very good life from such a tire IMO. I got 24k from from g-Forces on the '08 Aero which I thought was stellar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Small 'noises' update: Got rid of of the 'noises' .
Turns out it was as per initial guesses... the Sway bar links .. I had fitted Pro-parts sway bar link assemblies...Komplete **** ! parts it turns out.. Once again..
Shafts too long.. fit on Sway bar ends is poor, Rubbers are too soft and oversized, their washers are oversize.
The klever combination allows the washers to hit the A arm in action.. creating seriously annoying and actually quite loud.. noises.

Refitted OEM sway bar links with new OEM sway bar rubbers... and Noises were Gone.. Period.
Moral of the story; buy Bad Quality 'Imposter' replacement parts and suffer the consequences.
 
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