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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a little advice here. just to give you a brief history; i purchased my car 14 months ago with 148,000 kms, or 92,000 miles. The first repair i did was replace the struts and shocks. I was on a budget at the time, so went with the cheapest set and got Monroes for all 4 corners. the fallout from that decision is only slightly better handling compared to OE. I'm ok with that decision for now, and i do plan to upgrade to Bilstein or Koni in the not too distant future. But what i really want to improve on is the overall ride quality, especially the side-to-side motion that i experience seems excessive to me, and the general sloppiness of the handling when going over bumps... feels like the wheels are loose. Outside of new shocks and struts where do i start 1st, new and/or beefier sway bars, stiffer bushings, or is there something else im not considering?
All opinions welcome.
 

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Your car is a 2002 Aero so there are no stiffer sway bars available (OK, there is the SAS unit but I assume cost and roadability are still considerations).

What are your tires? Did a previous owner cheap out and put soft riding tires with soft sidewalls on the car?

14 months on the Monroes may be the root cause of your problem, particularly with the rears. Failed rear shocks cause skittish handling on bumpy curves. If the new Monroes were only slightly better than the OEM Sachs which wear out at 100K miles, you may have answered your own question.

Front sway bar links might be shot. These are only $25 each for the good ones - Moog brand.

Rear cross-stay bushings are a short life item for many owners. I haven't replaced mine but these are said to be inexpensive and easy to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
MI-Roger, thanks for your input.

I have considered the SAS sway bars, but thats a big expense once shipping costs to canada are included. Not to mention installation.

The difference between the old OE shocks and the new monroes was negligible, general control was improved a bit but overall soft/poor ride quality very little damping improvement over the old ones. Disappointing really. And yet I still have creaking/squeaking going over bumps just like i did before, which leads me to believe other parts are suspect like sway bar links and maybe ball joints.

Tell me what are the rear cross-stay bushings? If i start replacing bushings, would you recommend OE or the poly ones?
 

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Cross stay bushings are number 15 in this diagram. It's hard to tell from this diagram, but they are pretty much right behind the wheel.

http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartsResults.aspx

There are two on each side. All of mine are complete toast (my mechaninc and I were just looking at them a couple hours ago), and I get no creaking noises from back there. Sway bar links may be your culprit on the creaking sound, though mine were more like a "clunk" before I replaced them. New tie rod ends will tighten up the steering, but I'm not sure that's what your problem is. I'm inclined to think the Monroes just aren't cutting it, but I really don't know.

Personally, I'd stay away from poly bushings, as a I seem to see a lot of comments about how they make the ride way too rough. I guess it depends what you want out of your car though.
 

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Cross stay bushings are number 15 in this diagram. It's hard to tell from this diagram, but they are pretty much right behind the wheel.

http://www.eeuroparts.com/Main/PartsResults.aspx

There are two on each side. All of mine are complete toast (my mechaninc and I were just looking at them a couple hours ago), and I get no creaking noises from back there. Sway bar links may be your culprit on the creaking sound, though mine were more like a "clunk" before I replaced them. New tie rod ends will tighten up the steering, but I'm not sure that's what your problem is. I'm inclined to think the Monroes just aren't cutting it, but I really don't know.

Personally, I'd stay away from poly bushings, as a I seem to see a lot of comments about how they make the ride way too rough. I guess it depends what you want out of your car though.
I think this is the diagram you meant to link to:



As for poly bushings, I've installed polyurethane rear trailing arm bushings in my 9-5 and have not noted any increases in NVH (Noise, Vibration, or Harshness). However, installing poly in the front control arms probably would increase NVH.
 

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As for poly bushings, I've installed polyurethane rear trailing arm bushings in my 9-5 and have not noted any increases in NVH (Noise, Vibration, or Harshness). However, installing poly in the front control arms probably would increase NVH.
How did the poly trailing arm bushings change way the car drove? did it do anything to handling of the car? I mean like stability during sweeping corner.... camber issue..etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think i may be mentally blocking the monroe's out of the equation due to the fact that i've only had them a year. But deep down i can see how they may be the largest contributing factor to my poor ride quality.

I'm going to start with the small stuff first and order sway bar links, tie rod ends and ball joints this week and go from there. Considering the age and mileage of the car, it can't be a bad way to go. And hopefully that will cure the creaking. After that, i'll look at bushings, and then struts/shocks.

thanks for all your suggestions.
 

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#17 in the diagram is a common cause of creaky noises in rear suspension. Listen forwards of the rear wheel while someone bounces the rear bumper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm picking up the sway bar links this afternoon. Is there a link on this forum that outlines procedures, necessary tools, and torque specs. Its the only car i have at my disposal and i want to have everything i need before i begin.
thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Had front sway bar links installed today (still too cold out to do this in my driveway) and the front end noise is pretty much gone. Now most of the squeeks and rattles are coming from the back.
 

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Had front sway bar links installed today (still too cold out to do this in my driveway) and the front end noise is pretty much gone. Now most of the squeeks and rattles are coming from the back.
Thanks for the update. I was curious to know how big a difference new Sway Bar Links would really make. They're were way down on my list of parts, but they just moved to numbah 3...right behind Koni FSD's and tie-rods. :cool:
 

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I think i may be mentally blocking the monroe's out of the equation due to the fact that i've only had them a year. But deep down i can see how they may be the largest contributing factor to my poor ride quality.

I'm going to start with the small stuff first and order sway bar links, tie rod ends and ball joints this week and go from there. Considering the age and mileage of the car, it can't be a bad way to go. And hopefully that will cure the creaking. After that, i'll look at bushings, and then struts/shocks.

thanks for all your suggestions.
Honestly it sounds like you put shocks on a car that other suspension issues going on. I ran the Monore's for a year before I sold my car with no issues at all. They road just like OEM and that is what I wanted I didn't want a aggressive ride. One thing is to check and see how worn your old shocks were. And you can do this just by seeing how easy there were to compress by hand. The Monroe's are pretty damn hard to compress by hand I can tell you that;). But this biggest thing is that you shouldn't expect new shocks to fix everything without checking out the rest of your suspension. Since everything works hand in hand on your suspension if you have worn out items like ball joints/tierod ends/sway bar links/tires/strut bearings/coil springs then new shocks aren't going to do a whole lot. So check your car over or have a garage look at it and tell you what they think. Did you get a alignment too after the Monroe's were installed? Good luck, Terry
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After a few days with the new sway bar links, the squeeks are back in full force. Sorry pegasus;oops:. I do find the ride/steering more controlled so i would still do this upgrade, worth the money.

Tox, i hear what you're saying about other things being the cause of my issues, and agree. But the monroes i have now aren't very stiff IMO. driving over speed bumps you find in parking lots results in alot of front end diving, it doesn't bounce more than once but the compression is deep. Also, say you're driving on the highway and there's a dip in the road, when you come out the other end of that dip the rear seems "hop" up... generally there isn't as much damping with these shocks, contrary to what you've experienced with your monroes. The old rear OE shocks where definately toast as i could easily push then in with my hand. The fronts i never got to see but the car rides the same so i don't think they were all that bad to begin with.
Whenever i take my car in for something i always ask to have the steering and suspension checked out and it always comes back as being in good shape. Maybe they only look for what is a safety issue and not necessarily a ride quality issue.
 

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Sorry to here the Monroe's aren't doing what you wanted. I didn't have any issue with mine bottoming out at all. Maybe you got some that weren't rebuilt right. Did they have a warranty on them? Mine had a one year warranty on them. Also worn out springs will put all the load on your shocks and blow them out. I had a VW that the springs were shot in it and all the shops told me they were good. It felt like the car was swaying in a high wind when I drove it on the highway. Drove me crazy until I put new springs on it that straighten it out. Good luck in finding out what is wrong and lets us know how it goes.
 
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