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02 w' 98K. Bumps produce pops on the passenger side sounding like a loose shock on a RWD car. All grommets/grease seals in the suspension look good, can't reproduce the noise BUT pushing the body down there is movement in the passenger side strut mount which doesn't occur on the drivers side. The cup below the nut on the strut shaft will move slightly though it doesn't make the sound. How common is it for a mount to go bad? This has been a senior owned gently driven car. Apparently the stut has to be removed to replace the mount?
 

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Not at all unusual for strut mounts to go bad at 100K. Depends on the roads and potholes... and your luck. Rubber ages and after 10 years it's not nearly as resilient.

If you see more movement in one side than the other, the looser side is bad. Try this test: start the car, have someone turn the steering wheel back and forth a couple turns in each direction as you watch the top of the strut. I'll wager that you see a lot of movement in the bad side.

Replacement requires removing the strut. If you want to economize, you can just replace the one mount and the bearing. But, I will wager that your strut cartridges are worn out at 100K, so most of us would do both sides and replace the cartridges in both. It's slighty advanced DIY if you want to it yourself.
 

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I had a popping noise in that same area but did not see anything wrong until I believe Bob^ told me to check the sub frame bolts. May not be your problem but worth giving it a look. Mine were tight but not tight enough.
 

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I've had an ongoing problem with a knock/pop from the front strut mounts for a long time. It gets worse as the weather gets hotter and is generaly not an issue in the winter or on colder mornings. I think I've tracked down the problem though by looking at the cross section I got from the GS website. The areas I've marked in green are where metal to metal contact occurs between the metal bushing insert that the shock top is bolted to and the strut mount shell when the rubber has worn or gone soft. If you bounce the front of the car you can see the strut bobbing up and down and the knock coincides with the down movement. If you jack up the car on both sides and the strut top drops down a lot in the mount and a gap opens up under the top shell it's also an indication all is not good.I've greased them with silicone grease that cured a bit of creaking but not the major knocking so I've ordered new mounts but I'm also looking at fiiling the voids top and bottom with polyurethane or pushing some silicone hose in there to limit travel. I've also got uprated Bilstein B6 shocks which no doubt have put extra stress on the rubber. I've also found it's possible to change the mount without removing the strut which is a major help;
https://plus.google.com/photos/1069...57550999087329/5454457582280796018?banner=pwa
Read the text as well as both strut tops need detaching from the towers to drop the suspension enough to get clearance, not all spring compressors fit and they need to be fitted exactly as described, you will need a wheel alignment ( tracking) reset doing after any work on the mount as even small changes in the way it bolts up to the tower will throw off the track settings.
 

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