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97, 97, RIP 98, 99 STS with Jakes studs
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718 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
1999 STS, 295,000km. Was a rough winter, lots of parts this spring.

Lucked out with a parts car with 4 months old entire front end.

I replaced the entire assembly on both sides. Struts, knuckles, bearings, control arms. They all have less than 10k miles. I didnt change the tie rod ends, can barely move mine with my hand. Control arms came new with bushings/balljoints. I changed each side as one piece, from strut top to control arm. also new sway bar links.

I had some noise in my front end before i changed all the parts. Now its even louder but more specific. My theory was it was so loose (front end) before, now its tightened up so less play is causing the culprit to be more pronounced. I know the sway bar bushings are shot, going to look at those today.

Things to look at:

CV shafts, sway bar, strut bearings (too tight at top 3 mount bolts?)

So the noise: i can hear it from both sides, mostly from drivers side. It sounds like metal stretching, very loud. KInd of snapping noise. Reminds me of a balljoint or something. Sometimes its one snap, some times 2 or 3 clicks or more in quick succession. Left side usually more than right. It happens with slowing or accelerating into or out of a corner. Its also happened a couple times backing out of my driveway with the steering wheel pointed to the left as it drops off the 1 inch driveway curb. At first i thought maybe it was the sway bar moving in the bushing. But ive heard bad CV shafts before. Its almost like a metal hitting plastic sound. Couple days ago i was parked on a lump in the pavement. Wheel was pointed right, on a slight decline. when i backed up it took a bit of throttle to get it to move and made a loud snap when the car moved.

The parts car had new CV shafts too but i didnt grab them, and now its gone. Knew i shoulda grabbed them.

Anything else i should be looking at? I know the front engine mount is shot, has been for 3 years. I just learned how to drive it by feel and avoid it banging. Myself and a friend were looking at some ideas of clamping it. I did this on a 97 as an experiment and it felt great til the strap we used finally let go after a couple weeks.
 

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02 Seville, 04 SRX
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1,341 Posts
I chased a noise for about a year and replaced nearly ever component of the steering and front suspension. In my case it started when I dropped the cradle to repair the center mount. Dropping the "double D" insulators broke some rust free. The rubber insulators that sit in the cradle have a design to looks like two upper case D's back to back. Where the "D" portion is, there is metal and it corrodes. When new it would fit in the hole on the cradle and stay secure. When worn, it would rotate under the weight of the car and occasionally pop. The sound was intermittent.

The test for me was greasing the insulator on the side that had the noise. There are 6 in total, the one that usually causes problems in the middle one. If the lubrication lets it spin easily without the pop or grinding noise, it may be the same problem I had. Not many other forum member has reported the problem but I did find someone in a Boneville forum that had the issue. I fixed it by creating a washer that had the "double D" shape and used epoxy to fit it up into the cradle. It isn't under constant stress so it should hold with problem. It just has to provide a little strength to keep the insulator from spinning.
 

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97, 97, RIP 98, 99 STS with Jakes studs
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718 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well i took a look and did some stuff...

Wrapped the front sway bar bushings. Ill grt new ones later.

There are no greese nipples in the ball joints. Awesome.

When i took the mounts off the sway bar: i could fit my air ratchet on the back bolt drivers side between the mount and body, but not on the back bolt passenger side. This is when i removed them. Its like the frame isnt straight. Different story when i put it back together. It fit both side fine when i put them back in.

Far as i know the cradle has never been dropped. Bu i cant remember if i may have done the rears when i did some exhaust work a few years ago...

Im out of time so will greese the balljoints tomorow. With the sway bar tight, im still getting the noise.
 

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97, 97, RIP 98, 99 STS with Jakes studs
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718 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Cant find edit on my phone....

Also: bearings wer around 15 pounds under torque. Passenger side clicks a tiny bit...
 

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02 Seville, 04 SRX
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1,341 Posts
Number 4, inside one in the back? In the front end it could be a lot of stuff and this insulator is a long shot since not many people have had this problem, but you may as well check it off the list. Just spray some silicone spray up in there and see if the problem goes away. If it doesn't, it probably isn't the insulator.
 
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