rattle in rear end of car [Archive] - Chevy Malibu Forum: Chevrolet Malibu Forums

: rattle in rear end of car


jurgs2007
09-21-2010, 10:17 PM
ok, so i just picked up my 99 malibu today and as always, it has problems! lol
well, i knew about the problem, but im not 100% on what it is.. when i hit bumps, it rattles in the rear end. even the slightest bump will make it rattle. i know these are well known for going through struts, so i was guessing that was the problem. but i was looking at it and i can grab the top of the wheel and pull it in and out. to me this would almost seem like a hub assembly. but that seems solid. everything seems solid. the only thing i noticed is when i do pull out on the wheel, the cylinder on the strut spins. does anyone have any feedback on which one you think it is?

Starship
09-22-2010, 09:43 AM
It could be a lateral link bushing worn all the way through. The rattle is from the metal on metal contact.

jurgs2007
09-22-2010, 09:55 AM
all bushings look to be fine, and that wouldnt really explain the play in the wheel. and this is a really loud rattle. it actually made the girlfriend really nervous riding in the car. and shes used to my camaro with alot of road noise.

Starship
09-22-2010, 10:08 AM
The lateral "play in the wheel" is what got me thinking of a lateral link bushing. Did you check both ends of both lateral links?

jurgs2007
09-22-2010, 10:32 AM
i checked last night. i will check again in daylight when i get my jack back from a friend in a couple hours. but i still dont understand how that would make the obnoxious rattling. even when im in a parking lot and hit a speed bump at like 5mph its really loud.

jurgs2007
09-22-2010, 11:54 AM
ok.. so i got my jack and jacked up the rear end of the car. as soon as i jacked it up off the ground, there is absolutely no play in the wheel. but as soon as i drop it back down, theres play again. all the bushings look fine. in fact, they all look like they have maybe 10k miles on them. they are spotless. even tried grabbing the lateral link and moving it back and forth and it seems stiff.

Starship
09-22-2010, 03:19 PM
That's bizarre. Maybe the strut is loose on the knuckle or the strut is shot but the suspension members at full extension are limiting the play. Maybe the rattle is unrelated, coming from a stabilizer bushing, parking brake cable, or even something loose inside the brake drum. Of course, I'm shooting in the dark now.:o

DrivenDaily
09-22-2010, 04:28 PM
That's bizarre. Maybe the strut is loose on the knuckle or the strut is shot but the suspension members at full extension are limiting the play. Maybe the rattle is unrelated, coming from a stabilizer bushing, parking brake cable, or even something loose inside the brake drum. Of course, I'm shooting in the dark now.:o

Dude, your shots in the dark will hit more than most people's shots in the daytime! :)

jurgs2007
09-22-2010, 04:55 PM
well, ive dealt with bad struts before, and broken springs, and what this sounds like is a combination of the 2. when i hit any bump at any speed it rattles like the spring had broke and is really loose or shifting. i can tell its on the outside because when im by buildings in town, i can hear it echoing off the buildings on the right side of me.. so that instantly makes me think its the strut.. but what throws me off is that the tire is able to me pulling in and out laterally. but everything else looks solid behind the wheel and under the car. also, i doubt its the breaks because i set the parking break and both rear wheels lock up completely.

oh, and to define the rattling sound better, its like a very rapid clunking type of rattle for each bump i hit. it doesnt really sound like metal on metal.

Starship
09-22-2010, 05:12 PM
Dude, your shots in the dark will hit more than most people's shots in the daytime! :)

Nah, not even close. Although, one tends to develop a certain self-sufficiency when one owns Saturns (ION is my third).:D

well, ive dealt with bad struts before, and broken springs, and what this sounds like is a combination of the 2. when i hit any bump at any speed it rattles like the spring had broke and is really loose or shifting. i can tell its on the outside because when im by buildings in town, i can hear it echoing off the buildings on the right side of me.. so that instantly makes me think its the strut.. but what throws me off is that the tire is able to me pulling in and out laterally. but everything else looks solid behind the wheel and under the car. also, i doubt its the breaks because i set the parking break and both rear wheels lock up completely.

oh, and to define the rattling sound better, its like a very rapid clunking type of rattle for each bump i hit. it doesnt really sound like metal on metal.

Still, I'd pull the wheel and the brake drum and then see if anything could be rattling inside. Also, check the hub mounting bolts. If the knuckle isn't moving, maybe the hub is.

TequilaWarrior
12-06-2010, 01:23 PM
Sorry to revive a <slightly> old thread but I'm going through this issue right now. It sounds to me like your problem is the same as mine. What I found: the strut rod top nut that tightens through the top strut mount was loose enough that the rubber became uncompressed. This allowed the sleeve below the nut to begin to oval out the rubber mount itself. The rattle I heard was the sleeve moving side to side (literally) inside the ovaled out hole. With the car on the ground, grab the tire/wheel at the top and pull/push. You will hear a clunk (convincing most that it's a wheel bearing). Now, carefully stick your finger into the top of the spring where the strut meets the mount and pull/push the tire again. You should feel no movement at all when properly installed. I had about 1/2" of play. I removed the strut assembly, compressed the spring, pulled the nut and retracted the rod. I then placed a very large washer below the sleeve and turned the top washer upside down (which looks right side up, actually - I think whoever changed the struts got this wrong). I then tightened the *&^%*&% out if everything with an impact wrench and reinstalled the strut. Great, no rattle on that side - now I have a rattle on the other side that I never noticed - guess what, same problem! Turns out the nylock washers they used were crapola (or they reused the factory ones). Recompressing the rubber with a large washer below the sleeve seems to have done the trick for now - I will be doing struts later (but not before I hit 100k, I just bought the car @ 75k for $200 and don't want to plunk down too much to get her roadworthy).


The strangest part: I could not get the top of the strut to move with the car off the ground. I had started this with the intent to install the brand new (non-returnable) wheel bearing that I bought - having been convinced it was the wb.

Good luck! Let me know if this helps!

jurgs2007
12-13-2010, 05:17 AM
yes, actually that was the exact problem i had. the movement in the wheel was the same with my car. i ended up just getting new struts for the rear, even though the ones i took out didnt really look that bad at all. but now the front ones are making some noise now. im done sticking money into this car though because its just falling apart everywhere. took it to the shop last week and its popping up 14 trouble codes. estimated repairs double the value of the car itself.