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Old 09-21-2010, 10:17 PM   #1
jurgs2007
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Default rattle in rear end of car

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?
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

It could be a lateral link bushing worn all the way through. The rattle is from the metal on metal contact.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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?
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
jurgs2007
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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.

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Old 09-22-2010, 11:54 AM   #6
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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.
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:28 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Starship View Post
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.
Dude, your shots in the dark will hit more than most people's shots in the daytime!
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Old 09-22-2010, 04:55 PM   #9
jurgs2007
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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.

Last edited by jurgs2007; 09-22-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 09-22-2010, 05:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: rattle in rear end of car

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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).

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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.
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