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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy folks, today, after some spirited driving on my way to work (to avoid being late), as I pulled into the parking lot, I heard a noise like a large object shifting in the back end. This noise continued after work on sharp turns, and, after some testing in an empty parking lot, is now louder, both on tight, higher-speed turns and large bumps. I have taken everything out of the trunk, the spare tire and jack are tightly secured, the seats have been released and returned, noise is still there. This forces me to guess that it's a suspension problem, but I cannot reproduce the noise by rocking the car.

Any ideas what it may be? This is my first modern car, I've always had old 4wds before, and the suspension of this car isn't remotely comparable to those (leaf sprung solid axles vs IRS FWD). My best guess is sway bar links, but boy, it seems loud and low-pitched for that, to me. Still, I've bought some sway bar links tonight and intend on taking a look at it this weekend. Any other tips are very welcome. Car has 185k miles, fairly recent purchase, but all in all it's in great shape. I haven't had a chance to really look at the rear suspension, though, and see what if anything looks worn here.
 

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Howdy folks, today, after some spirited driving on my way to work (to avoid being late), as I pulled into the parking lot, I heard a noise like a large object shifting in the back end. This noise continued after work on sharp turns, and, after some testing in an empty parking lot, is now louder, both on tight, higher-speed turns and large bumps. I have taken everything out of the trunk, the spare tire and jack are tightly secured, the seats have been released and returned, noise is still there. This forces me to guess that it's a suspension problem, but I cannot reproduce the noise by rocking the car.

Any ideas what it may be? This is my first modern car, I've always had old 4wds before, and the suspension of this car isn't remotely comparable to those (leaf sprung solid axles vs IRS FWD). My best guess is sway bar links, but boy, it seems loud and low-pitched for that, to me. Still, I've bought some sway bar links tonight and intend on taking a look at it this weekend. Any other tips are very welcome. Car has 185k miles, fairly recent purchase, but all in all it's in great shape. I haven't had a chance to really look at the rear suspension, though, and see what if anything looks worn here.
There really isn't much in the rear suspension compared to the front. My 03 has 18x000 miles on it as well and I can say that most of my rubber is in bad shape back there lol. I just rebuilt the entire front end this past summer and I'm working my way towards the rear. Without seeing what the underside looks like, it's hard to tell you what's wrong.

Now do you hear any "humming" while driving at all or is it a "clunk" sound? If humming it could be the wheel bearings needing some love. Clunking tends to be more on the suspension side. Rare occasions clunking can be caused if the wheel bearings are really shot (such as my 04 Avalanche when i 1st got it).

I'd start by jacking it up and taking a pry bar to everything to see what moves and how much.

Another thing that it could be is a broken exhaust hanger or pipe.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
After driving around town for a bit and then home, I can definitely say it's worse than when I left work. It now clunks, very loudly (as in, my phone doesn't even capture the sound because it's too loud, I attempted to make a video of it), at any significant, sudden bump (ie, parking lot to road bump), or at any sharp turn, at any speed, or when braking hard, or when beginning to accelerate. I highly doubt it could be anything but suspension now. This could be 100% placebo, but it feels like there's more body roll and I feel a shift in the rear suspension with the clunk, too.

No humming, though there is a speed-dependent swishing from a front wheel, I have a feeling it's brake related. Though, the brakes weren't hot when I stopped driving, so who knows.
 

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Oh, joy, that sounds considerably more expensive than I'd like and considerably more difficult to repair than I have the tools and time for right now. Any idea where I'd start with those things? I'm genuinely just not familiar with independent suspensions. To me, hearing a spring perch needs to be replaced is hearing that I'm going to have to grind a giant coil bucket off a frame or axle and weld a new one on. Strut hat I'm assuming is much easier to replace?
 

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Oh, joy, that sounds considerably more expensive than I'd like and considerably more difficult to repair than I have the tools and time for right now. Any idea where I'd start with those things? I'm genuinely just not familiar with independent suspensions. To me, hearing a spring perch needs to be replaced is hearing that I'm going to have to grind a giant coil bucket off a frame or axle and weld a new one on. Strut hat I'm assuming is much easier to replace?
Jack it up and see if anything is loose. Strut hat and strut are easy, spring perch i would presume requires welding.
 

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Will do, eventually. Housing is currently up in the air and I don't even own a floor jack, nor anywhere to put one. This is extremely bad timing. I may wind up paying someone to diagnose this, because I can't think of another option right now.

Also, looking it up, it doesn't look like these cars use struts in the rear. Could be shock related too, I suppose. If not for the acceleration/braking, I'd call it sway bar links and be happy.

It really, genuinely does sound like there's just a large, heavy object rolling around back there. Except I can't find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Fair enough. I had a local guy throw it up on his lift, it's definitely a sway bar link, one side is totally ripped in half. He said he'd do it for $40, so I said go for it, it'll be done on Wednesday. Thanks for your help guys.
 
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