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Old 10-14-2011, 10:56 AM
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Ball Joints??

Looking for some help diagnosing my girlfriends car. It's an older Chevy Malibu with 140,000+ miles. She mentioned that it's been clunking once in a while when driving over speed bumps and what not. I took it out and drove it over a couple speed bumps at a pretty low speed and there was definitely a clunking sound. it also did it when you would swerve the car from left to right during slow speed as well. Figured it was either shocks or ball joints. How can I figure out which one for sure? Thanks much guys.
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Old 10-15-2011, 06:40 AM
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I'm hitting the bump button to see if anyone has ever seen this. So I pulled the tire off this morning to see if it was the ball joints and they soomed to be fine. With the tire off, I turned the wheel left and right and the knocking ensued. Looked at where noise was coming from and it seems as though the gear box for the steering assesmbly is hitting the subframe of the vehicle. I've never seen such a thing before... anyone else?


Here's a picture of the gear box in the up position, clearing the sub-frame.


Another pic of the gear box down, striking the sub-frame.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:11 AM
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It looks like the rack has come loose from its mounting location. From the rust that is visible in the pictures this could be the culprit. I hope nothing else is damaged and that you are able to get it fixed soon.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:42 AM
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If the car is supported under the frame then the suspension will hang WAY lower than at ride height.
The ball joint should be checked as follows...
Jack that tire up using the control arm, then with the tire still on, have someone pry up on the bottom of the tire with a pry bar or pipe or something. while they do that you need to watch the ball joint to see if it has play. A clunking noise could also be a stabilizer link or upper strut bearing plate.
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Old 10-16-2011, 03:33 PM
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Hye guys... I appreciate the feedback. It's the rack and pinion as P-slow pointed out. Taking it in tomorrow to see when garage can get it in to be looked at. Thanks again for replying.

Bill
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