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Hey guys, I have a 2007 Cobalt 2.2 with a clunking suspension problem. I like doing any work I can myself but sometimes I need some help with diagnosing the actual problem. I went to a local shop and had them take a look. They said both the inner and outer tie rods are shot. I've done a little bit of research and it seems the outer tie rod ends go out more often than the inner tie rods which has me wondering if they're only suggesting both to make sure and tackle the problem and to be safe. My thing is, if the inner tie rods are really fine then I'd just rather to the ends because it would be much easier and a little cheaper. This car is a 3rd car for my wife and I, it doesn't get driven a lot (probably 2-3 times a week) so I usually try and throw as little money as needed at it although not neglect it. The car has 126,000 miles. Is it normal for the inner tie rods to go out with that many miles?

Thanks,
Aaron
 

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No, they wanted you to dish out money. The inner rarely go bad and the outer not so much, never replaced one on either of my 3 Cobalts. In fact I still have a set here thinking I would eventually need them. The weak link on these is LCA pancake bushings, end links and swaybar bushings.

If the inners are bad you are better to change the whole steering rack with either new or re-manufactured. The labor cost is outweighed by a quick replacement.
 

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I just jacked the car up and climbed under it. I didn't see any bushings that looked split open or torn. I got back out and tried to wiggle the tie rods and the sway bar links. I couldn't replicate the sound. I was able to twist the tie rods but they didn't feel crunchy or anything. I couldn't see anything that was obviously wrong to me. I grabbed the wheel at 9 and 3 and tried to wiggle it, all it did was lock the steering wheel. After that it didn't have much movement in it. I'm kinda lost from here. :?
 

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The control arm bushings and sway bar bushings are what you need to look at.
Unless they are completely trashed (usually not until many More miles) you may need to load your suspension with a 6’ / 2m steel bar to see the control arm bushing move. For your sway bar bushings, a 1/4mm to 1/2mm gap between the bar and the bushing will make a sound like the entire front end is falling out.
(Warning...satire to follow). The sway bar bushings are very expensive like about $7.00 US for the set and require one socket to replace.
Follow Coby7’s word he knows these cars?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The control arm bushings and sway bar bushings are what you need to look at.
Unless they are completely trashed (usually not until many More miles) you may need to load your suspension with a 6’ / 2m steel bar to see the control arm bushing move. For your sway bar bushings, a 1/4mm to 1/2mm gap between the bar and the bushing will make a sound like the entire front end is falling out.
(Warning...satire to follow). The sway bar bushings are very expensive like about $7.00 US for the set and require one socket to replace.
Follow Coby7’s word he knows these cars?
Lol love the satire warning. Okie doke, I’ll order up some sway bar bushings and go ahead and replace them. Just to clarify, you’re talking about the bushings on the sway bar itself and not the endlinks right? On the LCA bushings, is it easy to replace the bushings or is it such a PITA that id be better off replacing the entire LCA?
Thanks guys, with your help I’ll get to the bottom of this. :)
 

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Yes check price @ rockauto for the sway bar bushings. Located on subframe behind transaxle. They connect to spindle via the Strut with the part called “sway bar or stabilizer bar end links”. Read carefully the package may contain a pair of bushings or one bushing. As many times as I read, the listing said one bushing. So I ordered 2. I received 2 pair of bushings. Now this was for the SS cobalt sway bar which is larger in dia. So in another 50-90k miles Imhave a set of Moog bushings for a whopping $7 bucks.... it will probably cost me $100 in aggravation trying to keep up with them and trying to find them in in 3-10 yr.

Now the trick will be your lower control arm bushings......( in thickest Ukraineian accent.)....Good Luck. My solution was to replace the stamped steel control arm with the forged Al control arm there by replacing the bushing with a better bushing design. Now replacing the Control arm bushings ($4-$30 ea) can be a royal PITA or can just slide right in..... Dont count on just sliding right in....if they do, the hole for the bushing is trashed. The other part of the royal xxx is the bolt threaded into the sub-frame these love to get rust WELDED into position. Leading your local gorilla to just get a bigger cheater bar and ripping the nut loose from it’s welded base leaving one with a spinning nut and no way to put a wrench on.

Enjoy

Hint. Liberal use of rust penetration oil a day or 2 in advance and extra beer for the air impact owner

---------- Post added at 07:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:43 AM ----------

Find thread clunk clunk on every bump. And again....with pictures!! Oh my!
 
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