Chevy Cobalt Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently bought a 2005 LS manual with 195k. It is a one-owner and in surprisingly good shape considering the age and miles. However, I have noticed a decent clunk when going over a sharp bump, typically at low speed. I have jacked up the entire front end, pushed and pulled on all components and everything seems tight, but perhaps I've not really focused on the right spots. What should I focus on as a typical issue? Control arm bushings, sway bar bushings, CV axles?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
The rear-most control arm bushing is problematic and makes that clunk. Jack the body up then jack the arm. Any movement will be apparent. I used the MOOG problem solver bushings on our '05.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Also check sway bar bushings @$6.00/pair (RockAuto) will cause a nice low speed bang/knock/pop as the wheels rock over / into a bump or hole you can test by going over s parking lot speed bump with one side/ wheel at a time
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Sway bars link ends. Just replaced mine with moog. That rear control arm and absorber are oem jank.

190k miles is well past the lifetime of most of the parts of a vehicle including the transmission. I would expect more clunks and junks but after this phase it's a great tuner lol
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Given the cost of new control arms is less than $200 for the pair, isn’t it easier just to replace them with new FE5 style arms than futzing with just the one bushing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
Actually, replacing the lower control arms is easier then properly replacing the bushings. Especially if the rear bolt is locked up. Might wish to use some thread lube / penetrating oil a few days before you attack the problem or let someone else try for you. Replacing those captured nuts can be a very painful job.
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the feedback. I opted to just replace the entire assys and got the FE5 arms from rockauto for $158 shipped. Will update once they arrive and I tackle the issue. The P/N’s I chose are the same as offered by Moog that allegedly have the problem solver ball joints but the rockauto description is a bit nebulous so we will see what I actually receive.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
I do hope you ordered new FE5 shocks and strutts. I bet your car is running on the originals and if the LCA are shot and need replaced, so do the shocks, struts and sway bar bushings, and don’t forget the sway bar end links.

@ChiknNutz Are the Moog LCAs are forged aluminum? Or stamped steel? Have one of the part numbers? Andyou can get the shorter end links too…, The FE5 suspension used shorter end links. These can be installed on FE3 or FE5 or what you had originally.

9.86” vs 11.8”
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
@1966tbird the P/Ns are RK620897 (RH) and RK620897 (LH). Per Rockauto, they can either be, "Made with either 6082 aluminum or QT400-18 ductile iron for improved durability." The ones I ordered are "ultra-power" but that is the same p/n if you go to the Moog site (MOOG Auto Part Finder | Vehicle Part Results)
Rectangle Gadget Font Display device Multimedia

I have not yet ordered add'l parts but to your point, it is probably a good idea just to do it all at once. I went onto the ZZP site and the suggest, "KYB FRONT STRUTS and BILSTEIN REAR SHOCKS"...do you have any particular insight/opinion on those? I have performed the shadetree mechanic test of pushing down hard at each corner of the vehicle to see how the suspension responds, and they all react like they should...just one bounce and then settles out right away. TBH, I am surprised at how good of shape this thing is in given the year/mileage.

FYI, my suspension is the FE1 (per the RPO code). I'd like to also lower it to get rid of the abnormal tire-to-wheelwell gap others speak of.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
I suspect my struts are making noise too. I also did the usual test and they seem fine. At speed on a smooth road there is no float or any problem at all. But slow speed on a crappy road and YIKES the rattling is un-nerving. I did the MOOG problem solver rears, as well as the end links. The ball joint and front LCA bushings were good too. How do you test the struts? Our '08 came with KYB struts and it rides 100% better than the '05.
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
...How do you test the struts?...
My "test" is the oldschool method of pushing down hard on each corner of the vehicle a few times and see how the suspension reacts. What I was told eons ago is it should bounce back once then immediately settle out, no more bounce (if the strut or shock absorber is good). That is by no means highly technical but has served me well for many years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Yes, I am old too. The car passes that test but I don't think it applies to struts. Too many other things to wear like the upper bearing. I am thinking of replacing all the struts and shocks just because it has over 100k on it now.
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I was just doing some more research and see that the front top strut mounts are a common problem too, so I likely will replace those. After even more research, I am considering going the coilover route as I really should replace struts and shocks, plus would like to lower the car a little (as I think the stock ride height is too high). So with all new struts, shocks and springs, I can just about get a whole set of coilovers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
Doesn't the strut assembly come with everything? Top mount, bearing, shock, spring? It is cheaper to buy the whole assembly rather than each part one at a time. So you replace the entire thing then all you need is a fresh wheel alignment.
Musical instrument Guitar accessory Musical instrument accessory String instrument accessory Camera accessory
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you want to maintain the same ride height, yes. I am looking to lower it, so need to piece meal it together if that is what I ultimately decide.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
I changed the BC (08 LS w/120k mi) from stock to FE5 on all 4 corners. Turned it into a completely different vehicle.

Unless you just putt around, you will find lowered ride height a bid disadvantage once you find just one parking lot concrete bumper or a drainage dip and drag off that nice bottom bumper cover valance. But it’s grate if you only spend time on the Daytona Speedway or such.
Stock FE5 springs will work quite well. There are replacements that will work. GM FE5 shocks are getting harder to find and ar very hard to beat for a Cobalt. Used FE5 sway bars are available and hardly wear out…it take a major major upset to bend one. It can happen. But most used parts yards have little call for them. Expect $15-$60 used $100 new if in stock. YMMV. You will want a quality FORGED Aluminum LCA. (2005-2007 SS 2.0 direct FE5 or FE5 replacement) and a fresh set of sway 2005 bar bushings for YOUR sway bar. FE1 bushing your is diff from FE3, is diff from FE5, all will use (2005-2008) single bolt sway bar bushing clamp/bracket, even with a 2005-2008 SS sway bar.

you can expect the Cobalt springs to be sagging a bit after 100k mi but still close enoughfor the shocks to be in good operating range. So used SS springs would not be out of the question. New is very nice but used works for a very long time…. And you would get an inch or so lower ride height.new coil spring mounts/top bearing.., is not out of line. But you still want those new short end links
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
917 Posts
BTW 08 up SS LCA are different and use different lower ball joints ( larger diameter shaft for different spindle) and 06-08 and up SS use a 2 bolt sway bar clamp/ bracket naturally expect a different engine cradle, one with 2 bolt holes instead of one and a slot like you have on your 05.

now complete systems will swap over just know there are a few that only work in one direction.
 

·
Registered
2005 LS Coupe, 5-sp manual, silver
Joined
·
14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I went ahead and replaced the LCA's with the FE5 style forged aluminum versions. The whole process was relatively pain free, all bolts came out without incident and the new ones went in without too much hassle. My question though, and maybe it's my imagination, but I swear it looks like the camber is now way off, like the tires are kicked OUT at the bottom. I can't imagine how this would be as the new ones installed without any issues. I did not measure the old versus new or have any reason to think they would be different geometrically.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top