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  1. #1

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    Jan 2018
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    2003 Satrurn Ion Front end Rumbling

    I've been all over the web reading about the various causes of the inherent front-end rumbling as you drive slowly over bumps. I removed the wheels and tried pushing and pulling on the sway bar links. They barely moved. I tried doing the same on the sway bar to see if the sway bar bushings had worn, barely any movement. I decided to change both items anyway. The reason is that itís much easier to change the sway bar bushings by first removing the sway bar links. I will show you the links to videos I watched and add some important information on tips and correct order of doing things to avoid issues I had.
    Sway bar links first, hereís the best video I found for the removal:
    Remove the upper bolts first on the sway bar links on both sides. I had to also use a vice grip to hold the bolt on the inside to prevent it from spinning. This will allow you to push down the bottom thus giving you clearance to remove both of the lower bolts without interference with the lower control arms.
    I ordered the same sway bar links as pictured because I also wanted the links to have grease fittings.

    Once you have both sway bar links removed, remove the bolts holding on the horseshoe bracket that houses the sway bar bushings. You can also remove both of the bushings one after the other.
    Here is the best video for this procedure:
    The rear of the bracket locks into a slot in the chassis. My Saturn Ion called for the 20MM Moog bushings, part number K200046. It depends on which suspension you have. You need to check to tag in the trunk under the floor mat, this tells you which suspension you have. As you can see in my case I have the standard or FE1 suspension system. The other suspension systems may read FE2 or FE3 so make sure you order the correct sway bar bushings.
    You can slide out the existing bushings and then split them open and pull them right out. When you open the new bushings, you will realize they are very hard to open up. Spray them and the sway bar with some silicone lubricant. Use a long screwdriver to pry open the slit. As you work on it, it will become easier to spread apart and fit over the sway bar. The slit mounts in the back. Slide the busing into place on either side. Place the horseshoe bracket over the bushing and twist the bracket and bushing up and backward so the rear of the bracket can fir into the slot. Once inserted, twist the bracket and busing back toward the front. Get the bot and give it a few turns then slightly tighten with a ratchet. Do the same on the other side. You donít want to tighten these bolts yet as it makes the sway bar link installation easier.
    The new sway bar links that I bout have a plastic guard protecting the rubber on the top and bottom so remove those and discard. Also install the grease fittings at this time
    Now reattach the lower sway bar link into the sway bar hole and tighten up but not fully. Do the same on the other side. Now pull up on the sway bar link and attach it into the upper hole. Also tighten up but not fully.
    Now fully tighten up the horseshoe brackets that hold the sway bar bushings. Do the same for the sway bar links. You will probably need to use an 18 MM open end wrench rather than a ratchet to fully tighten the lower bolts due to clearance of the lower control arms.
    I would speculate that the sway bar bushings were the culprit in my case but for the price of the sway bar links, I thought I would change them also.
    This completely solved that irritating front end rumble.


  2. #2
    Approved Vendor ZombieSatty's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Omaha, NE
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    Not a bad write up!

    Double and tripple check your LCAs as well. The rear bushings like to go bad.
    It's not my fault, blame the radiation.

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