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Old 10-10-2017, 09:26 PM   #1
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new here rear axle issues

just picked up a 2009 hhr from a friend, dealership told him the rear axle needs to be replaced but no funny tire wear. the hubs feel fine when jacked up and the only noise I could make happen was backing up into his driveway it clunked and only the rear axle had gone over the bump it made no other noises even when hard braking hard acceleration and whipping the wheel side to side doing 35mph. Now the paperwork also says the rear springs are broken which from what ive read is somewhat common but if the springs were broke shouldnt it have made noises at other times? at 165k im sure it needs shocks and springs just hoping to not do the axle bushings in the rear. Any input would be great
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Old 10-10-2017, 10:36 PM   #2
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You can look at the springs and detect if they are broken. You can get new ones under $100.

Hard to tell what they mean by whole axle; once again a good eye could tell if it got hit hard enough to bend. However; there are wheel hubs and swing arm bushings that can wear out.

Why did he go to the dealer? What was his complaint?
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Old 10-10-2017, 11:34 PM   #3
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He says the car feels like it sways in the rear. There was no noticeable movement in the hubs when jacked up. I haven't pulled the wheels off to check the springs thats next. Would the swing arm bushings make a clunk noise over a very small bump? It's been my thought that these were the problem once i started to research it.
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Old 10-11-2017, 12:37 AM   #4
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Rather than "research" it - just get under there and actually start checking things out.

Like donbrew says, look at the springs - if they are broken it will be very obvious - and you don't even have to remove the wheels to check that.
If a shock absorber mount is broken - it to will be obvious.

Using a lever to check out the play in the swing arm bushings will quickly show any obvious problems with them.

"Would the swing arm bushings make a clunk noise over a very small bump" - yup, and so would a few other things.
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Old 10-11-2017, 04:57 AM   #5
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Look closely for the broken spring(s). Sometimes the broken coil can be hard to spot down low inside the spring perch.

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Old 10-11-2017, 08:44 AM   #6
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Endplay on the hubs should be <.005"; you would not notice that.

Sway in the rear end sounds a lot like worn out shocks. For some reason nobody tries to sell shocks anymore, I guess that's because they have gotten so expensive they can't sell the part at the 200% markup and only get .5 hour labor. When they where $12 each they sold them like hot cakes, every tire store had a stockroom full of them
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Old 10-11-2017, 10:06 AM   #7
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It could be something as simple as the shock mounting bolts are loose.
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