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Thread: Suspension "bangs", and where to place axle stands?

  1. #1
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    Default Suspension "bangs", and where to place axle stands?

    I'm a complete novice to repairing cars and I have never really done anything apart from refilling the screenwash and changing wheels when I've had a puncture!

    But I'm fed up with paying extorniate money to garages to fix things which i might be able to do myself.

    My problem at the moment is my 1.9 04 reg Vectra CDTI 120.

    The suspension (or something else?) is making a "banging" from the rear right side of my car. This happens when I drive on uneven roads. It's like it's bottoming out and something is hitting the underside. It doesn't necesarilly happen if I drive straight over a speed bump, only on uneven roads and when I drive slowly (20mph or less). If i drive fast over the same road it's fine and I hear no banging noise.

    I sent the car to my garage (recommended by a friend) and they replaced the rear shocks as they were leaking....apparently. It did get slightly better for a while, but it's now back again.

    I refuse to pay the garage again to check this out so I'm going to do a quick service on the car myself. I've bough a Haynes manual for my car and I will pop into halfords today to buy a trolley jack and I want to have a look for myself and try to learn a bit about how to fix or diagnose things myself. If I can find the fault I can buy the part myself and tell the garage to fix it, thus paying less in the long run.

    My questions are:

    1. Any idea what this "banging" can be?

    2. I have a couple of axel stands that I will use when i lift the car with my newly aquired trolley jack....Where on the rear part do I place them? Silly question I know, but I am really novice to this...Pictures would be great

    Thank you in advance for any replies. I can assemble IKEA furniture...now can I fix a car??

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    [Ex]Admin Duncan's Avatar
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    1. Quite possibly a broken spring. You'll have to get your hand underneath and have a good feel around (ooer!) and see if you can feel anything broken. That'd be the first thing I'd check.

    2. One sec, I think I've got a pic that'll help.......

    EDIT: http://forum.vectra-c.com/showthread...128#post410128 - there we go, pics of mine in that post.

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    I've just been out in the drive and had a good look underneath the car.
    Nothing seems to be wrong with the spring, i felt it all the way from bottom to top and nothing seems broken. I also tried to look at all the joints etc but I can't see anything obviously wrong.

    I took some pictures which I've posted here. I know you guys are very clever so perhaps you can see something which looks "out of place" I was wondering if the joint on picture number 3 and 4 looks a bit worn. No idea what it is but it looks a bit old and tired! The car's done 101k now.

    While I've got the pictures here...Does it make sense to place the axel stand where I've put it?? I rocked the car thoroughly before i put my hands under there and it felt solid as a rock. I wasnt quite sure about having the trolley jack on gravel though....since it can't move and kind of pulled the car up and towards me!!
    Last edited by gekornro; 14th February 2008 at 21:04.

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    Just wanted to add that I bounced the car up and down rigoursly as well.. i could not replicate the sound when I bounced the car. When I drive it.....it makes the noise over uneven road. It's really annoying.

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    Just a word of advice m8,under no circumstances work under the car which is on gravel or loose material,as the stands could move or even worse fall off the stands,allways on solid hard ground better to be safe than sorry,and also when you take the wheell off,place it under the car somewhere at the side then if it does drop you have the added protection of it droping on to the tyre.
    Good luck with your diy mech.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macdad View Post
    Just a word of advice m8,under no circumstances work under the car which is on gravel or loose material,as the stands could move or even worse fall off the stands,allways on solid hard ground better to be safe than sorry,and also when you take the wheell off,place it under the car somewhere at the side then if it does drop you have the added protection of it droping on to the tyre.
    Good luck with your diy mech.
    Thanks for worrying I did think of that before I lifted it up. I used the a thick piece of wood to support the axel stand. And I did not at any time put my head under the car. I don't think I would even do it if it was on tarmac. I would rather put the car in the garage if some work needed doing under the car. Brakes, discs etc i should be able to do myself (i hope), anything that requires me putting my head under there i'll give to the garage I don't fancy the tought of the underside of my car being the last thing I see........

    Still got a horrible banging noise coming from somewhere around that wheel though!!

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    As above, be very careful when jacking the car up on gravel. As you said, the trolley jack couldn't move as you jacked the car - a risk of the car 'falling off' the jack. Be careful.

    As for where you placed the axle stands, that's fine. You just have to be careful that you don't put the first side up too high or when you then go to jack up the other side the first stand may start to 'tilt'. Hard to explain, but basically just watch the first stand doesn't start to move as you jack up the other side - best to do it in stages if in doubt, each side a bit at a time.

    Re the noise, difficult to tell from pics. In pics 3/4 the bush doesn't look to hot, but difficult to tell from the pic.

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    Regular Member macdad's Avatar
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    Sorry to sound a smart ass,but once knew a guy that was killed under his car,he was diong some work on his exhuast with a car on a stand on soft gravel on a slght decline,and the thing fell.

    Safety first everytime when working under cars,sorry to patronnise.

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    The axle stands on a firm, flat, and most importantly, level board like he had is fine - it's the using the jack on the gravel that's a bit iffy. Mainly due to the risk of the car tipping off the jack as the jack can't move as the angle of the arm changes. As nobody would be, or should be!, under the car when jacking up or down it's more a risk of damaging the car more than anything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by macdad View Post
    Sorry to sound a smart ass,but once knew a guy that was killed under his car,he was diong some work on his exhuast with a car on a stand on soft gravel on a slght decline,and the thing fell.

    Safety first everytime when working under cars,sorry to patronnise.
    That's really sad...as you said safety always comes first.

    I'm planning to change my front brake pads this weekend. That should be fine on the gravel if i use a piece of wood for the axel stand and also the trolley jack so it can move freely?

    This will be my first ever real DIY on a car and I will be following the haynes manual. Garage charged me £140 last time and seeing as I can get the pads from halfords for about £50 for both sides that's what made me want to learn how to do simple things myself.

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