2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps - Maintenance and Repair Forum

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2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Sunday, November 22, 2015 7:41 PM
Hi guys I have a 2004 cavalier with 136k that makes a crunching sound in the front end when going over speed bumps or larger dips (like driveways). Sway bar end links were replaced about 700 miles ago and all four struts were replaced about 1 yr for rear and 1.5 yr for the front. Upon initial inspection nothing seems loose when I have it raised. Just looking for some help because I do what repairs I can. Also trying to find out before I schedule an appointment because it takes almost a week to get into my shop because they're so good and reasonable. Thanks!

Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Sunday, November 22, 2015 8:59 PM
Only question is did you ( or have a shop) replace the strut mounts.That said makes me think your struts were replaced and maybe Not the mounts which would create the noise your having.Unless your motor mounts are going bad these are two items to check on or consider.Oh and the trans mounts too.1 more ? is it front end or rear or both.



Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Sunday, November 22, 2015 10:36 PM
Chances are when they replaced the struts if there oem they prob came compete assembly with mounts but yes thats a possibility. Also check ur control arm bushings. Sometimes even if they look good they may not be. One other thing but far fetch could be the rack and pinion bolts may have came loose. Not sure if there's bushings there or not


ReD RaiN
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Monday, November 23, 2015 1:35 PM
The sound is from the front end. Yes the strut mounts were replaced, they were the loaded struts so it's all new. My one thought, and I didn't check, could it be the inner sway bar bushings? I did the ends but not the inner (silly me).
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Monday, November 23, 2015 2:36 PM
Main thing I'm looking for here is, it's something that can survive the winter season without being repaired. I'm trading my cavy in, in the spring for a cruze. Being that it's really not noticeable and because it's only on rare occasion I experience this I'm not overly concerned. Just looking for other people's thoughts lol.
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Thursday, November 26, 2015 7:55 PM
Tim Birke wrote:

The sound is from the front end. My one thought, and I didn't check, could it be the inner sway bar bushings? I did the ends but not the inner (silly me).


I think you hit the problem, Tim... sway bar bushings. My '04 Cav started making the crunchy sounds on speed bumps at about 94k and that is what it was.
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Friday, November 27, 2015 10:36 PM
Well I'm going to take it in and have it checked out next week Fri. I thought about it and I bet it's either Control arm bushings or inner sway bar bushings. Either way if it's control arm bushings I'd rather not find out the hard way on those... I figured out today the floor boards aren't leaking anymore (thank you Fiberglass Resin), so I'm gonna ride her till she dies. Replaced a ton already in the 1.5yrs (4 struts, two tires (bout to be 4), rear brake lines, end links, two hole patches, hub assembly , abs speed sensor, exhaust from after the cat back, evap hose) all relatively inexpensive parts. I'll let y'all know what the deal is or was next week. Also have to check out another noise which is either tires or a bearing. It's the same kinda noise a bad hub makes, except instead of a low whirring it's more higher pitched.
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Tuesday, December 01, 2015 7:16 AM
Well the verdict is in. Control arm bushings were blown. They weren't loose but there was play with a pry bar in them. So I got two control arms, one bearing, and th front brakes were shot. All together at the shop I go to 418.
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Tuesday, December 01, 2015 5:58 PM
Hi Tim,
I have a rusty old Cavalier. would you mind telling me what was involved in your " patching two holes" I am getting close to doing this on a part of the underbody near a rear quarter panel, and i'm starting to look around for experience stories.
Re: 2004 Cavalier makes crunching sound over speed bumps
Friday, December 04, 2015 12:48 PM
Oh it's not too bad. First you find where the hole is (usually easy). Then you need to get a few things, or you may have some. I use Bondo brand Fiberglass resin jelly. You can buy it in a qt at Walmart for about 14$. I also bought a package of the Bondo mesh fiberglass cloth as it's good for doing large surfaces it's about 5$ for 8sq ft. I also recommend buying a pack of different sized spreaders and disposable gloves. You'll also need to get the sanding pads for a drill (or angle grinder with cutoff wheel if you're lazy and very careful. Finally and I think most important for under body is getting a good Rustoleum PROFESSIONAL undercoating. Don't get the rubberized undercoating for half the price. It works like crap.

The trunk was my first and most successful repair. It was the rear end or the rear wheel well, from what I gather my cavalier was in an accident (in it's prime days and I believe the plastic insert from the wheel well was removed and never replaced.

First I put the rear on jack stands, removed the rear tire, and removed all the inside carpet of my trunk.
I took the drill with the sanding pads and went at it from both inside the trunk and in the wheel well. You will make the hole bigger depending on how long the rust has had to have it's way with your car. I started with about a dime and ended with about a 3" hole. So once you have all bare metal your ready to repair.

My first application was on the outside in the wheel well.

Mix the resin to specifications or if you want it to cure faster add more hardener to suit. I used the plastic spreader to apply the resin and wore gloves to work the resin into where I wanted it. Don't go for the throat on your first application. Apply it to the outsides of the hole and then place a piece of the fiberglass cloth onto it. Then let the resin cure with the cloth.
Once that's all cured mix up another batch and apply a very generous amount on the cloth. Make sure you spread it well beyond the hole. I went for about 2-3" beyond the hole. Once your pleased with that let it cure.

Next (IF POSSIBLE):

Get on the other side of the hole and apply a generous amount of resin to the inside. I went about 2-3" outside of the hole as well.

Once everything is all cured cut away and excess fiberglass sheet (I didn't think to as this was my first repair, it just looks better. It will wear away eventually as some has already done so) and if you want to sand away some of the excess resin. As I applied it pretty evenly I didn't sand.

Once pleased with that apply multiple layers of the undercoating. I did the whole wheel well because I was missing the shield.
Put everything back together and you're done.

One note, this repair hasn't gone a winter but it has gone through lots of rain and it's in the wheel well. So I'll have to asses when spring hits. Because this was my trunk I did end up putting a tube of silicone over everything else, just because.
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