I have a 2007 Mazda 3 sedan with ~100,000 miles on it (it's the 2.0L version). Last October, I noticed a significant clanging noise that was coming from the rear of the vehicle whenever I went over some small bump. I was told I had a rear spring that was broken, and had both of the rear springs replaced.
Recently, I have noticed a similar clanging sound coming from the back of the vehicle. I took it to a couple of mechanics, and they said that the rear sway bar links needed to be replaced, and showed me how they were loose and had some give in them.
I performed this replacement myself last weekend, and I've noticed that, for the most part, the clanging has gone away. Unfortunately, it hasn't gone away completely. When I go over a major bump, like a speed bump or other major incline with a sharp drop, I still notice a sound like I noticed before.
It's not as significant as I previously noticed, but I'm kind of at the end of what I know in terms of troubleshooting. If possible, I'd like to fix this myself, because I am trying to learn more about how my vehicle works. I don't know how to go about diagnosing the problem, though.
Could it be that I installed the rear sway bar links incorrectly? I've looked at them, and they don't have the give the old ones had, but the one on the passenger side looks like it's at somewhat of an odd angle... this could be my imagination. Here's a picture of the sway bar link install:
One thing I may have done incorrectly is that I didn't actually remove the sway bar to install the links, I removed the old links and then flexed the new links into position with the sway bar in place. In hindsight, this was probably not a great idea. :| The nuts are nylon lock-nuts, so I'm hesitant to remove them and try to install it again, since this might screw up the nuts.
Is there someone that might be able to give me some pointers as to what I should look for and how I might be able to fix this problem?