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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:

enter image description here

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?

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This isn't an answer, because I'm not at all sure of it; but I believe that the rear sway bar links might need to be mounted differently. I think I've heard that the passenger side one goes to the inboard side of the sway bar, not the outboard side as you've got it. This is odd because you'd expect the mounting to be symmetrical left to right, and the drivers side link goes on the outboard side. When my repair manual comes in the mail I'll take a look for you. –  Colin K Jul 16 '12 at 14:17

4 Answers 4

up vote 2 down vote accepted

One of the most common cause of broken springs are worn out struts. It is possible that the struts are bottoming out. Does the car have a lot of body sway while cornering? Does it keep bouncing if you push down on the bumper real hard five or six times? Is the rubber suspension stop damaged or missing? Notice any oil stains on the strut body? Any of these are signs of worn struts or shocks.

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I checked pushing down on the bumper really hard about 6 times, and the bouncing stops almost immediately after I'm done with the last push (it goes maybe another halfway up, but then stops). I don't see any oil on the struts when I look at them from underneath. How do I check the rubber suspension stop? Is it on the bottom of the strut body? I don't notice any body sway when cornering, although this car has been really good about sway, so it's difficult to tell (I've never really seen any sway). It's possible I'm getting a bit more now than when it was new, but I can't honestly tell. –  jwir3 Jul 12 '12 at 21:39
    
The suspension stop will be a cone shaped piece of rubber and mounted on the lower control arm or the upper frame/spring mount. Did you check the front bushings where the sway bar mounts? Looking at your photo the left control arm mounting bolt looks shiney, could it be loose? It might also be a bad balljoint. If you are due for a four wheel alignment any worn bushings balljoints should show up during the alignment. –  mikes Jul 13 '12 at 0:43
    
Turns out the problem was a cracked spring on the passenger side. It was hard to find because it was at the bottom of the rear coil spring. Had to stick my hand up in the spring mount and feel around to find it. –  jwir3 Aug 3 at 18:05

Had the same problem on a Mazda 3 2005 Broken rear springs with last half coil sitting in rear control arm Put your finger in it a see if something moves very sharp edges.

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i have a mazda 6 2004 hatch back and it has problems it makes the clinging nose in the back i found out one off the rubber bushing is cracked . so there is some space between the body and frame and they rubb and make it rough and loud when it goes over speed bumps . realy bad i fell like the frame will twist and get even more bad if i dont fix the rubber bushing i think the rest off the bushings will crack not to sure tho.

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Check those swaybar bushings. Doesn't take much wear of them to end up with a clanging sounds. –  Brian Knoblauch Jan 20 at 18:26

If you've checked everything and it all pans out, I would check the brackets at the top of the rear shocks.

They are made of a very fragile metal (for some reason..) and I had one shatter last year while going over a bridge. Everything worked fine, but when this happens the shock can float around. When mine broke, it didn't make a noise going over every bump and it actually took a while to spot, even though it was a pretty obvious problem.

Long shot, I know, but who knows.

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