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Discussion Starter #1
Yesterday we finished installing my H&R sports and bilstein sports. I had a couple hours of fun driving before I noticed some noises:

There's a kind of 'thumbling', almost like a flat tire, that you can hear at just about any steady speed, mostly noticeable around 20-25 mph. This noise goes away under acceleration. I've also heard a kind of high-pitched chittering and some creaking noises. Something odd definitely happens up to the front and left when the wheel is turned hard to the left -- The tire doesn't seem to be touching the plastic in the wheel well at all, though.

These noises are definitely coming from the driver's side front suspension. Also, the car pulls very slightly to the left -- Something is up with the front left wheel.

Are these noises I'm hearing just a result of not having it balanced/aligned yet?

Hopefully an alignment will fix it because for the time being I am at a bit of a loss here currently.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
Yesterday we finished installing my H&R sports and bilstein sports. I had a couple hours of fun driving before I noticed some noises:

There's a kind of 'thumbling', almost like a flat tire, that you can hear at just about any steady speed, mostly noticeable around 20-25 mph. This noise goes away under acceleration. I've also heard a kind of high-pitched chittering and some creaking noises. Something odd definitely happens up to the front and left when the wheel is turned hard to the left -- The tire doesn't seem to be touching the plastic in the wheel well at all, though.

These noises are definitely coming from the driver's side front suspension. Also, the car pulls very slightly to the left -- Something is up with the front left wheel.

Are these noises I'm hearing just a result of not having it balanced/aligned yet?

Hopefully an alignment will fix it because for the time being I am at a bit of a loss here currently.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would have it aligned first. The only thing you can really align is the toe, and I would have that set to 0 on all 4 corners. This will definately make it pull. It will also make your tires wear extremely fast and in odd patterns. I have done suspension now on about 6 MKIV's, and usually the type of noises you are indicating end up coming from improperly torqued nuts on the upper strut mount assembly. Did you use a TQ wrench on these and look up what they are supposed to be at? Also, check your driveshafts on both sides and see if they are rubbing the front sway bar. This may be the cause of your noise when turning.
 

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i think its alignment, your suspention is going to settle for about a week, so be expecting a FEW funny noises... keep us informed tho!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
Something odd definitely happens up to the front and left when the wheel is turned hard to the left -- The tire doesn't seem to be touching the plastic in the wheel well at all, though.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Could be the strut mount. When installing sport shocks and springs you should also change your strut mounts to VW Motor Sports ones. I made that mistake, it's really annoying.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
[QB]I have done suspension now on about 6 MKIV's, and usually the type of noises you are indicating end up coming from improperly torqued nuts on the upper strut mount assembly. Did you use a TQ wrench on these and look up what they are supposed to be at? Also, check your driveshafts on both sides and see if they are rubbing the front sway bar.QB]<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ok, it could very well be improperly tqed nuts. We tried really hard to use the TQ wrench, but I don't see how the hell you are supposed to use it because you need to hold the hex wrench in the center of the thread on the strut while you turn the nut.

Could it be the inner or outer strut nut that could be giving me trouble and is it likely that I over- or under-tightened it? I believe we tightened them equally on each side in the front, and I'm not having any noises from the passenger side.

As far as the driveshaft rubbing the fsb... I know lots of people with VR6s are running H&R sports. Did you have problems with driveshaft clearance with the stock fsb?

Should I take it to get aligned first to see if that fixes it? Or do I really need to re-examine my install first and maybe replace those nuts, bearings, or strut mounts.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, so Mike Potter says I screwed up my install by installing the inner strut nut before the mount (DOH!).....

Hopefully that's the root of my problems...


Also, I see the bottom 3 (!) coils touching in the front. While this may be normal, this can't be good!
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
Ok, it could very well be improperly tqed nuts. We tried really hard to use the TQ wrench, but I don't see how the hell you are supposed to use it because you need to hold the hex wrench in the center of the thread on the strut while you turn the nut.

Could it be the inner or outer strut nut that could be giving me trouble and is it likely that I over- or under-tightened it? I believe we tightened them equally on each side in the front, and I'm not having any noises from the passenger side.

As far as the driveshaft rubbing the fsb... I know lots of people with VR6s are running H&R sports. Did you have problems with driveshaft clearance with the stock fsb?

Should I take it to get aligned first to see if that fixes it? Or do I really need to re-examine my install first and maybe replace those nuts, bearings, or strut mounts.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I would not get it aligned first, because if you have to take it back out then it will have to go back in and get aligned again and that gets expensive. I would drive on it for a day or two, and see if it stops. If not, this is usually due to the nut directly on top of the upper strut mount being TQ'd either too much or too little. Too much, and you will crush that bearing. Did you check the bearings when you had them out? I do not have rubbing problems with m H&R Sports, but it is not unheard of. Did you take the spacer out of your front assembly? Some that take that out have this problem.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
Ok, so Mike Potter says I screwed up my install by installing the inner strut nut before the mount (DOH!).....

Hopefully that's the root of my problems...


Also, I see the bottom 3 (!) coils touching in the front. While this may be normal, this can't be good!
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Didn't see this response when I posted. Mike is a great guy, and his advice is second to none. Post up if this fixes things, so others can search and hopefully solve their problems in the future if they see this.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
Ok, it could very well be improperly tqed nuts. We tried really hard to use the TQ wrench, but I don't see how the hell you are supposed to use it because you need to hold the hex wrench in the center of the thread on the strut while you turn the nut.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Use a crows foot on the outside. It's kind of like an open end wrench that hooks to a ratchet
 

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Discussion Starter #10
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Big Dong:
Did you take the spacer out of your front assembly? Some that take that out have this problem.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I did NOT reuse the aluminum spacer
since this DIY suspension step-by-step: http://www.nclh.org/car/coilover_howto/
cautioned me heavily against doing so (the author says that the presense of the aluminum spacer caused his strut bearing to crack at the recommended tq level).

So, YES or NO to the aluminum spacer?


To quote the author: "Update: The aluminum spacer seems to be not a great idea, as it prevents full tightening of the inner nut and has lead to cracking of the upper strut bearing. I'd suggest leaving it out, however you may find a gap exists between the top stop plate and the frame of the car once everything has been reassembled. From everything I've read, this is normal and isn't bad."

[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: butang ]
 

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Discussion Starter #11
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by supertom9903:
Use a crows foot on the outside. It's kind of like an open end wrench that hooks to a ratchet<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We could find no 22mm crows foot.....only as large as 16.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, so on another note....Where can I get upgraded VWMS strut bearing/mount for CHEAP?
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
OK, so on another note....Where can I get upgraded VWMS strut bearing/mount for CHEAP?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Click this link for VWMS Upper Strut Mounts

Also, a way that you could get a TQ wrench on there is like this. I did this on all the MKIV's I worked on. You can use a 13/16" Spark Plug wrench for the large part that goes over the upper strut mount nut instead of a 22mm crows foot, and you can hold that still like shown in the picture above. Then the wratchet that goes inside with a 7mm allen key socket and extension should be a TQ wrench. This works wonders.


Here are pics os a similar setup, but notice they are using a modified socket instead of a spark plug socket. You won't need to modify the spark plug socket as it already has the spot on the bottom to hold with a wrench.





Hopefully this helps.

[ September 03, 2003: Message edited by: Big Dong ]
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by butang:
I did NOT reuse the aluminum spacer
since this DIY suspension step-by-step: http://www.nclh.org/car/coilover_howto/
cautioned me heavily against doing so (the author says that the presense of the aluminum spacer caused his strut bearing to crack at the recommended tq level).

So, YES or NO to the aluminum spacer?


To quote the author: "Update: The aluminum spacer seems to be not a great idea, as it prevents full tightening of the inner nut and has lead to cracking of the upper strut bearing. I'd suggest leaving it out, however you may find a gap exists between the top stop plate and the frame of the car once everything has been reassembled. From everything I've read, this is normal and isn't bad."

[ September 02, 2003: Message edited by: butang ]
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The reason I ask, is because the spacer does make a noticable difference in the height of the front end of the car. I have installed my front suspension twice, and the second time I took them out and it is now noticably lower. I didn't know if this extra 1/2" or so would cause problems with you front sway bar or not, if so it is an easy fix with longer end links that attache to the lower control arm. You can get them from freedom design. To comment on that guys suggestion on it cracking the bearing, I do not agree with him if you are careful and TQing things appropriately.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright, so I know a few of you on here have VR6s with H&R sports....

So, what I need to know is, did you install it with or without the aluminum spacer and if so or if not have you had any problem with driveshaft clearance?

Also, when you open your hood and look at where the outer strut nut is held into place, does a gap exist between that top plate and the rest of the car or is everything flush?

Also, on my car, when I look at the spring around the front strut, the bottom 3 springs are touching (on the part of the strut toward the front of the car)....Could this also be due to not having the aluminum plate installed? Can this be normal?

Can someone give me a clearer idea of how I can know if the driveshaft is rubbing the sway? I looked a couple days ago and it appeared to be alright....does it happen when you are turning the wheel? Like I said before, when the wheel is turned all the way to the left, I think i feel something weird happening..

I'm going to have to have someone fix the front for me because I'm down at school now and don't have access to a garage and tools. I'm pretty set on purchasing new strut mounts/bearings, but I just need to know what's up with regards to the spacer and driveshaft clearance issues so I only have to make one order for parts (gotta get those endlinks now if i need them) and pay for a single installation/alignment.
 
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