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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Coilover Noise, Help Needed!



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      09-02-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
whosdady
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Coilover Noise, Help Needed!

So I installed ST coilovers on my e92 335i with 48k miles. The ride is incredible but the springs were binding and the the sway bar was binding as well. I added m3 upper/lower control arms and the problems only got worse. We loosened (the bolts on top of the struts) below the factory recommended settings and the coils stopped binding. I also had an alignment done and added powergrid adjustable endlinks (10-90mm). They are extended to 14 inches. The car isn't pulling/the sway bar isn't binding but I think the springs are I do have an e93 m3 sway bar kit on order but I'm not sure this will fix my problems.

I see my options as:
1) Pray the noises I hear are sway bar/bushing related and hope my new kit resolves my problems.
2) Loosen the top bolts in the struts even more. Which is scary because they are lower than recommended specs already.
3) Shorten the endlinks and hope it doesn't cause issues with the sway bar and pulling.

I can't see anything rubbing or hitting. It sounds like the springs are the culprit. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I would really like to eliminate the noises...
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      09-02-2013, 08:47 PM   #2
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The noises could be defined as major creaking, some clicking and rubbing.
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      09-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Define "binding", and what are you loosening? The three nuts at the strut mount? How exactly would this stop anything from "binding"?
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      09-03-2013, 07:50 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dfv2
Define "binding", and what are you loosening? The three nuts at the strut mount? How exactly would this stop anything from "binding"?
The bolt we loosened (on each front strut) was at the top of the strut holding the top hat and bearings in place to the strut. (Not the bolts holding the strut to the car )

When we tightened it originally (to factory specs) the top hat would not rotate and so the spring did which made a loud clicking noise as it turned (when I turned) the steering wheel. This seems odd to me. I've never heard anyone need to do this but it made my car much quieter and didn't hurt the performance.

The binding occurred when the load was on one side of the sway bar. The sway bar was bent/ taking load because my endlinks were too short.

We thought about adding new top hats or bearings but everything looked pretty clean as my car has only 47k miles.

Hopefully this answers your questions. Thank you in advance for your help.
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      09-04-2013, 09:16 PM   #5
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Surely there is a suspension aficionado out there with some ideas?
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      09-09-2013, 01:26 AM   #6
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I just installed ST coilovers on my e93 IS and had some very bad clunking noise coming from under the hood. Apparently, when lowered, the springs will hit themselves and possibly rub in a way that causes a clunking sound. After tons of research and help from Rich at GTB Performance, this is what finally stopped the noise.

Rich:

I had another thought with the Coilovers. Often as well as the springs hitting, there are a couple of other things that can cause the clunking. I would check for any loose bolts, especially on the control arms. Lower control arm bolts that are loose can quite often cause this issue. Also, double check to make sure the springs are seated correctly against the top hats. If they aren't, there will be play that could be causing the clunking. No accessory piece for the spring from ST. I'd suggest some PVC tubing from Home Depot, cut in half lengthwise. Also, give the other suggestions up there a try and let me know how it goes.

Me:

First of all, I would like to thank you for your help and research in tackling this problem. So, I believe the PVC tubing worked. I heated up two 10 inch long 3/4's wide PVC tubing and slid it on around the top of both coils (not having to cut lengthwise). I tightened everything back up and as of two days driving, the clunking is gone. I canít begin to tell you how happy I am. Thank you for the suggestion and the great customer service.

This almost made the noise go away completely. However, I could still feel and hear the same noise but very faintly. So, I tried one last thing.

The single most important part of the whole install is how you tighten the nut that holds down the spring, bearings and top-hat. For me, I thought tightening it as much as I could before installing back on the car was the end of it. You must hit this nut once more after mounting the springs back on the car with the wheels mounted and load bearing. Trying to torque this nut before the springs and shocks or mounted back on the car with load is useless. From under the hood, I used and electric impact gun that I rented from AutoZone and hit that nut on both driver and passenger side till the nut started to scream help. Jumped in the car, road down the block and bam, no more noise. 3 days later and still no noise. Hope this helps you.
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      09-09-2013, 04:11 PM   #7
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The noise is gone, the washer for the top hat was on backwards. It was an installion error.

Last edited by whosdady; 05-03-2014 at 07:27 AM.
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      09-11-2013, 02:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whosdady View Post
It's interesting. Originally we tightened to factory specs which is 46 lbs. We did this with load on the car. The springs made a terrible binding noise. I could hardly drive the car it was so embarrassing. Then we loosened it to 35 lbs and the noise went away 50%. Last night I noticed in the instructions where it recommends 37 lbs for the top hat/ bearing bolt. The PVC addition is a good idea. Would you explain it further. Thanks.
It has been 5 days and I am clunk free. Plus, the ride is spectacular. I love these coils. I came very close to throwing them in the trash Lol…. So, Rich explained to me that some coilovers come with rubber coverings for the last few loops of the springs to prevent the springs from moving or sliding past each other when under load. I think the convertibles have the biggest issue with this since our cars are heavier than the e92s. Just to let you know, I took apart my springs and shocks 3 times trying different methods before getting it right.

Once you have the materials as mentioned previously, you can try cutting the PVC tubing down the middle. The PVC piping is really tough plastic and comes in a long tube form. I went caveman style and heated it up on the kitchen stove to get it to bend around the springs. So obviously, I threaded the springs through the PVC piping in my kitchen. It takes time, don’t rush, don’t overheat and by no means get your springs to hot or the shape will change. Buy at least 10 feet of tubing just in case. So, I believe one loop at the top of the spring is close to 8- 10 inches. I actually pushed about maybe 18 -20 inches of tubing around the top of the springs.

Once you get the PVC on and threaded through the spring, you will continue to heat the PVC and spring so that you can continue to snake it around. The top spring needs to be exposed (with no PVC covering) so it can sit properly with the OEM rubber cover. Therefore, you only need to cover the second and third loop of the spring as this is where the springs will touch one another when loaded. Once you have the Second and Third loop of spring covered with PVC, you are all set. You will be able to see where the top loop of spring and second loop make contact and adjust PVC accordingly so it does not interfere with OEM rubber cover.

In order to get everything back together, I adjusted the lowering nut with the ST adjustment tool to its lowest setting. This way, you will not need clamps to compress the springs so you can get the top nut on. Once I put top nut on and screwed down by hand at this point, I adjusted the ride height with the ST adjustment tool up 2 inches from bottom or first thread. You won’t know how much this lowers the car until you put it back together with tires on but this was my personal starting point and there is no wheel gap where it is right now, so I’m happy with the 2 inch adjustment mark and obviously, I can lower it by another 2 inches.

Once I got the adjustment screw up to 2 inches from bottom thread and locked, I held the shaft of the shock with a wrench and hit the top nut with the gun. I put everything back together, drove the car and still noticed a clunking sound but nowhere as bad as before. I lifted up the hood, took apart the bar that blocks the top nut on both driver and passenger side and hit the top nut again with the gun and BAM! Noise is gone. I understand you’re supposed to give this nut a certain amount of torque and I tried that and did not work. Their simply cannot be any play in this assembly.

Oh, and just in case your still getting noise. I was about to try one more solution. I've seen diagrams of KW coilovers that use a washer placed before the top nut that holds everything together. I don't believe I had an OEM washer when taking off the original springs but if i was still getting noise, I was going to buy a couple that fit and try it out. Really hope this helps you.

Last edited by dayjob3; 09-11-2013 at 02:21 AM.
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