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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Bilstein PSS9 E90 Clunking Noise... Spring Compression?



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      07-18-2012, 09:07 PM   #1
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Bilstein PSS9 E90 Clunking Noise... Spring Compression?

Had them newly installed to replace my H&R Sport/BMW Performance combo.
Night and day difference in terms of performance.
OEM Suspension on these cars is just terrible...

Anyways, problem is when I am driving slowly over bumps or inclines, the front coils make this spring compression sound.

When I push the front end of the car down hard enough it makes a *clunk clunk* noise.

I've attached a photo of the coils being mounted on the car... Does it look normal to you?

I brought the car back to the shop that installed it, they said it is absolutely normal?! I couldn't believe it would be that loud. It sounds like something is loose in the front end of the car.

If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

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      07-18-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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Noise is not normal. My PSS9's don't make any noise.
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      07-19-2012, 12:05 AM   #3
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My friend has these on his e46 m3 and had the same noise issues. He uninstalled them a couple weeks ago and sent them back to Bilstein for evaluation and was told there was nothing wrong with them. Installed them back on vehicle and noise is still there. Needless to say he is in the process of switching.
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      07-19-2012, 12:17 AM   #4
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With the weight off the spring, sometimes it gets misaligned when putting the car back down. Jack up that side again and play with the spring and make sure everything feels aligned properly before putting the weight back on the tires.

I had the same noise after the dealership gave me the car back after warranty work. I was livid till I found out it was just my spring sitting a little strange on my coil.

Goodluck
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      07-19-2012, 12:19 AM   #5
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Also, I have an XI, but if these are adjustable shocks like the ASTs then my top mount adjustment knob was hitting the top strut brace in the engine compartment and caused a clunking sound.
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      07-19-2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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Is it 'clunk clunk' like metal hitting against one another, or is it a 'pop pop' sound that you can feel behind your dead pedal?

I also have issues with my PSS10s, they were BNIB and after the install, I immediately noticed the 'pop pop' sound only when rolling very slowly over minor imperfections in the road, and just before coming to a complete stop.......
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      07-19-2012, 12:35 AM   #7
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It's very hard to diagnose the problem from a picture, if anything, you need to take a picture of the upper strut assembly of the front struts, ie the spring and the top hat assembly........

Worse case scenario, you'll have to take the front struts apart and reassemble them and see if the problem goes away. I know, it's a PITA.......

Also, check to see if there's one or two washers in the top hat assembly, where it meets the actual piston of the shocks. The washer is a conical washer, and there should only be one.....

Here's a picture of what it SHOULDN'T be, there should only be ONE washer:
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      07-19-2012, 01:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstmx_ryder View Post
It's very hard to diagnose the problem from a picture, if anything, you need to take a picture of the upper strut assembly of the front struts, ie the spring and the top hat assembly........

Worse case scenario, you'll have to take the front struts apart and reassemble them and see if the problem goes away. I know, it's a PITA.......

Also, check to see if there's one or two washers in the top hat assembly, where it meets the actual piston of the shocks. The washer is a conical washer, and there should only be one.....

Here's a picture of what it SHOULDN'T be, there should only be ONE washer:
Damn it, I never noticed that because the shop I went to doesn't allow their customers to see the car being worked on.
The shop technician told me it was normal to hear this kind of popping sound cause the springs were close to each other.

But I guess your right, a normal proper set of suspension that has been installed shouldn't make this clunking noise. It sounds like pop pop not really metal clunking on metal. Yet sometimes it does. I really can't identify the problem but I will take off the wheel and see if I can get a better picture to show you guys.
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      07-19-2012, 12:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DimSum View Post
Damn it, I never noticed that because the shop I went to doesn't allow their customers to see the car being worked on.
The shop technician told me it was normal to hear this kind of popping sound cause the springs were close to each other.

But I guess your right, a normal proper set of suspension that has been installed shouldn't make this clunking noise. It sounds like pop pop not really metal clunking on metal. Yet sometimes it does. I really can't identify the problem but I will take off the wheel and see if I can get a better picture to show you guys.
Honestly, I think we're experiencing the same issues. Mine at times sound like 'cling cling' like metal on metal. But most of the time, it's 'pop pop' and ONLY happens when rolling SLOW over minor imperfections in the road. But my theory is, that 'cling' sound sound like my DPs bumping against each other, I have RR CL DPs.......The reason I say that is because I think with the PSS10s, my suspension is much stiffer than the OEM ZSP. So I think the car would have a tight bounce to it, even going slow over minor bumps in the road, thus causing the DPs to momentarily 'bump' against each other. I mean, the clearance between the RR DPs are almost slim to none......

Dimsum, I don't know if you have aftermarket DPs, but if you do, that might confirm my theory.......
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      07-19-2012, 02:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstmx_ryder View Post
Honestly, I think we're experiencing the same issues. Mine at times sound like 'cling cling' like metal on metal. But most of the time, it's 'pop pop' and ONLY happens when rolling SLOW over minor imperfections in the road. But my theory is, that 'cling' sound sound like my DPs bumping against each other, I have RR CL DPs.......The reason I say that is because I think with the PSS10s, my suspension is much stiffer than the OEM ZSP. So I think the car would have a tight bounce to it, even going slow over minor bumps in the road, thus causing the DPs to momentarily 'bump' against each other. I mean, the clearance between the RR DPs are almost slim to none......

Dimsum, I don't know if you have aftermarket DPs, but if you do, that might confirm my theory.......
My car doesn't have DP's I am going to take a picture of my install, to be honest, I don't even have ANY of those washers on my suspension from the top view.

Let me show you in a bit.
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      07-19-2012, 05:01 PM   #11
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Hi,

If you do decided to take the them apart, you should inspect the top strut guides. Mine were worn/damaged with 16k+ miles. The strut guides have bearings in them and in my case they were worn and would move in and out of the race causing a clicking sound. You may be able to see the bearings and race move if you remove the cap covering the strut top nut and push up and down on your car front suspension.
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      07-19-2012, 05:27 PM   #12
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As you can see, there is no gap at all. Not even a washer.
I double checked all the parts and bolts, nothing loose.
Could be my sway links need replacing, or like what CenCal 335is said.
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      07-19-2012, 05:45 PM   #13
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well, there should be a conical washer there.....on some models, like mine, the conical washer was already there, welded to the top hat, like the one in my picture. So essentially, I didn't need the washer that came with the PSS10s, that was for the models that doesn't have the conical washer welded to the top hat......But I'm not sure if that applies on the PSS9s, I would assume so, since the only difference between PSS9 and PSS10 is the shock adjustment, 9 vs. 10.
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      07-19-2012, 07:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstmx_ryder View Post
well, there should be a conical washer there.....on some models, like mine, the conical washer was already there, welded to the top hat, like the one in my picture. So essentially, I didn't need the washer that came with the PSS10s, that was for the models that doesn't have the conical washer welded to the top hat......But I'm not sure if that applies on the PSS9s, I would assume so, since the only difference between PSS9 and PSS10 is the shock adjustment, 9 vs. 10.
The PSS9 didn't come with any washers, I checked the whole package. There was nothing.
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      07-19-2012, 07:50 PM   #15
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My PSS10's did not come with any washers. After just replacing my top strut mounts yesterday to hopefully cure a front end noise while turning due to squashed/flattened upper mounts. I verified that that washer was not in there myself, nor did I have any parts in the box.

OP you could take off the sway bar end links to see if it still makes the noise?

Also check the tightness of the top nut.
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      07-22-2012, 04:34 PM   #16
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Well I replaced my upper strut mounts and the were about 3/8-1/2" flater than the new ones. Unfortunetly that did not cure my suspension noise. I have a cluking sound when turning at slow speeds only and to make it even stanger it only does this once the car is warmed up, does not do it when the car is cold. Only about after a half hours worth of driving. Any ideas?
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      07-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #17
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If its turns, it's usually the end links. Check if the rubber seals are busted.

It could also be the bearing in the upper strut mount (with 3 bolts). The bearing is part of the strut mount and sold altogether.
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      07-22-2012, 05:54 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blisstik View Post
If its turns, it's usually the end links. Check if the rubber seals are busted.

It could also be the bearing in the upper strut mount (with 3 bolts). The bearing is part of the strut mount and sold altogether.
Funny thing is the endlinks are brand new (2 weeks old) and strut mounts are 1 day old and the noise still persists. Thought it would be either of those and still has not cured the noise.

Checked the lower control arms and tension arm and neither seem to have any movement out of them, even checked them with the car in the air and sitting on ramps/load on them.
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      07-24-2012, 12:02 PM   #19
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I'm getting the feeling that this problem is one of those where we can't pinpoint exactly. Some say it was their top strut guide, some say it's not, it's turning into one of those where we just have to start replacing parts that we 'think' might be the cause and trouble shoot that way?

God I hope not......
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      07-24-2012, 10:12 PM   #20
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u should re torq the two control arms where they bolt to the carrier. had a issue like this once it looked tight but when u turn it would slip and make a lil clunk! we could only see it when it was on the alinment rack and there was a load on the suspention try re torq everything
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      07-25-2012, 10:54 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cstmx_ryder View Post
I'm getting the feeling that this problem is one of those where we can't pinpoint exactly. Some say it was their top strut guide, some say it's not, it's turning into one of those where we just have to start replacing parts that we 'think' might be the cause and trouble shoot that way?

God I hope not......
I feel that way right now, I really dont want to replace all the front suspension in the process to have it be the last thing I could find

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmwtechray View Post
u should re torq the two control arms where they bolt to the carrier. had a issue like this once it looked tight but when u turn it would slip and make a lil clunk! we could only see it when it was on the alinment rack and there was a load on the suspention try re torq everything
I will double check next time I am under there.

My noise only really seems to happen when rolling slowly and turning, Its really making it hard to diagnose. (and my personality just won't let things go) but I am wondering if it could be related to something else like the brakes of calipers shifting...
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      07-25-2012, 12:39 PM   #22
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Hi,

Here is a link to someone else on the forum that had an issue similar to yours.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=539435

Hope that helps.
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