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Booboo

Coilover help required

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I am having a prolonged issue with front end noise on my coilovers and am seriously considering going back to stock.

I am looking for feedback with those that have gone this route. 

I realise NVH is increased especially with adjustable top mounts but the noise I am experiencing appears to be coming from one side only and can be best described as a metallic 'clonk'   There is no noise whilst statically turning the wheels. There is no noise when specifically braking or accelerating. It can only be heard whilst driving at low speed in any direction over an undulated surface and I can create it by standing on the driver’s side sill and bouncing the car. The noise is coming from the top of the offside strut top.

Vehicle is a facelift 2017 BRZ.  Coilovers are Ohlins R & T SUSMP21 (purchased new)  It is lowered about 25mm and preload is set at recommended settings for the 50Nm springs

The coilovers were purchased in 2019 and fitted with Raceseng top mounts. I got absolutely no noise for around 6 months. Then it slowly developed a slight 'click' from the front end over rough surfaces and although I found it acceptable the suspension components were checked out; everything was tight, and no issues were found. Suspected noise was diagnosed as likely to be a top mount bearing.  As the noise got progressively louder and turned into a 'clonk' I was convinced something was loose or something was hitting something else as the suspension was being compressed. Upper stut nuts were torqued up fine as was the lower nut where the adjustable knob is, and no leaks were evident.  At this point the dampers were removed once again, externally inspected and all other components checked over.  There are no contact marks of anything rubbing around any of the moving suspension parts.

As it appeared on only one side, and a dodgy bearing was suspected on one of the Raceseng top mounts, to rule them out as an issue Ohlins own top mounts were installed but the noise persisted!

Addressing other potential offending components, the lower control arms have recently been replaced with Whiteline's roll centre/bump steer kit and on the last inspection a new set of 50Nm springs were fitted all round (original were 40Nm front and 30Nm rear) New stock ARB links were also fitted to eliminate the possibility of them being the culprit.

TBH each time the vehicle is first driven the noise almost vanishes but within a few hundred miles it returns🙄

In December last year I finally conceded the only component that could still be at fault was the actual damper.  As I had only a few months of warranty left both fronts were duly sent off to an Ohlins service centre. A dyno report came back all good on both and as the only visible sign of wear was the upper bushings (which they stated was very slight) they were replaced under warranty.

The dampers were re-fitted yesterday, and the dreaded 'clonk' is still ****** present! 😠

I would appreciate any advice on whether I might have missed something or where this noise could be coming from.  Likewise what noises if any do you experience after fitting coilovers and what would you deem as acceptable

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Its very hard to tell without seeing/hearing. If you can re-create the noise as you say using the sill. Could you do this whilst on a four post ramp and see if it can be identified to a more confined area?


I had persistent noise on an old set of coil overs on an old car that I could never fully trace. it appeared to be something relating the top mount but I could never work it out. Was certainly the top mount or shock as it was a rear one and the left and right were the same. If you swapped them over the noise followed..... So I know the frustration of a noise you cannot trace :rolleyes:

 

Fortunately the GT86 and its flex A have been silent :D Even the pillowball top mounts don't add much road noise.

 

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I've only ever had KW coilovers on my cars. On both sets a slight squeak has sometimes been audible from the rear, more often when cold, some sort of spring stiction maybe that I put down to "coilover noise". It's nothing bad, and you do accept a bit more NVH when modifying.

I wouldn't consider any knocking or clonking acceptable, that would drive me up the wall.

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I think it might be best to make a short video replicating the sound as you drive. You seems to of covered all the suggestions that I would of come up with. Unless what you’ve replaced is inherently faulty. Could it not be coincidence that something behind the dash has decided to creak after you installed the suspension. 
I’ve gone back to stock suspension once and it did remove some low speed rumbles from the suspension. Perhaps it’s worth changing the fronts back to stock to see if the sound disappears? 

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Did you tighten the droplinks whilst the car was up in the air or underload with the car back on the ground ?? Also make sure your anti roll bar is central before tightening everything down. I had a clonk when I fitted mine on the passenger side which was driving me nuts and I tried everything, even went through refitting the coilover only to find out I had pulled my roll bar 5mm over to the one side, which caused the droplink to only slightly catch on the lower control arm.

 

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If this was my car i’d remove the droplinks completely and secure down the roll bar then take it for a drive (very carefully) to see if the clonk has gone. If so, at least you know its not your coilovers and is either a drop link or the roll bar itself. If its still there then its gotta be the spring/shock or topmounts.

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I had something similar to this with my TEIN setup. It turned out the thread where the top mount screws onto the strut was worn. Though it sounds like by changing the top mounts you have already changed these. Sorry not much help. 

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On 1/22/2021 at 5:47 PM, JohnM said:

Did you tighten the droplinks whilst the car was up in the air or underload with the car back on the ground ?? Also make sure your anti roll bar is central before tightening everything down. I had a clonk when I fitted mine on the passenger side which was driving me nuts and I tried everything, even went through refitting the coilover only to find out I had pulled my roll bar 5mm over to the one side, which caused the droplink to only slightly catch on the lower control arm.

 

All work completed by suspension tuning specialist so would assume underload.

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On 1/22/2021 at 2:35 PM, gavin_t said:

Its very hard to tell without seeing/hearing. If you can re-create the noise as you say using the sill. Could you do this whilst on a four post ramp and see if it can be identified to a more confined area?


I had persistent noise on an old set of coil overs on an old car that I could never fully trace. it appeared to be something relating the top mount but I could never work it out. Was certainly the top mount or shock as it was a rear one and the left and right were the same. If you swapped them over the noise followed..... So I know the frustration of a noise you cannot trace :rolleyes:

 

Fortunately the GT86 and its flex A have been silent :D Even the pillowball top mounts don't add much road noise.

 

Yep, agreed Gavin, a right pain in the ****  Not something I would have expected from a fairly spicy priced set of coilovers 🙄   Stock mounts are being fitted to the dampers today and will be taken for a little test drive so will get some feedback on how that worked out.

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The annoying noise has been found by a lengthy and costly process of elimination.  The stock front top mounts were put on the Ohlins dampers and voila.... the noise has gone!  The only thing changed was the removal of the Ohlins top mounts.  One appears noisier than the other.

They are not 5 months old and have done less than a thousand miles so I will be having a word with the supplier.

The stock top mounts are staying for now. As you cannot employ and adjust the camber with the use of camber bolts on the Ohlins strut it's not going to be a long-term solution.  The lack of camber doesn’t visually look as bad as I thought it would but the nice stance has gone and although the wider wheels don't foul the bodywork they obviously stick out a little now at the top.  I reckon you could live with an 8J aesthetically but a 9 defo looks too much.  They won’t be going near a track for a while (I’m guessing) so the tyres at least won’t get punished. 

I will see what the top mount supplier comes back with and then mull over what to do next.

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40 minutes ago, maurice said:

Seems weird the Raceseng ones did it as well. You have to wonder if it is the damper, but the OEM top mount rubber is isolating it.

Agreed, the fact that both were on the vehicle for such a short length does make it seem unlikely.  Surely if there was a 'knock' from the damper it would have been picked up whilst being inspected and could a rubber top mount totally isolate the noise if it was the damper.  There is not a peep with the stock top mounts fitted now!  Nothing else has changed. 

Supplier is taking the Ohlins top mounts back for inspection. Something strange is going on

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31 minutes ago, maurice said:

I sympathise as this is way too much hassle considering the price of these. You must have spent more on top mounts than some decent kits.

Not far off!  The total cost of investigating the issue along with additional parts purchased would have bought me a decent BBK! 

I  am really dissapointed in how things have panned out and travel restrictions have also prolonged the situation.

Can't say if I would see a set of Tein Flex A's as a downgrade after experiencing the damping quaility of the Ohlins but they might have been a better purchasing experience.🤨

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I must admit my experience of most aftermarket coilovers especially with solid topmounts is that they are noisy. I get the odd knocking with my tein Flex As at low speeds on minor bumps but I put that down to them being the cheaper end of coilovers.

Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk

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4 minutes ago, sam534 said:

I must admit my experience of most aftermarket coilovers especially with solid topmounts is that they are noisy. I get the odd knocking with my tein Flex As at low speeds on minor bumps but I put that down to them being the cheaper end of coilovers.

Sent from my COL-L29 using Tapatalk
 

I was ready for some additional NVH and I could probably put up with the odd knock but I'm pretty sure the continuous noise I have been experiencing wouldn’t be acceptable to most.

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5 hours ago, Booboo said:

Not far off!  The total cost of investigating the issue along with additional parts purchased would have bought me a decent BBK! 

I  am really dissapointed in how things have panned out and travel restrictions have also prolonged the situation.

Can't say if I would see a set of Tein Flex A's as a downgrade after experiencing the damping quaility of the Ohlins but they might have been a better purchasing experience.🤨

Nigel who used to post on here years ago had both Flex A's and Ohlins on his car which he swapped between. He ended up selling the Ohlins as he felt the Flex A's rode better.

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