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Suspension niggle

Discussion in 'A4/S4 forum(B5 Chassis)' started by spartacus 68, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Recently when going over an uneven road surface I can feel an offside front rattle. It's nothing major, but you know what it's like. Better dealt with now, than leaving it to get worse.

    I renewed the upper control arms and lower arms, ARB C link and ARB front and rear bushes in Autumn 2011 at 127k. The parts weren't Meyle or Lemforder, but they weren't cheap Ebay copies either.

    Car is now at 153k. I jacked it up last weekend and looked for the tell-tale signs such as upper arm wear at balljoint, but it looks tight. There is a little movement when rocked back and forth (holding tyre at 10-to-2 position). Incidentally when I brake, then reverse and brake again I sometimes hear a click. I thought this was brake pads moving, but it fitted Brembo pads and discs all round a couple of months and everything was tight, anti-rattle pins, etc.

    Got me thinking - could it be an inner tie-rod? And if it is - is it a pain to fit? I'd probably fit new outer tie-rod end too to be safe.
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  2. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    These problems are hard to trace. My brother had something similar on his S4, which had a Meyle kit of a similar age or perhaps slightly older than yours.

    I looked at it and couldnt find anything, then he took it to 3 different garages who couldnt find anything. Then one day he was in somewhere getting tyres done and mentioned it to the guy and he put it on the MOT ramp and had a real good look around and found a tiny tiny amount of play in one of the upper balljoints.

    Unfortunately he sold the car before replacing the arm, so we never did find out if that was the cause. But i'd recommend getting the car on a OPTL MOT ramp with the shaker plates and give the front arms a real close going over.
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  3. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    Also, given you mention the brake click...

    Try finding a spot of uneven road that you know for sure causes the rattle, and drive over it while lightly applying the brakes. I had a missing anti-rattle clip on my car at one point, which made it sound like the front suspension was about to disintegrate. Only when i happened to drive over a rumble strip and press the brake part way thru did i realise the noise vanished. A quick inspection of the calipers and i realised the clip/spring thing was mising. Fitted a new one and the noise went.
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  4. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Cheers Aragorn. I'm ruling out the anti-rattle pin on the brakes as I stripped and rebuilt them in the Autumn. The anti-rattle is seized so I simply lever it to remove the brake carrier and pads when servicing.

    I know what you mean about the various suspension components and pinpointing the culprit. Some good youtube videos of replacing inner tie-rods and diagnosing them too, so will check it out at the weekend. One guy lifted the entire front end so you can get someone to turn the steering wheel and check the wheels at the same time. Inner tie-rods will delay a wheel turning because it's taking up the play before engaging.

    I'll check out the upper arms too - as they're the first to go.
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  5. mwarrey
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    mwarrey Member

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    I had a similar issue with mine, turned out to be the lower bent arm. Went through about 2 MOT's without a problem, no obvious sign of movement on close inspection. Only obvious on uneven surfaces...
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  6. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Thank you. I'll take a closer look. Second dusting of snow here, so no guarantee it will be done this weekend... absolutely Baltic! :cold:
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  7. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Took another look at the car today. Two things to remember, don't work outside when there's snow on the ground, or when you're hungover from the Chrismas party the night before! :tocktock:

    Jacked up the car at both sides and then took a closer look at the upper arms. Turns out the driver's side rubber bushes are shot. Bit of a sod as that's just 25k ago. Will order Meyle or Lemforder this time and do the job properly. Might replace the tie-rod end at that side too. The pinch bolt should be easy enough to shift. I renewed them both sides when I did the job before.

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  8. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Just bought Meyle HD arms, nice kit, so will fit in few days.
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  9. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Here's the bad boys, fitting them tomorrow, weather permitting.

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  10. spartacus68
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    spartacus68 Member

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    There's always something. Swapped out the old arms (straight arm was goosed) and fitted new kit. Tightened up control arms when the car was on the ground. I accidentally over-torqued one of the strut top bolts, think its M10x35. It's not completely stripped. Reckon I can drop an M11 in there? I'm tempted to coat the existing bolt in JB weld and drop it in. Thoughts?

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  11. PAULF
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    PAULF Active Member

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    A stripped bolt is weak in compression and torsion, in shear it doesn't lose much strength.

    The strut is held into the car with most of the force being the weight of the car down through the strut, forcing the strut mount into place against the car. Even if you're airborne a lot the force pushing the strut down is low, and shared with the other two bolts. These are compressive forces.

    The strut needs the three bolts to hold it in place against twisting and bending. These are shear forces.

    I'd think JB weld will hold well enough against the small compressive forces and the bolt will still hold the shear forces.

    I didn't bother as with anything when mine almost stripped a year or so ago and have had no problems
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  12. aragorn
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    aragorn "Stick a V8 in it!" Staff Member Moderator

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    helicoil?
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  13. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I might go down the helicoil route. I'd rather it was done, rather than simply leaving it. I'm off again on Friday, so could do it then.
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  14. foursprungdugtechnique
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    foursprungdugtechnique Member

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    Out of curiosity, I'm going to be buying Meyle HD kit for my car. Been offered the set for £328 delivered, anyone know of a better price in UK?
    One of my strut top bolts stripped, helicoil sounds like a good idea, it will all be getting dropped out anyway.
    Also, I would NEVER recommend Locheed Delphi arm kit, 3000 miles before the knocking starts in the top arms, 4000 and they'll fail an MOT
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  15. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    That's a good price and comes with 4 year warranty. The Meyle HD kit comes with all the fixing bolts so no need to reuse anything. Remember to tighten the top control arms fixing bolts when the car is on the ground.

    I'm fitting the M10 helicoil this weekend. Should be straight-forward. The strut top mount bracket is cast alloy, so easily stripped if you use an extension bar to nip them up.
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  16. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    I bought an M10 helicoil kit. Give me a shout if you want to use it.
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  17. foursprungdugtechnique
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    foursprungdugtechnique Member

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    It's the top arms on the Delphi kit that go, the tie rod ends last a whopping 15,000 miles, seriously the worst thing I have bought for my car
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  18. matt66604
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    matt66604 Member

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    Just bought a full arm kit from advantagesutoparts on the bay... £88 including postage ... Comes with a 2 year gauruntee , will let you know how they last
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  19. PAULF
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    PAULF Active Member

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    Thanks - I may take you up on that next year
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  20. spartacus 68
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    spartacus 68 Member

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    No problem. Fitted the helicoil this afternoon. Straight forward. Used a little 3-in-1 to lube the thread tap.
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