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Suspension noise

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by ROBS3, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    Hi,

    I've recently notice a funny squeak/creak noise coming from the front passenger side suspension area when going slowly over speed humps. Not being mechanically minded I don't have a clue what it is, could it just be a squeaky spring? I've tried pushing down on the bonnet but there is no noise.

    I only really notice it when the windows are open, I suppose it could be something else ie not the suspension, something loose in that area.

    If anyone could shed some light or give me some advice it would be greatly appreciated. I have searched this forum but most seem to have a knocking noise - which mine isn't.

    Thanks
    #1
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  3. QUATTRO_REP
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    QUATTRO_REP Diesel Power!

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    think it could be your bushes on their way out...i get the same sort of creak every now and a again
    #2
  4. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    Thanks Quattro_Rep. Is this an expensive job to do? What is the sort of price I'm looking at from a dealer?
    #3
  5. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    Its probably your ARB bushes, but it could be the ARB itself as well. To dave me a lot of typing, how many miles has your car done?
    #4
  6. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    The car has done just over 58k. What exactly are the ARBs? Heard them mentioned alot on here, but don't know what they are? :confused:
    #5
  7. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    They, or it, is the Anti Roll Bar.

    You have one at the front and another at the back. The back tends to be internal so doesn’t suffer the same problem.

    However, what happens is there is this ARB and it connects the two suspension dampers together, so it attaches at the ends with a rubber bushed link, and it held in the middle by two bushings.

    These bushings are quite hard and the ARB moves a lot within its own axis so the powdercoating tends to wear away, then rust gets into the bar, making the bar smaller, exacerbating the rubbing on the bushes, and wears the bushes away.

    The end result is you need to replace both the bar and the bushings.

    It’s a hard job, as to do the job properly you need to drop the subframe, which is time consuming.

    Aftermarket bushes tend to be one piece but with a split, so you can slide it over without removing the ARB, but again, the bar is usually knackered so you need to replace it anyway.

    I can’t find a picture otherwise I’d be able to illustrate.
    #6
  8. Dave_Bayern
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    Dave_Bayern Slipping at 3.5Krpm

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    This is a replacement ARB, the red thing.

    The bush you see centre picture is the one that wears...

    [​IMG]
    #7
  9. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 3, 2007]
    Thanks Dave,
    If I leave it for a while what is the worst that can happen? (I've only just noticed the noise) Would you recommend after market ARB and bushes or OE? If so is this a mod that needs to be declared to the insurance company? Sorry - must sound pretty thick, but I'm new to all this...

    Thanks
    #8
  10. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    Has anyone got an idea of cost to replace the ARB and bushes?
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  11. bouncer--daz
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    bouncer--daz A dog is for life....not just for friday nights!

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    Just got a quote today. My mechanic said I should be able to pick up the bushes for about a £5 a piece and maybe £35 tops for labour. Does anyone have experience with fitting them yourselves?
    #10
  12. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    Cool - was waiting for someone to say they cost £££'s!
    #11
  13. adrian2006uk
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    adrian2006uk Member

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    i had the problem not a hard job to do the bushes cost £9 from audi
    #12
  14. adrian2006uk
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    adrian2006uk Member

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    changed my bushes and it still creaks from the drivers side any idea the bar looked ok when done the bush
    #13
  15. Aky
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    Aky Aky

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    [Jul 4, 2007]
    If you drive the car hard I would suggest upgrading to Eibach, Neuspeed, H&R etc. Others say it transforms the car - still on my list to do so can't comment!
    #14
  16. Jampublic
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    Jampublic Taking it easy..

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Well I am still on the hunt to solve the noises from the front end, so far tie bars, wishbone bushes and this weekend ARB bushes! And as Adrian said they are £9 from Audi, even if you do wait half an hour for them to find them!! I did have to get them ordered in though, worth a call to check! Good luck Rob
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  17. adrian2006uk
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    adrian2006uk Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    make sure you get the correct size as the are two different ones and if you get the small ones the aint no way your going to get them to fit so just make sure you know which ones you need
    #16
  18. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Thanks for the replies.

    Was thinking about changing the ARB with a H&R one (if it needs replacing) - in the eyes of the insurance company, is this seen as a declarable mod or is it merely replacing the original for a different brand?

    Also, it seems most of you replace the bushes yourselves, is this a hard job? Would it be expensive to get get done at the dealers?

    Thanks
    #17
  19. bouncer--daz
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    bouncer--daz A dog is for life....not just for friday nights!

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Anyone got a guide on replacing the bushes?
    #18
  20. adrian2006uk
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    adrian2006uk Member

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    replacing the bushes is not a bad job if your going to change anti roll bar then it starts to get little hard
    #19
  21. Jampublic
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    Jampublic Taking it easy..

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    [Jul 5, 2007]
    Oh no your kidding! :faint:

    Guess what I got, the small ones oh no.... :mad:

    Can you get the small ones fit or is it impossible!!
    #20
  22. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Jul 12, 2007]
    I changed my ARB bushes a couple of months ago, and it was a right fiddly pain! It cured my knocking noise, but last week it came back with a vengeance...

    I'd noticed that the collars on the roll bar itself were rotating when I'd changed the bushes, and my suspicion was that the bar itself had now given up the ghost.

    So, I picked up a new ARB from the dealer on Monday, and last night as I was in the mood, decided to have a go at fitting it!

    It wasn't too bad a job in all honesty, the hardest part being undoing the four sub frame bolts which were pretty tight. An impact driver got them moving though a long bar would have done the job the same. Remove the bolts to the steering box, and a dogbone thingy from the gearbox and the subframe will be free to move. No need to undo the wishbones or ball joints either.

    One thing I did do was not remove the rear most bolts completely, and using a hydraulic jack just lowered the front of the subframe enough to get the roll bar out, and the new one in. I'm only talking a few inches though, which is all you need. I fitted some more new bushes whilst I was at it, and the knocking noise is now gone!

    It's a lot easier to fit the new bushes/clamps with the front of the subframe dropped a few inches, and the bolts went in without any hassle.

    Total time was about 2 and half hours and a lot of that was taking all the screws out for the engine undertray! Sure enough, the old ARB was goosed. The plastic collars were split, and one side had started to wear away the bar itself which had significant play in it.

    The replacement ARB is different to the old one, they must have changed the design. It no longer has plastic collars, but is solid metal where the bushes go. Hopefully it will last a bit longer this time.

    I'm going to fit a rear R32 ARB next I think, talking to Jabbasport they recommend that setup on a TDI quattro and they say it helps remove some of the understeer.
    #21
  23. ROBS3
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    ROBS3 Member

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    [Jul 12, 2007]
    Thanks for the informative post Tooks, but for me it sounds like I better leave it to the professionals :think:.

    Any idea how much it'll cost to get the dealers to do it?
    #22
  24. bouncer--daz
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    bouncer--daz A dog is for life....not just for friday nights!

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    [Jul 12, 2007]
    Stealers would charge you a bomb! find a local mechanic if I was you
    #23
  25. simch
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    simch Active Member

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    [Jul 12, 2007]
    Test to see if there is a sharp knock when braking real real (and I mean real!) hard!

    If so, it couold well be a broken engine (gearbox) mounting bolt. MIne was doing it, I changed everything and then on a routine clutch change the bolt was found, drilled out and replaced (pig of a job!) and the knock was gone! !
    #24
  26. Tooks
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    Tooks Active Member

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    [Jul 12, 2007]
    The Audi centre quoted me £330 including the parts to do it, which I politely declined!

    A local independent quoted £65 for the ARB, £9 for the bushes (basically the same as they cost from the dealers), and 1.5 hours labour to remove/fit the new ARB which was £80. They also recommended a re-alignment, which was going to be approx £40, so in total about £195.

    I'm not sure the re-alignment is necessary really, as the front bolts on the sub frame have no adjustment at all, so I don't see how it can have moved very far from where it was. Certainly Audi said they hadn't quoted for it, as it wasn't listed on their job sheets as an operation to perform on an ARB change, only for complete removal of the subframe which involves unbolting the wishbones and ball joints.
    #25

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