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Coilover spring rubbing on strut tube/ Causing suspension bind?


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Hi everyone, 

 

I was wondering if anyone could help me with a problem concerning my left front coilover.  I have new T3 coilovers on the car along with camber plates that I installed relatively recently.

 

I have maybe driven ~200 miles since the install, however I have noticed when turning left at low speeds (such as backing out of a parking spot), the spring and perch will bind causing a really loud "pop" noise.  Please see linked video.  Apologies if the size is large, I couldn't figure out how to change it. 

 

 

As you can see by the sharpie mark I made, the perch does not turn smoothly.  It seems to bind and then pop with the spring into place.  The popping noise is fairly loud and makes me look like a terrible owner haha 😭.

 

 I then jacked the car up and noticed that the spring is rubbing and has shaved off part of the threaded section.  This is probably what is causing it to get stuck:

 

IMG_4670.thumb.JPG.1048800f679bf8fac19caaebe34ed0e9.JPG

 

I guess the spring is somehow misaligned between the upper and lower perches, but it seemed odd as the spring was properly seated on the lower perch when the car was loaded.  I dropped the strut assembly and checked for straight alignment (which it looked perfectly fine), bolted it back in, and put sharpie on the threads to see if it would still rub.  It still rubs!!! 

 

Anyone have any suggestions on what to do next? The popping and now the visible rub is making me not want to drive the car :(

 

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Does this happen on both sides, or just the left side?

 

Are you using the T3 top hats, with integrated needle bearings?  Or at least some sort of bearings in the coilover system?  You can get them in any size and use at the top hat or the lower spring perch, or both.  It sounds like your spring and front strut tube are not turning together; thereby 'catching' on the threaded sleeves, causing a hitch...and also damaging the sleeve as well.

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It's pretty common for the spring to wear on the coilover sleeves. The problem is worse when you use longer springs. The longer the spring, the more it deflects.

 

Bearings under one or both ends of the springs are a good idea as they help the spring to compress with less friction and will allow the strut to rotate more freely. 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Strange-S1409-Spring-Seat-Bearing-Kit-2-pack-Torrington/123588766568?hash=item1cc676eb68:g:SvYAAOSwNm5ZsbJl

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:15 PM, jhm said:

Does this happen on both sides, or just the left side?

 

Are you using the T3 top hats, with integrated needle bearings?  Or at least some sort of bearings in the coilover system?  You can get them in any size and use at the top hat or the lower spring perch, or both.  It sounds like your spring and front strut tube are not turning together; thereby 'catching' on the threaded sleeves, causing a hitch...and also damaging the sleeve as well.

 

Thanks for the replies.

 

This just happens on the left side.  The right side seems to have no wear whatsoever, and the spring and strut tube turn together smoothly.  I'll double check if they came with bearings in the hats.

 

On 5/28/2019 at 8:14 AM, JMortensen said:

It's pretty common for the spring to wear on the coilover sleeves. The problem is worse when you use longer springs. The longer the spring, the more it deflects.

 

Bearings under one or both ends of the springs are a good idea as they help the spring to compress with less friction and will allow the strut to rotate more freely. 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Strange-S1409-Spring-Seat-Bearing-Kit-2-pack-Torrington/123588766568?hash=item1cc676eb68:g:SvYAAOSwNm5ZsbJl

 

I know that the gold blocks in the T3 camber plates have bearings built in.  So in short, I need those bearing top hats in addition to the bearings already in the camber tops?  

The coilovers came pre-assembled from T3 before the install.  I'll have to check if they had the hats with bearings, if not I'll definitely be getting a set.

 

Funny that it would happen only on one side...

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Aerodynamic, when you say that the T3 gold blocks already have bearings on them; are you talking about the spherical mono ball bearing that's press-fit into the gold block?  If so, that just controls the top of your strut shock shaft; but doesn't really do anything to enable smooth rotation between the spring and strut body.  Needle bearings in the top hats and/or the lower spring perch will enable that smooth rotation.

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So I checked over the suspension and yes, there are definitely needle bearings in the top hats below the camber plates.  I have bearings for the springs on order so I'll see if they help.

 

 

13 hours ago, jhm said:

Aerodynamic, when you say that the T3 gold blocks already have bearings on them; are you talking about the spherical mono ball bearing that's press-fit into the gold block?  If so, that just controls the top of your strut shock shaft; but doesn't really do anything to enable smooth rotation between the spring and strut body.  Needle bearings in the top hats and/or the lower spring perch will enable that smooth rotation.

 

Yes sir, I was talking about those.  I realize now those bearings aren't actually dealing with rotation of the shock body directly.

 

I'm going to be heading to the alignment shop again soon, as I have installed some adjustment in the rear I would like to dial in.  I'll ask them to take a look at the fronts again once I install the bearings and new bump stops.

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Since you mentioned bumpstops, what kind of bumpstops are you going to run? They're actually a very important part of the suspension, and most people with Zs run hard, crude, polyurethane from Energy Suspension, which suck donkey balls. I would suggest if you don't already have them you look at some of the longer, more compressible ones like Koni or FatCat Motorsports sells. They act more like a spring than a piece whose only responsibility is to keep suspension parts from slamming together.

 

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On 5/31/2019 at 10:59 AM, JMortensen said:

Since you mentioned bumpstops, what kind of bumpstops are you going to run? They're actually a very important part of the suspension, and most people with Zs run hard, crude, polyurethane from Energy Suspension, which suck donkey balls. I would suggest if you don't already have them you look at some of the longer, more compressible ones like Koni or FatCat Motorsports sells. They act more like a spring than a piece whose only responsibility is to keep suspension parts from slamming together.

 

 

Hey sorry for the slow reply.  Didn't get notified that anyone replied.

 

Since I have Koni struts, I went with Koni's own bump stop.  Part number 70.34.95.000.0 

I agree with you.  Some of those poly bump stops aren't any different than not having bump stops at all.

 

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