Bilstein B14 low speed noise problem - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 19 Old 15-10-16 Thread Starter
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Bilstein B14 low speed noise problem

Hello,

I am a french guy, sorry in advance for my bad english.

I bought on Alfisti :
Bilstein B14 with the four top mounts ( rear top mount for Alfa 156 is needed to fit correctly this coilovers)
Anti roll bar Eibach with four reinforced stabiliser links.

This week mechanician fit all of this on my car.

The front of the car is good, no noise problem. the suspension is very good

The rear of the car make some noise when I drive on low speed ( 0 to 40 km/h).
This sound make me crazy, its sounds like a cheapest car.
When I drive more fast after 40 km/h there is not knock. The car is very cool and have a good comportment.

I think the problem come from the rear top mount. My mechanician explain to me "the rear top mount is not so fine, you will have knock knock".

What can I do for this ? My mechanician said to me " the geometry of the drive axle resolve that" Really ?

I read on this forum, many people have noise problem with coilover on 147/156. good fitting B14 is hopeless...
I don't understand why Bilstein don't sell good top mounts with his coilovers...

Monday I have a date for do my geometry of the drive axles,
Will I go or defit the coilovers on the rear axle ?

I will take a sound of the noise problem and i will post here.

Thanks for all.
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(Post Link) post #2 of 19 Old 15-10-16 Thread Starter
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https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=sPH-3VetY8o

the noise when I start slowly on my garden
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How old are your Bilsteins? I say this as i had B16's on my last car and they needed rebuilding after 25k miles as they began to squeak. I hated them to be honest, far to hard a setup for fast road. And you can never get the car to sit right without removing the helper springs. God awful expensive coilovers. My Eibach pro S coilovers are top quality and much better ride quality. Also how is the condition of your rear control arm bushes?

Damien.
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When I contact Bilstein Kw and Intrax for more specifications for coilovers kit for my 147; one thing shock me: for B16, rear springs are 60% harder in comparison with KW v3.


My mechanician fit all of this stuff this week. No noise before.


I think "Rubbers" on anti-roll bar need some grease too.

My rubbers on rear arms are good but not very clean. I change it there was 2 years ago.

Last edited by bibibansuise; 16-10-16 at 01:25.
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I have B16s, installed by myself.

One of the rears did become a bit 'vocal', but that was after being in use for more than 12 months and me spending a day driving with a fully loaded car at the infamous Napoli cobbled/tiled/treched/potholed avoid-at-all-costs-you've-been-warned roads.

Difficult to say from a sound clip on utube, but nothing nearly as bad as yours though.

The main characteristic of the B16s is that the springs are linear and very stiff.

The bad consequence is that in order to get some compliance over bad roads you have to relax the damping too much.

The good consequence is that the car stays very flat allowing very high lateral acceleration. (I installed an eibach anti-roll bar much later than the coilovers and the difference it made was minimal, if any.)

I would suggest they are taken off and the assembly & installation checked again, possibly by a different mechanic, preferably one that has experience in fitting B14s. They should not sound like this from day 1.

hope this helps,

Y

PS: Damien, I understand why you hated them (I also do for most of the time, but then really love them when the conditions are right). The helper springs are there for reason, to keep the main spring seated when the shock is fully extended. Why did you feel you had to remove yours?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yiorgos View Post
I have B16s, installed by myself.

One of the rears did become a bit 'vocal', but that was after being in use for more than 12 months and me spending a day driving with a fully loaded car at the infamous Napoli cobbled/tiled/treched/potholed avoid-at-all-costs-you've-been-warned roads.

Difficult to say from a sound clip on utube, but nothing nearly as bad as yours though.

The main characteristic of the B16s is that the springs are linear and very stiff.

The bad consequence is that in order to get some compliance over bad roads you have to relax the damping too much.

The good consequence is that the car stays very flat allowing very high lateral acceleration. (I installed an eibach anti-roll bar much later than the coilovers and the difference it made was minimal, if any.)

I would suggest they are taken off and the assembly & installation checked again, possibly by a different mechanic, preferably one that has experience in fitting B14s. They should not sound like this from day 1.

hope this helps,

Y

PS: Damien, I understand why you hated them (I also do for most of the time, but then really love them when the conditions are right). The helper springs are there for reason, to keep the main spring seated when the shock is fully extended. Why did you feel you had to remove yours?
To get a lower centre of gravity i removed the helper springs. The Bilstein units are ridiculous for fast road use. Fine for use on a track day only car. My Eibach pro S units are so much better as an all round product, and offer the same lateral stability on cornering. I use my GT on track. I also have eibach ARB kit and rear under chassis brace fitted. Sorry i had such a bad experience with the Bilstein b16's. I think they are overpriced and the quality of the shock body was not even close to the Eibach and KW units which share the same unit.

Damien.

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Quote:
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To get a lower centre of gravity i removed the helper springs.
You want to say that the thread was too short and you lowered it more than 60mm?

I've also bought Eibach's anti-roll bar and B14 from alfisti but I left my original top mounts, put them myself and everything is ok.
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I have B14's on my 147 which are about 25k's old and never had any noise problem from the rear. I know a few people with this setup and have never heard of this before. I installed mine myself, maybe your mechanic didn't install them properly?
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B12's here with eibach pro springs..

Done 30k on them and all is well.

Bit crashy on bad roads but a joy on anything flat.

Balance suits me at the moment but should I move to London it will be KW for me.
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Just trying to be brutally honest for the road the B14's and B16's are bloody awful comfort wise. They ruined my modified Audi TTqs. My B16's were professionally fitted nothing was wrong with the fitment. Also the shock bodies corroded badly after only one winter. My Eibach shock bodies still look like new after 3 years. Says a lot that. And the price of the B16 kit is laughable to be honest when there are far better kits on the market.

Damien.
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I confirm B14 is not so cool for a daily car. I hope test rapidly on a ring for have a better idea of quality in stress condition.

Where I live, winter is hard and many salt on the road.I will see if the body of coilovers have a good corrosion resistance.

Thanks for try to help I found my noise's problem, it was nothing... not enough grease on new rubbers for anti roll bars.
Very not enought grease on the kit Eibach.

Last edited by bibibansuise; 18-10-16 at 23:16.
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I recently bought and fitted new B14s to my GT which I got from alfisti, they were the most competitive price wise, if I had to purchase them locally would have cost me more than double the price, the car already had B14s but one of the front ones was dead and one of the rears was making slight tapping noise, they where dated 2010 so not to old I think,
The front one had been making noise from when I bought the car in 2013 the rear started making noise about a year ago,
You would think that a product of such quality as bilstein would last a bit longer, I guess things aren't made to last these days
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That sounds really poor quality! How many miles on the failed units?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 105 junior View Post
I recently bought and fitted new B14s to my GT which I got from alfisti, they were the most competitive price wise, if I had to purchase them locally would have cost me more than double the price, the car already had B14s but one of the front ones was dead and one of the rears was making slight tapping noise, they where dated 2010 so not to old I think,
The front one had been making noise from when I bought the car in 2013 the rear started making noise about a year ago,
You would think that a product of such quality as bilstein would last a bit longer, I guess things aren't made to last these days
I was told by a highly regarded alfa mechanic that the B14s are serviceable, you don't have to replace them if they die! you can get the seals replaced and fluid refilled etc. If this is true I hope you didnt throw the old ones, he said it costs about 100 bucks per unit to service them.
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Yeah my local Bilstein agent quoted NZ$100 per damper for new seals and oil for my Bilsteins, but when they stripped them they found they were worn and needed new piston shafts and also somehow the valving was different across the pair. This was going to be $250 each to sort so I had a bit of a grumble and they called me back the next day, said they'd found a new pair and I could have them for $250 each, which wasn't too bad I guess. Fitted and the car drives nice.
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That sounds really poor quality! How many miles on the failed units?
I really don't know as I bought the car with them fitted in January 2013 but they were fitted some time after 2010, going by the date on the units.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobulon View Post
I was told by a highly regarded alfa mechanic that the B14s are serviceable, you don't have to replace them if they die! you can get the seals replaced and fluid refilled etc. If this is true I hope you didnt throw the old ones, he said it costs about 100 bucks per unit to service them.
Yea I enquired about rebuilding from a local guy and the bilstein dealer in Sydney but I thought about it and decided it was easier to just get new ones, I've cleaned the old ones and they're hanging in my garage was as art.😎
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somebody known a front strut mount or a control arm for made some adjustments on the caster angle ?

with B14 coilovers, my sterring is very light in high speed.

EDIT : tomorrow I will down the ass of the car...

Last edited by bibibansuise; 21-10-16 at 02:04.
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The Bilstein coilovers did have some design problems, they did change the design of the internals slightly and were accepting units to be modded to the new internals only for the cost of postage through a Bilstein dealer. I went through all of this when i had my b16's. I am sorry but I wouldn't touch Bilstein coilovers again if they were given to me for free. Overpriced garbage sorry! So many better more modern systems now that perform much better and have shock bodies made of so much better quality materials. Maybe fine for a car only doing track days. But even then i wouldn't touch them. My eibach have been brilliant in comparison but they used a quality KW quality shock body and their own spring rates, something they are very well versed on.

If only Ohlins made adjustable coilovers for the GT.

Damien.
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