Spider dash creak SOLVED - by tightening a bolt! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 19 Old 10-07-13 Thread Starter
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Thumbs Up Spider dash creak SOLVED - by tightening a bolt!

I was so happy to have finally found this, I just had to share!

Ever since getting my V6 Spider, I've put up with an embarrassingly-loud creak from under the dash, which my TS Spider didn't have. Whenever I drove around a roundabout, a right-hand bend, into someone's drive, a service station, etc. CREEEEAK... it could also be induced by pulling up and down forcibly on the steering wheel. This made me confident that I could find the cause (being able to produce the noise with the car stationary).

To investigate, I removed the cover at the end of the dash (to check the fixing bolt beneath), then the steering wheel (I had to buy a puller to get that off), the column trims, fuses cover, and parts of the lower dash. I suspected the steering column bolts were loose. They weren't, but at least I'll now have chance to fix the non-self-cancelling indicators and the intermittent CODE aerial ring around the key.

You can benefit from all this - don't bother - I finally found the cause of the creak - it was simply a bolt under the rectangular plastic cover, in front of the instrument cluster, on top of the dash.

Easy to pop that cover off and expose two bolts - one, projecting forwards, secures the dash to the crossmember. This has a 10mm hex head and on my car, wasn't very tight. The other bolt was the important one. It projects downwards and secures the crossmember to the bodyshell - and that also wasn't very tight. It's also only a 10mm head (6mm thread) and that doesn't seem enough for such a structural role. It's quite hard to reach, being down a hole, and with the windscreen right beside it, I had to use a universal joint for my 3/8" ratchet and work very carefully to avoid the head of the ratchet handle pressing against the glass. Managed to tighten it at least half a turn and straightaway the creak was gone. It might be worth removing the bolt, putting some grease under the head, and some Loctite thread locker on the threads.

Therefore I'd recommend all Spider owners to pop those covers off and carefully check that those bolts are tight. Photo below shows the two bolts I'm talking about. Such an easy fix in the end...

-Alex
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Last edited by alexGS; 10-07-13 at 14:19.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexGS View Post
It's also only a 10mm head (6mm thread) and that doesn't seem enough for such a structural role.
It's not the primary fastener. The crossmember is primarily bolted to the base of the 'A' pillars with 17mm (IIRC) head bolts. If you remove the access covers off the ends of the dashboard ( the bit that meets with the doors ), you'll see them. The steering column is also fastened to the crossmember by 4 8mm allen ( hex cap ) bolts.
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Thanks I have had that very same creak and it was indeed the right hand bolt I sprayed some WD on it first then tightened it.
Perfect no creak this is after an hour of stripping steering column shroud lower dash out etc.
 
 
(Post Link) post #4 of 19 Old 10-07-13 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reveds1969 View Post
Thanks I have had that very same creak and it was indeed the right hand bolt I sprayed some WD on it first then tightened it.
Perfect no creak this is after an hour of stripping steering column shroud lower dash out etc.
So on both sides of the world, same things going on thanks!

pkr I see what you mean about the two bolts at the ends being larger and the main attachments, and in fact I'd already checked those, but it seems to me that the small 6mm bolts come under considerable stress because of how the steering column is hung on that crossmember. Might be a RHD-only problem, since the manual depicts an additional crossmember bolt ahead of the instruments on LHD cars (it might be there behind the passenger airbag on mine).

-Alex
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This is interesting as mine has a good creak as well! Are the covers on the bolts easy to remove as I don't want to damage them as I have blue dash.
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I thought I would try this as my Spider has more rattles than Mothercare! Only thing is, that the 10mm socket fell off my socket set and has disappeared down the hole. Any clues as to where it has gone or will that be another rattle!!! Doh!
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(Post Link) post #7 of 19 Old 15-07-13 Thread Starter
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Yes, the covers are easy to remove - tweak them at the sides with a small screwdriver. They're probably curling themselves up (in the sun) to make removal easier.

Sorry about the dropped socket! A strong magnetic pick-up tool is useful at times like that. You might also need a universal joint for the socket to reach the nut while still giving clearance against the windscreen.

-Alex
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Mine creaks like mad. Always put it down to scuttle shake. I have not had or drive another Spider to compare.
I know my daughter's MX5 does not suffer from such things. I'm not totally sure but generally assumed the GTV was used as the design. Therefore it being, converted to an open top car. Thing is I do seem to remember somewhere that both the GTV and Spider were designed together.
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Many thanks Alex

My Spider too suffered the annoying creek normally noticeable driving slow over uneven surfaces.
I too thought that this was only a Spider issue and could not be fixed !

I had previously removed the dash covers and tightened the bolt projecting forwards, securing the dash to the cross member following an earlier post which didn't advise about the other down facing bolt.
It got a bit better but after now tightening the down facing bolts which were both very loose all creeks have
disappeared and the solidity and build quality appear to have been transformed overnight.

I would advise you all to check these - the car is transformed, perhaps only Spider owners will appreciate how happy this post has made me
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Tightened these today got about 1/3 turn on the drivers side and well over1 turn on the passenger side.
Wish I done this before as it makes a hell of a difference in mine. Even just loading the suspension up going round a bend would make mind squeak before, and going slowly up the drive non-square would make terrible noise.
Won't be embarrassed to carry a passenger anymore!
It is tricky to get to though. 1/4 inch drive 10mm socket with about 50mm extension for me. Hard to even get it in and out of the hole though.
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Oooh! My spider is in at Chicks place at Ek at the mo getting work done, but eager to get her back to try this as she creaks like an old lady's bones. Thanks for sharing.
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(Post Link) post #12 of 19 Old 11-08-15 Thread Starter
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Nice to hear this thread has been useful - made my day in fact

I miss my Spider. I don't actually have an Alfa Romeo at all now, after selling my Giulietta QV. It was a good all-round car but there were some trim creaks and the ride wasn't particularly luxurious.

I'm enjoying a Mercedes CLS550 as a change... It has no creaks! But it is a massive car and I only drive it on longer trips, to compensate for the significant thirst around town. I ride a 50cc scooter to work so the 5500cc car stays at home.

-Alex
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Last edited by alexGS; 11-08-15 at 06:07.
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I have been promising myself this for sometime. This weekend perhaps.
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Quote:
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Nice to hear this thread has been useful - made my day in fact

I miss my Spider. I don't actually have an Alfa Romeo at all now, after selling my Giulietta QV. It was a good all-round car but there were some trim creaks and the ride wasn't particularly luxurious.

I'm enjoying a Mercedes CLS550 as a change... It has no creaks! But it is a massive car and I only drive it on longer trips, to compensate for the significant thirst around town. I ride a 50cc scooter to work so the 5500cc car stays at home.

-Alex
Wondered why you hadn't been on lately, I guess people sell and drop off the forum and pop back now and again to have a nose.
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(Post Link) post #15 of 19 Old 12-08-15 Thread Starter
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Wondered why you hadn't been on lately, I guess people sell and drop off the forum and pop back now and again to have a nose.
Thanks, mate
I miss the Spider but more importantly, I miss being here. It was great to have the camaraderie. I'm sure there is a forum for the Mercedes CLS, but it's split into so many sections and there are so many faceless people (who just don't care...) that it doesn't really have the same vibe at all.

I used to live here alone with three cars and three garage spaces (or at one point, five cars and three garage spaces...) - since living here with my partner, there is one less garage space, and one of those is filled with my FIAT 850 restoration project - which I haven't been working on. So I really have only the one garage space. A Spider is hardly the single practical choice (if there can only be one car) - but the FIAT 500 is a compromise too, which is why I have the Mercedes, and it lives outside.

I'm not completely sure how I will resolve all this, but it would definitely be nice to have another Spider, some day. My black phase-2 V6 Spider with red style interior seemed like the very best version to have, I'm not sure how I will top that Then again, the Zoe yellow twinspark was nice too

-Alex
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Had the same creaking on my 2.0 TS Spider when pulling hard on the steering wheel in the up and down direction - simply popped up the dash bolt cover as discussed above and squirted silicone spray into the aperture over the dash to bulkhead bolt - creak cured - easy!
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I'm trying this tonight! Couldn't have come at a better time as i'm going on a breakfast run with fellow Alfisti tomorrow
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I have been promising myself this for sometime. This weekend perhaps.
I did do that about 10 weeks ago now. So much has happened since. Anyway it worked, after a few years of embarrassing creaks it stopped.
Alex, I owe you.
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Yup, it worked! Thanks for saving me so much time Alex
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