A mystery knocking noise. - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 26 Old 30-12-14 Thread Starter
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A mystery knocking noise.

So yesterday I was driving as normal (Spider) when I started to hear a slight knocking from the front offside. I ignored it.

Then it got louder - if I accelerated it would sound like a hammer tapping on the suspension which increased with speed - so rotational. If I dipped the clutch it stopped and so when coasting no noise. It was worse at low speed - starting off -almost embarrassingly loud.

I booked it in to my local indie - Avanti Ipswich - Mario there knows his stuff - but I was almost unwilling to drive it there as it sounded so bad.

Set off this morning at 06.00 so had clear roads for the six mile drive in. It was awful - sounding almost like a bottom end engine knock up as I accelerated but definitely from the offside front so not engine. I almost stopped to get the AA to relay me. I did find keeping it in third at 2.5k revs made it silent, so carried on - 6 miles.

Parked up and handed the keys to Avanti at 08.30 (I start work at 06.30). I went back at 13.00 and Mario said they had taken it for a drive - no noise! They had put it on a ramp and checked it all out - nothing loose, all bolts tight etc. I went with Mario for a 20 minute drive - F*** - NOTHING. it drives as it always has. I felt like an idiot, Mario understood, no charge for the time taken btw - but I am a regular.

So WTF was it? It really was as described a loud knocking from the offside front when accelerating and I played with gears, freewheeling to try to see when it happened. The engine is fine as I said above - no knocking .

I am perplexed - any ideas?

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Last edited by PaulR; 30-12-14 at 18:52. Reason: Clarity and spelling.
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Grease playing games with the cold weather affecting it in a CV joint?

Well you did ask, and I was trying to be uselessly helpful?
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Had something vaguely similar ago a year ago, ended up being a perished driveshaft boot. Took a few visits to the garage to get to the bottom of it though. Good luck.
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CV knock early stage can come and go hard to believe but true.
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I am inclined to go with the CV joint theory.

However - boot is fine, I've had them (CV joints) go before and this noise was much louder (trust me) plus turning left/right made no difference which in the past it did.

The only thing I can think is that something (stone) was caught up and dropped out. I know it is unlikely but what else?

sussexspiderman - I will bear your comment in mind though.
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Possibly clutch related, as if a CV joint wouldn't it still be there if dipped or not? Maybe a bolt found its way loose but now out of harms way?
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Dual mass flywheel starting to break up?
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Full lock, left to right, then with plenty of 'Wellie'... should show a CV joint with excessive clearance betwen balls and cups maybe?
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Hmm - clutch bolt allandwf - interesting. That has me thinking/worried as it makes sense.
If true then how long can I go with one bolt missing or the errant bolt now loose getting picked up in the clutch housing and wreaking damage. - damn.

Last edited by PaulR; 30-12-14 at 20:07.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by symon View Post
Dual mass flywheel starting to break up?
A good point worth checking if anyone else has a similar problem with an original V6.

I have a GTA flywheel and clutch -so not dual mass in my case.

Last edited by PaulR; 30-12-14 at 20:25.
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Quote:
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A good point worth checking if anyone else has a similar problem with an original V6.

I have a GTA flywheel and clutch -so not dual mass in my case.
At least it won't be that then.
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What about something stuck between the tyre treads? Had this before, a 6mm nut. Fortunately I found before it became dislodged.
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(Post Link) post #13 of 26 Old 02-01-15 Thread Starter
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I took it into Avanti on Tuesday - six mile drive - and it was knocking really badly. In third at 2500 revs the noise stopped it was present at all over speeds , but not coasting in neutral or in gear with the clutch dipped.

I got in early (06.30) as I was working and dropped the keys off at 08.30. I went back at 13.00 and they couldn't find anything wrong with it. They had taken it for a test drive - all normal and had it on the lift and checked it out - again all normal. I even took it for a test drive myself with Mario, the Indie owner, and it was perfect. TBH I felt a bit of an idiot.

It has been fine since but I've got a 200 mile round trip tomorrow and feeling somewhat trepidatious. I can only think that something had become wedged in the suspension and was hitting the wheel - although why dipping the clutch changed things who knows?
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Driveshaft bolts, mine had worked loose passenger side and had same symptoms you describe and went through exactly the same as you! Took it in, nothing on test drive etc but knocked all the way there
Sometimes these alfas have a personality of a sadist!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corkyd10 View Post
Driveshaft bolts, mine had worked loose passenger side and had same symptoms you describe and went through exactly the same as you! Took it in, nothing on test drive etc but knocked all the way there
Sometimes these alfas have a personality of a sadist!
Interesting. I'll bear that in mind.

So how did you finally decide that was the problem if you took it in but they didn't detect it?
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It also could be the engine mounts, mine righy and rear gearbox mount where gone.
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Could be engine mounts walt 2086, or soggy g/box mounts.

So many variables to choose from?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zulu ferret View Post
Could be engine mounts walt 2086, or soggy g/box mounts.

So many variables to choose from?
Indeed Z.

The mystery however is why I was driving along with a loud noise which now has disappeared with no remedial input? i.e. - a loose engine\g\box mount would still be loose and making the same noise.
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It just stopped....
Got the wheel off at home and found that I could tighten them further ....
Not had a problem since (except for a noisy heater fan which can also make a small thudding noise but again passenger side)
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I had something a little similar with my Coupe. Intermittent noise and steering wheel wobble, worse at low speeds, not rotational. It was either the diff or gearbox going, changed both to cure it (not taking any chances due to steering impact).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corkyd10 View Post
It just stopped....
Got the wheel off at home and found that I could tighten them further ....
Not had a problem since (except for a noisy heater fan which can also make a small thudding noise but again passenger side)
Thanks for that - was about to go for a 200 mile round trip when I read it but decided to take the MiTo instead even though it has a dodgy clutch which is being replaced next week (I can drive with mechanical sympathy). I'll check the Spider driveshaft bolts tomorrow.

Made it back in the MiTo - btw - spanners out tomorrow.
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Good luck, I'm sure you'll find the culprit eventually. :
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Hi Paul
My Spider has been doing the same thing almost since when yours started.
Took it to Avanti recently for a cam belt change and spoke to Mario whilst the car was up on the ramp and he spotted that the driveshaft flange bolts had come loose. Tightened them up and was fine for about 3 weeks. Has come back intermittently again.
Did you get your problem solved - if so what was it. Was it the bolts??
Let me know.
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Same problem!

Hi - appreciate this is an older thread but I have developed exactly the same problem on my '96 2.0 TS Spider. I live in Hong Kong and these are pretty rare here so probably not a lot known about them but I use a well known mechanic for classics and have taken the Spider in 3 times now. He identified the same problem as described earlier in the thread of loose driveshaft bolts so tightened up - but noise returned after about 20 miles. Was there ever any solution to this mystery noise - it really is very very annoying and want to be sure I'm not destroying the old girl. Help!
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(Post Link) post #25 of 26 Old 25-07-16 Thread Starter
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Sorry I never came back and said what it was!

It was the inner CV joint - the wear was marginal and could just be felt by hand. A new joint(actually a swapped complete secondhand driveshaft that Avanti had) cured it and it has been fine for the last 18 months.
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