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Discussion Starter #41
Okay, final update.

Monroe shocks, KYB strut tops, Meyle HD drop links, Monroe PK023 dust covers+bump stops.

First impressions are great - the rear of the car is incredibly planted, so much stiffer, less body roll, less dive under braking/acceleration - the difference is insane. Car doesn't squat anymore with people in the back (a problem from another thread of mine) - I can easily put 3 adults(70-80kgs) in the back seat and still be at around the same height at the rear as with 2 females before. I was before able to push on the rear and make it compress quite a bit with not too much force, now it's incredibly hard to make it move. No more annoying noises.....BUT one. (I expect your input here :yum:)

Whenever the rear right wheel drops in a pothole, but the left one doesn't - a metallic clonk. A very short, sharp clonk. It's not a deep thud (such as from strut tops). Sounds really metallic, definitely not muted in any way.

Otherwise, any other terrain is soaked up beautifully - the car is transformed and this makes me realize even more that I need new sports front shocks which will be able to handle the weight at the front and act the same way as the rear - the rear is now firmer than the front! I'm extremely pleased by the results, especially the cheap price I paid for the 1-month old shocks combined with everything else.
@Fruity , @johnlear , @bazzbazz - thought you would be interested in the outcome of this as you were here along the journey.
 

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Whenever the rear right wheel drops in a pothole, but the left one doesn't - a metallic clonk. A very short, sharp clonk. It's not a deep thud (such as from strut tops). Sounds really metallic, definitely not muted in any way.
So, you've replaced everything but the rear Drop Links? Guess where your metallic clonk is coming from. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter #44
So, you've replaced everything but the rear Drop Links? Guess where your metallic clonk is coming from. :wink:
It's possible that I have not made myself clear - I changed them to new Meyle HD drop links, which are supposed to be better than OEM even.
Rear suspension has new shocks, top mounts, drop links (installed today) and bushes on the arms (all 4 of them) changed out about a year ago. Only thing that hasn't been changed are the ARB bushes, but there is absolutely no play in them when I try to wiggle the ARB. Plus wouldn't ARB bushes make noise on uneven terrain rather than on big potholes only? It's definitely caused by sharp edges of a pothole or even a manhole, as otherwise dips in the road produce a quiet ride.
 

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Loose brake caliper, possibly...

Wheel off, handbrake off, can you wiggle the caliper body excessively? Are the pads also a bit too 'mobile' in the caliper? The pins, and / or the rubber pin 'insert' (on one of the pins) could be worn...?

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #46 (Edited)
Loose brake caliper, possibly...

Wheel off, handbrake off, can you wiggle the caliper body excessively? Are the pads also a bit too 'mobile' in the caliper? The pins, and / or the rubber pin 'insert' (on one of the pins) could be worn...?

Regards,
John.
Okay - took both wheel off and the left side (no noise on left side) is sturdy - the caliper isn't budging. Right side, where there is noise, I can produce exactly a metal clink when I grab the caliper by hand and yank it. Is there any movement in a caliper that is normal and such a knock to be considered normal, or should it be silent, like the left side?

I recorded the knock I hear from the caliper - didn't remove the wheel but you can still hear it easily - Click for video

P.S. Combined with this rattle on the caliper, I can hear a popping noise whenever I apply the brake which sounds like the piston on the caliper (metal popping noise) from the back - with handbrake is applied, noise is rectified. A new caliper for safety seems like a smart thing right now...
 

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Sorry for being off for a few days. Yes, caliper seems overly loose but if the piston is out correctly, then it must be carrier or caliper mounting bolts.
I'd check the running clearance first before condemning caliper as it may be slack bolts or very worn pins. The movement on the video link suggests it is not simply a loose brake pad.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Sorry for being off for a few days. Yes, caliper seems overly loose but if the piston is out correctly, then it must be carrier or caliper mounting bolts.
I'd check the running clearance first before condemning caliper as it may be slack bolts or very worn pins. The movement on the video link suggests it is not simply a loose brake pad.
Please, no need to say sorry - you all are taking off your time to help me after all, I should be thanking you more than anything!

Regarding the issue, must be the slider pins if I am to venture a guess. In the morning after the car has sat 10-15 hours, the first mile is silent up until I press the brake pedal hard. After that, it starts to make noises. Most likely pins are retracting too much or something similar. Bolts are tight. Something is amiss in the caliper area. I don’t regret changing the rear suspension in the process of chasing the noise as it has transformed the car nonetheless.

I dropped the car off to the garage and I requested the caliper to be inspected thoroughly as well as the ARB bushes just in case, but they appear in perfect condition.

Hopefully it’ll be resolved as I’ve got a 800-mile journey during the weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
Slight update - the anti-rattle shims weren't doing their job and one of the pads was loose - they fixed it and that rattle is gone - caliper is staying sturdy like the left one.

Rear ARB bushes were checked at well and they are in perfect condition - so good that my garage checked and we actually have had changed the bushings about a year ago. Makes sense why they look almost new, not 16 years old.


Knowing that, I have all the bushings on the little arms changed (8 bushings in total) as well as both strut tops (same), both struts (same), both drop links (same), both dust covers and bump stops (same), both ARB bushes. The little rattle from the caliper is now gone which makes driving over rough terrain much nicer, but there is somehow still a loud thud over potholes when I enter them with the right wheel. I'm stumped and have no ideas left anymore.

Strut tops seem problematic, but they're the same brand, fit the same yet left side is silent. Furthermore, I've gone through 3 different strut tops and the noise remains which I think eliminates that as the culprit. I've shook each panel of the car - rear hatch, rear right door, front right door - none of them make such a noise. I've used insulation tape on the little hooks which bolt on the B and C pillar onto which the door latches. Did so for the rear seats too. I've driven without them though so no idea if it makes a difference. Tightened each screw I could find which holds interior panels. Spare wheel area is tight and secured, tried without it as well and makes no difference. The boot cover is secured well and I've used anti-rattle tape on it, same as the boot door plastic cover. I can describe the noise as a single 'thud' - not completely, if at all, a metallic noise. Sounds muffled in a way, yet it finds it's way in the cabin. Sounds to me to be coming from the wheel well, but that's just what I pick up with my ears while driving.

Car rides better than ever and it's a joy, but the noise takes a big chunk of it away. Given all that was changed and done, I'm, for the first time, without any idea. What do you think?

P.S. Just thought of something. The tension rods (both sides) haven’t been replaced. I’m taking about the ones going from the hub forwards towards the engine, rather than the small 4 going towards the rear subframe, which adjust the tracking.

What type of noise do those make if worn? I couldn’t produce a noise by hand, but still.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
Just thought I'd keep going with the updates, might as well use this as a diary in case someone has something similar in the future.

Second reputable garage with a designated Alfa specialist checked the suspension over - they can't find anything at fault, not even slight play anywhere. Went to a third garage on the way home, our last Alfa specialist in the region and they said the exact same thing - car is in perfect condition suspension wise. The second garage additionally checked everything surrounding the rear end - body panels, exhaust, anything dangling around the boot floor - all buttoned up. I have cleared out my boot, tightened absolutely everything once more.

Reading @TME 's thread, I'm wondering if my spring coils are hitting each other as well and making the noise. Seems odd to start doing it now when it wasn't doing it before. Is it hard to remove the C-Pillar trim (where the rear seatbelts come from)? I want to remove it and check for anything loose there.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
This may cover it enough but I cannot remember as it is so long since I changed a 147 rear suspension;
Yeah, Neil from Italia Autos definitely made a good video here. Followed it as a guide when I was rechecking everything. Installation is correct. Since nobody can notice anything with the car on a lift, I’ll search for a mechanic who can come on a test drive with me. I’m determined to get to the bottom of this.

I spoke to him directly and he advised the c-pillar trim is actually quite easy to remove - 5 screws alongside some trim clips. I’ll attack that afterwards although I’m extremely hesitant of this being an interior noise. Sound suspension to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Further investigation, I highly doubt it's interior related. I poked around the seat belt area and everything is tight. On Friday, I got in the car after I had parked it around 14:00 the day before. It was raining very very slightly when I took off but I guess enough to send some spray from the wheels. I had sprayed silicone on the right ARB bush the day before as well. Car was silent for more than 20kms before the noise slowly came back. As washing my car with a pressure washer (underside included) doesn't remove the noise, it's either the fact it's been sat stationary for a day, the colder climate, or the silicone spray. All of these point to a bushing, don't they?

Backtrack a year, where I first had the creaking in the rear, videos of which you can hear on my original post. Garages advised all is fine then too, but spraying the ARB bushes cured the creaking, but introduced the knocking.

I have uploaded a picture of the right ARB bushing. There is a stamp on it in the top corner of the pic (above the ARB) and I was wondering if that is a factory Alfa Romeo stamp. Garage claimed they changed them, but I don't see any ARB bushes in the parts lists of everything that has been changed by them.

Furthermore, if I have rear seat passengers, the knock is audible at minor imperfections as well and it does sound more center.

@Fruity, @johnlear - What do you think of the stamp and the further symptoms discussed here?
 

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Discussion Starter #55
FINAL UPDATE:
Car is fixed. Took it to another garage (amazing guys, super impressed). I stayed in the shop with them and I sat in the car while they were inspecting the suspension. They tried a few things and after each one, we went for a drive to test it. Finally, they found the culprit. Last garage hadn’t tightened the bolts on the rear ARB bushes causing it to have slack and hit the rear subframe as a result. Tightened back up and all is nice and quiet. Loving the car again!
 

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FINAL UPDATE:
Car is fixed. Took it to another garage (amazing guys, super impressed). I stayed in the shop with them and I sat in the car while they were inspecting the suspension. They tried a few things and after each one, we went for a drive to test it. Finally, they found the culprit. Last garage hadn’t tightened the bolts on the rear ARB bushes causing it to have slack and hit the rear subframe as a result. Tightened back up and all is nice and quiet. Loving the car again!
Amazing.....still though, how bloody annoying and yet brilliant that it was such an easy fix!

Glad for you its finally sorted. It's been a long process. Enjoy
 

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FINAL UPDATE:
Car is fixed. Took it to another garage (amazing guys, super impressed). I stayed in the shop with them and I sat in the car while they were inspecting the suspension. They tried a few things and after each one, we went for a drive to test it. Finally, they found the culprit. Last garage hadn’t tightened the bolts on the rear ARB bushes causing it to have slack and hit the rear subframe as a result. Tightened back up and all is nice and quiet. Loving the car again!
Unfortunate, but if they were being honest I think just about every experienced mechanic 'out there' could tell a story of something they forgot to tighten up...

Regards,
John.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
I suppose you're right. I could get over the mistake of not tightening something up, not so much of not seeing it when I explicitly asked to have a look at the ARB, twice. The way the ARB bushes brackets are makes it very difficult to spot and obviously time consuming, but still. Purposely hit some pot holes and bad terrain on my last trip back from the shop and no noise there - let's hope I don't jinx it now!

Just glad that the final garage, albeit for something that turned out basically a free repair, took the time to diagnose it and find it.
 

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Discussion Starter #59
Well, I sort of hoped I wouldn't have to write again in this thread, but here I am.

Slowly the noise creeped it's way back. Not to the initial extent - not even close, it's audible extremely rarely now - only if I go over 20mph over speed bumps or just hit a sharp pothole. So yesterday, I went to tight the bolts again, but they were tight. I still decided to give them a few pushes which ended up with 1 sheared bolt. To my despair, I called the garage and they took me in. New bushes, bolts and everything. I put some copaslip on the ARB where it's close to the subframe - it's not touching (still checking it though). That's why most of the noise is eliminated. I noticed the last garage had installed some silicone sleeve on the springs where there were signs of them hitting each other (a rubber sleeve which is present on the Eibach Pro Kit when new, but is not on mine). That improvised rubber sleeve had dislodged and moved slightly to where the bottom coils do not touch - I relocated it and so far I think the noise is not there - have to drive the car a bit more to confirm, but the initial noise might've been a combination of spring coils hitting each other + the loose ARB. Now that the latter is fixed, only the former is present. Not 100% sure, but about 90% sounds about right.

Another forum member @TME had a long time knocking from the rear and his cause was exactly that - missing rubber sleeve on the springs.

Once i'm done with my testing and if I can confirm my theory, I'll fabricate some sort of sleeve or just put some ultra thick scotch tape on the coils, causing it to limit the noise to just a thud, not a metallic thud. And realistically a thud is to be expected on the potholes I have to hit for the noise to be present.

To be continued...
 

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Well, I sort of hoped I wouldn't have to write again in this thread, but here I am.

Slowly the noise creeped it's way back. Not to the initial extent - not even close, it's audible extremely rarely now - only if I go over 20mph over speed bumps or just hit a sharp pothole. So yesterday, I went to tight the bolts again, but they were tight. I still decided to give them a few pushes which ended up with 1 sheared bolt. To my despair, I called the garage and they took me in. New bushes, bolts and everything. I put some copaslip on the ARB where it's close to the subframe - it's not touching (still checking it though). That's why most of the noise is eliminated. I noticed the last garage had installed some silicone sleeve on the springs where there were signs of them hitting each other (a rubber sleeve which is present on the Eibach Pro Kit when new, but is not on mine). That improvised rubber sleeve had dislodged and moved slightly to where the bottom coils do not touch - I relocated it and so far I think the noise is not there - have to drive the car a bit more to confirm, but the initial noise might've been a combination of spring coils hitting each other + the loose ARB. Now that the latter is fixed, only the former is present. Not 100% sure, but about 90% sounds about right.

Another forum member @TME had a long time knocking from the rear and his cause was exactly that - missing rubber sleeve on the springs.

Once i'm done with my testing and if I can confirm my theory, I'll fabricate some sort of sleeve or just put some ultra thick scotch tape on the coils, causing it to limit the noise to just a thud, not a metallic thud. And realistically a thud is to be expected on the potholes I have to hit for the noise to be present.

To be continued...
Yes that was me.

If I were you, I'd measure the spring coil thickness with a set of verniers, then try and obtain some silicone sleeving (of the same size) to slide over the bottom couple of coils. It's worth a try, it sorted my knocking issues out.

Worth noting as well that I'm not using the rubber spring seats (that sit on the damper), as the sleeving will substitute this.

Let us know how you get on. There are quite a few things that can cause a knock on the rear, but it's relatively easy to check if you have anything loose or worn out bushes.
 
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