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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are several threads on odd suspension noises. But I think I have mine pinpointed, but just want some advice before I take it back to the shop that did the work.

I purchased the 6 piece strut assembly kit from FCPEuro. It contains Sachs struts, Lemforder mounts and Rein seats. A local shop installed the kit and everything was good for the first 100 miles. Then a squeaky noise developed on the passenger side; the squeaky/creaky noise only happens when turning right, either at a standstill or moving. Other than the squeaky noise when turning right, it drives fine and there is no noise (squeaky or clunks) going over bumps.

If I take a wrench to the top strut nut and turn it, the noise is easily reproduced. Before I take it back to the shop, would like to know some info before I go talk to the tech.

Is it the mount or seat that's causing the noise? Did I just get a bad mount or seat? Was it not assembled correctly; over torqued or under torqued? Since I provided the parts, I know they won't warranty the part, but can incorrect assembly cause such a noise?
 

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Glad you said something here. After ~17k miles with my new front mounts, I also develop a creaking when turning, but this time to the left and at the driver's side. I took a look at the strut mount bearing from above and could see more dirt around the noisy bearing compared to the no-noise side. This is a good indication the grease/oil from the bearing has spilled out, attracting the dirt and along with the noise, can determine a failure.

There are also other testimonials on the forums about how the new Lemforder mounts are made in China and have had lower quality problems. This is a good example where the aftermarket brand name does not always mean quality parts.

I would take a look at the mounts first to see any indication the bearing grease has escaped, rendering the bearing dry-er. If you can see a difference between the two bearings, take a picture and maybe send it to FCP for warranty guidance.

I am thinking of doing the same and perhaps see if they can apply the warranty cost to a Corteco mount since the price is more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I stopped by the shop and spoke to the tech who did the work. He examined it and checked the torque and everything was tightened correctly. He says its a rubber noise, but not sure if it's coming from the mount or the seat. He doesn't think the bearings are faulty, but admittingly hard to tell without pulling the entire strut assembly.

Looks like I have to have them rebuild it and talk to FCP about warranty. I do have an extra Lemforder mount, would just need another seat.
 

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Aftermarket bearing plates have a tendency to expel grease after 20k or so, somewhat "normal" in my personal experience. They usually end up making a crunchy sorta sound when they're getting ready to go and you'll see a lot more stuff coming out of the bearing if it ever gets that bad.

Were it me (and it has been me), with the wheels resting on the ground under the weight of the vehicle I would check the side that's making the sound and validate that you have a decent gap between the bottom of the big rubber washer and the top of the bearing plate. Then I might pop the top nut and see if you can find any abnormalities with the area between the cross nut and the top of the spring seat. Look for any delamination or deformation in the center of the seat as in some of these photos- https://goo.gl/photos/9nsqr2Xq5YZFpbvp9 , https://photos.app.goo.gl/dQpZLeQMsyEMXXzz2

I'm not a fan of the Sachs 314-125, tried them initially as a replacement on my '08 Sport (PN search notes these as compatible with Sport/RD for around 1/2 price). Handling was close to dangerous with these on (front would float when you punched it at speed), I traded them for OE and installed on the '05. They also got replaced with OE recently, have in my garage to go along with some low mileage IPD HD end links, will give them away at some point.
 

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Rein spring seat is genuine - Volvo switched from Sachs to Rein (same as CRP), so the spring seat is not the problem

As mentioned above, at around $15 for the Lemforder strut mount, it's not only incredibly cheap (Ina was selling this part for at least $60), but also hard to believe it's a quality part, unless is selling it at a (large) loss. So I would go either with Corteco (quality to be proven) or with Genuine at this point

Another possible cause for the noise is the cross locking nut that's tightened on top of the spring seat (under the strut mount). This cross nut may may loosen up slightly and cause some noise (not a problem)

But again, the Lemorder mount is suspect in this equation. I would even prefer the old original Volvo mounts that came with the car, these rarely go bad (unlike the spring seat)

Also make sure the end links are tight enough at the strut nut
 

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Aftermarket bearing plates have a tendency to expel grease after 20k or so, somewhat "normal" in my personal experience. They usually end up making a crunchy sorta sound when they're getting ready to go and you'll see a lot more stuff coming out of the bearing if it ever gets that bad.
Normal premature life. This just might be a case of you get what you pay for. The times I have seen strut bearings wear this quickly with Lemforder parts are when the vehicles were lowered with sport suspensions and plus size wheels. As for the crunchy-ness, it is not always like that. It could have bearing play with a click, it could scratch, it could creak, etc. When I have encountered crunchy-ness, it usually meant the strut bearing has been bad for a while and dirt has had some time to make its way in.
 

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Cool by me, the OP can let us know the issue once it's been identified. First post indicated "squeaky/creaky noise" and second post reference "rubber noise".

I'll be interested in seeing which direction this goes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies.

I described it as a creaky/squeaky noise; to me, it doesn't sound like a metal to metal contact, but I could be mistaken. The tech thinks it sounds like rubber not seating properly.

The cost to rebuild is another $150. At this point, I have a new extra Lemforder mount. I could have them rebuild with the extra Lemforder mount and try a new seat. Or I can purchase a Corteco mount and either reuse the just installed Rein seat or buy another seat and try to eliminate all the possible culprits.

BTW, the noise only seems to start when the car is warm. If I pull it out of the garage after its cooled down, its quiet. The noise will begin after driving around a few minutes. I do have a video that I took with me turning the nut, thus you can hear the noise. I'll see if I can post it and provide a link.
 

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Yeah, if the seat is solid on top as you turn the nut, only thing can make that noise is the strut or the plate and there's zero reason to suspect the strut. That's exactly the crunchy noise I was referring to.

Nothing squeaky I heard. Easy enough to drop the strut and give the plate a close inspection to validate.
 

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Yeah, if the seat is solid on top as you turn the nut, only thing can make that noise is the strut or the plate and there's zero reason to suspect the strut. That's exactly the crunchy noise I was referring to.

Nothing squeaky I heard. Easy enough to drop the strut and give the plate a close inspection to validate.
Agree, that's the strut bearing mount. I get a similar noise in one of my strut mounts.

And that's a creak, like creaky stairs, lol. This is where the video helps a lot so there isn't any interpretation, haha. :facepalm:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's exactly the crunchy noise I was referring to.

Nothing squeaky I heard. Easy enough to drop the strut and give the plate a close inspection to validate.
I didn't really pay much attention to the sound on the video when I recorded it, as I simply was making it for the tech. From inside the cabin, the noise sound squeaky, but after reviewing the video, I can see how it sounds crunchy,

Next question....since the mount is essentially new, is it a case of a product defect or could the tech have installed incorrectly and damaged the mount? The tech says its a straight forward job and he could only tighten so far, so he doesn't believe it could be over torqued.
 

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From my own experience, it sounds like the bearing binding noise is from inferior bearings. Almost all shops zip those strut bolts on with an impact wrench. I also do it so I don't have to purchase special sockets, but since the Volvo strut nuts stick out, final torquing can be done with a Torx bit and box wrench. I've done dozens of European front struts and never had the bearing binding seen in these cheap Lemforder mounts.

Replacing with another Lemforder part might not fix the root cause of those bearings. You could try to loosen it 1/8th of a turn to see if it reduces the binding, as long as it doesn't' create play or looseness. The shop might even do it for free. If my memory serves me right, those strut nuts are locking nuts so it shouldn't loosen over time. It should look a little oval if you look at the center (threads) of it.
 

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If you look at how the strut center rod is built, the top threaded section is a little thinner than the rest of the rod. If you look at the spring seat, it has a steel tube in the center. You literally run the cross nut down on the threaded section to the point where the spring seat center tube tightens up against the center rod. In this regard, you really cannot over tighten the cross nut to a degree that it'll affect any other components.

Seat top rests in the bearing plate under the weight of the car, big washer and top nut keep the assembly in place in the event you unspring the wheels. Jack the car up and down, you'll see the seat top washer move up and down accordingly.

I'm still interested in seeing your seat top, before you pull the strut I might suggest that you take the top nut and rubber washer off (with vehicle weight resting on the seat/strut so nothing comes apart) and get a visual. It's not the source of your crunch but I'll be surprised if there is not a decent amount of wear at the interface between the center tube and the seat assembly.

Good luck with your repair.
 

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I'm still interested in seeing your seat top, before you pull the strut I might suggest that you take the top nut and rubber washer off (with vehicle weight resting on the seat/strut so nothing comes apart) and get a visual. It's not the source of your crunch but I'll be surprised if there is not a decent amount of wear at the interface between the center tube and the seat assembly.

Good luck with your repair.

It is pretty easy to see if the spring seat is blown: also when turning the steering (say with the engine on), the top strut plate moves very weird if the spring seat is gone https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kj4JmZS2yM4
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm taking it back to the shop to have them work on it, but they do not have access to Volvo parts, thus I have to supply the parts to them. In this instance, I have another mount, albeit a Lemforder, but do I need to be prepared to have a seat too?
 

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I don't know why but for some reason I thought you had some miles on this rebuild (like in the thousands), hence my seat comments. Looking back on your earlier posts, you noted the rebuild as less than 2 weeks old. My apologies for misinterpreting, no need to see the seat.

Out of curiosity, what's the mileage you're doing this work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I don't know why but for some reason I thought you had some miles on this rebuild (like in the thousands), hence my seat comments. Looking back on your earlier posts, you noted the rebuild as less than 2 weeks old. My apologies for misinterpreting, no need to see the seat.

Out of curiosity, what's the mileage you're doing this work?
No problems. The car just turned a 190K and had the original suspension....lol.

The struts/mount/seat were installed a few weeks ago. Shortly after LCA's and ball joints were installed. But the noise developed within a few days after the strut install. Like I said previously, the car handles 100% better with all the front suspension work, but the creaking noise is annoying. There are no clunks, no difficulty turning, just a squeak when turning right.
 

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You answered my next question- ball joint, adding LCA is even better.

Glad you did everything and thanks for confirming this work as recent.
 

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I'm taking it back to the shop to have them work on it, but they do not have access to Volvo parts, thus I have to supply the parts to them. In this instance, I have another mount, albeit a Lemforder, but do I need to be prepared to have a seat too?
No, you do not need a new spring seat since it is fairly new.
 
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