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Old Yesterday, 04:36 AM   #1
Aleksgonzo
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Strange noises under the car

I hit a big pothole about 7 inches deep and about 13 inches wide doing about 30mph in the middle of the night. The edge of the pothole was so sharp it blew out both tires on the driver side and nicked the rims. I took it to the dealership and because I had insurance on the wheels they replaced both tires and wheels for free. Then after they replace the wheels and tires the steering was crooked to the left. So I figured it would be a tie rod or something simple. When they put the car on the alignment machine the Castor was off. Front driver side wheel was pushed back.

The service tech told me that it is very common for the strut to bend when the car impacts with a sidewalk or a pothole. The suspension on the GTI is held on the top at the tower, the strut comes down and hold the steering knuckle which houses the bearing. The steering knuckle is connected to the lower control arm which is connected to the Cradle. The Cradle is bolted to the subframe, and the steering rack, that is mounted on the Cradle, extends out to the steering knuckle...

So I went ahead and started getting some parts.

1) I got two new Bilstein struts

2) A new steering knuckle OEM

3) New OEM hub

Installed the parts when to get an alignment. After doing the alignment the Castor was still off. The alignment shop said I should replace the lower control arm bushings. It is difficult to see if there's any movement but there is no way to adjust the caster. And true enough as soon as I took it out on the highway I felt the car swaying all over the place.

So I went ahead and got more parts.

4) new ECS Tuning aluminum lower control arms with poly inserts

Installed the parts and want to get an alignment. The car aligned pretty well, but then when I took the vehicle out for a test drive I can hear a constant shifting under the car. As if something was sliding back and forth. Every time I apply the brakes it would slide and clunk, every time I would hit the gas I would hear this sliding sound and clunk again. This sound is heard just a fraction of a fraction of a second after applying the brakes for hitting the gas. It also happens when I turn the wheel simultaneously.

So put the car in the lift and start looking around.

I found some of the paint on the subframe where the Cradle connect to it was flaking off. There is evidence that the cradle was moving back and forth on the subframe. So I I figured the stretch bolts overstretched with the impact and I just need to replace them. But it went the extra mile.

So I went ahead and order some more parts.

5) ECS Tuning front stiff collar inserts with new thicker subframe bolts.

6) ECS Tuning rear stiff collar inserts with new subframe bolts.

Install the parts and went to get an alignment. The car was already aligned and didn't even need an adjustment. So I took the vehicle for a little test drive.

Immediately noticed that when I step on the gas and floor it the vehicle starts pulling to the right. I have to turn slightly left so it goes straight. Then when I let off I have to put the wheel back straight so the vehicle say straight.

This point I'm pulling my hairs out because I can't figure out what the hell is going on. Then when I come to a stop I noticed the shifting and clunking noise is still there. I hear it every time that I go in or out of a parking spot at the grocery store for example.

Has anyone experienced this clunking noise? It seems to be right behind the pedals. You can't even feel the click on your foot when it happens. Obviously the Cradle is not shifting because I have rigid inserts between the suffering and the Cradle and I also have new bolts. Lower control arms are replaced, struts, knuckle, hub, have all been replaced.

I'm about to throw the towel on this one. Please help!

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Old Yesterday, 09:52 AM   #2
Slowgti08
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Strange noises under the car

When flooring the car and it going to side, that is torque steer. My car does the same. When you replaced the strut, did you also replace bearing and strut mount ? That clunking noise possibly the subframe shifting ? May need to be torqued down?
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Old Yesterday, 04:25 PM   #3
Aleksgonzo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slowgti08 View Post
When flooring the car and it going to side, that is torque steer. My car does the same. When you replaced the strut, did you also replace bearing and strut mount ? That clunking noise possibly the subframe shifting ? May need to be torqued down?
Thank you for your input.... I did not replace the strut mount nor I replaced the strut mount bearing, but I did replace all the subframe bolts and at that time included subframe inserts that would perfectly aligned the Cradle and lock it on the subframe, so I would exclude that as the cause, before I dig deeper possible frame damage...

I will look in to the struts bearings for sure....

Thanks again, and please keep commenting

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Old Yesterday, 11:41 PM   #4
Slowgti08
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NP, reason i said strut bearings/mounts is because you should replace them whenever you do struts. Especially after a pothole hit that hard. Since you said you feel/hear it under the pedal i don't think that would be it tho..
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