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Stock Spec.B Bilstein Life


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Hey guys,


I recently noticed a rattle/noise coming from my front driver side when going over irregular parts of the road. I had my oil change guys take a look when they had the car up and they said they didn't see anything obviously wrong (they didn't really go into much detail when troubleshooting).


The car has 77k miles and I'm wondering if I could have a bad/blown strut. What's the expected life of the Bilstein's? What else should I check?



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I spent some time with the front driver tire off trying to figure out where the rattle was coming from. I couldn't find anything there so I put everything back and popped the hood to look at the bolts on the chassis.


I finally found the culprit. It was the middle bolt nut, it was loose. I tightened it and had to give it several turns. Took the car out for a quick spin and the rattle is gone.


Now, when I had my springs installed, jsalicru marked all bolts in my suspension, and now the marks on this nut and bolt no longer align.


What does this nut do? Should I be careful about how much torque I apply to it? Do I need to look at other alignment things? I don't know what this part of the suspension is called :p Is this the top hat bolt?



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  • 3 weeks later...
That nut holds the topper for the strut/spring combo. It should not be moving about. I probably won't be able to torque it correctly when its in the car though because the strut tube spins.


That's what I'm worried about. The first time it got loose I just tightened it, but for it to do it again in less than a month (about 1200 miles) makes me thing there's something else wrong.


Also, does this affect my alignment at all?


I could try loctite but I don't know if that was used in the first place?

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I don't believe it will affect your alignment but it sure could cause the rattle.


I looked at my own shocks and you should be able to tighten it correctly using some sort of spark plug socket, a wrench, and an allen key to hold the strut tube.


Look at this pic and you should get the idea.



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**Correction: it is 17mm. Thanks, farberio.


I think it is a 19mm. If your Allen key is not long enough to pass-thru a spark plug socket, you can buy deep offset wrenches at a place like sears - they sell these individually, and I paid something like $15:




Here is another thread about this that might be helpful:


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Quite right, farberio - it is 17mm. I just checked mine.


A funny thing is, this is a different set of shocks from my last one that had been loose, and I never checked these bolts as I have never had any clunking. And what do you know - one was loose! For now I will try what I did last time using this offset wrench and an Allen key. However, you are correct that it is difficult to torque it correctly. What is a crow's foot? Maybe that would help :)


What I was wondering was if there was some sort of Allen key on a socket that I could hold with a torque wrench while turning the strut nut. Would this even trigger the torque wrench? Something like this:





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I've been having the clunking from the driver side and checked mine and the nut was loose. I ground a few flats on a 17mm socket and used a crescent wrench on it. The shaft really didn't even spin. I used blue loc-tite also. Checked right side and it was tight. Weird because these have never been touched, as I bought the car new. Now it has 66K.
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