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Old 11-19-2011, 07:43 PM   #1
OK11WRX
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Location: Oklahoma City
Default A-Pillar, Front Door, and Rear Deck Rattle Reduction

I've had the following rattles:
  1. Front passenger door rattle when music has some bass
  2. Rear deck would rattle randomly over bumps and on cold starts at the 1500 rpm drone - I had previously shoved a towel in the hole from the underside, but never intended that to be a permanent fix.
  3. A-pillar rattle where base of a-pillar meets windshield and dashboard - determined that was the source by having a passenger press on the wedge, which stopped the rattle.

Here's the list of equipment I bought for the job:
  1. 1.25" wide camper tape (high density closed cell foam with pre-applied adhesive)
  2. 0.25" wide door and window weather strip (high density closed cell foam with pre-applied adhesive)
  3. Set of four picks (see pic below) to help with plastic parts removal, shoving foam into small spaces, and some minor dental work.

Here are the picks:


The pictures below go back and forth between driver and passenger sides, I wasn't good about consistently taking pictures, FYI.

First I tackled the A-pillar. Used a pick to pop the SRS tab off, then unscrewed the screw. Then squeezed and pulled a-pllar toward driver seat until it popped off. Here are some pics showing that process:


The a-pillar had some worthless paper-thin foam tape. I replaced it with some of the 0.25" weather strip.



I also put some 0.25" weatherstip on the dash where the rattle was coming from, this eliminated the floppiness of the a-pillar wedge.


Next was the door rattles. I hadn't seen a very detailed process for removing the door panels, so here's my attempt:

First I used a pick to pop open the tabs covering the screws behind the door handle and in the arm rest handle.



Second I popped up the door lock/window plastic piece to get access to the next two screws:

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Last edited by OK11WRX; 11-19-2011 at 07:52 PM.
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Old 11-19-2011, 07:52 PM   #2
OK11WRX
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Again here I used a pick and a leatherman to pop off the electrical connectors for the door locks and window switch:



To get the door card separated from the door, I started at the corner near the speaker and just pried around slowly, each connecter popped out, none broke.

Next I had to disconnect the door handle and lock unit from the door itself:



Then i plastered the inside of the door card and the door itself with the 1.25" camper tape. I cut squares and covered each hole where the white clips popped back in. I also ran the 0.25" weatherstip around the perimeter of the inside of the door card.

Next I moved to the rear deck. Getting it off was a PITA.
To start, I used the pick again to pop off the SRS tabs and unscrewed the screw it was hiding:


Next was the hard part. you have to peel the rear piece down and get a screw in to the two screws holding that piece to the airbag bracket. I found out on the second side, that this was easier if you wait to leave the screw behind the SRS tab in until you do the peeling and removing of the hiddin screws:

Here are the tough-to-access screws:


Then you squeeze and pull on the whole, two piece assembly which will pop off and slide down the seat belt. I found it a little easier to pop this piece off if you first pop off the seat belt slot and reach in there for a hand-hold.

Next, I again used a pick to pop off the tabs holding the plastic deck cover to the rear deck (there are two tabs).


Then I gradually slid my hands under the plastic deck cover and popped the tabs out, again, none broke.


Then I used all of the remaining 1.25" and 0.25" weatherstrip on places that looked like hotspots for vibration (high spots in the metal rear deck).



While I was putting things back together, I realized the rear-most plastic interior trim had two places for tabs, and two brackets, but only one tab.

I went to Subaru, picked up two extra tabs (for a grand total of $2.40-something). I think those trim pieces fit a little more snug now.

Didn't notice any rattles on my drives after, but weather was pretty warm today. I'll post of rattles come back.

Thanks for watching, hopefully this helps someone!

-Brandon
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:01 PM   #3
Big-E
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My friend and I did some work on his 2011 WRX sedan today and among others, we also removed the rear deck cover to try and isolate the squeaking noise he has.

The noise only occurs when you enter/exit a driveway, for example, when the suspension and body are put under a load.

We use neoprene foam-tape that I have in 1/16", 1/8", and 1/4" thickness.

When removing the rear deck cover, we noted that from the factory three of the white retainer clips along the forward edge were missing. We also noted that on either rearward C-pillar cover that one green retainer clip toward the bottom section were also missing.

The neoprene foam tape was installed along the underside of the deck cover at the rear leading edge. It was also installed along the forward leading edge of the car-body itself where it drops down at a 90-degree angle and a strip was also installed about half an inch back from the forward leading edge of the car-body.

The rear deck cover, when reinstalled, was snug and did not move, as were the rest of the interior trim.

During the installation, we also banged on the car-body deck area itself and it made a metallic 'tinny' sound. It almost sounded as if some of the sheet metal itself was not either properly spot-welded and/or not enough body-sealant was used.

I state this as a point to our installation because after the interior was reinstalled, we went for a ride. The noise still persists when entering/exiting a driveway, for example.

My friend sat in the back and we entered/exited a parking lot a few more times and while doing so, he held the rear deck cover and still the noise persisted. He then put his hand between a portion of the rear deck cover and the body and noted that the gap would increase and decrease, when effectively rolling the suspension/body when entering/exiting the drive, by about 1/4" to 1/2".

It is expected that there will be some unibody deflection, but by how much?

My suggestion to my friend is to eventually obtain the three missing retainer clips for the deck cover and the one each for either C-pillar cover and see if that will help at all or at least rule-out the interior panels as the cause/source of the noise.

Unfortunately, so-to-speak, he auto-crosses the car and wants to stay in his stock class. My feeling is, if it is the body making the noise, to shore-up the rear of the car with chassis bracing.
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Old 11-20-2011, 11:54 PM   #4
Confucius37
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I did the A-Pillar fix today in exactly 5 minutes from start to finish and I am so happy I did. That squeak was insanely annoying, much worse than the speaker rattle, but it only showed up in the cold. Now there is no more squeak, thanks goodness!
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Old 11-21-2011, 12:04 AM   #5
OK11WRX
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Big-E - Yeah I noticed the missing green clips in the rearmost pillar and went and bought some additional. I did not notice missing clips on the plastic deck cover, damn now I want to check... If the foam I put in there doesn't stop the rattles, then i'll check that out and maybe get some replacements.

Confucius37 - My a-pillar rattle was insanely annoying, too. Not only annoying but rather loud since the windshield directed the rattle precisely into my earholes. Weather will be colder tomorrow so I'll get to check out my foam application... haha.

Good luck and enjoy the reduced rattling!

-Brandon
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:52 PM   #6
OK11WRX
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Update: Weather has been much colder the last couple of days and rattles are almost completely gone, and I swear it's quieter on the highway now.

Still a very minor buzz (not a rattle) in bassy songs, but it doesn't bother me.

If I decide to get back in there, I'll apply some actual acoustical insulation mats, rather than the weather stripping. But for a quick, cheap fix, this has been great!
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Old 12-16-2011, 04:41 PM   #7
WhiteStreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OK11WRX View Post
Update: Weather has been much colder the last couple of days and rattles are almost completely gone, and I swear it's quieter on the highway now.

Still a very minor buzz (not a rattle) in bassy songs, but it doesn't bother me.

If I decide to get back in there, I'll apply some actual acoustical insulation mats, rather than the weather stripping. But for a quick, cheap fix, this has been great!
Just stumbled across your post and wanted to say great work! A very thorough and helpful guide for an all-too-common issue.
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:04 PM   #8
suby04
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Just got done with this on my 11 hatch - OMG, what a difference, and to think the dealer "couldn't duplicate the issue" I was amazed at how other plugs and connectors in the car are wrapped in foam, but these ones that are obviously in close contact with the body were unwrapped!
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Old 12-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #9
suby04
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Default Orange connector

One question - i noticed an orange plug on the passenger side in the a pillar - it had the following 3 wires in it " red/black, grey/black, and Purple. Seemed to come from the headliner somewhere. Anyone know what this is for? I have an 11 premium 'rex, sunroof and heated mirrors, auto dim mirror, sat radio, nav etc already so it cant be for any of those which is why Im stumped!
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Old 01-07-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
OK11WRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteStreak View Post
Just stumbled across your post and wanted to say great work! A very thorough and helpful guide for an all-too-common issue.
Thanks! I still have a few small rattles:
- OH ***** handle above driver door
- Occasional coming from where windshield meets dashboard
- Front passenger door speaker

If I get motivated/irritated enough to get back in there, I'll report accordingly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suby04 View Post
Just got done with this on my 11 hatch - OMG, what a difference, and to think the dealer "couldn't duplicate the issue" I was amazed at how other plugs and connectors in the car are wrapped in foam, but these ones that are obviously in close contact with the body were unwrapped!
I agree, whats odd is that there is some amount of foam tape, so they knew it was an issue, but not near enough tape to totally prevent the rattles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by suby04 View Post
One question - i noticed an orange plug on the passenger side in the a pillar - it had the following 3 wires in it " red/black, grey/black, and Purple. Seemed to come from the headliner somewhere. Anyone know what this is for? I have an 11 premium 'rex, sunroof and heated mirrors, auto dim mirror, sat radio, nav etc already so it cant be for any of those which is why Im stumped!
I have no clue. Don't remember seeing it when I was in there. Maybe you got a bonus plug! haha
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Old 01-13-2012, 12:33 PM   #11
damnbigus
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Thanks for the writeup! I've been looking for a solution and finally found someone who put up a guide. I'm going to tackle it this weekend. Awesomeness appreciated.
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Old 02-01-2012, 11:39 AM   #12
GotWRX?
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Thank you so much. A-pillar fix works perfect! Enjoyed my drive to work this morning.
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Old 04-02-2012, 12:46 AM   #13
jki11
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if you don't mind me asking, what brand of weather stripping did you use and where did you purchase it from? I'm assuming this weather stripping has an adhesive on the back?
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:45 AM   #14
seanx820
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OK11WRX View Post
I've had the following rattles:
  1. Front passenger door rattle when music has some bass
  2. Rear deck would rattle randomly over bumps and on cold starts at the 1500 rpm drone - I had previously shoved a towel in the hole from the underside, but never intended that to be a permanent fix.
  3. A-pillar rattle where base of a-pillar meets windshield and dashboard - determined that was the source by having a passenger press on the wedge, which stopped the rattle.

Here's the list of equipment I bought for the job:
  1. 1.25" wide camper tape (high density closed cell foam with pre-applied adhesive)
  2. 0.25" wide door and window weather strip (high density closed cell foam with pre-applied adhesive)
  3. Set of four picks (see pic below) to help with plastic parts removal, shoving foam into small spaces, and some minor dental work.

Here are the picks:


The pictures below go back and forth between driver and passenger sides, I wasn't good about consistently taking pictures, FYI.

First I tackled the A-pillar. Used a pick to pop the SRS tab off, then unscrewed the screw. Then squeezed and pulled a-pllar toward driver seat until it popped off. Here are some pics showing that process:


The a-pillar had some worthless paper-thin foam tape. I replaced it with some of the 0.25" weather strip.



I also put some 0.25" weatherstip on the dash where the rattle was coming from, this eliminated the floppiness of the a-pillar wedge.


Next was the door rattles. I hadn't seen a very detailed process for removing the door panels, so here's my attempt:

First I used a pick to pop open the tabs covering the screws behind the door handle and in the arm rest handle.



Second I popped up the door lock/window plastic piece to get access to the next two screws:


does anyone have these pictures anymore, I can't seem them at this point (jan28,2013), I am having identical problems in my 2011 wrx
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:15 PM   #15
MotoGeno
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Does anyone have the pictures in this thread anymore, or can direct me to a thread with pictures of this. I want to do this over the weekend as my A pillar rattles are terrible now! Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:42 PM   #16
Tack762
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Chapter/Region: Tri-State
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Silver EFI logics stg 2

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^^^^ Same here my A-pillar rattles are getting worse. Need to do this mod ASAP!!!!
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Old 03-26-2013, 05:38 PM   #17
flk
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MY12 WRX DGM
EFI Stg2+

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This is what I did to the Cpillar but its the exact same thing for the A pillar:
http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show...9&postcount=52

Also, when it's cold out the windshield will make a tapping sound against the pillar, which is super annoying. Some people think it's from the A pillar inside but it's actually the corner bottom windshield bracket outside (black plastic piece). Stick whatever thin weather stripping between the bracket and the pillar. Now you are A pillar noise free inside and out.

Last edited by flk; 03-26-2013 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:33 PM   #18
ixwrxxi
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I've been starting to get squeaky noise from I beleive the A pillar where the A-pillar meets the dash.
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Old 03-28-2013, 05:58 PM   #19
Tack762
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Sweet. Thanks for the link and info flk.
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Old 04-12-2013, 06:50 AM   #20
CRUZTAKER
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Bummer only 16 months later and the images are gone.... :/

I too need to get in and delete some rattles today.
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:42 PM   #21
RexDownUnder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CRUZTAKER View Post
Bummer only 16 months later and the images are gone.... :/

I too need to get in and delete some rattles today.
I fixed the A-Pillar one pretty easily without removing anything. Just buy some 'spline' (used for fitting insect screen to its slotted frame) from any hardware store. This is a perfect fit to push into the small gap between the dash and the a-pillar cover (Use a plastic tool to do this to avoid damage if you slip and dont push it down too far). You need to push on the pillar cover at the same time as inserting the spline. It fills the gap neatly and forces the pillar cover away from the dash and isolates it. Worked for me (so far)
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Old 05-31-2013, 10:13 PM   #22
RexDownUnder
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The rear shelf noises may be helped by using rubber door stop wedges from the hardware store. I used a packet of the smaller size ones and was able to push them up into the access holes in the boot (under the shelf). These push the shelf away from the metal work and the rubber isolates. This is worth a try before you disassemble the whole thing.
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Old 06-15-2013, 02:56 AM   #23
sam_rigger
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Today I decided enough was enough, so I bit the bullet and pulled apart the rear deck.
Put Dynamat down on the whole shelf, with some foam tape on the plastic bits that rub.

Seems much more solid now, haven't driven it yet. took me 5 hours to do!

I didn't break any clips or anything. It's just taking your time, and reading what instructions people have given.
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