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Old 08-16-2003, 10:38 AM   #1
harrydog
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Default Really disappointing discovery

I had posted earlier that right after I had a 30K mile service done at the dealer, I noticed an annoying creaking/groaning noise coming from the car when going over bumps, turning, and sometimes when accelerating or braking.
I took it back to the dealer yesterday and we spent 3 hours trying to find the source.
It turns out it is coming from the left side of the car where the B-pillar meets the sill/rocker panel area. It is actually body flex and the sound is metal rubbiing against metal in that area where the different panels come together.
This really surprised me, as I never suspected it would be a structural issue. I figured it would be something simple like a suspension bushing.
The mechanic jamed a couple of steel washers into the small gap where the movement was occuring, and the sound went away - at least for now.
I'm really pissed off for a couple of reasons.
1) I thought the Impreza body structure was extremely stiff and had very little flex. The fact that mine is flexing enough for body panels to move is really disappointing.
2) I'm not at all happy with the fix - it seems there should be a better fix for this, but short of welding, I don't know what it could be.
I was extremely happy with my car up until yesterday. Now I'm not so sure I even want to keep it.
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Old 08-16-2003, 05:05 PM   #2
Ken
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Well, other's have gotten this fixed by jamming some piece of metal in there to stop the flex. Just get used to it - it's a car that handles chucking around corners quite well. Can't have everything.
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Old 08-17-2003, 02:13 AM   #3
mike270
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Wow I too am surprised that with such a stiff body we would get that flex. I guess it sounds like its not a big deal. Just an annoyance more than anything else. I guess we can't have everything
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Old 08-17-2003, 09:13 AM   #4
Austin
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Get the car seam welded at a rally prep shop.
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Old 08-17-2003, 11:04 AM   #5
harrydog
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Getting it seam welded would be a cool thing to do. But quite expensive I would imagine.
Probably one more spot weld from the factory would have done the trick. There are no spot welds in the area where the movement is taking place, but there are on either side of it.

Holy crap! After a few searches I've discovered that this problem is quite widespread with the '02 cars. I wonder if it's been addressed in the newer cars?

Last edited by harrydog; 08-17-2003 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 08-18-2003, 05:27 PM   #6
Kean
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Quote:
Originally posted by harrydog
Holy crap! After a few searches I've discovered that this problem is quite widespread with the '02 cars. I wonder if it's been addressed in the newer cars?
I get creaking noises from my rear-right area as well (in my '03). It occurs on turns and/or going over bumps/dips while turning. I still don't know the source of this noise but I'd imagine it could be the same as mentioned in this thread.

btw, my car is stock excpet for my 17x8 wheels. (and it did it with the stock one's as well)

- Kean
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:31 PM   #7
hakens
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Default Same problem here...

I fixed it using a piece of thick rubber coated with a little WD-40. Did it almost a year ago and not a peep. This message forum clued me into where to find the noise. No matter how stiff the body shell is, it's still going to flex unless you have a roll cage integrated into the shell. Even then I'm sure there's still some slight flex. Imagine how much flex an F-body Camaro has!
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:36 PM   #8
Kean
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Where exactly is the "problem" seam? Is it easy to get to?

thanks,
Kean
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:25 PM   #9
drees
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Yeah, I'd love to see pics. Does it only affect sedans, or are wagons affected as well?
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Old 08-19-2003, 07:37 PM   #10
Kean
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Quote:
Originally posted by drees
Yeah, I'd love to see pics. Does it only affect sedans, or are wagons affected as well?
Apparently both judging by what the posters have listed in their profiles.
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Old 08-20-2003, 11:20 AM   #11
djerickd
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Pics!!
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:57 AM   #12
Polar Bear
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Harrydog,

could you give a better discription where this noise is coming from. You mentioned it is where the B pillar meets the sill in the rocker panel area. Where exactly. Is it in the wheel well area? Would the tire have to be removed to see it? My car creaks as well and I think it is coming from the same area as yours, except mine is from the right rear.

Thanks.
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Old 08-21-2003, 11:59 AM   #13
hunts
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Yes, please post pics!

I have the same problem on the left side, and it always makes that noise whenever I make a left turn.
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Old 08-22-2003, 04:34 PM   #14
Turbo9000
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Question

Also, with seam welding the parts, could that cause the framework to be too stiff? I think in some instances a bit of flex is more desireable than being too solid, which could crack, warp and tear more things up. I guess it really depends on the location(which is unclear to me) in the framework stress is being exerted. As mentioned before, perhaps an extra strategically placed spot weld could rectify the problem more effectively.

I could be wrong...Ive been before

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Old 08-22-2003, 11:58 PM   #15
Dans-REX
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Default Re: Same problem here...

Quote:
Originally posted by hakens
I fixed it using a piece of thick rubber coated with a little WD-40. Did it almost a year ago and not a peep. This message forum clued me into where to find the noise. No matter how stiff the body shell is, it's still going to flex unless you have a roll cage integrated into the shell. Even then I'm sure there's still some slight flex. Imagine how much flex an F-body Camaro has!
F-bodys flex like an SOB. My old 88 IROC sounded like an old wooden ship when going over speed bumps. The guy next door has T-top on his F-body, after a few trips to the drags the is starting to rip the metal between the t-tops.

All cars flex.
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Old 08-27-2003, 02:22 PM   #16
garface
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I believe the spot in question is actually on the interior of the car near the bottom of the b-pillar. So look at your driver seat from behind and it'll be to the left of it, in between the doors. This is just what I remember from seeing a pic a long time ago, but I think that's where the problem is. Someone used a sheet rock screw to fix it.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:34 PM   #17
Kean
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Quote:
Originally posted by garface
I believe the spot in question is actually on the interior of the car near the bottom of the b-pillar. So look at your driver seat from behind and it'll be to the left of it, in between the doors. This is just what I remember from seeing a pic a long time ago, but I think that's where the problem is. Someone used a sheet rock screw to fix it.
hmmmm.........my noise is definitely coming from the trunk area (in the back). I think that's where the others are experiencing their's as well if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:41 PM   #18
djerickd
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Default

Quote:
Originally posted by Kean


hmmmm.........my noise is definitely coming from the trunk area (in the back). I think that's where the others are experiencing their's as well if I'm not mistaken.
I had a noise from the rear, it was from the hinges on the trunk on the rear deck, I had to take out the rear deck cover (and seats) to get to the 10mm bolts that hold the hinges on. I tightened those up and no more noise!
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Old 08-27-2003, 03:54 PM   #19
Kean
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Quote:
Originally posted by djerickd


I had a noise from the rear, it was from the hinges on the trunk on the rear deck, I had to take out the rear deck cover (and seats) to get to the 10mm bolts that hold the hinges on. I tightened those up and no more noise!
Sounds like quite a job. I think I'll have my gf drive the car through a parking lot while I sit in the back. I'll check to see if I can pin-point where the noise is coming from. Thanks.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:16 PM   #20
djerickd
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It's either that or the trunk tortion bars, check but I think the 03's are coated in a black plastic material to prevent this. Mine are just painted dull silver, but they weren't making any noise, someone had mentioned the dealership tightening the bolts and thats what worked for me.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:40 PM   #21
garface
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kean


hmmmm.........my noise is definitely coming from the trunk area (in the back). I think that's where the others are experiencing their's as well if I'm not mistaken.
The first poster said the b-pillar which is the pillar between the doors right in the middle of the car.
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Old 08-27-2003, 04:52 PM   #22
Kean
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Quote:
Originally posted by garface
The first poster said the b-pillar which is the pillar between the doors right in the middle of the car.
You're right.....I was confused. Thanks guys. I'm hoping I'll have a chance to check into it this weekend.

Sorry for hijacking your thread Harry.
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