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Old 09-26-2018, 08:46 AM   #1
Booki
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Default Hard first gear acceleration - Clunking/bad feeling/slop in steering wheel

Car: 2009 subaru Forester XT, 200kw at the wheels.

When going wide open throttle in first gear while rolling slowly, I can feel something wrong on the front left hand side of the car. It is hard to describe, the feeling is amplified if traction control gets set off. With traction control off its not as bad, but still there.

I am scared to accelerate hard in first gear with the steering wheel anything but straight - something is wrong somewhere.

Previously this is the side where my drive shafts were coming apart...due to a bad engine mount. It sounds like something is going on in that area - near the front left CV. It almost feels like all the power is going to that one wheel but I doubt thats actually happening, it could just be due to a bad bush making it feel that way...? Don't think its relevant anymore.

I think there might be another mount somewhere that caused that engine mount to prematurely fail...any ideas?

Could control arm bushes contribute to this? - I have replaced these

Yet to put the car in the air and have a look - hoping somebody has had similar symptoms before.


TLDR: When accelerating hard in first from a rolling start, there is a horrible banging/clunking noise coming from my wheel are as if its moving back and forth under torque. This is amplified if accelerating hard in first gear while turning (I wouldn't even try it as I am too scared something will break). Issue has gotten worse and I have noticed that the control arm has a decent scrape on it from the movement.
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Last edited by Booki; 03-15-2019 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:21 AM   #2
BlackFighter
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Very hard to help you when you did not describe the issue. Does it pull to the diver side? is there noise? is there vibrations? What do you mean your drive shaft was coming apart? Do you mean axle?
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:24 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BlackFighter View Post
Very hard to help you when you did not describe the issue. Does it pull to the diver side? is there noise? is there vibrations? What do you mean your drive shaft was coming apart? Do you mean axle?
Under hard acceleration the car makes a clunking/thudding noise from the front axle area (i keep calling them driveshafts!), the steering wheel also jerks to the left like its being pulled in that direction.

Honestly it kind of feels like the whole left front wheel is moving under power.

This only happens in first gear - should also mention this thread for prior reference - https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2882301
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:49 AM   #4
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I'd be taking shots in the dark as I'm not familiar with Forester-only related issues. I have clunking issues due to my control arm bushings but I have a 2008 WRX. Very likely different designs and definitely different geometries. I also only experience this over bumps, never while accelerating.

From experience on other vehicles, the torque could be causing a control arm to move and hit the top/bottom of the mount it's in. Considering it happens in first, the gear ratios would be putting out the most torque, enough to possibly make things move.

Like I say, though, I'm just guessing. Best to get it in the air with the wheels off the ground and take a pry bar to check for any excessive play in the bushes.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:04 AM   #5
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Will be sussing it out tomorrow, Its been like this for ages but I feel its just getting worse.

I have never dealt with suspension/bush issues on other cars so not sure what too look for - hoping it will be pretty obvious though

I believe the forester's and wrx's of that era are basically the same cars chassis wise.

WRX shocks bolt right into forester's - cheap way to get them low.

Most part numbers are the same as well.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:51 AM   #6
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Sorry to hear Booki.....

Congrats on the info and links!

Checking bushings, on ramps is better so the suspension sits loaded, not wheels hanging.
Large screwdriver or prybar, wedge against arms, etc. and chassis and pry in different directions. Compare one side to the other, see if something moves more.
Yes, most (all?) Forester were Impreza chassis based with a few differences.

From the bad mount stage, once fixed, did you replace the axle? If not, it may have been damaged and is now failing.
Also check that wheel bearing with the "wiggle test".
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:54 AM   #7
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Haha hello, long time no see!

The axel was also replaced at the time of the engine mount swap over.

Good tips re checking Suspension loaded vs in the air.. determined to get it sorted
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Old 09-27-2018, 05:50 AM   #8
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Video of what I am looking at so far;

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Old 09-27-2018, 07:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie-III View Post
Yes, most (all?) Forester were Impreza chassis based with a few differences.
Well, I learned something new.

That play, to me, looks a bit excessive. It's about the same as mine. From the bit I saw, the suspension looks the same as mine too. It looks like similar play as me too, and I get the odd clunk noise in my right side of the car under certain conditions. It's hard to replicate for me though.

It was hard to get a pause on it, but the bush looks like it has separated a bit from the metal housing, no? It didn't look too bad on the other side.
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:14 AM   #10
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Here are some photo's.

https://imgur.com/a/e6LgPpl

The chassis are the same, they just have lower springs/shocks on the WRX.

Pretty much identical cars, interiors are the same bar obvious difference's like the seats.


Is it worth going poly style bushes?
Energy suspension looks good
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Old 09-27-2018, 07:38 AM   #11
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Yup, I'd say thats your problem. Those bushes have seen better days for sure.

Energy Suspension, if I'm remembering correctly, look like pretty good stuff. At least it's a better bang for buck. I haven't found much on reviews but I wasn't looking very hard at all....like one two minute search before the wifey called me. Whiteline makes good stuff too but they're anywhere from 10 to 20% more expensive. I'm in Canada though so I'm not sure how price differences stack up for you lot down under.

I think poly bushings are a solid option (pun intended). They'll provide a better feel and feedback, better response with steering and a general overall feeling of solidness (if that's a word) and a feeling of being planted on the road while driving and maneuvering. Depending on how the bush is made, you may experience a bit more NVH, nothing too bad imo, but you're gaining a better lasting product.

Last edited by viper_crazy; 09-27-2018 at 09:50 AM.
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Old 09-27-2018, 09:14 AM   #12
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Hmmmm - a buddy is telling me poly bushes generally make some noise (squeaks) especially if not properly greased during installation.

Maybe I am better off just getting another set of genuine bushes - hell they are probably the originals so they definitely proved themselves.
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Old 09-27-2018, 10:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booki View Post
Hmmmm - a buddy is telling me poly bushes generally make some noise (squeaks) especially if not properly greased during installation.

Maybe I am better off just getting another set of genuine bushes - hell they are probably the originals so they definitely proved themselves.
I have poly bushings in many locations with no squeaks. One way to keep them quiet is to drill and tap for zerk fittings so you don't have to disassemble and remove the fittings to regrease them.

I've also used poly control arm bushings in many of my previous cars with only minor squeaking after extended periods of use and no maintenance.
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Turpid Porpoise View Post
I have poly bushings in many locations with no squeaks. One way to keep them quiet is to drill and tap for zerk fittings so you don't have to disassemble and remove the fittings to regrease them.

I've also used poly control arm bushings in many of my previous cars with only minor squeaking after extended periods of use and no maintenance.
Not really keen on constantly re-greasing them - how often do you have to do that ?

also another theory - perhaps my wheel alignment is out causing the car to behave strangely under the heavy torque output from WOT first gear?

It does kind of feel like all the power is going to that one wheel - might try one of those DIY wheel alignment
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:39 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Booki View Post
Not really keen on constantly re-greasing them - how often do you have to do that ?

also another theory - perhaps my wheel alignment is out causing the car to behave strangely under the heavy torque output from WOT first gear?

It does kind of feel like all the power is going to that one wheel - might try one of those DIY wheel alignment
It really depends on the conditions that you drive in frequently but I do mine like once a year as preventative maintenance. They never really squeak but I do it to keep them from squeaking. With the zerk fittings and a grease gun all you need to do is jack the car up, push grease gun onto fitting and give it a squeeze. Not all locations allow for a zerk fitting but those LCA bushings should allow for it.

If you drive in dirty/dustier conditions than you would probably have to do it more often.
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Old 09-28-2018, 07:57 AM   #16
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Where would these fittings go?
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Old 09-28-2018, 08:49 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Turpid Porpoise View Post
It really depends on the conditions that you drive in frequently but I do mine like once a year as preventative maintenance. They never really squeak but I do it to keep them from squeaking. With the zerk fittings and a grease gun all you need to do is jack the car up, push grease gun onto fitting and give it a squeeze. Not all locations allow for a zerk fitting but those LCA bushings should allow for it.

If you drive in dirty/dustier conditions than you would probably have to do it more often.
Other then increased maintenance, more noise, increased harshness and vibration.

....Remind me of the positives again of going poly bushes?
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Old 09-28-2018, 09:48 AM   #18
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More solid feeling and positive response and feedback.

It may all depend on perspective as I've had poly bushings in the past on other cars and while I did notice better overall feeling, I didn't really notice much else. That may be due to personality though. I'm not easily bothered by increased noise. I have a solid trans mount and you can hear the gears whine through the body of the car and I forget it's there most of the time. It takes people riding with me to point out there's something wrong with my car do I notice it again.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:06 AM   #19
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I am someone who will notice every noise and then try and find said noise and get rid of it...

maybe poly bushes are not a great idea for my every day car.
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Old 09-29-2018, 10:59 AM   #20
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I'm the same way. I'll notice a new noise and I'll keep noticing it if it's a problem noise (like a fan belt squeal or a bad bearing). If it's a noise that I know won't cause harm (like my trans whine), then I usually end up tuning it out on the daily.

But yeah, if you can't tune out non-problem noises, stockers are probably the way to go. I wonder, though, if they make Group N style control arm bushings where there are no holes/flex sections but it's still made from rubber that won't squeak?
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Old 10-03-2018, 09:42 PM   #21
Booki
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Bit of a update on this - Had somebody say to check my wheel alignment, I never really noticed it - but I was driving on the freeway and centered my steering wheel.

My car would not track straight, it was pulling to one side, believe it was pulling to the left. So the same side I feel the clunking during first gear hard pulls.

For me to drive straight my wheel is a little offset, maybe this is my issue?

Has anybody done a DIY alignment on these cars?
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Old 10-04-2018, 08:57 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booki View Post
Bit of a update on this - Had somebody say to check my wheel alignment, I never really noticed it - but I was driving on the freeway and centered my steering wheel.

My car would not track straight, it was pulling to one side, believe it was pulling to the left. So the same side I feel the clunking during first gear hard pulls.

For me to drive straight my wheel is a little offset, maybe this is my issue?

Has anybody done a DIY alignment on these cars?
As a matter of fact, yes...........
https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=1326323


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Old 10-04-2018, 09:14 AM   #23
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:08 AM   #24
Booki
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Originally Posted by viper_crazy View Post

From experience on other vehicles, the torque could be causing a control arm to move and hit the top/bottom of the mount it's in. Considering it happens in first, the gear ratios would be putting out the most torque, enough to possibly make things move.
THIS ^

Was re-reading my thread as I am still dealing with this ****ty clunking issue (gotten worse now), you can actually see where the control arm is hitting/scraping against one of the mounts.

Will upload some photo's, but the new bushes have not fixed the issue, there is still some movement there under first gear hard acceleration and even while braking at a medium/hard pace down hill. You can feel something move and clunk, only under high torque loads.

Last edited by Booki; 03-15-2019 at 12:23 AM.
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