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Old 11-03-2017, 06:32 PM   #1
leezy321
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Default Bilstein PSS9 coilover issues on 2005 STI

Just curious to see if anyone has Bilstein PSS9 coilovers? And if so, what are your experiences with them?

I’ve only put about 5k miles on these coilovers. They’re on the softest setting and my car is only lowered about 0.5”. They started making noise about 500 miles ago. The noise/feeling can be described as almost exactly the same as the “rear strut clunk” most people experience with the stock sti suspension. Except in all four corners... Very noticeable during starting/stopping and at slow speeds. It’s very frustrating to say the least, considering I swapped out my stock suspension for these coilovers because the strut clunk was driving me crazy!
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:11 PM   #2
jamal
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The pss9 uses the same inverted design as the stock struts, which is the reason for the clunking. So a bit of that with the bilsteins is not super surprising. You could try cleaning off the shafts and then spraying them with a light lube.
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Old 11-03-2017, 11:49 PM   #3
binny
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Or the shaft nut (top hat) is loose

I have the PSS9's and there is no knocking noise
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Old 11-04-2017, 02:12 AM   #4
lukethedork
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If they are clunking after 5,000 miles then there is an issue. Either loose hardware or a defective strut which should be warrantied.
If you bought them used then it is likely the bushes need replacing. This can be done yourself with basic hand tools.
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Old 11-19-2017, 08:23 AM   #5
leezy321
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Just checking back to help anyone who might come across this thread.

So after extensive research, the “clunking” noise coming from Bilstein PSS9 coilovers is super common. Literally, every car forum I’ve checked has many threads on this very subject except this forum. Weird...

Anyway, there’s two issues going on. The Bilsteins have a faulty design which require a lot of maintenance to keep the clunking/popping noises away. From what I can understand from most other car owners that have had this problem, they need to be taken apart every 5-7k miles or so, cleaned, greased, and reassembled. There’s also some plastic and metal washers that need to be replaced each time. Second issue, is people just install them incorrectly. I say it’s an issue because even reputable shops are putting these things in wrong.

I haven’t solved the issue yet because I haven’t had time to take everything apart yet. But, like I said, I’ve been on just about every other car manufacturer forums and everyone is having issues with these. The Porsche guy’s are going nuts! It seems to be affecting them the most.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:30 PM   #6
Wangta
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I have the same issue. I think I found the cause while changing my tires from winter to summer. The coilovers doesn’t seem to fit very snug in the top cylinder that extends down in the rears. The fronts are very snug.

https://youtu.be/TXceSSz0quk
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:35 PM   #7
Wangta
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The coilover top doesn’t fit snug in this piece that extends down.

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Old 07-08-2018, 10:53 PM   #8
binny
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Missing a part?

Top hat should be snug on the damper shaft
Shaft nut should eliminate any movement between the top hat and damper shaft

I've used both stock top hat and aftermarket (noltec adjustable) with no play / no knocking
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:02 AM   #9
subaru_gc8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leezy321 View Post
Just curious to see if anyone has Bilstein PSS9 coilovers? And if so, what are your experiences with them?

I’ve only put about 5k miles on these coilovers. They’re on the softest setting and my car is only lowered about 0.5”. They started making noise about 500 miles ago. The noise/feeling can be described as almost exactly the same as the “rear strut clunk” most people experience with the stock sti suspension. Except in all four corners... Very noticeable during starting/stopping and at slow speeds. It’s very frustrating to say the least, considering I swapped out my stock suspension for these coilovers because the strut clunk was driving me crazy!
I never had any problems with mine. did you have the helper springs installed?
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:36 PM   #10
Wangta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binny View Post
Missing a part?

Top hat should be snug on the damper shaft
Shaft nut should eliminate any movement between the top hat and damper shaft

I've used both stock top hat and aftermarket (noltec adjustable) with no play / no knocking
Guys - please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the rear upper strut mount is the issue. When installing the bilstein, you have to re-use the stock upper strut mount, which has this metal ring that extends out. When installing coilovers, I believe this metal ring gets distorted as it wasn't meant to hold up the full weight of the car (I believe it is simply meant to secure a dust cover). This results in not enough preload on the springs, and knocking. Please correct me on this if you find fault in the logic - this is just a theory based on a lot of research and talking to forum folks and facebook groups.



I believe this is the reason that RCE invented their adapters, which involves cutting off the metal ring perch and replacing it.

http://www.racecompengineering.com/i...-n-mounts.html
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Old 07-23-2018, 04:16 AM   #11
binny
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Cut that off with a air saw or hacksaw the spring seat should sit flush with the top hat (probably what RCE have done)
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:53 PM   #12
theblob05
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Just went from PSS to RCE tarmac 2s on my 05 and had to cut off the bottom section of the rear mount to work with the tarmacs but not the opposite for the bilsteins. Tophat stayed intact when i was running the bilsteins. i had the dreaded clunk in the rear and then switched so i cant confirm where the clunk issue was, but based on research and other people that have chimed in it seems like an internal bushing issue inside the strut tube since it is the inverted stock style strut
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Old 07-16-2019, 11:52 AM   #13
Wangta
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblob05 View Post
Just went from PSS to RCE tarmac 2s on my 05 and had to cut off the bottom section of the rear mount to work with the tarmacs but not the opposite for the bilsteins. Tophat stayed intact when i was running the bilsteins. i had the dreaded clunk in the rear and then switched so i cant confirm where the clunk issue was, but based on research and other people that have chimed in it seems like an internal bushing issue inside the strut tube since it is the inverted stock style strut
Bit confused, so you had to cut for the RCE Tarmac 2s, but don’t have to cut for the Bilsteins?

It’s odd. Why do the front bilstein’s not clunk? It’s only the rear for me.
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