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Old 01-18-2017, 02:38 PM   #1
gilbobagginz
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Default GR firewall spot weld failure symptoms

For those of you that have had the spot welds on the firewall fail, I would love a little insight as to what you experienced as they began to go.

I've developed a slight creaking from both my brake and clutch, but both only seem to creak at the very top of travel - if I rest my foot on either pedal, I actually hear a small creak as the weight of my foot takes up the slack. It quiets up as I actually press the pedals, and release them.

There is movement in the brake pedal when I press the clutch, but not nearly as much as most people seem to have when their welds fail. I'm seeing at most, 1/2" movement to the left. How much movement is normal? This is something I've never experienced in a manual car before, so the fact that it moves at all freaks me out.

I won't have access to a workspace to pull things apart and observe/repair for another month or so. How long to these typically take before they fail completely and I'm left with no clutch?

And just for a frame of reference, 2009 STI with 70k miles.
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Old 01-18-2017, 04:19 PM   #2
D-rock240
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https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2665770

Did you check out Reide181's writeup?
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Old 01-18-2017, 05:06 PM   #3
gilbobagginz
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I have read that in the past. I guess since I won't be able to get in to check them myself for at least a month or so, Im looking for a little clarification on the tell tale signs that he specifies in the writeup

1) Your clutch will creak and/or click when you push it in. From example videos Ive seen of the issue, my creak is different as it does not get worse with pressure. Im going to try lubing up the pivot points to see if that helps.
2) You can see excessive movement of the clutch master cylinder when the pedals are pushed.This one I actually missed. I will check asap.
3) When the clutch is applied, the brake pedal will move to the left a significant amount. What is considered a "significant" amount? There is movement for sure, but like I said Ive never noticed this in any other vehicle so ANY play seems significant to me.

Its worth mentioning too that I feel like my clutch is pretty finicky, like the engagement point is not always the same so I'm always hunting for it in traffic. No issues shifting though.
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
xabre1200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gilbobagginz View Post
I have read that in the past. I guess since I won't be able to get in to check them myself for at least a month or so, Im looking for a little clarification on the tell tale signs that he specifies in the writeup

1) Your clutch will creak and/or click when you push it in. From example videos Ive seen of the issue, my creak is different as it does not get worse with pressure. Im going to try lubing up the pivot points to see if that helps.
2) You can see excessive movement of the clutch master cylinder when the pedals are pushed.This one I actually missed. I will check asap.
3) When the clutch is applied, the brake pedal will move to the left a significant amount. What is considered a "significant" amount? There is movement for sure, but like I said Ive never noticed this in any other vehicle so ANY play seems significant to me.

Its worth mentioning too that I feel like my clutch is pretty finicky, like the engagement point is not always the same so I'm always hunting for it in traffic. No issues shifting though.
Checking the welds is pretty simple and should take about 10 minutes to do. You just need to remove the plastic tray and the windshield wiper motor and then have someone step on the clutch a few times. If you're hearing a creaking noise it's pretty easy to determine if it's coming from the clutch pivot fork or the welds. Just pull the tmic off, have someone step on the clutch, and watch the clutch slave as it pushes in.

This is what mine sounded like before I lubricated it. Thought it was my welds as well but the release fork just needed some lubrication.

Also, if you're worried about the welds in the future I would suggest picking up the circuit motorsport clutch brace.

If your clutch pedal feels finicky try removing the clutch pedal helper spring. Having the spring makes the clutch pedal hard to modulate where it grabs. Check out this thread about removing the helper spring. https://forums.nasioc.com/forums/sho....php?t=2706966
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Old 01-24-2017, 03:49 AM   #5
gilbobagginz
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Great info, thank you!

I'm especially excited to try the helper spring mod, I've always felt the clutch was a bit too light for good feel but had no idea it was assisted by a spring.

Last edited by gilbobagginz; 01-24-2017 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 01-25-2017, 05:43 PM   #6
gilbobagginz
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Had some time to knock this out today...

Wow, it feels so much better! After removing the spring, the pedal feel was greatly improved but there was a significant amount of slack/ slip when initially pressing the pedal. I adjusted the rod/sensor and wow, now we're in business!

I adjusted my throw suuuuuuuper short,maybe just a touch higher than the dead pedal. It feels great but based on the limited test drive I did around the block, I might go back in and raise it a bit.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:23 AM   #7
gilbobagginz
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Thought I would add a little closure to the thread and hopefully it will help someone else.

My creak worsened over the last couple months, increasingly so after removing the helper spring (maybe due to the additional force required? It's ok I love this mod still). I still didn't have access to a garage, but fast forward to 3 weeks ago when fate lent me a hand in that department in the form of a cracked windshield. Safelight did all the work removing the cowling, and even stepped on the clutch for me while I inspected my welds. Bad but not terrible news - top 2 welds cracked, bottom 4 solid.

Which brings us to today. Finally had garage access and time. I see lots of people use the bolts, some use rivets - I chose rivnuts! They seemed a bit more solid than rivets with the same convenience of not needing to remove the whole dash.

Install went fairly smooth, aside from the top passenger weld being at an extremely bad angle for my particular rivnut tool - if you decide to do this ( or rivets for that matter) make sure you have a tool that is shaped like a set of bolt cutters - not the crappy 90deg handle or you will fight to get it to set evenly and flush. Once I tightened the bolts into the set rivnuts, everything felt extremely solid and all creaks from the clutch/ brake are gone. We will see how they hold up over time, if they fail I will pull the dash and nut/bolt all 6 of them to avoid ever having to deal with it again.
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Old 09-18-2018, 02:16 PM   #8
SockMonkey
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How did the rivnuts end up holding up? I originally did mine with stainless rivets thinking they would be stronger than typical aluminium. For a while the creak was gone, but its coming back. Had I heard of rivnuts originally, that is what I would have done. I ordered some today and will be putting them in Thursday.
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:31 AM   #9
Bananana
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I started hearing like a squeak and crackling noise on my GR sedan. I also thought i had cracks in my firewall but upon checking it was fine, either way I decided to put in an ETS bracket on my clutch pedal, same thing happens still but I think its from weather, generally humid or after a rainy shower I will still continue to hear these noises, I think perrin sells a bracket for the master cylinder brace. Might wanna check that out.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:00 PM   #10
bigolrig
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I had the same issue. quite a few of the spot welds had ripped out. I used the biggest rivets I could fit. So for no issues, but I do feel there is no good way to fix the issue. Even welding I feel like it will have issues down the road. best of luck!
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