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Old 08-29-2018, 12:53 PM   #1
T-37
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Default Silencing noisy coilover springs

I'm looking for ideas to quiet spring bind/stiction when turning. My coilovers are RCE T2's using their supplied springs (main and helper) and composite/plastic perches. I'm also using the old lowering camber plates. The bearings in the plates don't seem to move freely under load so there is a lot of popping/clicking as the springs slip/grip between the perches.

I'm using these QA1 thrust bearings and they made an improvement for about a day. I'm only using one at the top of the stack, should I be using 2 or more per coilover?



Also the black bit just below the camber plate is a kydex dust shield I made to keep grit away from the top bearing.

Now after an wet autox they've collected a lot of grit, so I'm going to try cleaning everything and see if it improves. But is there a better option?

Will thrust sheets work better? to I need to smooth/sand/polish the spring ends? Should I switch to swifts?

This has been a bit weird for me, as my old Stance Supersport+ with single swift springs and aluminum perches never made a peep, but these are miles ahead in damping.
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Last edited by T-37; 08-29-2018 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 08-30-2018, 10:28 AM   #2
A-man07
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Previously I had a set of AST 4100 on my 07 STi and there was moderate spring noise I believe made worse in the front by using Vorshlag high caster top mount plates which significantly increases the caster angle by moving the top of the strut rearward. They don't seem to like this. This theory seems to be backed up as I recently switched to a set Feal 441 Max Travel struts and swapped their front top plate to the Vorshag high caster plate and the spring noise in front is ferocious to the point I don't like driving the car. I'm planning to swap top plates to a standard, middle of the plate location, the Feal plate they came with, and see what happens.

I'll tell you what I did which helped way back when when I was sorting out the ASTs. I bought some "industrial" felt and cut out "thrust sheets" of it for top and bottom perches of each spring along with regular aluminum thrust sheets and that helped quite a bit. Of course felt is absorbent and over time they get dirty and the noise gets worse. Short of disassembling and cleaning periodically I'm not sure how to fix it permanently. Some people have noise and some don't. My car is noisy as hell.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:19 PM   #3
T-37
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I could see caster being an issue if the top bearing doesn't pivot enough to allow for that geometry, but I don't think that's the case here - maybe I'm wrong though. I'll take a look into it. I'm running less caster now at about 5.5 vs my previous setup which was about 7 with a basic pillowball camber plate canted and made no noise. I have the RCE plates canted, but there's less adjustment range with these and the raised top takes away some caster due to moving the upper pivot upward.

Felt is a great idea. I've got a roll of velcro loop and a sheet of adhesive felt that I use for quieting misc things and don't know why I didn't think of that. I might try that if it comes down to it. Thanks!

I had the car in the air last night and it was very dirty after the wet autox. The rain was torrential, and there was some minor flooding I had to cross to get to and from the event. Sand and dirt stuck all over everything. So I brushed the grit away and manually spun the springs until they seemed to turn a little freer/quieter for now.

I think I'm going to try installing thrust washers/sheets this winter. I found some old posts where TiC was recommending them over thrust bearings.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:32 PM   #4
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Thrust bearings don't seem to last too long on the street...composite washers work well though.

- Andrew
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Old 08-30-2018, 02:24 PM   #5
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You should address the issue of your bearings seizing. If the bearings are moving freely the popping noise should go away.
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Old 08-30-2018, 05:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike_Feal View Post
You should address the issue of your bearings seizing. If the bearings are moving freely the popping noise should go away.
I agree, but I think to do that I'll have to source a new bearing. Or try and wear in the bearing - as old as they likely are they should have worn in by now. Everything I could find says not to grease or oil them because it will break down the teflon, but there's no telling if that's been done already. I will look into getting some replacements for them this winter too. Maybe a different type, but I'll probably be limited by size.

*Disclaimer* this isn't RCE's current camber plate. I'm not bashing RCE in any way, this is their old design from over 10 years ago and these haven't been available for a long time. They were replaced by their street camber plates which seem to be good. These are the old lowering camber plates that I picked up 2nd hand (it's also possible these are HVT's but they were advertised as RCE's when I bought them in the classifieds.) I like a fairly low ride height, so adding the bump travel back was important.

There are a lot of older posts complaining about these specific camber plates not pivoting/rotating freely. Old RCE response below

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaceComp Engineering View Post
I read some of the other post and I will say that these camber plates like MOST are for motorsports use. The pillowball we use is aerospace grade and so the tolerances are very tight and precise. So the reality is this happens because the bearing is very tight and yes they tend to loosen up after a while( 6months to a year) and yes they can cause the springs to want to turn with it as a result.

Is this failing? NO ! Does it make noise? YES. The alternative is to machine the housing with less tolerance and then the pillowball gets loose MUCH sooner.

But we do NOT want to the tolerances less as we know that will cause the pillowball to become loose in a short period of time and then it rattles.

A set up with these and coilovers that has the "SPROING" sound is NOT a failed part as much as its a new TIGHT bearing. On a track car or racecar thats NOT an issue, but for a street driven car is is. I get that much. For that reason we have a upper perch under development to prevent that on street driven cars.

We use NHBB bearings with radial and axial ratings of 32,000 and 8500. Those are NOT ratings from the Taiwanese made bearings that get LOOSE after 3 months. Rattle after 6 and are impossible to tolerate after a year.

When we released these plates in the Fall of 2005 they were intended for track day and autocross use. Thats still the case but 8 years later more and more enthusiast are driving their track cars on the street. Hence the development of the Torrington bearing perches.

Myles Williams
RCE

When I got them the tube nuts had been retapped for bilsteins, so I had to have some new ones machined. I think part of the problem is the tight/press fit of the tube nut into the bearing. That may be adding additional tightness to the bearing. But the tube nuts were dead-on the same diameter as the originals.

Another thought I had to free them up is to take them apart and spin the bearings with a power drill to try and wear them in. Maybe a bad idea, but might be worth a try before replacing them.

My old Stance coilovers probably had cheap Tiawanese bearings, but honestly the fronts never made a peep. The rears were pretty noisy though.
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:14 PM   #7
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Is there any visible rust on the bearings? 10 years and they should be toast by now
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Old 08-31-2018, 11:38 AM   #8
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No, the bearings look clean. Before assembling them to the coilovers they were very tight but when turned they didn't seem gritty at all.

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Old 08-31-2018, 03:14 PM   #9
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Those are indeed RCE plates and one of the earlier versions. Those are OLD but the bearing is serviceable. Send them a message or give them a call. I know Myles is at the track with KPAX this weekend but somoene should be able to get back to you soon.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:28 PM   #10
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Bumping this up.



I replaced the thrust bearings with Swift thrust sheets on all the perches (both helper and main springs) and it seems to have cured it. Notice the thrust bearing races were deformed from the springs. Camber plate bearings are still tight, but not seized, no need to replace as far as I can tell.
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