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Old May 12th, 2008, 17:50   #1
jski
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Default Rear clunking after changing shocks

I recently changed springs, shocks and struts to Bilstein TC sports on my 2000 Jetta. I now get a clunking sound in the rear passenger side when hitting small bumps (especially when they are consecutive). I've re-tightened the lower bolt on the bottom of the shock, but the sound remains. I can't get the car to make the noise when jumping on the trailer hitch or by any other means. The car handles nicely and seems to deal with bumps normally. The noise is just annoying. Any ideas out there? Thanks for the help.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 19:24   #2
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did the rears come with new upper mounts? when I replaced mine with oem boge, they came with the shocks
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Old May 12th, 2008, 19:54   #3
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+ 1 Replace upper shock mounts.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 20:27   #4
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My NB does the same when hitting bumps. I replaced the shock mounts which did not help. I've taken the shock off twice to check the top nut and bottom bolts for tightness and they are fine. I cannot figure it out but it is annoying.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 21:45   #5
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I too vote on the sub-frame bushings.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 07:15   #6
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Bushings are the only thing that I can narrow my clunk down to. Sounds exactly like your symptoms...but they look like a tough job to tackle. Anyone know how much work is involved?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 10:51   #7
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There were upper mounts with the set from Peter from TDI parts. There was no clunking before making the change, however. I can't figure out why there would be no clunk on bigger bumps. I did replace the rear bushings last year and it was a big job. It was still under warantee thankfully, but it took almost 6 hours for the shop to do it. I ride over a lot of country roads that now drive me crazy with this frequent clunking.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:17   #8
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Hmmmmm... Do you have an aftermarket rear sway bar? Mine occasionaly makes thunks over varying bumps in the road. At a minimum I need to lube the bushings, but they may be due for replacement. Have you verified all bolts were properly torqued (including the single top bolt on the shock that secures it to the upper rear mount)? Is it possible one of the shocks was blown from the start, and is not really dampening anything? Is there anyway you could get someone to ride in the back seat while you drive down the road to listen for the source of the sound. This might at least get you closer, since you can't replicate sitting still in the driveway.

Is there anything in the trunk or spare tire area that could be rattling? I had a metal mag lite in the spare tire well clunking around for weeks before I remembered it was in there...drove me nuts while I kept checking for loose suspension bolts.

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Old May 13th, 2008, 11:55   #9
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I had this same problem on my A3, and it was because I didn't have the rubber mounts tightened down properly so they would keep the shaft from jiggling back and forth or up and down. Went back through both and got them tightened down and expanded properly to keep the shaft from moving and the clunk went away.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 14:04   #10
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Loose attachments, most like the shock shaft at the upper end. Go back and recheck the fasteners at the shock to mount and mount to car body.
Large individual bumps won't make the noise. Small ones, particularly at high frequency will. New dampers are resistant to motion. If there's 2 mm of looseness and you hit a rapid series of 2mm high bumps the wheel/tire and lower shock tube move, but the shock's piston and rod does too because of the newly restored stiffness. That 2 mm of movement and hitting the end of the loose gap is the thunking you hear. Bigger bumps create more tire noise and mask the single thunk as the play at the shock top is used up. Bouncing the car is too slow a motion especially with gas charged dampers. The gas allows the rod to remain in contact, only rapid bumps faster than the internal oil valving can react will make the thumping.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 14:36   #11
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Old May 13th, 2008, 18:14   #12
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This may sound naive, but can I tighten all of these suspect bolts by simply removing the wheel and not removing the shock and spring?
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Old May 13th, 2008, 18:46   #13
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in the rear you don't need to touch the spring at all. You can actually even remove the entire rear shock with the wheel on if you are a bit flexible. To get to the top shock nut (top of shock piston, on top of upper rear mount) you'll need to remove the entire rear shock.

Look at the bottom half of this link for some pics:

http://fortuneman.tripod.com/suspension/install.htm

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Old May 13th, 2008, 18:49   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jski
I recently changed springs, shocks and struts to Bilstein TC sports on my 2000 Jetta. I now get a clunking sound in the rear passenger side when hitting small bumps (especially when they are consecutive). I've re-tightened the lower bolt on the bottom of the shock, but the sound remains. I can't get the car to make the noise when jumping on the trailer hitch or by any other means. The car handles nicely and seems to deal with bumps normally. The noise is just annoying. Any ideas out there? Thanks for the help.
Did you follow the correct procedure to tighten the upper mounts? (You have to have weight on them and the car has to be on the ground. All explained in the Bentley manual)
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Old May 13th, 2008, 18:53   #15
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First time I replaced Shocks and had the same bumping from the rear. I was then told I needed to tighten the shock all the way down(Didn't do that) and thought it was supposed to be just a little way's down on the shaft. Tightened it down as far as I could and all was fine.
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