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    Thread: SoloWerks S1 Coilovers (CRAP) MKV Jetta TDI

    1. Junior Member tizzytorres9's Avatar
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      09-02-2012 10:47 AM #1
      So I purchased a MKV Jetta TDI for my commute to work, obviously to save on fuel. Although I already liked the look of the stock setup on the vehicle, I wanted to try my first set of coilovers to give the car that aggressive look. Now this being my first set I've ever purchased or drove on for that matter, I was pretty open minded about the comfort of the ride. I only had my previous suspension to compare it to (FK shocks and springs), on my MK4 GTi. Let me tell you, the difference in the two was very noticeable. The Solowerks felt like I was riding on bare rims, feeling every crack in the road, even being bucked out of my seat at times. After a series of uncomfortable commutes, I adjusted the suspension to raise the car, and although this helped a fraction, the ride was still rough and choppy. This uncomfortable ride has been accompanied with a constant sqeak sound everytime the front two coilovers are compressed. At first I thought something was rubbing "NOPE!", I even put the factory 16" rims back on to make sure there was clearance. This dry sounding rubbing squeak noise has slowly been getting worse and is now constant even on flat terrain. I've had the suspension on the vehicle since April, and regret opting for a cheaper coilover. My suggestion to those of you looking to purchase, avoid cheaping out! Its not really worth the headache. If you can wait and save up more cash, get yourself a reputable brand.


      SoloWerks Price - Get what you pay for!!
      SoloWerks Quality - Poor
      SoloWerks Ride Comfort - Stiff as Hell

    2. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      09-04-2012 12:20 PM #2
      Hello tizzytorres9,

      While I appreciate your obvious frustration, have you contacted the company you purchased them from or Solo Werks themselves for advice on how to fix your issues?

      As you have stated, this is your first set of coilovers - could you have missed something during installation, or are you out of the coilovers working range?

      If you have purchased these from AMI or not, we are happy to help you diagnose and fix the issues you are describing.

      Out of the few hundred sets we have sold of the Solo's you would be the first to complain that they are too aggressive.

      To start, if you would please post up your height measurements as in the image below, and we can start the diagnosis:



      Thanks,
      Glen @ AMI
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    3. Member NJ1.8T's Avatar
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      09-04-2012 02:57 PM #3
      I know that this is for the solo werks coilovers but I saw this thread and also how to measure the height correctly. My fronts are DS 12 3/4 PS 12 1/2 Rears are DR 11 1/2 PR 12 1/2
      I just measured them when I had my car on the lift at a friends shop for a new Outer CV Boot. I measured the threads on the front and rear and everything was equal. Why would this change so much? You also sent me a PM on Vortex as I was looking for a set of new coilovers as these keep changing heights on me even though I tighten them down good. You advised me on a great deal for ST made by KW. I need to do something as these Raceland Coilovers are driving me crazy.

      Harvey

      Quote Originally Posted by Sales @ AMI View Post
      Hello tizzytorres9,

      While I appreciate your obvious frustration, have you contacted the company you purchased them from or Solo Werks themselves for advice on how to fix your issues?

      As you have stated, this is your first set of coilovers - could you have missed something during installation, or are you out of the coilovers working range?

      If you have purchased these from AMI or not, we are happy to help you diagnose and fix the issues you are describing.

      Out of the few hundred sets we have sold of the Solo's you would be the first to complain that they are too aggressive.

      To start, if you would please post up your height measurements as in the image below, and we can start the diagnosis:



      Thanks,
      Glen @ AMI
      2003 Jetta, Precision 5558HP .63ar Dual BB Billet 4" in 2.5" out, 630cc Injectors, 225TT MAF, Rods and Bearings, Running Maestro 7, 2.0T Coils, BBM Fuel Rail, Koni Coils, Wavetrac LSD, Clutchmasters FX400 Clutch, AEM Gauges, 3" DP into 2.5" CB, VF Engineering Motor Mounts and Water Meth Coming Soon
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    4. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      09-04-2012 03:25 PM #4
      NJ1.8T - PM Sent
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    5. Junior Member tizzytorres9's Avatar
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      09-10-2012 09:50 AM #5
      I've change the heights a few times now on all 4 corners. I'm riding at a pretty neutral height right now to allow freedom in aggressive cornering. I think it may have something to do with me not replacing the Strut Mounts and Strut Bearings as it sounds like this could be a problem. I'll have to take it to my mechanic for a closer look.

    6. 09-17-2012 03:00 PM #6
      I rode these coils for a month and then couldn't take it anymore. I only lowered an inch and a half and it felt so awful. Not just stiff but dangerously bouncy. Like id go over a small hump on the freeway and momentarily lose control of the car as it was bouncing up and down trying to settle. The shocks are terrible I got rid of them as fast as I could. Went with 250 dollar hr ss springs. Much better.

    7. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      09-17-2012 03:57 PM #7
      BobReno,

      Did you contact Solo Werks or you point of purchase on your issues before you took them off to get this diagnosed?

      Glen @ AMI
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    8. 09-17-2012 04:20 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Sales @ AMI View Post
      BobReno,

      Did you contact Solo Werks or you point of purchase on your issues before you took them off to get this diagnosed?

      Glen @ AMI
      Yeah I had quite a few discussions with reps from solo werks. I think in the end they are just too stiff and bouncy for my liking. The dampening just didn't seem to be tuned properly for someone like me who's very performance-minded. I think if you're objective is to get really low for a very decent price, these are perfect for you. And of course I realize that ride comfort is not the primary objective of lowering, at all, but the discomfort was unbearable for me and I'm a 20 year old kid so I think that says a lot lol I can't imagine a middle-aged man being able to deal with that rough of a ride.

    9. Junior Member tizzytorres9's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 12:59 PM #9
      What's the point in contacting Solowerks, the return poilicy is a joke. You'll just be out more money in the end that's about it.

    10. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      10-03-2012 01:27 PM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by tizzytorres9 View Post
      What's the point in contacting Solowerks, the return poilicy is a joke. You'll just be out more money in the end that's about it.
      That's very interesting, as their policy is no different than any of the high end brands I deal with (KW, ST, Bilstein, Koni) and much better than any of the other entry level systems.

      If you are not willing to work with the manufacturer on a problem you are having with their product, then in the end it is really your loss.

      While I appreciate your post that you have "I've change the heights a few times now on all 4 corners." You have still not posted what these heights are.

      If you genuinely want to have help, post up your info or give us a call with the info and we can work through it with you.

      Our Toll Free number is 1-888-362-3117 and I am at extension 101 9-5 PST Monday to Friday

      I look forward to hearing from you

      Glen @ AMI
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    11. Junior Member tizzytorres9's Avatar
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      10-07-2012 08:52 PM #11
      Just had my VW mechanic have a look and listen to the suspension. He confirmed there is nothing wrong with the install. He Re-adjusted the back perches because the springs have already settled in the 10000km I've put on the suspension, and the car is sitting at a comfortable equal height all around. He said the noise coming from the front two struts is internal. There is no rubbing of any kind, and it's an issue with the struts themselves.


      So as i said before, you get what you pay for!!

    12. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 03:02 PM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by tizzytorres9 View Post
      Just had my VW mechanic have a look and listen to the suspension. He confirmed there is nothing wrong with the install. He Re-adjusted the back perches because the springs have already settled in the 10000km I've put on the suspension, and the car is sitting at a comfortable equal height all around. He said the noise coming from the front two struts is internal. There is no rubbing of any kind, and it's an issue with the struts themselves.


      So as i said before, you get what you pay for!!
      I beg to differ my friend.

      The noise is not internal to the coilover, it is in fact the VW upper mount.

      Is this what you are hearing:

      http://youtu.be/Vj60rMH656s

      The Factory VW mount's, while a step up from previous designs has a failing when a higher power/performance shock absorber is installed.

      As we sell many different brands of coilovers from entry level kits like Solo Werks and FK Streetlines, to mid grade ST / HR / Eibach, and even High end KW kits - we have quite a few customers with MK5/MK6's and this noise has been reported across every brand we have sold on the MK5 / MK6 platform.

      The difference is what the manufacturers are doing about it. Solo Werks is the only one that has spent any time trying to find the real cause of it. I have one customer with a ST kit that is on his 3rd set of warranty fronts, and the noise is still there. And he is now out 3 installations and 3 alignments - more than he paid for the ST kit in the first place.

      If you had contacted Solo Werks about this, you would already be in the loop as they have a mailing list for MK5/MK6 coilover owners on the development of a new mount that will take care of this problem.

      But as you said:

      Quote Originally Posted by tizzytorres9
      What's the point in contacting Solowerks, the return poilicy is a joke. You'll just be out more money in the end that's about it.
      Happy Monday,
      Glen @ AMI
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      10-08-2012 03:38 PM #13
      I just installed Solo on my car last Friday night, I find them to be 'soft'.
      Softer than expected and wanted them to be.

    14. Member BolideVW's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 02:15 AM #14
      I had these on my mk4 gti vr6. They weren't all that. Bouncy, just crazy harsh for my liking. I also had the constant sound coming from them. Put the same brand bushings on my fk silverlines and they operate as they should, so I have my doubts it was the bushings.

    15. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      10-11-2012 01:40 PM #15
      OP: You basically took the same route that I took on my GTi. I went from (crap-tastic) FK shocks and springs to my first set of coilovers, with the difference being that I spent some money and got the Koni 1150's and a new set of strut mounts (which I've recently switched out to 034 track density mounts).

      Even before installing the HD mounts and on full soft, the ride is harsh! Height isn't really the issue here because I've done some experimentation with ride height (for AutoX) and haven't noticed any differences in NVH during my 250mi a week commute. Although I have no experience with SoloWerks (aside from knowing that they're cheap) I do have experience with my Koni's which are significantly better. So I think that an answer lies somewhere between what your expectations are and what Glen is trying to help you out with. I'm not a mechanic but what your mechanic told you doesn't really make all that much sense.

      NJ1.8T: You said that you measured the ride height while the car was on the lift? You realize how innaccurate that is, right?

      GL OP
      Last edited by Light on Fuel; 10-11-2012 at 01:42 PM.

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      10-19-2012 09:50 AM #16
      Wow heard about a lot of things going wrong with this kit. I will save my money then. thanks for the input

    17. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      10-19-2012 12:46 PM #17
      For tizzytorres9 - the Original Poster with the MK5 here is a new product release that should help you:

      MK5/MK6 Squeaking Front Suspension? AMI can Help | Solo Werks | 034Motorsport

      For the MK4 - MK3 - MK2 owners posting on this thread, Solo Werks has had:

      • No calls
      • No emails
      • No tech sheets submitted
      • No warranty submissions


      On any vehicle other than the MK5/MK6 with the squeaking noise that you hear in this video that is fixed by their new upper mount:


      VW MK5 / MK6 Suspension Noise Video

      In fact, Solo Werks has only issued 1 warranty strut in the last 12 months.

      BOTTOM LINE

      Regardless of the product or service you have purchased, if you have a problem with it call your point of purchase and/or the manufacturer and they can help you - it could be a simple fix.

      If you don't, you only have yourself to blame.


      Glen @ AMI
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      10-23-2012 01:23 PM #18
      I will be dealing with the issue; will get in contact with Solo.

      Before the suspension went in, control arms got new bushings, tie rods and ball joints were replaced, new upper mounts and bearings. Alignment was done.

      The problem in that shocks seem to be under-valved for the springs. Ride is smooth except when driving on a road with 'waves', where it feels like you are in open ocean. Suspension bounces too much before it settles. Especially front end. Going over speed bumps - same thing. Ride height is very conservative, mild lowering from stock heights.

    19. 11-22-2012 06:54 PM #19
      I'm afraid i'm in the same boat, I had this installed about a couple of weeks ago..My ride height is almost stock and there is a definite sequence of bounciness when going over a typical undulation on the road, This bounciness is a bit much for my taste and compared to my Bilsteins PSS9 Coilovers on my BMW 3-Series, an the ride is not even in the same arena. I will have it re-adjusted and find the best ride, I have purchased the Solo-Werks with the 034 Mounts for the fronts but not the rears. I also have a suspension related rattle coming from the Passenger/Rear Side of my MKV JSW that was not there prior to the change-over.m I have not contacted AMI yet because i'm trying to find different avenues that this can be remedied.

    20. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      11-27-2012 07:10 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by trutone View Post
      I'm afraid i'm in the same boat, I had this installed about a couple of weeks ago..My ride height is almost stock and there is a definite sequence of bounciness when going over a typical undulation on the road, This bounciness is a bit much for my taste and compared to my Bilsteins PSS9 Coilovers on my BMW 3-Series, an the ride is not even in the same arena. I will have it re-adjusted and find the best ride, I have purchased the Solo-Werks with the 034 Mounts for the fronts but not the rears. I also have a suspension related rattle coming from the Passenger/Rear Side of my MKV JSW that was not there prior to the change-over.m I have not contacted AMI yet because i'm trying to find different avenues that this can be remedied.
      I am going to wager that the ride height setting is going to be your key here - All coilovers on the market are designed for a specific height range. Adjust the suspension outside of this range and the function of the suspension will suffer.

      With your JSW, the highest you should be is 1.4" lower than stock which would be approximately:
      Front
      13 3/4"

      Rear
      14 1/2

      When using the Center of Wheel Hub to Fender measurement that I have posted before in this thread:



      Give me a call when you get a chance and we can go over your current setup and get it taken care of sooner rather than later.

      Thanks,
      Glen @ AMI
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    21. 11-27-2012 08:30 PM #21
      I had it readjusted this weekend to see if the ride would change.. I'm at 12.5 Front and 13" rear., measuring from center of the hub to fender.

    22. Member bostonaudi1's Avatar
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      11-30-2012 11:11 AM #22
      Not sure how you guys expect a $500 coilover setup to be any good.

      You would be FAR better off with simple DG springs on the stock shocks, or a set of Koni's or Bilsteins.
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    23. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      11-30-2012 01:43 PM #23
      You would be surprised what $500 gets you in a coilover today.

      Working in the suspension end of this business since 1998, and for KW's original North American importer and then running KW USA for 4 years I have quite a broad range of experience in this area.

      The kits in the range of the Solo Werks and FK Streetlines etc are comparable to many of the higher end brands in ride quality and handling - in my experience it comes down to how long the product will last. With Warranties of 3 years on the Solos and 1 year on the Streetlines you can see where the companies are putting their money into as far as seal/rod quality etc.

      For example, selling FK's for the last 10 years at AMI the warranties we have seen have been mostly the seals inverting due to the chrome piston rod having burned through.

      In the end, barring any installation issues the ride quality is always a subjective thing as everyone likes a different amount of salt in their soup.

      We have a large amount of customers that love their Solo Werks, some that say they are too soft, some that say they are too hard.

      trutone, you have a PM
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    24. Member Light on Fuel's Avatar
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      11-30-2012 02:40 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Sales @ AMI View Post
      The kits in the range of the Solo Werks and FK Streetlines etc are comparable to many of the higher end brands in ride quality and handling - in my experience it comes down to how long the product will last. With Warranties of 3 years on the Solos and 1 year on the Streetlines you can see where the companies are putting their money into as far as seal/rod quality etc.
      While I agree with you on the subjectivity of ride harshness, my opinion differs on the lesser brands being comparable to the higher end ones. The main reason I purchased my Koni coilovers is because of the long standing working relationship that Koni has had with the McLaren F1 team. When a manufacturer is involved in that level (or pinnacle) of motorsport, that knowledge always translates into the product range for the average consumer. So maybe they are comparable in terms of everyday drivability, but they are not even close in terms of a high performance situation.



      \X/

    25. Member bostonaudi1's Avatar
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      11-30-2012 10:34 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Sales @ AMI View Post
      You would be surprised what $500 gets you in a coilover today.

      Working in the suspension end of this business since 1998, and for KW's original North American importer and then running KW USA for 4 years I have quite a broad range of experience in this area.

      The kits in the range of the Solo Werks and FK Streetlines etc are comparable to many of the higher end brands in ride quality and handling - in my experience it comes down to how long the product will last. With Warranties of 3 years on the Solos and 1 year on the Streetlines you can see where the companies are putting their money into as far as seal/rod quality etc.

      For example, selling FK's for the last 10 years at AMI the warranties we have seen have been mostly the seals inverting due to the chrome piston rod having burned through.

      In the end, barring any installation issues the ride quality is always a subjective thing as everyone likes a different amount of salt in their soup.

      We have a large amount of customers that love their Solo Werks, some that say they are too soft, some that say they are too hard.

      trutone, you have a PM
      If you sold KW for 4 years then you know the Far East products are imitative and cheaply made and do not compare to products like KW in any sense. $500 coilovers are for kids with little funds who have to be lowered. And the real horror (the horror) of it all is these kits handle no better than stock, and usually worse. A far better setup would be real shocks (Bilsteins) with a set of stock or DG springs. I used to retail KW myself, good stuff.

      It's also not just how long before a seal blows, it's also the valving and the quality of the shock bodies. Most stuff from the far east just isn't good, it's sold at lowest price point possible and made out of almost dangerously cheap pot metal. Rokkors, Racelands, etc. - all from same bucket.
      Last edited by bostonaudi1; 11-30-2012 at 10:38 PM.
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    26. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      12-02-2012 04:44 PM #26
      I appreciate your point of view and you have some very valid points, but I am curious to see if you have had any Solo Werks product in your hands?

      Being in this segment in the industry for this long and working for a very progressive company like KW, I have had the pleasure of dissecting coilover kits from every major brand, as well as the majority of the minor brands including all of the lower end systems such as Raceland/Rokkor (as they are one in the same), FK, Solo Werks etc

      You are correct that some of the more blatant replications are built to the lowest spec possible in order to turn a profit (we would assume), but from my experience the Solo's are constructed to a much higher standard than the rest of the systems you are grouping them with.

      I invite you to contact me directly so we can discuss the Solo's further, and maybe even get a set in your hands for evaluation.

      I look forward to hearing from you.

      Glen @ AMI
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      12-03-2012 01:11 PM #27
      Glen,

      I bought these NEW from a fellow vortexer and I am having an issue after install. There is a knocking/clicking/clunking noise coming from both sides of the front end. It only happens while I am steering, and at slow speeds (coming out of garage, turning after a stop sign)

      Ive had it apart multiple times after instal, re checking, re tighting everything I put it. I used the shorter endlinks that were installed with kit.

      I have my helper springs in, tried it at multiple ride hieghts, and no luck so far. I understand if you cant chime in here, being that I didn't buy them from you, but it cant hurt to ask!

      Thanks!

    28. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      12-03-2012 01:26 PM #28
      Quote Originally Posted by ASteele View Post
      Glen,

      I bought these NEW from a fellow vortexer and I am having an issue after install. There is a knocking/clicking/clunking noise coming from both sides of the front end. It only happens while I am steering, and at slow speeds (coming out of garage, turning after a stop sign)

      Ive had it apart multiple times after instal, re checking, re tighting everything I put it. I used the shorter endlinks that were installed with kit.

      I have my helper springs in, tried it at multiple ride hieghts, and no luck so far. I understand if you cant chime in here, being that I didn't buy them from you, but it cant hurt to ask!

      Thanks!
      Hello ASteele, we should be able to get you noise free pretty easily.

      Clicking sounds when turning normally indicate that the suspension assembly is not rotating as it should, causing the springs to bind.

      The upper bearing is responsible for allowing the springs to rotate with the shock body when you turn your wheel. When you turn back and forth , the only part of the coilover assembly that should not rotate is the shock shaft, the rest should turn with the wheel.

      Two things to check:

      1. Is the system installed with all parts. The components top to bottom should be:

      Top nut (strut shaft)
      Top Rubber Mount
      Bearing
      Upper Spring Seat (normally attached to Bearing)
      Solo Werks Aluminum Upper Spring Seat
      Solo Werks Main Spring
      Solo Werks Spring Isolator (black plastic ring)
      Solo Werks Helper Spring

      As in the image below


      2. Are the bearings in the assembly free moving or are they bound up.

      Those should be the two main factors that would cause the noise you are talking about.
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    29. 12-03-2012 01:33 PM #29
      I bought my solo-werks packaged with 2 front 034 shock mounts ... I don't hear any noise from the fronts but I hear it on passenger/rear side.. It usually occurs when going over stutter bumps on a bad section of the freeway.. The noise sounds like someone is knocking on the right rear panel by the fender.

    30. Junior Member
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      12-03-2012 01:33 PM #30
      Bearings are inside the strut mount correct? I dont remember them being free, I will take it apart and check it again but Im pretty sure that the bearing inside the strut mount was not moving. They are 5 years old :/

      If that bearing is bound up, would that be responsible for making the noise?

    31. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      12-03-2012 02:08 PM #31
      Quote Originally Posted by trutone View Post
      I bought my solo-werks packaged with 2 front 034 shock mounts ... I don't hear any noise from the fronts but I hear it on passenger/rear side.. It usually occurs when going over stutter bumps on a bad section of the freeway.. The noise sounds like someone is knocking on the right rear panel by the fender.
      A knocking noise would indicate that something may be loose or not seated properly.

      Which vehicle do you have?

      Glen @ AMI
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    32. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      12-03-2012 02:28 PM #32
      Quote Originally Posted by ASteele View Post
      Bearings are inside the strut mount correct? I dont remember them being free, I will take it apart and check it again but Im pretty sure that the bearing inside the strut mount was not moving. They are 5 years old :/

      If that bearing is bound up, would that be responsible for making the noise?
      The bearing is on the strut mount, but is actually a separate piece.



      If it wasn't moving, it would 100% be responsible for making the noises you are hearing.

      Thanks,
      Glen @ AMI
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    33. Junior Member
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      12-03-2012 03:54 PM #33
      Glen,

      Just wanted to say thank you for your quick response, and taking the time out of your day to help me out! With your diagram I was easily able to see that I had thrown the strut mount bearing back into the box with my stock setup. OOPS. Luckily I only drove the car around the block.

      No noise now... If you guys would like me to write a short review let me know, Id be more than happy to help!

      Coils feel great!


    34. Banner Advertiser eurocollective's Avatar
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      12-03-2012 04:12 PM #34
      Quote Originally Posted by ASteele View Post
      Glen,

      Just wanted to say thank you for your quick response, and taking the time out of your day to help me out! With your diagram I was easily able to see that I had thrown the strut mount bearing back into the box with my stock setup. OOPS. Luckily I only drove the car around the block.

      No noise now... If you guys would like me to write a short review let me know, Id be more than happy to help!

      Coils feel great!

      You are more than welcome, and yes post up your review of the kit!

      Solo Werks is still offering to send out Solo Werks Coilover T-shirts to anyone that posts a Post Install review. Just post it up, send the link to info@solo-werks.com with your ship to info and your shirt size and they will take care of you!

      Let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns, we are happy to help.

      Glen @ AMI
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