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    Thread: Knocking, thumping sound after going wide wheels

    1. Member
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      10-06-2012 08:09 PM #1
      I bought my mk2 with 15x6.5 et33 and installed 15x8.5 wheels et7 (including 10mm spacers in front, et2 with 15mm in back but I don't think that matters for this) and since then I've noticed I get a knocking/thumping sound when I first drive that sounds like it's coming from the front end. I'm parked on a hill so I'm typically reversing first thing when I hear it but I do notice it driving forwards right after as well. I think it sounds more when I'm turning but it still makes the sound driving straight too. I suspected a bad CV joint on the drivers side when I pulled the axle so replaced it, all poly bushings are good, took it to les schwab and they did a once over and drove it and said everything suspension is solid. Any thoughts? btw, wheels have hubcentric rings and spacers are HR and also hubcentric. Also, sound goes away pretty quickly once I start driving and is completely intermittent but I do only notice it at lower speeds. I'm pretty sure I can feel it thump too primarily through the gas pedal but only slightly... ST coils and lowered

    2. Member robocopywriter's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 09:11 PM #2
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    3. Member 16VWOLF's Avatar
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      10-06-2012 09:14 PM #3
      Check your wheel bearings. Easy way to do this is to jack-up the front of the car and sit facing the wheel. Shake the wheel by grabbing the top and bottom (vertically) of the wheel/tire (don't actually shake it but move it to listen and feel play). Remember that your strut mount will move with it but try to pay attention to the wheel itself moving. You can also shake it front to back(horizontally) to check for control arm and steering movement but make sure your steering wheel isn't locked (put the key in and turn it with out starting the car).
      Last edited by 16VWOLF; 10-06-2012 at 09:16 PM.

    4. Member
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      10-06-2012 09:37 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by robocopywriter View Post
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      Quote Originally Posted by 16VWOLF View Post
      Check your wheel bearings. Easy way to do this is to jack-up the front of the car and sit facing the wheel. Shake the wheel by grabbing the top and bottom (vertically) of the wheel/tire (don't actually shake it but move it to listen and feel play). Remember that your strut mount will move with it but try to pay attention to the wheel itself moving. You can also shake it front to back(horizontally) to check for control arm and steering movement but make sure your steering wheel isn't locked (put the key in and turn it with out starting the car).
      I've done this and the wheel has no movement, and dude at les schwab was rockin it on the lift every which-way checking the wheels, struts and bearings, ect. I guess I'm hoping that there's something widening wheels can change about the way the car rides that wouldn't be obvious to think about that he wouldn't have thought to check.

      Good ideas though, keep 'em rollin...

    5. Member shwak23's Avatar
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      10-08-2012 11:52 PM #5
      I had a similar noise and it was from loose wheel bolts. Are your spacers tight? Wheels?

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    6. Member
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      10-09-2012 07:52 PM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by shwak23 View Post
      I had a similar noise and it was from loose wheel bolts. Are your spacers tight? Wheels?
      They're tight but maybe I'll check again, they've been off since I originally put them on though. And it seems like the sound would remain there as I'm driving.

      Since we're on it though, what's the stock length of lug bolts? I bought 15mm spacers from ECS and they sent me 45mm bolts to go with them, any chance they're too long and not tightening enough, making the noise? I still have my old wheels and keep meaning to put them back on just to see if the sound goes away...

    7. Member Greg_J's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 08:41 PM #7
      best way to check for lug length. take off wheel and spacer. put lug into holes. see how much sticks out. you want at least 1cm sticking out.
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    8. Member Mk2GLi420's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 08:51 PM #8
      My mk3 does the same thing. its always in the morning and i too back up and then go forward. it goes away after about half a mile (as soon as it worms up it seems) keep us posted if you figure it out

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      10-09-2012 10:29 PM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk2GLi420 View Post
      My mk3 does the same thing. its always in the morning and i too back up and then go forward. it goes away after about half a mile (as soon as it worms up it seems) keep us posted if you figure it out
      Are you also running spacers or wide wheels? Do you notice it more when you're turning at the same time?

    10. Member Mk2GLi420's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 10:44 PM #10
      Yeah I have 9.5 with 20mm spacers. It's pretty much the same sound no matter what. I've always wondered if my axle is rubbing on the frame, I've noticed wear spots on my axle from it.

    11. Member
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      10-09-2012 10:53 PM #11
      hmmm... I just replaced my driver's side axle and didn't notice any wear on mine...

    12. Member Mk2GLi420's Avatar
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      10-09-2012 10:59 PM #12
      How low are you? Mine only does it on passenger side witch is where the noise sounds like its coming from

    13. Member
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      10-10-2012 12:09 AM #13
      Maybe I'll take another look at the pass side, it's hard for me to tell where it's coming from on my car because I'm always the one driving, but that's where I've been thinking the sound is coming from (driver's).

      I'm not too low at all, maybe 2"s lower than stock, not close enough to rub or worry about busting my oil pan. But I do want to run it a little lower once I pull/cut my fenders.

    14. Member Mk2GLi420's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 02:07 AM #14
      Yeah your axle isn't rubbing then.. I'm like 2.75 inches off the ground lol I'm kinda leaning towards wheel bearing now

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      10-10-2012 02:16 AM #15
      My wheel bearings have been replaced so looks like we've got different knocks, hard knock life Good luck with yours.

      I'd forgotten that the PO told me the rear beam bushings are bad so I'm wondering if they're making the noise, sure seems like it's coming from the front end though...

    16. Member Mk2GLi420's Avatar
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      10-10-2012 02:31 AM #16
      Let me know if you figure it out! It's been puzzling me for months

    17. Member
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      10-10-2012 02:39 AM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by Mk2GLi420 View Post
      Let me know if you figure it out! It's been puzzling me for months
      Will do.

      Anyone else have ideas? Could rear beam bushings make knocking noises at seemingly random intervals but only for the first few mins of driving?

    18. Member VR6 GLX Man's Avatar
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      10-17-2012 10:53 PM #18
      I've recently had this issues, it was a matter of time before I had a suspension issue since I haven't touched my suspension since I got the car in april. Well my rapid thumping noise was audible when turning the wheel when driving, but now it got worse and doesen't going straight, I thought I had some rod knock going on, but it doesen't do it at idle, I added a little oil since it was getting low for fear of rod knock, but it still does it and I'm suspecting wheel bearing.
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    19. Member VR6 GLX Man's Avatar
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      10-17-2012 10:56 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by fakename View Post
      My wheel bearings have been replaced so looks like we've got different knocks, hard knock life Good luck with yours.

      I'd forgotten that the PO told me the rear beam bushings are bad so I'm wondering if they're making the noise, sure seems like it's coming from the front end though...
      Well I guess it could be something other than wheel bearings. My front right wheel has play while in gear with the tire off and me moving the wheel rotor, the play is about half a centimeter back and forth and a bit left and right, is this a bad bearing. I'm a noob about suspension issues.
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    20. Member
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      10-18-2012 12:28 PM #20
      I think you're right, if you can rock the wheel sideways then your bearing is probably going out. I had my checked out at les schwab and they said everything was good. I'm wondering if it's a motor mount or something that can knock around that's not suspension related, but why does it go away when the car warms up and not change with rpms?

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