Date registered: Dec 2012
Vehicle: 2003 S430
Location: Georgia, USA
Mentioned: 96 Post(s)
Quoted: 377 Post(s)
Thumping and Rattling on New Strut Installation
I posted part of this problem on one of Dave's threads on his CLK project, but at this point felt that I needed to start my own new thread, rather than continuing to hijack his.
I spent some time on the ground under the 2003 S430 Saturday, replacing the leaking left rear Airmatic strut (Arnott replacement under their life-time warranty.) All went well, until I drove it after finishing the job just before dark, and discovered a major rattle/thump-thump from the area.
I parked the car to wait until Monday to see what I had done wrong. After mentally replaying the job about twenty times, I finally concluded that I had simply missed the lower eye on the strut when I drove the bolt thru, and the strut was now just sitting inside the lower cross arm. The SDS should have given me an error code of ID-10-T! (cowboyt will know how irate I am at the idiot who screwed-up the simple job, namely me.)
So, I went back under the car today to fix the problem - but I didn't find what I expected.
The bolt was properly thru the lower arm and strut eye, and all fasteners were in-place and tight.
Well, something was loose, so I jacked the lower cross arm to the proper installed position, and removed the nuts from each of the three large fasteners on that arm. I then applied anti-seize to each fastener, feeling that I would rather take a chance on over-torquing the bolts, instead of risking leaving one even a little loose. They are now really tight. I checked the torque on both ends of the anti-sway bar link, and on the three nuts on the top of the strut. Every fastener that I touched on this job is triple-checked to be in the correct position and fully tightened.
When I started up the driveway for the test run, the thumping and rattling started immediately, with absolutely no change from the first run.
At this point, I have not a clue as to the source of the thumping and rattling. I can push the left rear fender down an eighth of an inch, and clearly hear a clunk. I would appreciate any helpful comments...
I am SO looking forward to moving into my new shop, where I can work on perfect concrete floors, or even on the new lift, instead of on my back in an unpaved driveway...