W211 E220 Suspension noises - Top Mount ?

Crazy Mike

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Dec 14, 2008
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25
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Oxford, UK
Car
E220 CDi Elegance '02
Hi
2002 E220 Elegance saloon.

Last year I changed the offside front Shock as it was leaking. Following the replacement, I noticed a slight creaking / graunching noise from the offside front when on hard lock (slow moving forward & reverse) which has very gradually got worse and now evident on 3/4 lock. The spring looked slightly warped on the strut so I changed this recently in the hope it would cure the graunching noise - which of course it didn't !
Earlier last year the lower outer ball joint was replaced and I have now replaced the upper suspension arm as well. The remaining joints have all been thoroughly tested both visually and with a bar and all look in good order (never can be sure though !) Checked all braking components including the disc guard for fouling but no problems there. The car drives very well with no issues with steering under normal road conditions.

So I'm thinking this could be top mount related. My understanding is that this car has no top mount bearing and I recall a rubber insert inside the mount to which the top end of the spring locates. So my question is, is it likely the top mount could be causing the noise ? There doesn't look as there is much to go wrong with the top mount in my opinion but I would welcome any thoughts on this and the probability that it could cause the noise.

Thanks

NB I have checked torque settings for the 3 strut fixing nuts, the piston nut and the strut lower mounting bolt - all ok.
 

skemball

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Aug 8, 2005
Messages
130
Location
Berkshire
Car
E320 CDi
Nothing on the strut rotates when turning the steering. I have experienced the same problem recently and it was the lower ball joint. That ball joint was a 'Delphi Automotive' part that I fitted in October last year and failed 2 weeks ago at less than 4,000 miles.
Water had got inside. I now have the same problem on the O/S - that ball joint was 'brand new' exactly 12 months ago when I bought the car so I have ordered 2 x Lemforder ball joints.
Symptoms I had was a squeak noise when barely moving and aggressively turning the steering from wheel left to right . Also a low heavy quiet but audible knocking noise at very slow speed (barely moving) going forwards. I found that using levers etc. on the joint did not show any movement.
 
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Crazy Mike

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Joined
Dec 14, 2008
Messages
25
Location
Oxford, UK
Car
E220 CDi Elegance '02
Hi
Thanks for the replies.
Optimusprime - This is a stock, standard E220 with no mods.
I'm in the process of changing (or trying to !) change the top mount. Once the strut is off the car, can you undo the 17mm piston rod nut with just a deep socket or do you need to secure the piston rod somehow to stop it turning as you undo the nut?
 

OneForTheRoad

MB Enthusiast
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Apr 20, 2015
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4,152
Location
uk.
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2017 e350 c207 .. +65 ford kuga 2.0 cdi zetec awd..
Hi
Thanks for the replies.
Optimusprime - This is a stock, standard E220 with no mods.
I'm in the process of changing (or trying to !) change the top mount. Once the strut is off the car, can you undo the 17mm piston rod nut with just a deep socket or do you need to secure the piston rod somehow to stop it turning as you undo the nut?
Loosen the nut whilst the shock is on the car , just leave it on say half the threads .
 
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Crazy Mike

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Dec 14, 2008
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25
Location
Oxford, UK
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E220 CDi Elegance '02
Top mount now changed - All back together but knocking / clunking is still there. Hey-ho !
Noise is vey noticeable at v low speed going over the smallest bumps and also when slow braking. Looking at caliper, the 'fixed' section of the caliper is firmly attached but the floating section seems to have some play and I can replicate a knocking sound by moving the floating section by hand. Discs & pads were changed 2 years ago. Could this be the source of my knock ?
If anyone has any ideas......
Thanks
 

Scooby2306

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Aug 3, 2021
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5
Location
Plymouth Devon
Car
W639 vito
Top mount now changed - All back together but knocking / clunking is still there. Hey-ho !
Noise is vey noticeable at v low speed going over the smallest bumps and also when slow braking. Looking at caliper, the 'fixed' section of the caliper is firmly attached but the floating section seems to have some play and I can replicate a knocking sound by moving the floating section by hand. Discs & pads were changed 2 years ago. Could this be the source of my knock ?
If anyone has any ideas......
Thanks
I'm having a similar problem with my vito ive changed front strut link arms lower wishbone anti roll bar bushes top mount and top bearing and the noise is still there
 

GM87

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Sep 9, 2019
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44
Location
Northern Ireland
Car
Cls 500
Noises you describe were similar on my w219… upper and lower ball joints as well as a lower arm cured it.
Also recently had some slow speed noise on the front left - wheel bearing was ok but once you really (really!) pulled on the tie rod there was the movement, so far new inner and outer has cured that.
Outside possibility is the torque on the lower arm bolts maybe - when I replaced these I remember the final torque needed done on the ground/under load which was a tight squeeze. Wouldn’t have been loosened when doing the shock?

Hope you find a fix!
 

MJJ

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Jan 13, 2020
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123
Location
Wiltshire
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'09 S211 E220 CDi manual - 185k miles and counting
I had a dull knock/clunk from the OSF suspension on my '09 E220 for about 18 months and 12k miles. Only noticeable at lower speeds over sharp bumps. I could not see any play anywhere, nor could my local garage so I lived with it.

Then, the NSF spring snapped and I had both springs replaced. Only springs, no dampers nor top mounts. I removed the struts from the car, so I know all the mounting bolts were perfectly tight.

Bizarrely, and unexpectedly, this cured the knocking from the OSF completely. There is absolutely no logical reason why springs would cause a clunk in my mind, so I am far from recommending this as a potential solution. However, absolutely nothing else was changed and the clunk was gone.

Martin.
 
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Crazy Mike

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Dec 14, 2008
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Oxford, UK
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E220 CDi Elegance '02
There's no doubt that these various suspension noises that are well written about can be a pain the a*** to locate.

I have had 2 garages look at the car on the ramps recently to try and identify the noise - which is getting worse - and no clear faulty component was able to be identified.
Over the last year the shock was changed first (leaking), followed by the spring. Then the lower outer ball joint and the upper suspension arm & ball joint. Last to change was the top mount but I now fail to see how this can actually go faulty as there is no bearing in the mount (I'm sure others may disagree !) The next culprit will be the lower suspension arm (the one the strut bolts on to) along with the anti- roll bar link and the lower inner ball joint.

I also read about experiences with failed 'new' joints but I try and use decent quality aftermarket parts (a separate debate !!) but remain aware of this possibility.

MJJ - I agree that it's unlikely a spring would cause a 'knock' but perhaps the process of removing and refitting the strut may exert slightly different stresses on suspension components (bushes etc) and possibly reduce the knock sound - just a thought ! Hope it stays silent for you.

Anyway, I will report back on any successes - hopefully.
 
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Crazy Mike

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Dec 14, 2008
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Location
Oxford, UK
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E220 CDi Elegance '02
Update - Finally got round to changing the Spring Control Arm and stabilising link for good measure and that's fixed it !
Like driving a new car. No knocks or graunching noises at all. I can turn the radio off now !
I had to make a small adjustment to the steering tie rod adjuster to align the wheels visually as best as possible but I'm taking the car to get 4 wheel alignment done fairly shortly.

As a secondary issue - the bolt that secures the Arm to the chassis is a standard bolt (no grooves) but the wheels do look cambered in a bit more than they were. Is it possible that changing the arm and using the same bolt / position could cause this or maybe it's my imagination ! I don't have a lift but torqued the Arm bolt, strut lower bolt when wheels were back on (front wheels on car ramps for access). Any thoughts ?
 

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