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Discussion Starter #1
This evening I noticed a new noise from my car. 7 years old / about 85K miles, stock suspension.

When stationary, turning the wheel, there's a kind of creaking noise coming from the front end, mainly right hand side I think, and in the engine bay area. Audible clearly from within the car and also when stood outside it. The noise only appears to be when the steering wheel is turned - I can't detect any noise when driving, going over bumps etc (side note....a couple of weeks ago, I did notice a rather off sort of creak when going over some of those ridiculously harsh speed bumps you get in car parks and such - but over most normal bumps, there's no noise, so I've just been keeping an ear out, but I guess it's possible it could be related to this).

I am 95% sure this is the strut top bearing, but I wanted to post here in case anyone had any other opinions. I've never heard one before, so although it's the most likely culprit, it would be handy to get confirmation from someone who has had it.

A few months ago, as per another thread on here, I had an issue with creaking noises on uneven ground which was cured when the droplinks and ARB bushes were replaced, so I don't think the noise is those - besides, this noise is much more noticeable.

I've taken a couple of videos, one from inside the car, the other with the phone propped up on the strut mount. The sound isn't great, but hopefully it gives you an idea.

[ame]https://youtu.be/YjdFhAHWmcM[/ame]
[ame]https://youtu.be/Fvfk6Gt2aE4[/ame]

Assuming it is the strut tops, I think replacement is fairly straightforward - jack up car, unbolt drop links/ABS sensor/brake line from the strut, unbolt the two bolts at the bottom and the three bolts holding the strut top, withdraw the whole lot, compress spring and then undo the nut holding the strut top to the shock. That last step actually looks to the be trickiest (as I think you also need a hex key to stop the shock from turning - can you do without this if you just whizz the nut off with an impact wrench?). Then reassemble in reverse. Again though - I'd like to know if anyone has done this before. Suspension upgrades are common for this car, so I'm hoping there's others with experience!
 

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I think you're right about the top mount but it's always hard to tell in a video :(

Below are some tips (general ramblings), from my experience doing this job on other cars over the years.

It's best to soak the top nut with WD-40 before hand. Luckily the twins have a protective cover over the nut, so any corrosion shouldn't be too bad but it won't hurt.

You'll need an alignment. So if there's anything else you want to change, that could affect the geometry. Now is the time to go for it!

For your own safety, please pick up a quality set of spring compressors. The ones I have were designed by a sadist and after years of being traumatised by them, I've promised myself I'll replace them for an up coming suspension job on another car.

Counter holding the strut can be an pain but there are options. Either way, you want to spin the nut and not the strut.

Option 1:
Special sockets are available. These have a hole in the middle big enough to allow Hex, Torx bits etc... though, with flats on the outside to hold the socket with a spanner.

You don't need anything as fancy or comprehensive as this kit, it's just good for illustrative purposes. More realistically, the parts are available individually and there are cheaper alternative kits available on eBay.

Option 2:
Sadly I don't own any of those special tools. So far I've managed to get away with giving the top nut a good blast with an impact wrench, while the car (and it's weight) is on the ground. This is normally enough to loosen the nut, making it easier to remove with hand tools once the spring is compressed.

As the nut is almost always recessed, I use a swan neck spanners to gain access. Occasionally having to take the Dremel to them for clearance. This is also how (with great difficulty) I loosen the nut, should the impact wrench fail to do the job.

This method isn't much fun and for the sake of a few quid, I'd be tempted to grab the special tools.
I'll be doing this for the work I have coming up, on the project mentioned above.

The way I justify buying special tools is...
Whatever the job would have cost me at a garage, is my budget for doing the work at home. As my labour is free, I've more money to spend on better quality parts and any special tools I might need. Any money I save is a bonus :)

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So yes, this is something you can tackle at home no worries :D Just a few things to consider but I say go for it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Kaviar. I ordered an impact wrench last night. I'd actually been planning on buying one anyway...I figured now would be the time to justify it.

I was hoping not to have to bother with special tools. I have hex keys, so I was going to buy some swan neck spanners and try what you say...give the top not a blast with the impact wrench BEFORE removing the assembly.

Is the alignment absolutely necessary, given that the camber isn't adjustable? I only ask because I had the alignment checked at Abbey literally only a week ago. I'll do it if I must, but it's annoying having to pay for another one, and as I thought only the toe was adjustable on stock suspension, I thought I might get away with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Update for future reference: it turned out to be the droplinks. They looked and felt fine, but I replaced them while I was doing something else underneath the car and the noise seems to have gone. Just need to see if I kept the receipt for those coil spring compressors now...
 
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