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Front suspension noises (yes, another thread on this!)
#1
So thanks to all the help on here, I have:

- Successfully reinstated the blower fan relay supply (and now know where the master fuses are)
- Replaced EGR / MAF / turbo actuator (car now runs how it should)
- Done a full service - including the pollen filter (parts are suprisingly cheap - £100ish for all filters and oil)

My last 'running gear' issue is a dreaded unidentifiable clonk and rattle when travelling at low speed.
Having read everything on here (that I can find) I have done the easy stuff:
- droplinks
- gearbox mount

but it still persists. It mainly happens when some lock is applied and the car travels over a rough surface (e.g. cobbles) - a clonk and metallic rattle that comes from either side of the car depending on which way the wheel is turned (it makes the same noise on both sides). When I go over road humps in the straight ahead position, it's fine.
The most bizarre thing is that when travelling slowly down an undulating road, you can hear something squeaking rhythmically.

Its fine at higher speeds.

I think its the engine moving, but haven't ruled out suspension items.

The next item to try is the rear engine mount (being an XTR it means removing the tray etc). Various posts I've seen seem to imply its a bit of a job. Any tips or other thoughts on what it could be?

Thanks all
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#2
Possibly the only bushes that are not particularly loaded when the vehicle is in a straight line, not turning, are the anti-roll bar bushes, which are hidden up above the subframe. Not easy to get at, but cheap enough. 
The roll bar acts in a straight line when 'unloaded' which might account for the squeeking mouse on your undulating road.
Alternatively the top suspension bearings might be worn - the mount & bearing are cheap too.
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#3
(06-10-2022, 12:13 PM)oilyrag Wrote:  Possibly the only bushes that are not particularly loaded when the vehicle is in a straight line, not turning, are the anti-roll bar bushes, which are hidden up above the subframe. Not easy to get at, but cheap enough. 
The roll bar acts in a straight line when 'unloaded' which might account for the squeeking mouse on your undulating road.
Alternatively the top suspension bearings might be worn - the mount & bearing are cheap too.

Resurrecting this thread to -
a) say a belated thanks to 'oilyrag' and
b) to apologise for no update on this.

Given weather and personal circumstances, I've done nothing on the front suspension, but have slowly accumulated a wide range of potential replacement parts (all pretty cheap, which is one advantage of these cars) to change in one go when the weather improves. The noise has been slowly getting worse, but the car has done sterling service this winter.

It was MoT'd yesterday. I had a vain hope that the tester would pinpoint the source of the clunk, but all he said was - 'the OSF suspension makes a bit of a clonk but I can't find what is causing it and there's nothing that fails the MoT requirements'. The one fail item was a split CV boot. Replaced, and all good for another 12 months.

I did spot that the horn wasn't working pre-MoT. A small 'peep' then nothing. So power getting to horn, but it's not working as it should. Easy enough to fix. Nope. Was the car assembled around the horn? Without dropping the wheel, wheel arch line and the undertray (or removing the front bumper), the only way in is to be triple jointed. Managed to unbolt the horn bracket, pull off the corroded terminals and bodged the wiring onto a new horn (£8 from local motor factors) in a much more accessible place. Stupid stupid design.

When it's nicer outside, I'll have a go at rebuilding the front suspension...
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#4
(31-01-2023, 12:32 PM)GilesO Wrote:  
(06-10-2022, 12:13 PM)oilyrag Wrote:  Possibly the only bushes that are not particularly loaded when the vehicle is in a straight line, not turning, are the anti-roll bar bushes, which are hidden up above the subframe. Not easy to get at, but cheap enough. 
The roll bar acts in a straight line when 'unloaded' which might account for the squeeking mouse on your undulating road.
Alternatively the top suspension bearings might be worn - the mount & bearing are cheap too.

Resurrecting this thread to -
a) say a belated thanks to 'oilyrag' and
b) to apologise for no update on this.

Given weather and personal circumstances, I've done nothing on the front suspension, but have slowly accumulated a wide range of potential replacement parts (all pretty cheap, which is one advantage of these cars) to change in one go when the weather improves. The noise has been slowly getting worse, but the car has done sterling service this winter.

It was MoT'd yesterday. I had a vain hope that the tester would pinpoint the source of the clunk, but all he said was - 'the OSF suspension makes a bit of a clonk but I can't find what is causing it and there's nothing that fails the MoT requirements'. The one fail item was a split CV boot. Replaced, and all good for another 12 months.

I did spot that the horn wasn't working pre-MoT. A small 'peep' then nothing. So power getting to horn, but it's not working as it should. Easy enough to fix. Nope. Was the car assembled around the horn? Without dropping the wheel, wheel arch line and the undertray (or removing the front bumper), the only way in is to be triple jointed. Managed to unbolt the horn bracket, pull off the corroded terminals and bodged the wiring onto a new horn (£8 from local motor factors) in a much more accessible place. Stupid stupid design.

When it's nicer outside, I'll have a go at rebuilding the front suspension...
My Multispace XTR [2008, first year of the B9 model] also developed a clonk about a year after I acquired it in 2016 and like you nothing was found on an MOT. I also went through changing drop links [they were worn] and the front shock top mounts [which involved taking out the front shocks] as again this is often the cause of clonking all to no avail. I then received a reply on one of my posts from 'Lighty' [much missed on this forum - RIP] who ran an independent garage specialising in French cars stating that he found after doing all the obvious fixies for the clonk, it in many cases turned out to be the actual shock absorber strut that had excessive sideways movement within the ram and that caused the clunk. So I had the shocks out again and replaced them both [I think at the time I paid about £85 for a pair or German OEM shocks] and the noise finally went! Even when I got the shock out of the spring assembly [you will need a good set of spring compressors if you do go for this] the sideways movement didn't seem excessive but it was obviously enough to cause the problem. Not saying this is definitely your problem but if after trying other possible causes you still have a clonk, it might be worth looking at.
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#5
If you have the car version of a B9 and want to get to the horn, pull the fog light panel out on the passenger side. For the van you need to do the full strip down as above, or cut the fake foglight out and put it back with screws...leave one bit intact and it looks like it was never disturbed.
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#6
(31-01-2023, 06:09 PM)Multispacer Wrote:  
(31-01-2023, 12:32 PM)GilesO Wrote:  
(06-10-2022, 12:13 PM)oilyrag Wrote:  Possibly the only bushes that are not particularly loaded when the vehicle is in a straight line, not turning, are the anti-roll bar bushes, which are hidden up above the subframe. Not easy to get at, but cheap enough. 
The roll bar acts in a straight line when 'unloaded' which might account for the squeeking mouse on your undulating road.
Alternatively the top suspension bearings might be worn - the mount & bearing are cheap too.

Resurrecting this thread to -
a) say a belated thanks to 'oilyrag' and
b) to apologise for no update on this.

Given weather and personal circumstances, I've done nothing on the front suspension, but have slowly accumulated a wide range of potential replacement parts (all pretty cheap, which is one advantage of these cars) to change in one go when the weather improves. The noise has been slowly getting worse, but the car has done sterling service this winter.

It was MoT'd yesterday. I had a vain hope that the tester would pinpoint the source of the clunk, but all he said was - 'the OSF suspension makes a bit of a clonk but I can't find what is causing it and there's nothing that fails the MoT requirements'. The one fail item was a split CV boot. Replaced, and all good for another 12 months.

I did spot that the horn wasn't working pre-MoT. A small 'peep' then nothing. So power getting to horn, but it's not working as it should. Easy enough to fix. Nope. Was the car assembled around the horn? Without dropping the wheel, wheel arch line and the undertray (or removing the front bumper), the only way in is to be triple jointed. Managed to unbolt the horn bracket, pull off the corroded terminals and bodged the wiring onto a new horn (£8 from local motor factors) in a much more accessible place. Stupid stupid design.

When it's nicer outside, I'll have a go at rebuilding the front suspension...
My Multispace XTR [2008, first year of the B9 model] also developed a clonk about a year after I acquired it in 2016 and like you nothing was found on an MOT. I also went through changing drop links [they were worn] and the front shock top mounts [which involved taking out the front shocks] as again this is often the cause of clonking all to no avail. I then received a reply on one of my posts from 'Lighty' [much missed on this forum - RIP] who ran an independent garage specialising in French cars stating that he found after doing all the obvious fixies for the clonk, it in many cases turned out to be the actual shock absorber strut that had excessive sideways movement within the ram and that caused the clunk. So I had the shocks out again and replaced them both [I think at the time I paid about £85 for a pair or German OEM shocks] and the noise finally went! Even when I got the shock out of the spring assembly [you will need a good set of spring compressors if you do go for this] the sideways movement didn't seem excessive but it was obviously enough to cause the problem. Not saying this is definitely your problem but if after trying other possible causes you still have a clonk, it might be worth looking at.

Thanks for this. Luckily I have a complete low-mileage strut as part of my magpie-like search for Berlingo suspension parts over the past few months, so hopefully no spring compressor needed (as long as the spring rating is the same - must remember to check it!)
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#7
(31-01-2023, 09:37 PM)Zion Wrote:  If you have the car version of a B9 and want to get to the horn, pull the fog light panel out on the passenger side. For the van you need to do the full strip down as above, or cut the fake foglight out and put it back with screws...leave one bit intact and it looks like it was never disturbed.

Good tip. I did look at removing the fog light but after the first moulded clip snapped, I decided to leave it well alone...
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#8
Spray all edges with silicone lube, once it soaks in, you should be less likely to snap clips when prying them out, and use a plastic body tool.
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[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Sol for this post:
  • GilesO
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#9
Quick update:

The better weather this weekend gave me the opportunity to have a go at replacing some of the parts that may have been contributing to the noise:
1. Replace struts with replacements. These were used younger items. I replaced the top bearings on them befroe fitting.
2. Replace lower arms (cheaper to buy complete than faff with replacing the bushes).
3. Replace anti-roll bar bushes.

However, only item 1. got done. My fault for not realising I needed a 21mm socket and an e-torx socket for the lower arm bolts and anti-roll bar...

However, replacing the struts seems to have done the trick. The 'clonk' previously heard when travelling over ununeven roads etc has gone. This is either because there was a problem with the shock absorber (as per Multiuser's suggestion), the top bearings or I have tightened up something that was previously loose during the reinstall.

I will still do Items 2 & 3 at some point, but the major issue appears 'cured'. Although now I can hear all the other problems better now...
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