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midlife-crisis
#1 Posted : 09 October 2018 16:58:33(UTC)
midlife-crisis

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I'm trying to track down a metallic rattle when driving over an uneven surface - it has done 90,000 miles.  There was a bit of play in the drop links, so I had them replaced.    When it came to setting up the geometry, the ride heights (from wheel centre to wheel arch) are 380mm front, 345mm rear.  The magic machine said this was out of acceptable parameters - we told it the rear heights were 355 and it accepted it: what are the correct figures, please?   The handling feels good to me, but I'm used to a Mustang Cobra that is quite keen for the rear wheels to overtake the fronts . . . .

Vaughan
#2 Posted : 10 October 2018 09:17:22(UTC)
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My 2006 sport also on 90k miles has this rattle too! I've only heard it this year. It's been lowered prior to my owning it, so not sure buy how much.

 

Why are you tracing ride height to resolve your rattling issue?

midlife-crisis
#3 Posted : 10 October 2018 17:25:51(UTC)
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I had new tyres and drop links fitted. The "magic machine" at the tyre depot requires data to check the tracking. First up is the ride height - when we put in the rear ride height The Machine said ir was "outside acceptable parameters" so I was asking the Forum what the ride height should be.
MickAP
#4 Posted : 10 October 2018 18:43:52(UTC)
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What suspension do you have fitted, if a sport Bilsteins??

Current car...07 plate True Red Sport. MeisterR's, Colbalt rear box, Royal Steering Wheel retrim.
Vaughan
#5 Posted : 10 October 2018 20:48:35(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: midlife-crisis Go to Quoted Post
I had new tyres and drop links fitted. The "magic machine" at the tyre depot requires data to check the tracking. First up is the ride height - when we put in the rear ride height The Machine said ir was "outside acceptable parameters" so I was asking the Forum what the ride height should be.

Have you solved the rattling?

 

midlife-crisis
#6 Posted : 10 October 2018 23:16:20(UTC)
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It's a "Roadster Sport" - I'm sure it is "stock" with no upgrades. It arrived with 4 different cheap and nasty tyres, and after a couple of track days the suspension started rattling, and half the plastic studs that hold the wheel well liners to the wheel arches fell out. I had 4 decent tyres fitted, and replaced the drop links as they were showing signs of wear, but the rattle persists - maybe torsion bar supports? The ride height issue came to light when they tried to set up the suspension with the new drop links, as the computer said the rear ride height was outside acceptable parameters. There's no obvious broken parts, and both sides are exactly the same height - it seems odd that the back springs should sag, and not the fronts?
MickAP
#7 Posted : 10 October 2018 23:37:20(UTC)
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It might be useful posting a side on view picture of your car to give us an idea of the height.

Bilsteins are fitted to the sport model, those fitted with lowering springs (well on my car) did cause the suspension to bottom out occasionally on certain undulating roads.
Also on some rough road surfaces I got an annoying rattle/thudding from the rear end. I put this down to the bump stops or as reported in other threads I've read a loose cup on the shock for want of a better term.
I've since had MeisterR's fitted and all is well, a smooth noise less ride, also changed all drop links as one had broken away on the front.

Current car...07 plate True Red Sport. MeisterR's, Colbalt rear box, Royal Steering Wheel retrim.
Vaughan
#8 Posted : 11 October 2018 09:12:34(UTC)
Vaughan

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Originally Posted by: midlife-crisis Go to Quoted Post
It's a "Roadster Sport" - I'm sure it is "stock" with no upgrades. It arrived with 4 different cheap and nasty tyres, and after a couple of track days the suspension started rattling, and half the plastic studs that hold the wheel well liners to the wheel arches fell out. I had 4 decent tyres fitted, and replaced the drop links as they were showing signs of wear, but the rattle persists - maybe torsion bar supports? The ride height issue came to light when they tried to set up the suspension with the new drop links, as the computer said the rear ride height was outside acceptable parameters. There's no obvious broken parts, and both sides are exactly the same height - it seems odd that the back springs should sag, and not the fronts?

Found this tread re noise from the rear....

https://www.mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst95242_Rear-drop-link-like-noise---grey-bush.aspx

My car is the sport and has been lowered, I can measure for you if you want?

 

midlife-crisis
#9 Posted : 11 October 2018 16:19:17(UTC)
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That would be helpful, please. Measuring from the wheel centre to the arch mine are 380mm front, 345mm rear. The tyre depot's computer said the minimum height at the rear is 355mm, but it was working from specs for "MX5 2004- 9" with no mention of "sport" or "roadster" so the car may actually be correct! What I really need is someone else with the same model to measure theirs for me . . . .
RichardFX
#10 Posted : 11 October 2018 16:46:51(UTC)
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My 2008 NC PRHT Niseko has standard suspension and wheels.  The height from wheel centre to wheel arch on each of the four is 375mm.  AFAIR 380mm is standard, and mine has had ten years to settle.

It seems as if yours might have had lowered springs fitted at some time, or they have a broken coil, but now you have standard at the front and lowered at the back.

The all too common 'twisted bush problem' (rushed mechanic) is most unlikely to lift the front of the car by 20-30mm.

I don't know which should be correct for your particular car, and the rears can be slightly different depending if you have soft top or PRHT, but your current set up is definitely wrong. (You don't have a few bags of cement on the boot?)

 

Get the car up on a lift again and check what colour the dots on the springs are, to see what you actually have, and check for the ends having broken, usually the end of the last turn - a bodger could have just taken the bits out and left the rest of the spring in place.

With positive info on what is actually there in the car, someone here will be able to point you in the right direction.

 

2008 Niseko NC 2.0
2016 Mazda3 SE-L Nav 2.0
MickAP
#11 Posted : 11 October 2018 16:50:21(UTC)
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Mine measures 330mm front and rear but I have MeisterR's, fitted and set up by that very good chap in Sheffield.

When I had Bilsteins with lowering springs they measured approx 340mm F and 335mm R

 

With the Bilsteins and lowering springs fitted

Current car...07 plate True Red Sport. MeisterR's, Colbalt rear box, Royal Steering Wheel retrim.
Aldi
#12 Posted : 11 October 2018 16:51:01(UTC)
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I'm not sure what ride height has to do with a rattle, but FWIW I submit my own readings of my 2007 NC 2.0 Sport with standard Bilstein yellow dampers at about 37k miles...
F 375mm both sides
R 370mm both sides.

I would be tempted to have a close look at the actual coil springs to make sure they haven't got a cracked coil - that will rattle and/or clonk, and lower the ride height, and it's not always easy to spot...if it's in the lower spring pan.

I sometimes get a 'clonk' particularly when it's moving away from a cold start, probably due to the damper oil not fully warmed up and not circulated past the piston, but it usually disappears after a few miles.
The other thing that 'clonks' is, believe it or not, fuel sloshing in the tank when level is low.

Just my thoughts..
Cheers,
Aldi
Don't drive it like yer stole it...not all the time, anyway!
midlife-crisis
#13 Posted : 11 October 2018 21:47:18(UTC)
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To answer questions from several responses:
Trying to improve handling and cure the rattle I had new tyres and drop links fitted. Then the car went on the alignment machine, and I noticed the ride height issue for the first time - that's the only connection between ride height and rattle!
The car has a "standard" powered folding hard top roof - is this a "PRHT"?
It sounds like the front(380) is correct and the back(345) too low - this ties in with "the machine" rejecting the rear height as outside normal parameters - it accepted 380 and 355 . . . .
I'm pretty sure it hasn't been modified - all the suspension parts were equally rusted into place! Hopefully, no-one would lower just the back??
Sadly, there isn't a bag of cement in the boot!
I couldn't see any damage on the springs, and both sides are exactly the same height - wouldn't it be odd if both springs broke, and dropped by the same amount? I'll go back to the garage and ask them to have another look for damage or identifying marks on the springs.
Thank you to everyone who has taken the trouble to respond.

midlife-crisis
#14 Posted : 12 October 2018 12:17:29(UTC)
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The saga continues . . .
Beneath the underseal, there are blue and yellow Bilstein stickers on all 4 shock absorbers, which sort of explains why the back ride height is 345mm, but not why the front is "standard" 380mm? The only explanation I can come up with is a pretty unlikely situation where the Bilstein front springs were replaced (after a breakage?) with standard, longer ones? Can you adjust the ride height on Bilstein units, like on some racing set-ups? If I could lift the back 20mm and drop the front by the same . . . . Help, please!!
MickAP
#15 Posted : 12 October 2018 12:47:21(UTC)
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Not sure on this, I think the PRHT has different Bilsteins fitted to that of the soft top on the rear. Thinking it could have possibly had the rears changed at some point??

In standard form even with Bilsteins the ride height is more 4x4 than sports car, as my pic above much better lowered but doesn't suit everyone.

Current car...07 plate True Red Sport. MeisterR's, Colbalt rear box, Royal Steering Wheel retrim.
Vaughan
#16 Posted : 12 October 2018 14:14:59(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: midlife-crisis Go to Quoted Post
The saga continues . . .
Beneath the underseal, there are blue and yellow Bilstein stickers on all 4 shock absorbers, which sort of explains why the back ride height is 345mm, but not why the front is "standard" 380mm? The only explanation I can come up with is a pretty unlikely situation where the Bilstein front springs were replaced (after a breakage?) with standard, longer ones? Can you adjust the ride height on Bilstein units, like on some racing set-ups? If I could lift the back 20mm and drop the front by the same . . . . Help, please!!

I've seen quite few MK3's with high front suspension, I'm sure I had read something previously regarding incorrect fitting, I've done a search and found this thread which may help:-

https://www.mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst107950_New-front-suspension-keeps-getting-higher.aspx

Hope it helps

 

 1 user thanked Vaughan for this useful post.
midlife-crisis on 12/10/2018(UTC)
midlife-crisis
#17 Posted : 12 October 2018 20:34:31(UTC)
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Thank you! I'll get the garage to follow the instructions in the "racingBeat" data you sent the link to - this looks to be the answer to me.
iceman1234
#18 Posted : 18 October 2018 15:15:49(UTC)
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Hi All,

 

I hope that you won't mind me joining the conversation.

I've recently acquired a pretty base model NC 1.8 '06 and it looks quite tall ... :) 

Reading through the posts - it seems that the Twisted Bush Syndrome is quite common, so I'll try to loosen and re-tighten the A frame bolts/nuts, but in case that's not the case I've got something on my mind, but I'm not sure if I'm heading in to the right direction:

On the Sport 2.0 version - it comes with Bilsteins  - which should be somehow different to the stock one - well, looking mainly at pictures - it seems to me, that the car is slightly lowered than mine.

So the question is, is the 2.0 heavier hence it gives the impression that it sits lower, or could it be, that the bilsteins are slightly shorter than the stock one fitted on the 1.8 ... ?

 

Thanks

Ross  

midlife-crisis
#19 Posted : 18 October 2018 20:27:26(UTC)
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Well, I've learned a bit on the subject . . . . enough to get confused, anyway! A "standard" MX5 should be 380mm from each wheel centre to it's wheel arch. Some "Sport" models have yellow and blue Bilstein shock absorbers, and ride at 340 all round. If you follow the very helpful link on an earlier post in this chain, it explains that "twisted bush syndrome" can cause the suspension to rise - mine went in for new drop links at 340 and came out at 385 at the front! In theory, you loosen the bolts on the shock absorber and suspension arms, put the car back on its wheels to load up the suspension, then tighten the nuts. STS tyres tried it with mine and it still rides at 385 at the front. My friendly neighbourhood mechanic (his son used to race MX5's) says he can fix it, but hasn't actually done it yet - I'll let you know what happens . . . .
iceman1234
#20 Posted : 19 October 2018 09:16:27(UTC)
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So is that confirmed, if I went bilsteins from a sport - I should be going from 380 to 340 - which will be perfect in my mind .. :)

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