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      04-29-2015, 09:17 PM   #1
E82MSport
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Rattle/Noise After Ground Control Street Camber Plate Install

I'm looking to others in the forum that have experienced these issues with Ground Control Street camber plates. I know there have been a few threads started that discuss these issues so I wanted to get feedback from fellow members that have experienced the same noises/rattles.

I'll first note that I have Ohlins Road and Track dampers with Swift springs in front (Z65-178-060 7" Length 65mm ID) with thrust washers top and bottom.



I purchased a set of the Ground Control Street camber plates (Vorshlag was back ordered as always..) with specific details for the Ohlins dampers and Swift springs. GC was very helpful and worked with me on my particular suspension setup. The quality looked quite good for the price and I was influenced by the claim they would be OEM silent.







Now to the issue at hand. The noise/rattling/popping occurs mostly over expansion joints, low speed bumps and slight suspension compression. I was quick to check all my installation procedures and torque specs but the problem still remained. At first I thought it might be end links so I replaced them but still no change. I then moved on to checking the control arm deflection/play but proved not an issue. I questioned whether the control arms were properly torqued so I compressed the suspension and re-torqued. Noise still there. I then tested the dampers to ensure I was getting full range of motion without binding or sticking. Noise still there.





I'm at the point now that I need to pull the struts (noise is mainly on the driver's side) and inspect everything. I will be doing this on Saturday. I'm completely aware camber plates (despite manufacturer) make noise to a degree and I'm completely ok with harshness and an increase in NVH but this is unacceptable. It sounds like a bad bushing or a worn OE top mount.

As others have reported, I do not notice this at speed but it leaves me a bit unsettled and dissatisfied. As I noted, there are others out there that have experienced these issues and would like to know if there's a solution.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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      04-29-2015, 11:06 PM   #2
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I've had the Ground Control Street plates for about 3-4 years now, first with the OE shocks, and now with Koni Yellows. They are totally silent, and I've been very pleased with them. Sorry I can't help, but at least it's good to know that you should be able to fix the issue. I'm using BMW performance springs, so the OE style, so I have an OE style top hat. Not sure that should matter though. I may switch to smaller diameter race springs later this year.
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      04-29-2015, 11:30 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E82MSport View Post
I
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
How did you torque the top nut? It is more important that you fully compress the urethane bushings so that the washer is hard against the shoulder bushing that goes through the urethane bushings. A bit of anti-seize on the bushings helps them settle fully. It is worth giving that top nut another tightening to make sure it is fully tight. Because you have to hold the shaft from turning with a 6 mm allen key and also tighten the nut, it is hard to literally torque this nut with a torque wrench. There are special sockets available for this purpose though.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E82-135...ets/ES2652174/

I made my own by machining a hex on the top of a standard socket, then turning it with a wrench with the allen key down the middle.

Name:  11 Top Nut Socket.jpg
Views: 171
Size:  258.7 KB

I don't use a torque wrench for this nut though. I tighten it until I feel the washer come hard against the shoulder bushing, then tighten a bit more. Ohlins says 28 lb.ft. but this is for a standard top mount which has a metal bearing. With the GC Street Camber Plate, I suspect a bit more is actually needed to fully seat the washer.
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      04-30-2015, 10:16 AM   #4
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Sorry you're having troubles with the plates. I swear I have this exact problem with my Ground Control plates, but they are the Race style, not street, and I'm on an Eibach race spring (2.25"). I expect some noise, but what I'm hearing doesn't sound right. It's like the noise you describe OP and it comes from the top mount area. I'm starting to think they are defective because I've checked everything else there is to check.

Also, my noise will at times completely go away. it's the strangest thing. It definitely acts up more in cold weather, but in warmer weather it's still there, just not as bad. During my track events, I've never ever heard or felt anything weird going on so I literally have no clue what the problem is, and I've pretty much given up trying to figure it out

the plates/dampers/springs were also installed at a shop that is heavily involved in the BMW club racing scene, so I trust they know their way around a camber plate
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Last edited by chris82; 04-30-2015 at 10:21 AM.
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      04-30-2015, 01:56 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the input guys, I'll let everyone know my results.

fe1rx - interesting you provided a link to the Schwaben tool, it's the exact tool I bought from ECS for these coilovers. I suspect you might be right and the top nut isn't fully seated allowing movement. I will try your method and add a bit of lubrication in those areas.

As mentioned previously the noise does come and go slightly which has me scratching my head.

Does anyone know the top nut specs? I believe it's an M14 2.0 lock nut (based on the Ohlins M100 pdf) but I would like to verify the thread pitch. I'm contemplating getting another set to try.
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      05-04-2015, 05:21 PM   #6
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As I said, I would provide my results and here they are.

As reported previously I had been experiencing noise I believed was being induced by the camber plates. The noise was a low frequency rattle/pop generally described by others I've read with the same plates.

In order to eliminate the majority of the possibilities I first did another visual inspection of the front suspension components. By this I was able to confirm nothing was leaking (bushings or dampers) and I didn't see any visible wear of the parts.

I then moved to the sway bar by checking the bushings for play but none was present. I had recently replaced the links with Meyle HD but removed and inspected anyway for a piece of mind. The links were in perfect condition so I then took the vehicle for a drive with the sway bar disconnected to be certain that wasn't contributing to the noise. As I suspected it had no effect.

Before I removed the dampers I wanted to once more check the control arms for any play. Again there was no sign of wear.

Next I moved on by first removing the driver's damper assembly making sure to accurately mark the camber alignment for reassembly. While that was out of the vehicle I did a once over of the remaining parts to make sure everything looked good. No issues.

While the damper was out I made sure to measure the install spring length before complete disassembly. Once that was complete I disassembled the damper but first checked the camber plate top nut for proper torque and confirmed it was completely net to the bushing insert as it should be.


Before I disassembled the camber plate I wanted to first cycle the damper 20-30 times to ensure bind-free movement without noise or issues. Everything proved good based on this bench test so I decided to move on to the camber plates.

I'm reusing the image to demonstrate how I cycled the damper. I set the damper to full soft and fully compressed the tube and watched how it moved back into position.


I disassembled the plate, inspected all parts and thoroughly clean everything. I noticed all parts were void of any form of lubrication, so upon reassembly I used a bit of anti-seize on the bushings, inserts and in the cavities the parts seated into.

For extra piece of mind I also installed new steer bearings I had ordered when I purchased these plate. Here are some shots.















As you can see I was a bit liberal with the anti-seize but didn't feel is would have a negative effect.

I completed the process for both sides of the vehicle, reassembled everything paying close attention to torque specs. I paid especially close attention to how the top nut seated on the damper. As fe1rx mentioned you will feel when the nut engages positively. I added a little extra torque to ensure it was properly tight, as it's quite difficult to fully tighten with a torque wrench, special socket and allen wrench.

With everything back together and camber set to its original position I went out for a test drive.

Overall the noise it about 90% gone. I'm still getting a little bit of noise while going over small bumps at slow speeds. To really hear them I needed to have the windows up, radio off and the GF helping to listen. I've put about 50 miles on the car so far and the noise hasn't increased, so that make me happy. I feel much better and now feel it wasn't a real safety concern.

I have a track day on Friday so I'll report back with any issues.

Thank again to those that helped point me in the right direction, it's greatly appreciated.

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      05-30-2015, 02:47 PM   #7
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So what do you think the culprit ended up being? Loose top nut? I have literally the same set up as you (Ohlins/Swift/GC Street) and have long suspected it might be the top nut. I've tried tightening it (even with a quick hit with a torque wrench) but as you say, it's hard w/o the special tool. Did you finally get the tool? If so, do you think that is what made the difference?

The weird thing is, like everyone says, the noise comes and goes, and I can't find any obvious correlation to temperature or anything else.
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      05-30-2015, 07:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer-Bob View Post
So what do you think the culprit ended up being? Loose top nut? I have literally the same set up as you (Ohlins/Swift/GC Street) and have long suspected it might be the top nut. I've tried tightening it (even with a quick hit with a torque wrench) but as you say, it's hard w/o the special tool. Did you finally get the tool? If so, do you think that is what made the difference?

The weird thing is, like everyone says, the noise comes and goes, and I can't find any obvious correlation to temperature or anything else.
I had the same issue on my Vorshlags. I pulsed it with a gun, then used a spanner and allen key- this was the better method.
Problem solved.
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      05-31-2015, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Ryan_ View Post
I had the same issue on my Vorshlags. I pulsed it with a gun, then used a spanner and allen key- this was the better method.
Problem solved.
Thanks for the feedback. Guess the ECS tool is a no-brainer. I would've bought it already but honestly I was getting tired of chasing noises and getting nowhere. It's worth one more shot for $15, I suppose.
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      06-01-2015, 09:36 AM   #10
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I really can't pinpoint the issue because when I removed and inspected the parts everything looked fine. I actually had the correct top nut socket but it was only useful when tightening the nut while in the vise. You can actually tell when the nut is fully engaged and net with the inner metal bushing. I torqued to spec and then gave it a little extra with my impact. I've also marked the nut with a paint pen to see if there's any movement in the future.

After I posted this and stated the noise was almost completely gone it came back fiercely the night before my last track day. I was completely devastated but I talked with one of the Owner's of VR Performance and we went over the car and we couldn't find anything. The next morning at the event I took the car out on the track for a few shakedown laps and to my surprise it had almost completely gone away. In fact, the stiffer I set my dampers the less noise I got. I proceeded to put close to 200 track miles on the car that day and didn't have a single issue.

Now I've probably put about 1K miles on since that day and I still have a slight noise but it's more harshness than clunk but I'm still running on 5 clicks from full firm.

I have to pull the front suspension again to install some spacers I had made to raise my ride height and reduce my spring preload so I'll give everything a good once-over in a month or so.
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