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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok guys I have a knock. I had swifts put on stock struts. A month or so later I got a knock. I was told it was the strut so I ordered KYB GR2's. Had them installed yesterday everything was allgood. Well today the knock is back. It's only on the driver side rear & only knocks @ slow speeds, it does not happen on the highway. I am calling the shop tomorrow but would like to hear what you have to say. Thanks for your suggestions.

Oh, I have a 07 FSXT
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,449 Posts
Check your tophats/strut mounts. If one of them is bad, it might cause some pretty loud knocking. If it's not strut-related, it could also be a bad sway bar endlink.
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks pleiad7. We narrowed the sound to the top of the strut. Checked the endlinks and they look fine w/ no noise. Now the knocking noise comes and goes. How can I tell if my tophats is the problem? Anything else I should look for? Thanks again
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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I'd venture a bet that it's the tophat then. You likely won't be able to tell by just looking at it. Remove the strut and tophat and check if the bearing inside the tophat is loose/busted. That was the case when we bought our '98 S. New tophats installed, clunking noise gone. :smile:
 

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2013 WRX Manual
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135 Posts
I'd venture a bet that it's the tophat then. You likely won't be able to tell by just looking at it. Remove the strut and tophat and check if the bearing inside the tophat is loose/busted. That was the case when we bought our '98 S. New tophats installed, clunking noise gone. :smile:
x2
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks again guys, should I just stick w/ own tophats or get other ones? Suggestions? Should I replace all 4 or would I be ok w/ the rear 2?
 

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2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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You should be ok with just replacing the rears.
 

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2004 FXT
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952 Posts
I'm glad I found this thread... I'm in the same situation. I installed new KYB-GR2's w/ Swifts and it lasted about a month until I started getting the knock (only in the rear, rear driver side is my guess). I'll try to check into it sometime this week.

Please let us know if there is a good aftermarket one available or if we should just stick w/ OEM.

Thanks!
 

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2005 Base 2.5x foz
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896 Posts
There is the group N style top hat. Much more stout than the stock one if you choose to go that route!
 

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SG9 Forester XT Stick Shift
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1,667 Posts
There are no bearing on the rear top hat. That is strange if it went bad that quick. Are you sure the sway-bar did not shift to one side. That is another common problem with rear clunk.
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
There are no bearing on the rear top hat. That is strange if it went bad that quick. Are you sure the sway-bar did not shift to one side. That is another common problem with rear clunk.
I did not see that the sway bar shifted when I checked the endlinks, but will check again. I am almost certain that the noise is coming from the top of the strut area.
 

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Premium Member
2018 Forester XT 6spd/8spd/Many Gears CVT
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All check to see if the top nut is tightened all the way down. Many places that assemble the struts and springs use an impact gun and end up spinning the shaft and think that it is fully tightened. We always do a hand tighten check to make sure it is all the way down. Also it would be worth replacing the nut that holds the top hat to the strut. They are supposed to be self locking but do expand when you loosen them and we have seen them loosen up from time to time.

But it is possible for the tophat bushing to just give out and cause a clunking noise like pleaid7 says. If you are going to replace them, then we do recommend going with the STI tophats. They are stiffer and can be used for daily driving.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Gary
 

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07 FSXT
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211 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
All check to see if the top nut is tightened all the way down. Many places that assemble the struts and springs use an impact gun and end up spinning the shaft and think that it is fully tightened. We always do a hand tighten check to make sure it is all the way down. Also it would be worth replacing the nut that holds the top hat to the strut. They are supposed to be self locking but do expand when you loosen them and we have seen them loosen up from time to time.

But it is possible for the tophat bushing to just give out and cause a clunking noise like pleaid7 says. If you are going to replace them, then we do recommend going with the STI tophats. They are stiffer and can be used for daily driving.

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Gary
Thanks Gary, I will check those tomorrow. As for the STI tophats are you saying oem? If so what year tophats could I use? Anyone have a part number? Thanks again.
 

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2018 Forester XT 6spd/8spd/Many Gears CVT
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Thanks Gary, I will check those tomorrow. As for the STI tophats are you saying oem? If so what year tophats could I use? Anyone have a part number? Thanks again.
The STI Group-N tophats are actually using a stiffer rubber compound than the stock tophats. You and order them through your local dealer. We sell them to customers when they upgrade the springs if they do more than just daily driving. We do not recommend going to anything stiffer unless it is track only as we get lots of people who complain about clunking noises from camber plates. That is why we are able to use stock tophats on our own coilovers.

Just go to your dealer and look in the SPT catalog. You just need to get MY04-07 WRX or STI ones. I do not have the part number with me right now but if you need a set we can also source them as well.

I am guessing you are using MY04-08 springs.

Regards,
Gary
 

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2018 Forester XT 6spd/8spd/Many Gears CVT
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1,532 Posts
Hmm are you sure Gary? The PNs show that we use the same tophats as WRX & STI.

http://opposedforces.com/parts/info/20320AA110/
expand S11 & G11
Yes, I know that the tophats are the same between all the cars.

When I mean STI, I am referring to the STI Group-N ones in the SPT Catalog. They now changed the name of it to be under the SPT name even though it still is a part from STI. Yes I know that the WRX and STI use the same top hats from the factory but I am referring to the one in the SPT catalog.

Either way STI Group-Ns = SPT. I guess the misunderstanding comes from being old school in the sense that they were STI Group-N tophats and not the ones used on the car.

Regards,
Gary
 

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Ah crap.. I'm back with my 05 XS
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8,294 Posts
Yes, I know that the tophats are the same between all the cars.

When I mean STI, I am referring to the STI Group-N ones in the SPT Catalog. They now changed the name of it to be under the SPT name even though it still is a part from STI. Yes I know that the WRX and STI use the same top hats from the factory but I am referring to the one in the SPT catalog.

Either way STI Group-Ns = SPT. I guess the misunderstanding comes from being old school in the sense that they were STI Group-N tophats and not the ones used on the car.

Regards,
Gary

Ah yeah I had a feeling you were talking about Grp-N but called it STI. People do it NASIOC and it confuses some but just wanted to make sure we're all on the same page.
 
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