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Old 03-23-2016, 07:54 PM   #1
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Buddy Club Race Spec Coilover Problems on Problems on Problems

I just installed a set of Buddy Club Race Spec coilovers about a week and a half ago. About a day after install I started hearing some clunking (coming primarily from the front right coilover) when driving slowly over bumps or over larger bumps at normal speed. I kept an eye on it over the next few days, and it started getting louder and more frequent until one day I had to pull over and pull the wheels off in a Walgreens parking lot. I found that the lock rings on the spring had come loose. Reset the preload, tightened everything up, and also tightened up the top nut.

The noise went away for another day or so, then sure enough it started coming back. Pulled the wheel off again, top nut was still tight, the lock ring on the spring was still tight, but somehow there was now no preload in the spring (about 1/8" gap between the spring and the top perch with no weight on the suspension). Thought maybe it was due to the spring sagging since springs do that right after install, but to get 1/8" in a day or two after they've already been on the car for 5 days seemed unlikely.

I pulled the coilover off the car, took off the top hat, removed the spring and dust boot to visually inspect everything. Everything looked good, put it all back together, put more preload on than before (Could barely turn the spring with no weight on it, then turned it a little more for good measure), double checked that the top nut was tight (also put locktight on the top not), then reinstalled everything and tripple checked that everything was torqued properly.

The sound went away completely and the world was wonderful...for another day...Now the sound is coming back again (not as bad and not getting worse as quickly as before though). Removed the swaybar end links just to try and rule that out- made no difference.

I know there are a bunch of threads similar to this on this forum, and I've read them all. I've tried everything that I've read from end links, to preload, to the top nut, to locking down the lock rings with a mallet and a punch.

I would just accept that this is life now if the noise never went away...but there have been times when, very briefly, there was no noise at all which leads me to believe that there's got to be some fix.

If anyone has any ideas PLEASE let me know because I'm about ready to yank these off and sell them if I have to pull the wheels once a week just to make sure it's not all going wrong.

BONUS QUESTION: Does anyone know the best way to tighten the top nut on Buddy Club coilovers? They are inverted, so the adjuster is on the bottom. I've used an impact up to this point (even though I know some people have said not to) because there's nothing I can see to grab hold of with a strap to keep it from spinning. There's a spacer around the main shaft going up to the top hat, so that wouldn't keep it from spinning, the top perch isn't solidly mounted and could turn as well. If I put a strap on the threaded part of the shock body underneath the lower spring perch, it remains still, but everything above the lower perch spins away once you start to wrench it. I don't really see any way other than an impact



Oh and also- the rears started making some noise today... so there's that
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Old 03-23-2016, 09:32 PM   #2
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I have the same issue. Ive come to the conclusion that its the pillow ball mounts. All the honda guys have solved this issue by replacing the top hats. I also called buddy club and they said the preload should not be set. the spring should be at 150mm, and the top nut should be torqued to 35-40ft/lbs. but I have no idea how to do that without the strut spinning lol. A possible solution may be adding some sort of lubricant to the pillow balls? but idk, Im in the same boat as you.

As for the rears, I have no idea. I have no problems with the rears.. yet.
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:03 PM   #3
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the top mounting point doesn't have a hex insert in the middle of the shaft? that's pretty poor planning unless they want you to ruin your shocks as you tighten it down lol. as for your lock rings loosening up, try putting some loctite on the threads where you want it and see if that holds.

I'm not sure how the inverted shocks look, but is there a hex on the bottom of the shock? maybe you have to hold it there and tighten the top
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoma View Post
the top mounting point doesn't have a hex insert in the middle of the shaft? that's pretty poor planning unless they want you to ruin your shocks as you tighten it down lol. as for your lock rings loosening up, try putting some loctite on the threads where you want it and see if that holds.

I'm not sure how the inverted shocks look, but is there a hex on the bottom of the shock? maybe you have to hold it there and tighten the top
Way there's no hex insert in the middle of the shaft and there's a nut at the bottom of the shaft but it won't hold the strut in place :/
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Old 03-23-2016, 10:29 PM   #5
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the only option I can think of in that case is to have the top nut finger tight and then drop your car onto the garage floor so that it is under load. then tighten the top nut until it is tight even if the shock tube spins a little. as long as the top nut is tight and won't work itself loose, I doubt it will pose a problem even if it is not at the recommend torque specs. having the shock tube rotate a little won't harm it either, but if it rotates like 180 or 360 then you might have some problems
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Old 03-23-2016, 11:27 PM   #6
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the only option I can think of in that case is to have the top nut finger tight and then drop your car onto the garage floor so that it is under load. then tighten the top nut until it is tight even if the shock tube spins a little. as long as the top nut is tight and won't work itself loose, I doubt it will pose a problem even if it is not at the recommend torque specs. having the shock tube rotate a little won't harm it either, but if it rotates like 180 or 360 then you might have some problems
But I have a feeling the the top nut is currently at or near the recommended torque specs. I think their pillow ball mounts are just garbage
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Old 03-24-2016, 01:18 AM   #7
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I havent had any major issues with my coilovers that i havent been able to fix myself. Ive tracked them(once a month or twice) and daily on them and have 45k miles on them.

Ive had the locking nut spin loose but ive hit it with a mallet so it wpmt come loose.

For the top nut i used a torque gun(not a compression with air gun). Dont care if that isnt recommended. Its not coming loose.

What are you hearing in the rear? Maybe you need to check your torque on the bolts/nuts??
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies everyone

Quote:
Originally Posted by Estey View Post
I have the same issue. Ive come to the conclusion that its the pillow ball mounts. All the honda guys have solved this issue by replacing the top hats. I also called buddy club and they said the preload should not be set. the spring should be at 150mm, and the top nut should be torqued to 35-40ft/lbs. but I have no idea how to do that without the strut spinning lol. A possible solution may be adding some sort of lubricant to the pillow balls? but idk, Im in the same boat as you.

As for the rears, I have no idea. I have no problems with the rears.. yet.
I spoke with the technical guy at BuddyClub last night and he told me the same thing. I'm going to go back and double check it, but I don't think that 150mm is going to do the trick. I remember the spring being compressed to about 5.8" total length and that's about 150mm :/

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the only option I can think of in that case is to have the top nut finger tight and then drop your car onto the garage floor so that it is under load. then tighten the top nut until it is tight even if the shock tube spins a little. as long as the top nut is tight and won't work itself loose, I doubt it will pose a problem even if it is not at the recommend torque specs. having the shock tube rotate a little won't harm it either, but if it rotates like 180 or 360 then you might have some problems
Even with it on the ground it'l spin around and around if you use a wrench on it. So far using a 20v impact is the only thing I've been able to do to keep it from spinning. I'm pretty positive they're at the required torque for those bolts
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain View Post
I havent had any major issues with my coilovers that i havent been able to fix myself. Ive tracked them(once a month or twice) and daily on them and have 45k miles on them.

Ive had the locking nut spin loose but ive hit it with a mallet so it wpmt come loose.

For the top nut i used a torque gun(not a compression with air gun). Dont care if that isnt recommended. Its not coming loose.

What are you hearing in the rear? Maybe you need to check your torque on the bolts/nuts??

It doesn't look like anything has loosened up. I marked the threads and the lock rings with a sharpie this time so I can see visually if anything has shifted. It looks like it's just starting to make noise even though nothing has really changed

The rears pretty much are starting to sound like the fronts. It's the same sort of clunk in the same type of situation. I'm about to drive to work with the back seat down to get a little better listen, so I'll keep you posted about that.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:44 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estey View Post
I have the same issue. Ive come to the conclusion that its the pillow ball mounts. All the honda guys have solved this issue by replacing the top hats. I also called buddy club and they said the preload should not be set. the spring should be at 150mm, and the top nut should be torqued to 35-40ft/lbs. but I have no idea how to do that without the strut spinning lol. A possible solution may be adding some sort of lubricant to the pillow balls? but idk, Im in the same boat as you.

As for the rears, I have no idea. I have no problems with the rears.. yet.
How long have you had yours on the car? Did they make noise from the start or did it develop over time?
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:31 PM   #11
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How long have you had yours on the car? Did they make noise from the start or did it develop over time?
Ive had them about 30k and the noise developed over time. Have you checked that everything is tightened and secure in the rear? because Im pretty sure they dont have pillow ball mounts and thats the only thing that moves up front.

As I turn the wheel back and forth i can see the top nut moving around, so im wondering if theres a way to just replace the pillow ball or grease it. My theory is that over time it collected dirt and lost its original lubrication.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:43 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain View Post
I havent had any major issues with my coilovers that i havent been able to fix myself. Ive tracked them(once a month or twice) and daily on them and have 45k miles on them.

Ive had the locking nut spin loose but ive hit it with a mallet so it wpmt come loose.

For the top nut i used a torque gun(not a compression with air gun). Dont care if that isnt recommended. Its not coming loose.

What are you hearing in the rear? Maybe you need to check your torque on the bolts/nuts??
I haven't been able to check the rears yet. It sounds very similar to the front, but unfortunately my wife and I rent a town home at the moment, and while my car always gets the garage it's only a one car, so I have to wait until the weekend when I can get to my parents house to take a good look. The only time the rear makes noise is going up the curb into the driveway. The front makes noise a lot more often.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:45 PM   #13
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I don't know enough about Buddy Club's design... but can you just wrap a chain wrench on the silver surface here (maybe with a thin towel to prevent damage), and tighten with an impact followed by a torque wrench?




If that doesn't work, can you lower the spring perch and move the spring down... then strap onto the shock shaft with a strap wrench or chain wrench (with padding)? Same process of impact + torque wrench.

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Old 03-24-2016, 07:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Estey View Post
Ive had them about 30k and the noise developed over time. Have you checked that everything is tightened and secure in the rear? because Im pretty sure they dont have pillow ball mounts and thats the only thing that moves up front.

As I turn the wheel back and forth i can see the top nut moving around, so im wondering if theres a way to just replace the pillow ball or grease it. My theory is that over time it collected dirt and lost its original lubrication.
Except mine have been on for 60 miles and we seem to be in a similar boat lol...Actually when I removed the front right last weekend and removed the top hat from the coilover I thought the pillowball had seized because it didn't move at all without some decent force behind it. I actually thought I didn't know the design of the coilover for a few minutes because I thought it was solid.

Talked to BuddyClub USA last night, but the main guy, Albert, isn't really the "let me listen to your issue and lets's figure this out" type. He more just asks questions without listening to what your issue is and if there's one thing you don't know the answer to he tells you to check that and then call back... Tried to get around that by sending an email early this morning while providing the answers to everything he asked last night and semi-acting like this might be a new issue from someone he hadn't already talked to...just got a response "please call us when you can- thanks".... so great
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