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Old 03-13-2018, 09:55 PM   #1
norcalpb
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Weld splitting on strut tower

Hi,

Iíve noticed a squeak from the passenger side of the car for a while now. Upon looking at the strut towers I noticed this. It appears the spot welded v bar bracket is peeling up and away from the strut tower?



This is the driver side, no gap.



Is this a serviceable part? Should I just get it rewelded?

TIA
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by norcalpb View Post
Hi,

I’ve noticed a squeak from the passenger side of the car for a while now. Upon looking at the strut towers I noticed this. It appears the spot welded v bar bracket is peeling up and away from the strut tower?

Is this a serviceable part? Should I just get it rewelded?

TIA
Steve
Good pictures!

Well, I'm not at all certain that is causing your squeak ....... but, yes, any shop with a welder, can easily weld that piece down.


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Old 03-14-2018, 11:50 AM   #3
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Is it actually a broken weld, or has the seam sealer come out?
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:04 PM   #4
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Is it actually a broken weld, or has the seam sealer come out?
Bit of both by the looks of it. That one spot weld on the top has a gap where there should not be one.


Almost certainly the cause of the squeak and could get much worse if left alone.


Norcal, was the car ever in an accident? that is a very odd failure.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:27 PM   #5
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Welding inspector/educator chiming in. Could you clean the dust and grit from that area and take another picture? An easy test to see if the spot weld has failed is to stick a flat head screwdriver in the gap and pry up up in easy, maybe 10ft/lbs. if it separates easily and the gap gets bigger, then you have a failed spot weld. I wouldn't even consider welding it until you verify that first.

Spots welds are nearly 99.9999% perfect from a top tier mfg like Subaru and are not easily prone to failure. The machines and quality control they use for this operation are pretty failsafe. So much so that most failures are in the base material NEAR a spot weld because the weld will be stronger than the base material around it.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:46 PM   #6
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On another note, what camber plates are those and how are you liking them?
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Old 09-10-2018, 11:21 PM   #7
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The OP looks to have HVT camber plates. I do too. I also have a failure of the strut tower brace, passenger side. From the way the parts fit I doubt the camber plates are a contributor to this problem.



Granted, my car has been used very hard, it has completed 40+ RallyCross events, and 25+ have been with a second driver. It has also had a GrimmSpeed triangulation bar on it for roughly 55k miles too. I just found the crack while installing lifting spacers a few days ago. I have no idea when it started.

Is it too soon to call this an epidemic? ;-)
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Old 09-12-2018, 12:13 PM   #8
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The OP looks to have HVT camber plates. I do too. I also have a failure of the strut tower brace, passenger side. From the way the parts fit I doubt the camber plates are a contributor to this problem.

Granted, my car has been used very hard, it has completed 40+ RallyCross events, and 25+ have been with a second driver. It has also had a GrimmSpeed triangulation bar on it for roughly 55k miles too. I just found the crack while installing lifting spacers a few days ago. I have no idea when it started.

Is it too soon to call this an epidemic? ;-)
Spot weld is intact. Remove paint around the affcted area and report back. Worse case it is a base metal tear. It looks like cracked paint to me.

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Old 09-12-2018, 01:24 PM   #9
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This is my big concern about tower braces. When you transfer energy it goes to the weakest link. Sometimes the tower braces are too strong and the weakest link will be the towers themselves.
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:45 PM   #10
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This is my big concern about tower braces. When you transfer energy it goes to the weakest link. Sometimes the tower braces are too strong and the weakest link will be the towers themselves.
Those are OEM tower braces....
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:52 PM   #11
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Just saw that this thread got some updates so I wanted to give some updates of my own.


It turns out the noise I was hearing was a blown HVT camber plate bearing. I was able to move the bearing up and down relative to the plate itself by a couple mm. I had them rebuilt and then sold them.


Going back to stock top hats solved that noise.


I am still getting a noise from the strut towers so that is relevant to this post. I have the OEM flexible V bars, and I can actually shake the spot welded attachment on the firewall. This makes a clunk for roughly 3-4 shakes and then goes away.


I have had many different strut bar setups (STi, Grimmspeed, Hotchkis, Ts V bars) and the more rigid my setup (Hotchkis strut bar) the less noise it would make, but the less rigid the setup (Flexible V bars only) would make the most noise. I either attribute this to damage when installing the Hotchkis strut bar (imagine tightening 3 out of 4 of the mounting points, and then when you tighten the 4th point it puts a ton of stress on the mount, almost pulling it up and out), or from a common V bar noise found in some cars.


Maybe this car needs a strut bar to take stress of the V bars so they don't make so much noise? Either way this is the only noise my car makes, so when I fix it I will post what I did.


Thank you all for posting, this has been quite the adventure.
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Old 09-20-2018, 11:14 PM   #12
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Just saw that this thread got some updates so I wanted to give some updates of my own.


It turns out the noise I was hearing was a blown HVT camber plate bearing. I was able to move the bearing up and down relative to the plate itself by a couple mm.
Thanks.

My HVT camber plates kept coming loose at the nut on the shock shaft for the first few months, but Iíve got them tight enough that they finally stayed. My car doesnít make any odd suspension noises yet, and the upper bearings were in good shape when I had them apart a few weeks ago.
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Old 09-21-2018, 09:34 PM   #13
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Thanks.

My HVT camber plates kept coming loose at the nut on the shock shaft for the first few months, but Iíve got them tight enough that they finally stayed. My car doesnít make any odd suspension noises yet, and the upper bearings were in good shape when I had them apart a few weeks ago.
Yeah the HVT camber plates are so nice. Mine just went through 100k miles of hard driving and it finally became chewed. The spherical bearings they use are extremely quiet.
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Old 04-12-2024, 09:50 PM   #14
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Poking at this old thread, were you ever able to get this fixed? Iím having similar welds splitting on my car on the V bars and where my grimmspeed strut bar is bolted down.

Did you just get that area of the strut tower rewelded? Did it hold up well?
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