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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks,

Just started hearing a knocking from the back half of the car, maybe a week ago. Sounds almost like metal on plastic, definitely doesn't sound like it's interior. Maybe under carriage, beneath rear seat or the trunk. A couple things to note:

1) I self installed a rear sway bar in February. I've checked all the points of contact and things look fine to me, for obvious reasons I'm not ruling it out. Nothing appears loose but it's possible some nuts need a turn or two.

2) I found this small white loose hose (pic below) set behind the rear passenger wheel that I did not notice while installing the sway bar, anyone know what it is? Almost 100% positive that's not the source of the noise. It's dry and nothing running through it but it's possible it's been like this a few weeks. No visible cut or fraying other than the obvious clean end.
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Just looking for a little sage guidance before I have to find a shop. Any info that might be helpful to diagnose I'm happy to provide.

Thanks in advance,
Paul
2017 GLI
Unitronic Ecu and Tcu
034Motorsport RSB with recommended upgraded end links
 

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2012 GTI
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Oof, yeah rear knocking noises have been the absolute bane of my existence.

Ok, first question: Did you install your sway bar while the wheels were under load (ie on rhino ramps as opposed to on a lift with the wheels hanging)? That seems to be the most common mistake people make when installing sway bars. (And I am saying that not knowing your background with working on cars) If so it will cause a phenomena called preload where the sway bar will not twist the way it is designed. If you did install it while the wheels were hanging, id suggest doing it again using rhino ramps or something similar where the suspension is compressed and wheels are on an flat surface.

Number 2: Did you torque everything to spec? Here is the table I use when I am doing suspension (not mine, took it from another VW site):
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3. Are your end links adjustable? If so, it is possible that the lock nut has come loose...an issue I had with my white line rear end links after I first installed them.

If all of this fails (or maybe you want to check this first) check the spare tire well. I had dropped sockets and plastic screws in there that I have no idea how they got there and it was driving me crazy. I had always gone back to the last thing that I changed which was the rear shocks not remembering that I had done some tinkering in the trunk area without really cleaning out all of my tools... needless to say, it happens and it wouldn't hurt to look. Also check that your spare tire is secured properly.

Just my $0.02, I hope this helps.

-Josh
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you Josh! (and sorry for such a delayed reply)

I installed the sway bar under load. The back wheels were up on rhino ramps, the car was not lifted, which was a special challenge.

I torqued everything to spec according to the instructions, at least I'm confident that I did. Being my first part replacement myself though anything's possible. The torque specs from the instructions are a little different than the table you posted (25 Nm for the bolts on the sway bar mounts, 35 Nm for the end link bolts). That being said, the instructions for the sway bar include torque specs for the stock end links, and the instructions for the upgraded end links do not. Right off the bat I notice the Nm spec in your table for end links looks significantly higher than the instructions with the stock end links, so that's a good place to start.

The end links are adjustable, so it's also possible the lock nut has come loose, that will be the first thing I check (again anyway, since it didn't look loose to me the last time I checked).

I checked the spare and re-set it in the well to make sure it was tight and nothing else was rattling around in there.

All very helpful things to check (and recheck). Whatever I come across I'll post, but thank you again for the feedback!

Paul
 
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