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Rattling / Squeaking rear strut hats and rear strut removal


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Hello everyone, I've been lurking here for the past few months mostly searching old topics.

I have a very annoying squeak / rattle coming from the rear of my 27,000 mile '00 Boxster S which I just recently traced to the rear strut hats. It's especially bad going over speed bumps. Hard to describe, but it sounds like a bottle of Advil being shaken lightly. :P Has anyone else experienced this noise? I haven't found anything in my searching.

Ideally, I'd remove the rear struts, disassemble the tops and check for wear / damage and then lubricate where appropriate. Given how time consuming it is to remove the rear suspension, this isn't an option to undergo lightly in search of a fairly minor squeak. From reading the manual and the DIYs out there it appears the issue is getting the rear suspension to droop enough to get the lower strut out of its clamp.

Has anyone tried compressing the coil spring BEFORE removing the strut from the car? It appears to me as though it could be done, and then maybe the strut could be compressed enough to allow removal without separating ball joints and removing halfshafts.

Thanks for any insight.

John V

'00 986S

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Okay, I answered my own question.

The rattling / squeaking was caused by the flexing of the rubber bushing in the rear strut hat. It was coming from the movement that occurs between the rubber bushing and the concave washer under the strut hat nut. There is an identical washer that can be seen on the other side of the rubber strut hat, viewable under the car through the wheel well if you lower the bump stop and dust shield.

My goal was to remove the strut top nut (or loosen it) enough to lubricate the joint between the rubber bushing and the washers. Unfortunately, it's impossible to remove the strut top nut with the strut in the car. I tried the spring compressor thing - I'm confident it could work with the right type of compressor, but the one I had was too bulky.

I ended up modifying the plastic tube on a can of silicone waxy lubricant (rubber-safe) to a hook. This let me shoot the lube between the washer and the rubber bushing in the strut hat. I did this top and bottom. After a short drive the noise gradually quieted and went away.

If anybody is having a ratting or squeaking from the rear of the car, this may be it.

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EDIT: Looks like you were posting your solution while I was writing this! :D

Hi John,

Noticing the lack of response (guess nobody knows!), are you pretty certain of the source? I know for me the rattles never end up coming from where I thought.

I sometimes do get a rattle coming from over my left shoulder. Turned out to be the need for lubricant on the door latch mechanism. It sure didn't sound like that would be it, but another thread led me there (long time ago) and in desperation I tried it and eureka, no more rattle/squeak -- until it needs another shot!

Thought I'd throw that out just in case...

By the way, yours is a beautiful Speed Yellow Boxster -- saw it (but not you) at BMWCCA's last event at Ripken.

Edited by mickf
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EDIT: Looks like you were posting your solution while I was writing this! :D

Hi John,

Noticing the lack of response (guess nobody knows!), are you pretty certain of the source? I know for me the rattles never end up coming from where I thought.

I sometimes do get a rattle coming from over my left shoulder. Turned out to be the need for lubricant on the door latch mechanism. It sure didn't sound like that would be it, but another thread led me there (long time ago) and in desperation I tried it and eureka, no more rattle/squeak -- until it needs another shot!

Thought I'd throw that out just in case...

By the way, yours is a beautiful Speed Yellow Boxster -- saw it (but not you) at BMWCCA's last event at Ripken.

Thanks, Mick.

Yes, I didn't have much time to stick around. I layed out the course, made sure people weren't going to kill themselves on it, drove, and got out of there. :)

I did successfully fix the squeak. It hasn't returned. I would have never guessed the shock mounts would make that noise, but I had checked everything else - door latches, all the top joints, the clamshell sliders, the tensioning cables, swaybar frame bushings and endlinks... I even stripped the entire trunk looking for the noise! Yes, I have problems. <_<

Now if only I could find a reasonbly priced set of 18" wheels I'd be all set for next season! :P

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  • 7 months later...

Hi Mick,

Can you elaborate on what you mean exactly by "door latch", and how you go about lubricating it? What lubricant?

I ask because, in some other posts people are refering to the door release handle by using the "door latch" phrase.

Thanks

EDIT: Looks like you were posting your solution while I was writing this! :D

Hi John,

Noticing the lack of response (guess nobody knows!), are you pretty certain of the source? I know for me the rattles never end up coming from where I thought.

I sometimes do get a rattle coming from over my left shoulder. Turned out to be the need for lubricant on the door latch mechanism. It sure didn't sound like that would be it, but another thread led me there (long time ago) and in desperation I tried it and eureka, no more rattle/squeak -- until it needs another shot!

Thought I'd throw that out just in case...

By the way, yours is a beautiful Speed Yellow Boxster -- saw it (but not you) at BMWCCA's last event at Ripken.

Thanks, Mick.

Yes, I didn't have much time to stick around. I layed out the course, made sure people weren't going to kill themselves on it, drove, and got out of there. :)

I did successfully fix the squeak. It hasn't returned. I would have never guessed the shock mounts would make that noise, but I had checked everything else - door latches, all the top joints, the clamshell sliders, the tensioning cables, swaybar frame bushings and endlinks... I even stripped the entire trunk looking for the noise! Yes, I have problems. <_<

Now if only I could find a reasonbly priced set of 18" wheels I'd be all set for next season! :P

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  • 5 months later...

I'm going to add one more thought re: squeaks coming from behind the driver. I had been trying to find a squeak in my '04 Boxster S AE for quite some time. This was a squeak that was mostly present during colder weather, and was elusive, sounding off at times and quiet at other times. It seemed to be coming from directly behind the driver/passenger area. Put the top in the service position and searched around in the top down area. Noticed a rubber gasket that serves to seal the top to the body when the top is in the up position. On the "simple things first" theory, I applied a coating of Sil-Glide rubber lubricant to this gasket, and voila! no more squeak! YMMV.

My first post on RennTech, looking forward to reading and learning as much Boxster info as I can from this knowledgeable group of owners.

Edited by RiskMan
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