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I own an 05 jetta tdi (older style) and the noise coming from the struts is getting worse. I replaced the front bumpers/bearings on the struts as recommend by the dealer and it seemed to help for a few days. Now after a couple of weeks it is just as loud as before replacement. I torqued the strut nuts again - no difference. The rapping noise is very loud when backing up and is coming from both sides. What am I missing.
 

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Possibilities: sway bar links, control arm bushings-nuts, or strut nuts. I don't think new struts will make any difference to fix this noise.

FYI, check out the mk4 suspension replacement article - you have to counterhold the allen shaft when tightening the nut or else it'll spin. Dont' know if you did this step because if not it's still loose.
 

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Freedom of Movement Checks

I would expand the inspections into the sub frames, mounts, all of the elastrometric assemblies... Sometimes chassis noises can transmit the noises across adjacent members/components and make the sound appear to be coming from somewhere else.

I would try to get the car up on a lift so that you can perform freedom of motion checks on all of the chassis, suspension, and mount systems. Check each component to ensure that rigid components are rigid, and the suspension components only have freedom of movement in their designed axis/plane. For example, if you have a faulty upper strut bearing, you will have excessive play when you grab the tire at the 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock position and rock the tire thru the spindle. However, a suspension system is a system of components, so if there is excessive movement you will have to ensure that the spindle is rigid and the lower control arm joint is rigid, leaving the excessive movement at the upper strut bearing.

Once my kids reported an unusual mechanical noise coming from the passenger side dashboard area. When I investigated the noise I found the strut shaft and the center section of the upper strut bearing inside the dashboard, as it had punched thru the firewall when the strut bearing failed catastrophically. There were obvious scar marks that the strut shaft had been passing into and out of the passenger compartment for a while as it had worn out the hole in the firewall to a smooth elliptical shape.
 
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