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General E46 Forum
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:37 AM   #1
phsinvent
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Clunk from front suspension. Any ideas?

Ok. So far I've replaced front control arms and bushings, sway bar end links, bilstein struts and shock/strut mounts. I've had this strange clunk sound when I hit bumps at slow speeds. Anyone have this issue before and find what causes this clunk noise? So far the noise hasn't gone away. I don't know what else there is to replace. Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-20-2007, 11:59 AM   #2
destroyer427
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Doesn't sound like there's really anything else to replace. Could check all mountings and visually inspect entire front end to make sure everything is secure and that there's no debris. Where exactly do you think the sound is coming from?
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Old 07-20-2007, 12:00 PM   #3
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i have the same noise in my car almost sounds like its coming from the rear left or something...
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Old 07-21-2007, 09:29 AM   #4
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I only hear it coming from the front suspension but only when i'm driving 15mph or less and hitting small bumps/dips. I can't think of what else there is to replace.
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Old 07-21-2007, 10:28 AM   #5
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Did you replace the control arms and bushings yourself? Something may not be completely seated or tightened properly.
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Old 07-21-2007, 11:22 AM   #6
phsinvent
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Local goodyear shop did the control arms/bushings. I thought they would have stopped the noise but didn't help. Then I thought it was the sway bar end links but those didn't quiet it down. Next was the struts. Could the tie rod links cause this? Steering wheel feels smooth as could be.
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Old 07-22-2007, 07:47 PM   #7
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I have the same problem with my 2000 328i and it is kind of annoying. I was getting ready to replace some of the parts you replaced when I realized they were still in good condition. Needless to say I wasted money shipping everything back.

After reading several postings, I am thinking that we may have bad engine and/or struts/shocks mounts. It could also be any of the other struts/shocks components, or even the struts/shocks themselves. I don't think they are meant to last forever, so they have to be replaced over time.

I already looked under my car a few times but could not find anything loose. Before I find myself ordering more parts, I want to remove the front bumper to see if there is any problem in there. I am also looking for any metal parts close enough to hit each other when driving at slow speed over road bumps.
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Old 07-22-2007, 07:58 PM   #8
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i have a similar problem with my left rear suspension when i turn real quick at low speeds under 25mph or if the road is uneven..i just heard it a few days ago..any tips for me?
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:17 AM   #9
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Well I've replaced just about everything possible in the front end. I doubt engine mounts would cause this clunky sound. I only get it in the front end at low speeds. It just sounds like the car is cheap. The rear sounds fine. I've replaced the shocks/struts and even the bearing strut mounts but the sound is still there. It is actually a little louder on the passenger side.

Anyone replace tie rods to remedy this sound??

As for the rear sound when turning or body flexing. I replaced the rear sway bar end links and got rid of the loud pop/thump sound.
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Old 07-23-2007, 10:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by phsinvent View Post
Well I've replaced just about everything possible in the front end. I doubt engine mounts would cause this clunky sound. I only get it in the front end at low speeds. It just sounds like the car is cheap. The rear sounds fine. I've replaced the shocks/struts and even the bearing strut mounts but the sound is still there. It is actually a little louder on the passenger side.

Anyone replace tie rods to remedy this sound??

As for the rear sound when turning or body flexing. I replaced the rear sway bar end links and got rid of the loud pop/thump sound.
Yes, the tie rods could produce a sound like that. I was in a similar situation--replaced my control arms/bushings and the noise was still there though quieter. Replaced my tie rods and then there was absolutely no noise--felt like new again also. Good luck,

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Old 07-23-2007, 10:27 AM   #11
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i have the same noise in my car almost sounds like its coming from the rear left or something...
Quote:
Originally Posted by blackbeam05 View Post
i have a similar problem with my left rear suspension when i turn real quick at low speeds under 25mph or if the road is uneven..i just heard it a few days ago..any tips for me?
I have the same problem with my rear right as well....I was told that it was the shock mount, but haven't gotten around to replacing it yet.
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:29 PM   #12
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Phsinvent, I had a similar experience about 18 months ago with virtually identical symptoms - long story short, it was my front brake calipers/pads. While inside the car it sounded like a clunk, but while outside it sounded more like a snap and very metallic. I could actually feel the clunk in the brake pedal and steering wheel, but only at very slow speed while turning into my driveway, or going over a bump, for example.

Desperate for a solution, I removed my brake calipers and cleaned and lightly lubed the slides/pins with caliper grease. At the same time I replaced my brake pads. I did so because my front pads seemed to be a poor fit inside the calipers. I purchased my car used so I had no idea if the pads were aftermarket or OEM. However, aftermarket Axxis pads fit much better than the ones that were installed at the time.

Since I replaced the pads and cleaned/lubed the pins concurrently I can't say for certain which cleared the problem - perhaps both, but most likely the pins. The pins/slides dry-up and prevent the caliper from floating. This results in only one pad making good contact while the caliper freezes. When it unfreezes you hear/feel the clunk. Easy and cheap to eliminate - 2 bucks worth of caliper grease and a Saturday morning. Good luck.
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Old 07-24-2007, 02:38 PM   #13
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yeah I think i'll look into the tie rods. It is a very heavy clunk sound. Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-29-2007, 10:05 AM   #14
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Well the tie rods didn't solve the sound. Now I notice I only hear the sound when the temperature outside is below 65 degrees. When it is warmer out, I don't hear it. Mainly coming from the front right. I'll have to take a look at the brake pads now.

So far i've replaced. Control arms, control arm bushings, sway bar end links, tie rods, struts, strut mounts. Still no remedy.
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Old 09-29-2007, 11:34 AM   #15
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Here is my story:

I have the exact same problem/sound.

I have changed: New full KW suspension, New control arms with powerflex bushings, new tie rods, new rebuilt calipers, new swaybar end links as the KW suspension comes with it.

What I have coming and will install in the next months: New UUC swaybars and new steering coupling.

After replacing all that if the clunking sound is still there when I go over bumps at low speed I will get all new pads and rotors and if that doesnt solve it, I will drive off a cliff.

My clunk sound is louder if my passenger side front wheel govers over a bump and my driver side does not or visa versa.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:04 PM   #16
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Well I have to say i'm becoming very fed up. I thought these cars were built to last. I have never had to maintain a vehicle as much as this. I've thought of driving mine off a cliff as well or selling it but why give it to someone with almost all new parts. I don't even want to get into all the other parts I've replaced outside of the front suspension.

Well I have a new sound to report outside of the low speed clunk. I have the wooden boat creak sound. I get this creak sound when the car is running and I turn the wheel. It is not the power steering pump but something creaking down below. I'm so sick of this.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:07 PM   #17
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[QUOTE

My clunk sound is louder if my passenger side front wheel govers over a bump and my driver side does not or visa versa.[/QUOTE]


Same thing here. Maybe I won't bother with the brakes. I did notice there are orange bushings that hold the sway bar in place. Are those known for going bad?? Hmmm.
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:34 PM   #18
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[QUOTE

My clunk sound is louder if my passenger side front wheel govers over a bump and my driver side does not or visa versa.

Same thing here. Maybe I won't bother with the brakes. I did notice there are orange bushings that hold the sway bar in place. Are those known for going bad?? Hmmm.[/QUOTE]


Ya, so me and you are in the same boat. I think it could be either the steering coupling or the swaybar...I will let you know if it fixes the problem when I replace them in a few weeks.

Your creaking is probably because of the bad steering coupling as I have the same thing.
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Old 09-29-2007, 02:41 PM   #19
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Me too!!! I'm in the EXACT same boat as you. I just put the KW endlinks in yesterday and the sound wasn't fixed - I was sure that it would be after that. I'm going to get new control arms very very soon...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy With A BMW View Post
Here is my story:

I have the exact same problem/sound.

I have changed: New full KW suspension, New control arms with powerflex bushings, new tie rods, new rebuilt calipers, new swaybar end links as the KW suspension comes with it.

What I have coming and will install in the next months: New UUC swaybars and new steering coupling.

After replacing all that if the clunking sound is still there when I go over bumps at low speed I will get all new pads and rotors and if that doesnt solve it, I will drive off a cliff.

My clunk sound is louder if my passenger side front wheel govers over a bump and my driver side does not or visa versa.
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Old 10-15-2007, 09:14 PM   #20
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I have the same noise, sounds like a low clunk when I hit bumps or go over uneven road at low speeds. Just put on the UUC suspension set along with sways in the front and rear. No change. Im thinking either end links in the front or tie rods. Im going to do my tie rods next.

The alignment shop is considering making a plaque for me.
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