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Old 02-11-2020, 12:13 PM   #1
BHarris
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330xi Vibration under acceleration

Hey all,
This is my second time reaching out about my issue. I had thought I solved it but no. So, my car vibrates between 25-40 mph. It starts exactly at 25 and peaks around 30, then fades out towards 40. My ears aren't good enough to pinpoint the sound, and I feel it through the steering wheel too. Originally the vibration existed between 12 & 17 mph and felt the same as it does now. I ended up replacing the CSB & the guibo which eliminated the original vibration at the lower speed but developed the current (25-40mph). I replaced both of my front axles in an attempt to fix this and it marginally reduced overall vibration. The car also has the clunk at low speeds in the front end and a clunk when coming to a stop in reverse the first time after its been sitting for a while (backing out of a parking spot in the morning and breaking results in a clunk when I come to a stop, it's worse the colder it is).

When I replaced my CSB the driveshaft came apart before I was able to mark it. However I saw two arrows stamped into the drive shafts which seemed to be factory alignment tools.

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated,
Thank you!
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #2
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Have you tried to rotate the wheels to eliminate that factor? I'd also look at the motor and transfer case mounts. The coupler in the steering column can also tighten things up if replaced. I'm assuming you've eliminated the front end(tire rod assemblies, lower control arms/bushings, etc..)?
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Old 02-11-2020, 12:40 PM   #3
77'911
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Have you tried to rotate the wheels to eliminate that factor? I'd also look at the motor and transfer case mounts. The coupler in the steering column can also tighten things up if replaced. I'm assuming you've eliminated the front end(tire rod assemblies, lower control arms/bushings, etc..)?
regards
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:01 PM   #4
BHarris
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77'911 View Post
Have you tried to rotate the wheels to eliminate that factor? I'd also look at the motor and transfer case mounts. The coupler in the steering column can also tighten things up if replaced. I'm assuming you've eliminated the front end(tire rod assemblies, lower control arms/bushings, etc..)?
regards
yes, I have rotated the wheels multiple times and nothing has changed.

everything up front looks good with the exception of the control arm bushing, which I am assuming my clunk is and my tie rod arms are both new.

I did the youtube motor mount tests and nothing seems to be wrong but I'm not eliminating them, I plan on getting to them eventually just for added smoothness.

Do you know how to check the transfer case mounts?
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Old 02-11-2020, 01:50 PM   #5
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How about play in the sway bar links causing the clunk? Check them for slop. FCABs will give some vibration similar to warped rotors, but can be differentiated from the latter bc the vibration and shimmy are there when not applying the brakes.

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Old 02-11-2020, 03:04 PM   #6
77'911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BHarris View Post
yes, I have rotated the wheels multiple times and nothing has changed.

everything up front looks good with the exception of the control arm bushing, which I am assuming my clunk is and my tie rod arms are both new.

I did the youtube motor mount tests and nothing seems to be wrong but I'm not eliminating them, I plan on getting to them eventually just for added smoothness.

Do you know how to check the transfer case mounts?
My rule of thumb on drive line mounts, more then 60k and 15 years, change them out. Our motor mounts on an 02 330xi were absolutely shot at 60k. Have not gotten to our transfer case one, but I can see the cracking in it. It's time.
On joints like the tire rod ends, ball joints, use a large pair of channel locks to squeeze down on them. If any movement up and down, replace.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Channell...-480/303692256
Even though your arms are new, does not mean you can't have a bad one. I just had to replace the lower control arms, upper ball joints and bushings due to a shop installing crap after market units that were bad from the get go. Don't trust anything, all is suspect, until proven otherwise.
I don't know what your hearing is like as mine is horrid. Having said that, there are a number of items in back that could cause a clunk:
1) broken rear springs at the bottom
2) bad shocks or mounts
3) sway bar bushings and links
4) bad exhaust hangers (as soon as we bought our car, I replace all of these along with drive line mounts, automatically. It gets rid of a lot of issues right off the bat).
regards
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Old 02-11-2020, 03:10 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brewtus79 View Post
How about play in the sway bar links causing the clunk? Check them for slop. FCABs will give some vibration similar to warped rotors, but can be differentiated from the latter bc the vibration and shimmy are there when not applying the brakes.

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I had a shake while braking before I did my FCABs, gone after replacement.
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Old 02-11-2020, 05:54 PM   #8
Brewtus79
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I had a shake while braking before I did my FCABs, gone after replacement.
Cant argue with that. I suppose the vibration felt is less pronounced than the warped rotor sensation, say just when the rotors are starting to wobulate.

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Old 02-16-2020, 03:33 PM   #9
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I had a bad outer ball joint that would clunk when I drove into my driveway, replaced them with e36 non M outer ball joints, clunk went away. later on I did the e36 centered rubber bushings and took care of the brake shake.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:39 PM   #10
BHarris
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I've been planning on doing the FCAB for a while now, however it only seems that the drivers side one had play in it when I have the car up in the air. Is that normal or should I be looking for the cause of that?
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:52 AM   #11
77'911
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I've been planning on doing the FCAB for a while now, however it only seems that the drivers side one had play in it when I have the car up in the air. Is that normal or should I be looking for the cause of that?
I'd also check that they are pressed in correctly to the specific xi spec. Many techs will just press them in half way which does not provide enough support for the control arm. This can cause vibrations. Sorry I don't have the spec handy, I'm out of country and don't have my Bentley Manual with me.
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Old 02-17-2020, 07:30 PM   #12
BHarris
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Originally Posted by 77'911 View Post
I'd also check that they are pressed in correctly to the specific xi spec. Many techs will just press them in half way which does not provide enough support for the control arm. This can cause vibrations. Sorry I don't have the spec handy, I'm out of country and don't have my Bentley Manual with me.
Thank you
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Old 02-18-2020, 09:17 AM   #13
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I've been planning on doing the FCAB for a while now, however it only seems that the drivers side one had play in it when I have the car up in the air. Is that normal or should I be looking for the cause of that?

The FCABs on XI are fluid-filled, and tend to have worse longevity because of it. If it hasn't been replaced in 50k miles, you will feel a difference.
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Old 02-19-2020, 02:30 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BHarris View Post
I've been planning on doing the FCAB for a while now, however it only seems that the drivers side one had play in it when I have the car up in the air. Is that normal or should I be looking for the cause of that?
With the contention that you should change your FCABs consider Poly or the e36 M3 centered solid rubber. I've got these in my xi and have installed them in 2 others with no ill effects. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...3-31129069035l
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Old 02-22-2020, 03:56 PM   #15
BHarris
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Alright so good and bad news..... the bushings definitely needed to be replaced and it makes a huge difference on the highway, however the clunk is still there. I'm beginning to think it's sway bar related. Also I noticed I need a new tie rod end boot as it's torn. I'm assuming this is a recent development as there is no play in the tie rod itself.
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Old 02-22-2020, 04:14 PM   #16
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Alright so good and bad news..... the bushings definitely needed to be replaced and it makes a huge difference on the highway, however the clunk is still there. I'm beginning to think it's sway bar related. Also I noticed I need a new tie rod end boot as it's torn. I'm assuming this is a recent development as there is no play in the tie rod itself.
If you think the sway bar is the cause of the clunk, pull the end links off, you can drive the car without the sway bar. More body roll but drivable. I had a broken link and all I had was a rattle on bumps.
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Old 02-23-2020, 11:27 PM   #17
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If you think the sway bar is the cause of the clunk, pull the end links off, you can drive the car without the sway bar. More body roll but drivable. I had a broken link and all I had was a rattle on bumps.
This is sound diagnostic advice. However, if you noise is under acceleration, it's extremely unlikely that your issue is suspension... those issues usually come up on under braking or over bumps. Vibration under acceleration is most likely the driveshaft. An older (original) driveshaft with shot (froze) U-joints will kill a CSB in short order. I had the same issue in my 2004 325xi wagon. Violent banging around 30mph. CSB was replaced at around 135k, and at 192k, problem was back. A fully new rebuilt driveshaft fixed the issue.
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Old 02-24-2020, 08:48 AM   #18
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However I saw two arrows stamped into the drive shafts which seemed to be factory alignment tools.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:57 PM   #19
BHarris
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
If you think the sway bar is the cause of the clunk, pull the end links off, you can drive the car without the sway bar. More body roll but drivable. I had a broken link and all I had was a rattle on bumps.
great idea, that will definitely be tested when I get the opportunity to.
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Old 02-24-2020, 05:58 PM   #20
BHarris
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Originally Posted by Alpinerunner View Post
This is sound diagnostic advice. However, if you noise is under acceleration, it's extremely unlikely that your issue is suspension... those issues usually come up on under braking or over bumps. Vibration under acceleration is most likely the driveshaft. An older (original) driveshaft with shot (froze) U-joints will kill a CSB in short order. I had the same issue in my 2004 325xi wagon. Violent banging around 30mph. CSB was replaced at around 135k, and at 192k, problem was back. A fully new rebuilt driveshaft fixed the issue.
I think that is going to solve the problem. However I'm going to replace the engine and transmission mounts before hand to eliminate both of those options as they are both due to be replaced.
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