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Discussion Starter #1
I’ve seen this thread everywhere and still cannot find the issue myself. 2002 330I. I have about 91.000 miles on it and I have replaced the sway bar end links and the lower control arm bushings. There’s a clunk in the front of my car whenever I brake or turn in either direction. There is about a quarter inch of slack in the wheel as well when turning. Sometimes if I let the car sit for a while and push on the tire with my foot, the clunk will happen once, but when I do it again nothing happens. Also, after driving and leaving the car parked, you can hear a pop once in a while from the front as if the car is settling. I cannot find anyone to diagnosis problem whether it’s in other threads or friends who are mechanics. I suspect it is the rack and Pinion but haven’t got a definite answer yet. People have told me it could be strut mount bearings, ball joints, control arms, tie rods. I’m going to attach a video from YouTube I made showing slight play in the rack when twisted with an adjustable wrench. (It’s only about 30 seconds long.) The insides of my tires are also slightly worn, more than the outside. Here’s the link to the video, any insight is helpful thank you!!

 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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I acknowledge the play and am curious. As to whether that's the source of your noise or source for concern I am unsure. When confronted with such noises that are very hard to pinpoint we use a tool called the Chassis Ear. Up to 6 mini microphones can be clipped onto various parts of the car. Put on the headset and drive to try to isolate the source of the noise.

Wires safely zip tied and/or taped to avoid contact with moving parts or the road. Route the wires inside the cabin and close the window 99%.


Should you be tempted to buy, do not buy the newer version w/o the wires/leads, they're junk.
It's not a perfect tool. I mistakenly took in a VG customers daughter's car. An Acura TL V6. Noise on accel in the front end, either the trans (FWD) or the right inner CV joint, because that's where the noise was the loudest. Turned out to be the left inner CV. Just how noise can travel.....

Tire wear on the inside is directly attributable to wheel alignment.
 

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Sometimes if I let the car sit for a while and push on the tire with my foot, the clunk will happen once, but when I do it again nothing happens.
Normally the steering rack output rods don't rotate during steering, but rather move linearly. Therefore what you did in the video -- rotate the rod -- is not a good test to prove or disprove it. Do this: jack up one wheel off ground, then grab it at 9 and 3 o'clock position and shake it in/out (as like during left and right turn). If it has noticeable free plays then it has bad joints or bad rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Normally the steering rack output rods don't rotate during steering, but rather move linearly. Therefore what you did in the video -- rotate the rod -- is not a good test to prove or disprove it. Do this: jack up one wheel off ground, then grab it at 9 and 3 o'clock position and shake it in/out (as like during left and right turn). If it has noticeable free plays then it has bad joints or bad rack.
Interesting, I know For a fact we did the tire test and it does not move at all. From what you’re saying it doesn’t sound like the rack?
 

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I don't understand the question as it seems you found the issue, as the rack should have ZERO play. I had something similar years ago and ended up replacing it. I assume you also have vibrations in the steering wheel at highway speeds?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I don't understand the question as it seems you found the issue, as the rack should have ZERO play. I had something similar years ago and ended up replacing it. I assume you also have vibrations in the steering wheel at highway speeds?
My question is whether or not the community thinks what in the video could be the cause of the problem. Some say the play is normal some say it’s not
 

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You might have a broken spring, loose or broken strut bolt(s), loose or broken steer rack bolt(s).
 

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Interesting, I know For a fact we did the tire test and it does not move at all. From what you’re saying it doesn’t sound like the rack?
If no plays when shaking at 9 and 3 then why blaming the rack which only works to move the wheels in/out at 3 and 9 positions with the control arms never rotate as you tried to show in video.
 
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