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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:11 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: New York City
Posts: 677
My Ride: 2004 M3
Susp overhaul.....getting a strange noise now

I've overhauled the following....in hopes of dream suspension:

-Front Shocks/Springs and FSM's
-Control arms and FCABS
-Front sway and link and bushing
-ALL rear subframe mounts
-ALL diff mounts
-Rear swaybar and links and bushing
-Rear shocks and springs and RSM's
-Flexible Steering knuckle


But now I have the following...

1) Car pulls ever so slightly to the right, have to hold the steering wheel a mm or 2 to the left. (so annoying)

2) Strange rustling/scraping sound coming from rear at 1 second intermittent intervals during LOW SPEEDS like braking to a stop (as if it's on the rotor/brake and makes 'sound' everytime the wheel makes a full rotation)

Im thinking maybe rotor and brake pad?

Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-13-2010, 10:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: SE Michigan/NW Ohio
Posts: 2,040
My Ride: 323Ci, 89 325i ETA
Originally Posted by HellRaiser1 View Post

2) Strange rustling/scraping sound coming from rear at 1 second intermittent intervals during LOW SPEEDS like braking to a stop (as if it's on the rotor/brake and makes 'sound' everytime the wheel makes a full rotation)

Im thinking maybe rotor and brake pad?

Thanks for your help!
I also have the same problem.

E30 in progress.

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Old 05-21-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Florida
Posts: 58
My Ride: BMW 325i 2004
I have a similar noise. It seems to be coming from the driver's side rear. At first I thought it was because of my rear tires being bald (though, they had worn just about perfect), but after changing them the noise was still there. It sounds like a cyclic rubbing/mild-grinding noise which increases frequency with the speed of the car. The rear rotors look fine. I'm about to take apart the rear brake drums for the parking brake, perhaps dust has built up inside and created a heavy side leading to imbalance of the wheel. The real odd thing is that the noise disappears or greatly reduces when make hard lefts at speed. Though the noise is still present when going straight or making hard rights at speed.
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Old 05-22-2010, 06:52 AM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: IL
Posts: 63
My Ride: 2000 323i
If the noise changes when you go around corners, your bearings are bad. If it gets louder when making hard lefts, then your right rear bearing is bad.
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:18 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 1970
Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 156
My Ride: 1999 328i
I'm glad someone else is having a similar problem to mine. Maybe we can help each other out.
My car (1999 328i 130k miles) has been making a similar noise at the left (driver) rear wheel for probably 6 months--and it's gotten progressively worse. I have taken it all apart numerous times looking for problems with the rotor, pads, e-brake, caliper bolts and dust shield. I haven't found any clear signs of scraping/rubbing. I've also replaced my differential seals on both sides.
I thought I was really narrowing it down to it having to be the bearing. However, I didn't notice any play when tugging on the wheel nor do I have that droning noise people speak of at highway speeds. Since I couldn't confirm one way or another, I took it to a BMW/European specialty car shop a couple weeks ago and they test drove it, had it up on a lift, etc. and they said that it wasn't a bad bearing. Though interestingly, they said they didn't hear the sound that I hear when making right turns.

The sound (which is usually quite evident depending on how sharpyly I turn) is like a cyclic scraping, grinding noise that occurs when making sweeping turns, which seems similar to the description others have complained of. Something else is that I have noticed that if I start to accelerate when making the turn, the noise stops.

Any other thoughts from anyone?
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Old 06-25-2010, 12:31 PM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 505
My Ride: 1999 323i
I, too, have had this issue come and go. On the driver's side as well. The fix was taking off the rear rotor to access the emergency brake assembly and backing off the parking brake shoe adjustment a click or two (only later did I learn I could remove one lug bolt and access the star wheel with a long, skinny screwdriver). But in any case, I felt I isolated the problem to the parking brake assembly. However, I can't explain the issue - I keep the assemblies quite clean and well-lubed, and the little shoes are only a year a half old.

The really funny thing with this issue is the severity of the noise it makes. It makes a pulsating sound that would lead you to believe your wheel is wobbling like an old tricycle wheel. I knew this wasn't the case since I recently replaced my rear wheel bearings and followed the tightening specifications.
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Old 07-12-2010, 02:10 PM   #7
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Location: Hilliard, Ohio
Posts: 156
My Ride: 1999 328i
Just wanted to update everyone on what was causing the issues I described above. My left-rear wheel area was making a terrible squeaking, screeching, grinding noise for months but nobody that heard it or inspected it seemed to think it was the bearing. But, that's what it ended up being

I tore into it over the weekend and after removing the hub found that the bearings were completely dried out and rusty. Also, on the inside ridge of one the bearing races you could see indentations of where the bearings were wearing it away --probably the source of the squeaking.

Unfortunately, I did not have access to the B90 tool or any proper bearing removal/install tool. So, I hacked away at the thing with everything in my arsenal. I also rented a slide hammer which, while quite helpful in removing the hub, did nothing to even budge the bearing. I ended up Dremelling the damned thing out of there. Took about 45 minutes of grinding. I would also note that the removal of the splined shaft was a non-issue for me whereas I've read a lot about people having a rough time with it.

To install the new bearing and the new hub (figured I'd go ahead and buy a new hub while I was at it), I used a make-shift compression tool. I used a threaded rod with some washers and nuts. What was very helpful was a bearing race kit that I got from Harbor Freight for like $25 (p/n 95853). It had an assortment of different sized aluminum collars or plugs which actually worked pretty well. However, you have to be careful to create your tool the right way so as to not knock through one of the inner bearing races as you're installing it.

Even though it worked and I learned a lot doing it the way I did, it probably took many hours more than it should have ----If I have to do this job again, I would either buy one of the proper bearing tools or find someone to rent/borrow it from.
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