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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-07-2011, 09:57 AM   #1
tremm298
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Creaking in front shocks?

I have changed the front and rear shocks to Bilsteins HD and new stock springs.
Since my 2001 33xi replacement Bilsteins do not come with the lower spring bracket welded as on other that I have replaced, I had to carefully knock off the old bracket that were just pressed on and hammer them on to the new Bilsteins HD. I was careful to set the springs into new pads with the same rotation location of the springs on the pads as the originals. The only rotation that was not precise was the placement of the brackets, since the Bilsteins come with two slots that forced an approximate alignment, but I tried to keep them at the same angle to the control arm tab, plus or minus 15 degrees?

After driving 50 miles, the front noticeably creaks over bumps. The old ones seem to have been held by the press and rust and I was able to get them to lay flat on the top of the Bilsteins and don't believe I change the angle of the bracket in knocking them off. I would like to fix them before getting a four wheel alignment. Any suggests welcomed, beyond earplugs. Thanks
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Old 08-07-2011, 03:30 PM   #2
Gus330vrum
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is it a creak sound or metal to metal?
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Old 08-07-2011, 04:33 PM   #3
tremm298
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It is more a creaking as in old springs and starts after awhile, 5 miles or so. I think it might be the spring brackets moving? Once it starts it sound like an old car on its last springs.
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:04 PM   #4
Rickna
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Bushings, perhaps?
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Old 08-07-2011, 05:28 PM   #5
Gus330vrum
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hmm! if its over 100k... spring and strut/shock.! TIME TO CHANGE IT!


i changed my to 330/ sport spring w/ bilstein sport/ rear m3 1999 NEW REAR SHOCK MOUNT!... but some what im listening to a cracking sound when turning only!

what could be? i listen it inside but on the lower bottom rear.... what could be?
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Old 08-07-2011, 09:07 PM   #6
tremm298
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Thanks for the bushings suggestion, I am considering trying to do something to the lower spring pads since the tops are pretty stable on the top shock mounts and the springs are set to the ends of the pads, not touching but about a 1/16 shy of the end stops.
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Old 08-08-2011, 12:57 AM   #7
Kubica
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Re-tighten the swaybar endlinks.
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Old 08-08-2011, 11:19 PM   #8
tremm298
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Do you mean to run them beyond the Bently torque? The manual suggests that there are flats on the connecting links, but mine are round and are held torx socket in the center of the connections. Thanks for the suggestion.
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:36 AM   #9
Astoria330xi
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creeking under turning and and when hitting bumps can be the lower ball joint.
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Old 08-09-2011, 09:12 AM   #10
tremm298
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Thanks, but the creaking is over bumps, when stopped, I can make it creak pretty loudly by bouncing the front up and down. The bounce stops quickly as with good shocks, and the noise comes from both sides. The ball joints were tight, when trying to move the wheel when the car was up on jack stands.
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Old 08-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #11
Astoria330xi
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does the noise happen when you stand still and turn your wheels?
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #12
tremm298
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No, but when I bounce the front bumper , both sides creak. The car has about 78,000 miles, but the ball joint and CAB, seem fine when twisting the wheels when jacked off the ground.
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:30 PM   #13
tremm298
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Thanks for the suggestions, I would not rule out bushings or ball joints, but they were tight and quiet before the new shocks and seemed as tight after the change.
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