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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

 
 
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:11 PM   #1
mos
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Rockville, MD
Posts: 42
My Ride: 02 330Ci
Clunking after putting on Meyle HD control arms and bushings

My original bushings went bad (~80K miles), so I replaced them with Meyle HD control arms + bushings. Soon after the Meyle were installed, the front suspension started to develop a metal clunking noise that can be heard and felt (through the floor board) on both sides. It also can be heard outside. It sounds like a metal-to-metal pop/snap.

The noise is mostly successfully reproduced by turning the steering wheel when accelerating/decelerating. Sometimes an abrupt take-off in a straight line can produces the noise too. However, going over bumps does not produce the noise.

I have searched intensively and extensively in here and other BMW forums. Two of the most helpful and relevant threads are these:
http://www.e46fanatics.com/forum/sho...d.php?t=490479
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=587245

I had couple BMW techs inspect the suspension. Nothing could be identified as the culprit. However, as BMW techs, they don't like any part that is not OE. In one occasion, while car was driving off the edge of the garage floor to the pavement (steering wheel turned), we could hear the clunk coming directly from the area behind the front wheel. We have inspected the tie rods too. They are fine.

I contacted the vendor. While they firmly refuted the theory that Meyle causes the clunk, they admit once or twice a year, out of the hundreds of sets of Meyle arms they sell, a customer would report such a problem. They attribute it to install error and the notion the improved/tighter ball joints/bushings would exacerbate the symptoms of the weak links in the suspension. With that said, they are willing to give me a full refund.

It's about 3 months now after the Meyle went in. The clunking has gotten worse. I now also have a steering wheel shake between 60-70 mph. When I take my hands off the steering wheel, I can actually see it shimmying.

I am without a job right now. Therefore, I don't have the money to follow some of the members who replaced strut mounts, struts, brake calipers, sway bar bushings, namely the whole suspension, to chase down the root of the problem. What I have decided to do is to buy a new set of OE control arms and bushings to put back in, and then ship the Meyle to the vendor. I believe it's the most financially feasible move at the moment. Hopefully it'll return my suspension to good form and ease my anguish.
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Last edited by mos; 05-17-2012 at 04:49 PM.
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bushings, clunk noise, control arms, meyle, suspension

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