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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:38 PM   #1
Airborne82id
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Clunking sound front end.

While I'm here ...

Been having this metallic sounding noise coming outta the front end, possibly the passenger side.

It happens when going over bumps or road imperfections. I tried to establish a pattern as to when it happens and it seems strangely random. I can go over a road bump, and nothing. Then a small crack on the road and I hear it. And it's not perpetual.

I'm waiting to have some time to lift her up and look under there. I did crawl down there and nothing seems outta the usual.

I know it can't be control arms and/or bushing.
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #2
Nerdy46
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check your swaybar end links
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:41 PM   #3
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When did you last refresh your suspension components?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:20 PM   #4
Airborne82id
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I got this car 20k ago with 117k on odo. New Bilstein rear shock. Rear shock mount reinforcement. Shock mount rear. Rear shock compression absorber (bump stop). It's got new swaybar in the front and new power slot cryo rotors and pads all 4.

I can tell it's got original control arms and bushings- Also, I don't see any receitpts for them. Springs and shock absorber also stock and I've been contemplating on replacing them just for ride quality. I've replaced my CA and bushings on my previous e46 and they were beyond shot; didn't experience any clunking sound.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:22 PM   #5
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another case of dried up lithum grease in strut mounts
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:32 PM   #6
Airborne82id
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I think you're right. It does sound exactly like it's coming from a spring.


How do you fix that?
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Airborne82id View Post
I think you're right. It does sound exactly like it's coming from a spring.


How do you fix that?
pop the hood and squeeze some lithum grease into the strut mount ball bearings.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:27 AM   #8
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pop the hood and squeeze some lithum grease into the strut mount ball bearings.
I'm glad I am not the only one anymore who was suggesting to grease the strut mounts.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:30 AM   #9
BMWCaptain
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Still need to look at your LCAB.

Check your ball joints too. I had one that was loose and caused a noise when going over bumps.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:14 AM   #10
RayPooley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Airborne82id View Post
While I'm here ...

Been having this metallic sounding noise coming outta the front end, possibly the passenger side.

It happens when going over bumps or road imperfections. I tried to establish a pattern as to when it happens and it seems strangely random. I can go over a road bump, and nothing. Then a small crack on the road and I hear it. And it's not perpetual.

I'm waiting to have some time to lift her up and look under there. I did crawl down there and nothing seems outta the usual.

I know it can't be control arms and/or bushing.
This .....

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Old 01-23-2013, 09:16 AM   #11
taibinhvuong
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It looks like your passenger side control arm inner ball joint is shot.

Jack both front end up, swing front right tire to full extend left and right, use a flash light careful to examine the rubber cover of the inner ball joint (one that mounted to the brake assembly, not the middle one), you may find it cracked and grease is leaking, this is the indication of a bad ball joint and will give you the clunk when go over sharp bump or road crack.

A loose or bad right sway bar bushing may also contribute to the clunking, check the bushing mounting bracket to make sure it is tight as well.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:27 PM   #12
Airborne82id
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I think Mercforhire suggestion is more likely the culprit.

When CAB are totally shot, it's not the sound that will alert you the most; It's the ride quality. As I've mentioned I've replaced control arms and bushings on my previous e46. This is different.

The sound sounds more like "ding", as if metal touching another metal but very hollow and light. I'm suspecting that spring, either hitting something or the bearings like Mercforhire suggested.
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