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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:26 PM   #1
Dazza335iC
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clank/clunk from rear end

Hi all, I'm trying to locate the source of this very annoying clank/clunk in the rear of the car. It's very much a metal-on-metal type of sound, and from outside the car sounds sharp and metallic. It happens over even small bumps in the road, and is originating somewhere in the rear suspension. I've put the car up and checked everything I can think of multiple times. Bushings, heat shields, exhaust hangers, dust shields, lines, suspension components, etc. Everything looks and feels solid, I've shaken stuff and banged stuff with rubber mallets to no avail.

I'm at my wits end trying to track this down and I can't find anything, so it's time to ask the interwebs.... Are there any parts of the rear suspension that are more susceptible to this? Or any known trouble spots for noise? Thanks for the help!

edit: I should also mention that it's pretty damn loud outside the car, and also audible inside but more muffled and quiet.

Last edited by Dazza335iC; 01-22-2014 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 01-17-2014, 05:47 PM   #2
alpine325coupe
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Have you checked the rear shock mounts?
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Old 01-19-2014, 10:59 PM   #3
Dazza335iC
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I haven't yet, good thought. I assume they can be checked from inside the trunk? Anything else I should be looking for?
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Old 01-20-2014, 02:04 AM   #4
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could be a cracked subframe or a worn our differential bushing
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:36 PM   #5
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How good is the handbrake?

My Bimmer had an annoying rattle that sounded like it was coming from the rear end, and it turned out to be the handbrake shoes

Last edited by Wispa; 01-20-2014 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:27 PM   #6
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Handbrake seems to hold fine, but that's a good point. I'll have to pull the rotors and check out the mechanism.
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:49 AM   #7
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Check your rear shock bolts at the hubs. see if they are tight and the shock is not loose.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:58 PM   #8
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I would check:
- Differential
- Rear Shock Mounts
- Rear Shocks themselves and rear A arms
- Subframe Mounting Areas
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Old 01-22-2014, 12:32 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by nleksan View Post
I would check:
- Differential
- Rear Shock Mounts
- Rear Shocks themselves and rear A arms
- Subframe Mounting Areas
I just jacked my rear up tonight and twisted the wheel, the wheel moved left and right an inch, and each axle twisted and the diff moved around.

If I twisted fast enough, the diff actually lifted in its place. Do I have shot diff mounts or is this normal?
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:47 AM   #10
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Got a chance to do some inspections yesterday:

RSMs look to be in good shape. I found the service history saying they were replaced about 20k ago with OEM pieces.
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Subframe looks good from both above and below with no signs of cracking or tearing
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I did notice some cracking in the rear diff bushing but it's not what I'd call severe
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I also pulled apart the brakes and e-brake on one side and found nothing of note. Everything looks excellent.

The only thing I noticed was a fair amount of play in the bushing that connects the UCA to the rear spindle. I'm not sure what the name for that bushing is, but the UCA had a lot of movement/play when I pushed on or twisted it, and it didn't take much force to move it around. Thoughts?

edit: just saw this in another thread:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
...and i blew three sets of Meyle HD shock mounts on aftermarket dampers. one brand new pair after the other. They don't blow through completely, the bushing just gets warped to sh!t and the shock starts knocking
Maybe time to step up to aftermarket RSMs. I know Turner and Rogue make good stuff, any opinions on these or others?

Last edited by Dazza335iC; 01-22-2014 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:18 AM   #11
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Try removing your rear seat and lowering the top of the seat down. This will allow more noise to get through the cabin. Maybe this will help you pinpoint where the noise is coming from.
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Old 01-22-2014, 09:38 PM   #12
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You may need to replace the rear inner upper and lower control arm bushing/bearing. I did w the TMS bits during my 325i overhaul, and the old ones were shot.

For the RSM's, I have typically gotten Rogue ones, zero problems.
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Old 01-23-2014, 12:07 AM   #13
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After seeing the headaches involved in replacing those LCA bushings I may just order new lower arms. The uppers seem to be easier from what I read, as long as you have the right tool.

First step though it to put the seats down and crawl in to the back while the wife drives around, give the shock mounts a good looking over.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:13 PM   #14
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I have the same clank/clunk sound coming from the rear end. Checked all of the things you did and no luck.

Finally figured it out. Sounded like metal tools clanking together on a metal pan.

Turns out it was the metal clip/bar that holds the battery in the tray. Try lifting up your battery and slightly dropping it. I bet it's that sound.

Let us know what you find. It worked for me to tighten the clamp to the battery tray.
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:54 PM   #15
Dazza335iC
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That's a good idea! I'll check it in the AM.

I put the seats down, crawled in the back and had my wife drive around for a few miles. I heard the sound very distinctly, louder from the passenger side but also from the driver side. It was not the shock mounts. It was definitely coming from underneath the trunk floor, near the rear wheel. Metal-on-metal clanking and rattling, like a bushing was completely shot perhaps? I've priced out a full set of bushings from Turner for the rear and it comes out to near $700 when you include new lower arms and aftermarket RSMs... not cheap, but owning a BMW never is :/

I'll keep trying to hunt it down before I blow that much money and a whole weekend trying to fix it though. Anyne have a rear bushing tool set they're willing to loan?

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Old 01-26-2014, 09:15 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Dazza335iC View Post
That's a good idea! I'll check it in the AM.

I put the seats down, crawled in the back and had my wife drive around for a few miles. I heard the sound very distinctly, louder from the passenger side but also from the driver side. It was not the shock mounts. It was definitely coming from underneath the trunk floor, near the rear wheel. Metal-on-metal clanking and rattling, like a bushing was completely shot perhaps? I've priced out a full set of bushings from Turner for the rear and it comes out to near $700 when you include new lower arms and aftermarket RSMs... not cheap, but owning a BMW never is :/

I'll keep trying to hunt it down before I blow that much money and a whole weekend trying to fix it though. Anyne have a rear bushing tool set they're willing to loan?
Any update on the sound? I'm hoping the suggestion I provided will get me two SB tickets.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:28 PM   #17
Dazza335iC
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The battery clamp was a bit loose, but it wasn't the source of the sounds.

I did notice though that the sound goes away whenever I apply the brakes. Like I said earlier I pulled the rear brakes apart and checked everything, I don't think that's the source. Maybe it's the force they exert on some loose suspension parts back there.

I ended up ordering all new RSMs, RTABs, upper and lower outer TABs and lower arms with inner bushings. The price through blunttech was about $200 less than Turner, and better quality. I'll also have to replace the diff bushing at some point, but I'd like to avoid it for now.

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Old 02-03-2014, 10:20 AM   #18
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All the new parts are in. It'll get aligned today, then (fingers crossed) hopefully the noise is gone!
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:46 AM   #19
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All the new parts are in. It'll get aligned today, then (fingers crossed) hopefully the noise is gone!
How did it go?
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:37 AM   #20
Dazza335iC
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I drove it to work this morning and so far it seems (knock on wood) to be fixed. But I don't want to say for sure yet because I didn't go over any bumpy or rough sections of road. It goes in for an alignment this afternoon, and I may ask the shop (Pacific Motorsports here in Portland, they specialize in BMWs) to take a look for anything I may have overlooked if the noise is still there. At this point I'd rather pay for an hour of diagnostic time than continue to throw more parts/time/money at an unidentified culprit.
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