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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 03-17-2014, 03:56 PM   #1
bubela
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Join Date: Nov 2013
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My Ride: turbo ti / 325xit
Front end chatter

I'm new to the 325xi front suspension here..

I'm getting a front chatter/clapping sound coming from the front end.

My thoughts were that the pads were lose and clapping. The higher the speed, the faster the "clap". As soon as I apply just a little bit of the brakes, the clap goes away.

Does this have to do with the brakes? I've also read that the front lower control arm busing may be a culprit. Is this so?

I have it up on the lift and the rubber LCA bushing is soft. It doesn't seem "bad" but definitely not as tight as a poly bushing would be. There is a slight shimmy at highway speeds as well.

Please forgive me if this is a common problem, but is there an obvious fix to this brake "clap"?
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:07 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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If you have it on the lift, go around and shake stuff because it sounds like something is loose.

shimmy and wandering feeling is probably either the ball joints or the FCABs. Again, go under there and shake stuff and see if anything moves around. If you have the wheel in the air, grab it at 12 and 6 and shake vertically, if it moves it's probably the ball joints. Grab at 9 and 3 and shake horizontally, if it moves it's probably the FCABs.
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Old 03-17-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
bubela
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That's the thing.. I don't have movement anywhere. All the bushings are tight under this shake test. I'm going to take the caliper/pads apart and see if anything is amiss.
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Old 03-17-2014, 09:31 PM   #4
jmo69
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Join Date: Mar 2013
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My Ride: 2003 325xi e36 328is
I had an issue with a brake that rattled and it was the anti-rattle clip had come off, the noise went away when the brakes were applied. It only seemed to make noise on bumps.
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Old 03-17-2014, 10:32 PM   #5
Kubica
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Most likely brake backing plate or swaybar link.
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Old 03-20-2014, 08:42 PM   #6
bubela
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I took the calipers and pads off. Didn't notice anything abnormal. Just used a wire brush and cleaned up all the contact/sliding surfaces. Applied some anti-seize to said surfaces and re-assembled. Seems to have gone away. I'll let you know if it comes back.
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Old 03-22-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
YaSureYouBetcha
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Sway bar end links...

You'll need to lift the front end to take the weight off. Grab them and shake, if there's any play whatsoever, that's your culprit.


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Old 03-23-2014, 01:04 PM   #8
tomoyer
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The slight "shake" you have at highway speed, does the steering wheel shake? Does it go away like the noise when the brakes are applied?
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:07 PM   #9
bubela
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I feel the vibration in the steering wheel, but it does not move the wheel left/right. Pretty sure it does not go away when the brakes are applied.
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