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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 03-19-2017, 11:45 AM   #1
Speeddragon
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Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 37
My Ride: e46 323 Sedan
clunking, bonking and shaking [323]

The last problem to tackle on my e46 is a clunk/bonking sound.
I have read many threads online but most of the topics are a little different than mine.

First I had a really hard clunk and my differential back bushing was worn. I replaced it, the other bushings/rubbers from the differential where still in very good condition according to the BMW specialist.

When I am driving and switching gears I notice a clunk coming from the back. This is the most hearable when going to the 3th or 4th gear.

Switching gears when high in RPM in a sportive way minimizes the sound.

Most people notice this problem the most between 1/2. But the thing that is different with my car is:

When I drive 40km/h(24mp/h) in 3th gear and I release the clutch really fast I hear the clunk a few times, like something is shaking and touching an other part.

What I have checked or replaced:

-Sub frame mounts: left side was repaired in the past but no cracks visible now.
-Guibo: replaced
-Drive shaft center bearing: was still fine (don't know if it is mounted with 2mm preload but the mechanic is a BMW specialist that worked for a dealer for 20 years)
-Gearbox bushings: still fine
-Clutch replaced, mechanic said flywheel was still good to go, wasn't the best but it wasn't totally worn.
-Differential bushings: 1 replaced, rest checked
-exhaust: mounted fine (and it's a darker clunk)
-I have no clutch delay valve, it's a 1998 so it's never been in place


I really don't know what to do next, I am starting to irritate myself too much from it.

Last edited by Speeddragon; 03-19-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:51 AM   #2
ZacharyMikel
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Boise, Idaho
Posts: 54
My Ride: 2004 330i 6MT ZHP
I've experienced symptoms like what you're describing and I thought the sound was coming from the rear. It was actually my front sway bar end links, they were totally loose. I would at least check them.

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Old 03-19-2017, 04:43 PM   #3
Speeddragon
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My Ride: e46 323 Sedan
Thanks for your reply, will check that soon..
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:33 PM   #4
jmo69
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Location: Wisconsin
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
My 98 e36 had a cdv, don't know why yours wouldn't.
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Old 03-19-2017, 06:14 PM   #5
TobyB
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My Ride: 2004xit, 2001ci
If your car is a 98, maybe check the top rear shock mounts.

E36s had a real problem with them, so maybe your very early E46 could?

Just a guess,

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Old 03-20-2017, 03:59 PM   #6
Speeddragon
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Location: The Netherlands
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My Ride: e46 323 Sedan
@jmo69

When looking up my vin in the parts catalog it shows the cdv but doesn't give you a part number.
Some european topics on european bmw forums say that their new bought car didn't have them either, so I don't know.
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:39 PM   #7
Alex323Ci
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My Ride: M3 & 323Ci (sold)
^your early 323i doesn't have the CDV from what I recall. not all E46s got them. my USA 2000 323Ci didn't have one either.

having it or not isn't causing your issues anyway.

would have to hear/see your issue to make a better diagnosis. but some "clicking" can be slack in the driveline and even more so your halfshaft axle's cv joints.
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