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Old 11-03-2010, 12:16 AM   #61
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why can't you do the install yourself and then get an alignment? you can do other retrofit mods but not that?
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:26 AM   #62
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why can't you do the install yourself and then get an alignment? you can do other retrofit mods but not that?

I'm like a good lover that can't cook or clean. I'm only skilled in one room of the house.
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Old 11-03-2010, 12:43 AM   #63
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it's really easy though. it's like 6 bolts lol well except for the spring compressing part. easy but takes forever unless you have an air compressor
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:03 PM   #64
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That oil is the shocks internal oil , which means that you need new shocks.
The creaking usualy occurs when the springs rotate in their seats , this usualy happens when the springs dont abosorb enogh load to force them in their place.
I believe this assessment is correct.

After a long road trip, I began getting a pirate ship noise over bumps but not when turning. I knew the shock had a leak for quite a while but left it as I didn't have any drivability issues. I guess the road trip finally killed the shock completely. The shock was a non-BMW Sachs replacement for a factory one a couple of years ago. So it was a piece of cr*p for dying in less than 15k miles. Curiously enough the blown factory one didn't cause any noticeable noise at all. I only realised the factory shock was blown when I was replacing the spring to fix the lower height on one side problem. I am going to pay dealer money for a proper BMW shock this time. The factory shock on the other side still runs great after 122k miles, likewise for one of my rear shocks that I inspected today.

I was going nuts trying to find the noise in the rear of the car, until finally the narrow but high speed bumps at walmart helped me isolating the noise to the front. Only yesterdays I experienced unusual increase in vibration inside the cabin on the side of the broken shock (although I didn't know it was broken at the time). Now everything begins to make sense, and the sudden change in cabin vibration characteristics could be used as a indicator of a broken shock. I tried that bouncing the suspension diagnostic trick; it didn't do jack.

The 'stuff' on the OP's tower was leaked shock oil mixed with road dirt that was accumulated over a period of time.

Last edited by GoingNuts; 09-08-2011 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 09-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #65
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I have the pirate ship sound when turning when my car is stationary or at really slow (parking lot) speeds. I have replaced (not bc of this) the LCAB and sway bar end links. one indie said he thinks it's the ball joint. recommended trying to inject some grease in there with a syringe to see if that stops it. said he had a guy who did that with every oil change and lasted 4 years until he sold the car.

I am also noticing a steering wheel shake when braking at highway speeds, not sure if these are related or just my rotors are warped...feels like warped rotors (had them on my last car) but a friend tells me that hard to get on a BMW.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #66
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I inspected my broken shock today. I couldn't quite pin point the noise, even with a stephoscope, but I believe the noise came from the strut mount. So I will be replacing the entire strut assembly with new BMW parts. Although I will be keeping my two year old spring.

I think my shock had died for quite some time as there was no fresh oil leak. But my long road trip without a working shock probably killed the strut mount.

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Old 09-09-2011, 05:35 PM   #67
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I inspected my broken shock today. I couldn't quite pin point the noise, even with a stephoscope, but I believe the noise came from the strut mount. So I will be replacing the entire strut assembly with new BMW parts. Although I will be keeping my two year old spring.

I think my shock had died for quite some time as there was no fresh oil leak. But my long road trip without a working shock probably killed the strut mount.
There are strut bearing right below the shock towers in the front. I think that's where Delmarco found it...while it was parked in his bedroom!

Also, you're using the wrong device. The stephoscope is used for an entirely different thing and I doubt you'll find your creaking in steph. Admittedly, I don't know her, but have heard enough to think she's a quiet woman!
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Old 09-09-2011, 05:43 PM   #68
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There are strut bearing right below the shock towers in the front. I think that's where Delmarco found it...while it was parked in his bedroom!
I am guessing that's where the noise is. But why would the bearing make this noise ? I looked at the ball bearings, and these still had grease. In any case I have already ordered all new parts, and I am just curious about the mechanical reason for the noise.

The only thing I dread about this jod is the DIY wheel alignment by feel. Now that my MDF ramps are decommissioned, its rather a pain to raise the car. Maybe I need to fabricate MDF ramps v2.

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Old 09-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #69
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I am guessing that's where the noise is. But why would the bearing make this noise ? I looked at the ball bearings, and these still had grease. In any case I have already ordered all new parts, and I am just curious about the mechanical reason for the noise.

The only thing I dread about this jod is the DIY wheel alignment by feel. Now that my MDF ramps are decommissioned, its rather a pain to raise the car. Maybe I need to fabricate MDF ramps v2.
I recall some mention of a rubber pad on top of the bearing mount that breaks down...maybe not, but I'm not reading this whole thread again!

You can't really align by feel, you know...and you couldn't with mdf stands anyway...you need to have the wheels on something that supports weight and which rotates.

I'm afraid to ask...but...what happened to the mdf stands V1? water damage? Repurposed to build a dog house? What kind of dog do you have anyway?

BTW, you know you can trust jack stands, even though you didn't weld them yourself? Make ramps out of 2x10s, get jack in the center supports in front and rear, and use jack stands under jack pads. They are really strong!
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:21 PM   #70
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You can't really align by feel, you know...and you couldn't with mdf stands anyway...you need to have the wheels on something that supports weight and which rotates.
Who told you that, buddy mech ? How do you suppose I aligned it 2 years ago ? On MDF ramps, no less.


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I'm afraid to ask...but...what happened to the mdf stands V1? water damage? Repurposed to build a dog house? What kind of dog do you have anyway?
The garage was filled up and there's no more room for ramps v1. They are wating to be chopped up and reworked into a more nimble v2 I could move out and use on the drive way. Something just tall enough to change oil should be good enough for alignment.


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BTW, you know you can trust jack stands, even though you didn't weld them yourself?
If I trusted other people's work (see below), I would already be dead. Nothing but earthquake proof MDF and my own design would do.

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Old 09-09-2011, 06:41 PM   #71
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Who told you that, buddy mech ? How do you suppose I aligned it 2 years ago ? On MDF ramps, no less.

Oh, no...didn't know you'd done that. Buddy mech didn't tell me that...why would he? He has an alignment machine!

I wouldn't be surprised if you could get close to a proper alignment, but I would be if you think you can get to a tenth of a degree.

You don't drive enough to need to worry about getting that accurate, I suppose, but I know that at speed, minor alignment issues can eat up tires quickly...as well as, turning the car where you don't want it to go.

Link to thread (if you did one)?
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Old 09-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #72
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Who told you that, buddy mech ? How do you suppose I aligned it 2 years ago ? On MDF ramps, no less.

The garage was filled up and there's no more room for ramps v1. They are wating to be chopped up and reworked into a more nimble v2 I could move out and use on the drive way. Something just tall enough to change oil should be good enough for alignment.

If I trusted other people's work (see below), I would already be dead. Nothing but earthquake proof MDF and my own design would do.




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Old 09-09-2011, 07:56 PM   #73
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Link to thread (if you did one)?
Since you have buddy mech who's got a machine and everything, you can go to him.

If the car can't go straight on a bad alignment then it shouldn't take an einstein to work out that if it goes perfectly straight then alignment is perfect fine. So all you need to aim for it to get the car to go straight. But logic is probably not a seminar runner's best strength.

The key to alignment is not to mess up what you have already got assuming it's good to start with. Then minor adjustsments is all that is needed after a partial suspension change. But this does involve minute adjustments between drives until perfection. So ramps are the most convinient for DIY alignment.

Anyway I have lost interest in cars and I won't bother doing an alignment DIY. But I will point out the source of the pirate ship noise once I find it on the worn strut parts. Last time I made the noobie mistake of not using BMW parts and having these crapping out exceptionally early. This time I am going full BMW and I should get 100k+ miles or lifetime of my car out of these. False economy on 'after-market' crap never paid once for me.

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:16 PM   #74
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Since you have buddy mech who's got a machine and everything, you can go to him.

If the car can't go straight on a bad alignment then it shouldn't take an einstein to work out that if it goes perfectly straight then alignment is perfect fine. So all you need to aim for it to get the car to go straight. But logic is probably not a seminar runner's best strength.

The key to alignment is not to mess up what you have already got assuming it's good to start with. Then minor adjustsments is all that is needed after a partial suspension change. But this does involve minute adjustments between drives until perfection. So ramps are the most convinient for DIY alignment.

Anyway I have lost interest in cars and I won't bother doing an alignment DIY. But I will point out the source of the pirate ship noise once I find it on the worn strut parts. Last time I made the noobie mistake of not using BMW parts and having these crapping out exceptionally early. This time I am going full BMW and I should get 100k+ miles or lifetime of my car out of these. False economy on 'after-market' crap never paid once for me.
I was curious how you measured degrees that finely. Now I know it was just tweaking from 'close' to proper alignment. I wouldn't try this myself because as you say, I don't need to. But, also, as I drive probably 10x as much as you, a small bit of extra toe would kill tires much more quickly--it's cost me more to try your method than just have it done at a shop.

I know you have given up trying to find one in London, but I'm sure quality, honest shops are there. Someday you actually might need one. There are things real mechanics know that can save you money, grief, and your life!
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Old 09-13-2011, 01:20 PM   #75
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I put in all the BMW parts and my pirate ship noise when going over bumps and rough road disappeared. Now I got that familiar BMW air-leak type noise when going over bumps. Suddenly I realized finally that the noise came from inside the shock. It sounded remarkably nice. I looked at all the parts of the old strut and couldn't see anything that could produce the pirate ship noise. That left me with the conclusion the noise came from the shock itself. It still worked but the evidence of previous leak was there. I suspect the internal of the shock was damaged by my recent road tip and began making noise. The BMW shock would be about 30% more expensive than the sachs crap. Had I gone BMW originally, I would have ended up saving 60% on the money it cost me altogether. Afterwards, the car drove straight, and no DIY alignment was needed.

Here are a couple of useful things I got out of the job:

1. Suspension problems can be isolated/diagnosed by going over a narrow speed bump at an angle. Then one wheel will go over it at a time, and the noise each produces can be isolated.

2. Spring compression using DIY compressors is suprisingly difficult. The reason is the compressors themselves gets in the way and blocking strut assembly. The painless solution I finally came to was using large number of large strong cable ties. Basically, the outer rungs of the spring, either end, can be compressed and tied up with cable ties. Then the compressor could be moved to the inner rungs. With the compressors out of the way, the strut assembly is easy. One very dangerous aspect of this technique is that cable ties will "explode" from the strength of the spring if these are not strong enough or if an inadequate number of them are used. So use this at your own risk and eye protection gear is recommended.

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Old 09-26-2011, 05:07 PM   #76
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Did you guys ever figure out whats making the pirate ship sound? My car has a totally brand new suspension for 10k miles including struts, shocks, strut bearings, sway bar end links, control arms and control arm bushings. All. new. even bolts are new. My car has been creaking for the past two weeks as I turn the steering wheel in low speed parking lot maneuvers. the sound goes away when cool but rears its ugly head when hot/dry. All my parts are new, so how/why is this happening?!
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:12 PM   #77
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Did you guys ever figure out whats making the pirate ship sound? My car has a totally brand new suspension for 10k miles including struts, shocks, strut bearings, sway bar end links, control arms and control arm bushings. All. new. even bolts are new. My car has been creaking for the past two weeks as I turn the steering wheel in low speed parking lot maneuvers. the sound goes away when cool but rears its ugly head when hot/dry. All my parts are new, so how/why is this happening?!
You check ps fluid level, the ps pump (shafts have been known to break), and the ps pulley (also known to break). Del had an issue with his ps pulley a while back if I'm not mistaken.

Did you ever get that fsr issue straightened out?
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:28 PM   #78
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The noise seems to be directly related to turning the steering wheel. It's not a power steering pump noise. Not even close. And no I put the FSR issue on the backburner for a while. There's literally no information on it so I'm just going to give up for now.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:46 PM   #79
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For whatever reason, mine makes that creaking sound, while reversing into the driveway. The sound comes from the rear left hand side though.

Very odd indeed.
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Old 09-26-2011, 05:52 PM   #80
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For whatever reason, mine makes that creaking sound, while reversing into the driveway. The sound comes from the rear left hand side though.

Very odd indeed.
This is a totally different problem and should not be included in this thread as it will just confuse people. What you are experiencing is likely your rear shock mounts. Totally different end of the car.
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