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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 07-19-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
joneperry
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Do I have a broken spring? Please read :)

First off, let me start off by saying that I know how our e46s have spring failures typical on the rear springs...

Long story short, i was on a trip with my dad, started driving off, after about 10 miles from leaving house i heard a glass breaking sound like i dropped a jar or something, i look behind on the road bc i thought my dad ran over a bottle, but tehre was nothing so we kept driving... only after inspecting my car 3 weeks later for my maintenance overhaul, i see my right rear side of car is lower than the rest, so i have no wheel gap on that tire awesome!!

when i went to remove that tire for my brake bleed, i jacked up the car and my spring doesnt look broken at all, its in one piece?

My question is:

could the spring be broken on the inside of the coil where i cant see it?
is it shock or spring that broken?
or is it possible that the spring became dislodge off where it sat but when i jacked it up , the spring went to the normal position?

Thanks
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #2
joneperry
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bump ttt ideas?
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:14 PM   #3
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Right rear is lower by design. Actually entire right side of the car is, but its especially lower in the right rear. One reason often given is that this is to compensate for the weight of the driver in the driver's seat. Who knows how much truth to that there is.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:15 PM   #4
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bumping the thread after 30 minutes? It sounds like a possible broken spring or blown shock, i'd take off the wheel and check the spring area, it should be easily visible if the spring is cracked or broken.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksport325 View Post
bumping the thread after 30 minutes? \
my bad i told a forum member i would buy his springs, but now im comfused if i even need springs


EDIT ^^^^^ the wheel is off i look at the spring, its in one piece, its upright and prettty much "normal" looking

Last edited by joneperry; 07-19-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 07-19-2010, 09:18 PM   #6
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ill put up a picture tomorrow i still have the tire off, its just too dark now but would broken shocks cause squeaking? i have a lotta of squeaking coming from the rear just dont know if its suspension related? i always thought it was a the vert roof rattling
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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Go to the trunk and jounce the RR corner, if it takes longer than pushdown, rebound up, settle (meaning some oscilation) then the strut is blown, if you hear noises inspect spring, upper strut mount, trailing arm bushing. These are the most likely culprits. If it's none of these, take a bunch of pictures and post em on here so we can see them of every area of that rear corner. If still unable to diagnose, then take her to a garage.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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Yeah I would say take a picture when its light out, it sounds like either a rear shock mount completely blown, or broken spring.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:42 AM   #9
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so you didnt notice the right rear side drooping until you actually went in there to work on it?
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:46 AM   #10
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are e46's prone to shock tower's blowin through like in the e36?
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:56 AM   #11
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If there's fluid coming out from the shock, that's a sure sign of failure. Double check then triple check your spring. BMW told me I needed to replace my rear springs when I went in for some warranty work years ago. I ordered them through my connection in BMW at the time but didn't have them do it (they wanted to charge me ). One day, I put my car up on the lift and did my front axles. I remembered that the springs needed replacing. I looked and it seemed fine. I looked at both sides to compare and didn't see anything wrong . Finally, I said fcuk it and swapped them out. Turned out that one spring broke on the bottom and somehow made a perfect cut that made it seem like it was done on purpose. The only thing that gave it away was that it was rusty on the tip.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:46 AM   #12
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its easy to miss a broken spring; the last coil tends to shear off and then it could be anywhere...look at the spring pads- all around-and see if there is a rusty/ broken tip at the last coil. squeaking from the rear could be anything
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Old 07-20-2010, 11:31 AM   #13
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Its probably the spring, mine broke and the only reason I knew they were broken was because I was replacing them. Took off the wheel a dozen time and everything looked fine. The broken piece was lodge in the LCA out of sight..
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Old 07-20-2010, 12:15 PM   #14
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mine is also really low on that corner. I have no wheel gap on that side, but on the passenger side I have a gap
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
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so you didnt notice the right rear side drooping until you actually went in there to work on it?
well just before when i was inspecting it you know just walking around it and i just noticed no wheel gap and i was like YES the sport package has no wheel gap!! but then i looked at the other wheels and i was like crap... all the three other wheels had gap
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:08 PM   #16
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no fluid leaking from the shock^
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:49 AM   #17
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did you check for any subframe damage?
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:03 PM   #18
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ohh nah i dont have any subframe damage, i got that checked at tischer like idk october 2009 ishh? and drove the car only <1000 since then no way could there have been subframe damage, its possible but i mean unlikely with the way i drive, sweeping clear of potholes, havent even reach 100mph once, and slowing down before significant bumps in the road in addition i am the only person in the car, on occasions one passenger in the seat next to me, rarely anyone sits in the backseat but heres what happened today.....

i put the car back on wheels and it sits a tiny bit higher than before but whenever i pull down the parking break that side goes down significantly... wat the fcuk did i do! when i pull up the brake the side comes back up (that side and that side onlyyyy-right rear)

-possibility.... the wheel was fused on the hub due to the rust of sitting throuhg hte blizzard we had this year in the dc area... so i mean i had to unscrew all the lugs while it was in teh air and lower it and the wheel popped off then i raised the car back up again with the floorjack so i could put teh jack stand underneath again while it was without the rear right wheel

...did the same for the left rear wheel.... the front wheels they are not locked since its rwd obviously so i have no idea how to get these wheels off, they are fused when i say fused i mean its like trying to stretch a piece of steel in opposite directions, idk if i should lower the wheel without teh lugs so that the force will pop the wheel off ? any insight
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joneperry View Post
ohh nah i dont have any subframe damage, i got that checked at tischer like idk october 2009 ishh? and drove the car only <1000 since then no way could there have been subframe damage, its possible but i mean unlikely with the way i drive, sweeping clear of potholes, havent even reach 100mph once, and slowing down before significant bumps in the road in addition i am the only person in the car, on occasions one passenger in the seat next to me, rarely anyone sits in the backseat but heres what happened today.....

i put the car back on wheels and it sits a tiny bit higher than before but whenever i pull down the parking break that side goes down significantly... wat the fcuk did i do! when i pull up the brake the side comes back up (that side and that side onlyyyy-right rear)

-possibility.... the wheel was fused on the hub due to the rust of sitting throuhg hte blizzard we had this year in the dc area... so i mean i had to unscrew all the lugs while it was in teh air and lower it and the wheel popped off then i raised the car back up again with the floorjack so i could put teh jack stand underneath again while it was without the rear right wheel

...did the same for the left rear wheel.... the front wheels they are not locked since its rwd obviously so i have no idea how to get these wheels off, they are fused when i say fused i mean its like trying to stretch a piece of steel in opposite directions, idk if i should lower the wheel without teh lugs so that the force will pop the wheel off ? any insight
I highly suggest not dropping the car lower on the wheel. There is a lip on the hub of our wheels and you could damage your wheel or hub.

This is completely normal for people with aluminum wheels on a steel hub. Over time the rusting and oxidizing of the 2 fuses the wheel and hub together (I cannot think of the word when this happens and its driving me ****ing insane). What you do is put the car on jack stands (Very important because jacks can move or roll, and the stock jack is very unsturdy as it is, even before you start beating on the wheel) , and get a big deadblow hammer. Slide underneath the car so your looking at the back of the wheel and put a 2x4 across the bottom of the back of the wheel. Get the deadblow and give it a few good whacks. Should come off relatively easy. To avoid this ever happening again, when you get the wheel off, go to your local autozone and buy a can of copper antisieze (its very mess and gets on everything you touch so wash your hands before you go inside your car). When the wheel is off brush some on so it is covering the whole lip of the hub that the wheel catches on and you should be good to go next time you take your wheel off. BTW you can kick the wheel all you want, but it usually doesnt work. You need to get in there with a deadblow or a rubber mallet and give it a few good shots.
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Old 07-22-2010, 10:56 PM   #20
joneperry
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anychance the dropping of the wheel to get it off would have affected the parking brake?
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