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General E46 Forum
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:14 PM   #1
SeanH
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Decatur IL
Posts: 21
My Ride: 88 325, 95 M3, 323iT
Was my subframe already repaired? If so, what issue am I having?

So, when I bought my wagon, I got a tech friend of mine to pull the service records for the VIN. In it, I saw the following:

- June 23 2009 @ 110613mi - Defect: 4100938500 - E46 inspection of rear axle carrier (by customer request)
- July 2, 2009 @ 110662mi - Defect: 4111910100 - E46 cracking in rear axle support
- July 23, 2009 @ 110662mi - Defect: 4111910100 - E46 cracking in rear axle support

I always assumed this meant my subframe had been fixed at one point. (mainly because I think that's why it was "20 days" between entries)

Well, fast forward to me buying the car, and since purchase I have the following symptoms from the rear end:
- When change gears, usually while coasting at low speeds, I get a very pronounced thunk coming from the rear (I'm guessing it's drivetrain, mount and/or subframe bushing related). From what I can gather it's NOT a torn subframe.
- When I apply load (at slow, say parking lot, speeds) my rear end "squeaks." Almost like the diff it moving and rubbing against something.
- Sometimes my car doesn't want to go into first or second gear - and when it finally does, I get that same rear end clunk again.
- I get NO noises when going over bumps - except, what sounds like, balljoints on their way out.

So - I need another opinion here. Am I just dealing with worn out drivetrain, engine/trans mounts and rear end bushings? (Which I plan to change out all within the next 10k anyway).

Thanks!

Last edited by SeanH; 06-13-2015 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 06-13-2015, 11:22 PM   #2
SeanH
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So, I found this video and it sounds almost precisely like the sound I'm hearing:

This helps me better understand what I need to check for - so I'll do a more thorough inspection later and let everyone know what I find...
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Old 06-14-2015, 08:54 AM   #3
djdonis
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How many miles on the car?
The symptoms you describe could point to several problems.
Clunk - Differential subframe mount, also check center support bearing and guibo. Visually inspect subframe mounting points for cracks.
Squeaking - worn out bushings, balljoints, shocks.
Difficulty getting into gear - worn out clutch, DMF failure (clutch dragging), slave cylinder (unlikely). Flush the fluid.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:16 AM   #4
dmax
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It's often just the Center Support Bearing. Do flex disk while doing that.

...it could also be the rear diff bushing if it's real bad. I fixed my issue by replacing all three things. Now, my rear diff bushing is visibly cracked...but it's not clunking...so I think CSB is best guess.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:07 PM   #5
SeanH
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THanks guys. It has 154k on it. I'm assuming pretty much everything down there is original, so I plan on overhauling everything anyway.

I lean more towards rear end related aspects, since I have literally NO vibration on acceleration.

Also...the difficulty getting into gear SEEMS to be related to the clunk (since when it does go into gear - the clunk occurs)... but what is this DMF failure you speak of? Is there a way to test for that? IN terms of clutch holding capability, there are no issues. But, I could definitely try flushing the system and see if that helps.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:46 PM   #6
Alex323Ci
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appears like it was already replaced/repaired.

i would check other things. it doesn't sound like the subframe mounts to me from symptoms. poor gear engagement isn't a rear subframe mount thing.
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Old 06-14-2015, 07:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanH View Post
Also...the difficulty getting into gear SEEMS to be related to the clunk (since when it does go into gear - the clunk occurs)... but what is this DMF failure you speak of?
DMF failure occurs when the friction part of flywheel moves laterally and the disk acquires a significant runout. That runout then prevents the clutch disk from disengaging completely. The most obvious result is the clutch disk worn on the outside radius on the flywheel facing side. When clutch is being "dragged" in this way by failed DMF it is difficult to get into 1st, 2nd and reverse gears. It is also difficult to pull out of the 1st gear as well.
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