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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 02-04-2013, 04:36 PM   #21
MJLavelle
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Precisely
This is why I suggested Diff bushing.

I know he replaced it, but it could be loose, about 70ft/lbs for those external torx bolts.

OP, Another thing that I have read is where someone had observed their diff had play at the mount when fully torqued, and he attributed it to the bolts being a bit smaller than the actual mounting hole.
That was not really directed at you, but to people who will read this later, fail to notice that important point, and start suggesting all sorts of things that are not relevant. Not that I really expect that will happen. It was just an attempt to keep the thread from going off the rails.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:36 PM   #22
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That was not really directed at you, but to people who will read this later, fail to notice that important point
No, I know I didn't take it personally, it was a well executed act of moderation on your part, that probably prevented the foreseen derailment.

You are on my short list of people whose advice I find valuable.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:41 PM   #23
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Alright so an update. I went out for a drive the clunk occurs when I have the clutch depressed and I start letting it out and as soon as I hit the "sweet spot" I get a slight thud. I will add that my rear subframe has about an inch long tear on the drivers side, it didnt appear to be a deep tear or anything severe. Think that is the clunk? As far as getting it to clunk when the engine off I couldnt reproduce the noise as easliy as I could when the car is running.
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:52 PM   #24
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Alright so an update. I went out for a drive the clunk occurs when I have the clutch depressed and I start letting it out and as soon as I hit the "sweet spot" I get a slight thud. I will add that my rear subframe has about an inch long tear on the drivers side, it didnt appear to be a deep tear or anything severe. Think that is the clunk? As far as getting it to clunk when the engine off I couldnt reproduce the noise as easliy as I could when the car is running.
Whoa. So the tear is on the sheet metal area where the subframe mounts?

I bought my current e46 cheap with this very issue, and it was more of a creaky metal on metal sound.
That subframe is going to have to come out again, I'm afraid.

That tear needs to be fixed, but you already know this.

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Old 02-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #25
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Motor mounts can cause a rear end clunk apparently too
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Old 02-04-2013, 07:58 PM   #26
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Whoa. So the tear is on the sheet metal area where the subframe mounts?

I bought my current e46 cheap with this very issue, and it was more of a creaky metal on metal sound.
That subframe is going to have to come out again, I'm afraid.


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That tear needs to be fixed, but you already know this.

Yeah I know but it was a really small tear so I just left it. I have to save up to get it done. I can do all the work up to the welding so I was just going to have a shop do the entire job.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:24 PM   #27
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I guess its narrowed down to motor mounts and shift linkage. I'll inspect the mounts.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:56 PM   #28
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Motor mounts can cause a rear end clunk apparently too
Interesting, I had a mount nut back off of the stud, and it would cause clicking/popping sounds in the Control Arm area. I haven't heard of it causing rear end clunks, but I learn something new everyday.

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I guess its narrowed down to motor mounts and shift linkage. I'll inspect the mounts.
Best of luck to you.

BTW Just curious are you a 35/36 year old Mike McGill/Bones Brigade fan?
That's how I interpreted your screen name lol.
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Old 02-04-2013, 09:15 PM   #29
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Lol thanks for your brainstorming help. No its just an old name from when I was a teenager and I snowboarded. Its a snowboarding move. I'm actually a 23 year old air force pilot.

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Old 02-04-2013, 10:49 PM   #30
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Lol thanks for your brainstorming help. No its just an old name from when I was a teenager and I snowboarded. Its a snowboarding move. I'm actually a 23 year old air force pilot.

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Oh...Gotcha The McTwist was invented by Mike McGill, so I got that part right.

Good luck, and update this thread with your progress.



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Old 02-05-2013, 02:42 PM   #31
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UPDATE: Narrowed the noise down to this. Car is ON. Shifter is in neutral. I press the clutch in and let it out, about halfway out I get a thump in the rear end. CAR IS IN NEUTRAL the entire time. So driveshaft isnt spinning..correct?
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #32
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I seriously doubt it's coming from the rear end. If nothing is moving back there that makes me think the sound is just traveling back there through the driveshaft and making it seem like its back there. If you get a clunk when letting out the clutch it's usually a throw out bearing.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:55 PM   #33
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UPDATE: Narrowed the noise down to this. Car is ON. Shifter is in neutral. I press the clutch in and let it out, about halfway out I get a thump in the rear end. CAR IS IN NEUTRAL the entire time. So driveshaft isnt spinning..correct?
That sounds correct to me. This would lead me to believe that it could be the throw out bearing, or something in the clutch linkage. There is a low possibility that it is a misaligned clutch, or a problem with the pressure plate.
Good work. This eleminates a whole lot of other possibilities that would have had you chasing your tail for a long time.
Now, if someone who has had issues with their clutch can chime in, you may be able to get an exact diagnosis.

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Old 02-05-2013, 02:59 PM   #34
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I seriously doubt it's coming from the rear end. If nothing is moving back there that makes me think the sound is just traveling back there through the driveshaft and making it seem like its back there. If you get a clunk when letting out the clutch it's usually a throw out bearing.
So am I looking at a new clutch? It drives fine and there is no slipping.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:01 PM   #35
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It's a symptom that your clutch needs replacing. How many miles? Is it the original clutch? You could take it to a shop for an expert diagnosis as well.

Not necessarily your clutch, but your throw out bearing needs to be replaced. Wile it's apart it's usually a smart thing to replace the rest because when the throw out bearing goes there's usually not a lot of life left on the rest of the stuff either.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 PM   #36
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Okay, yeah I have 145,000 on the stock clutch haha. I thought a bad throwout bearing would cause more of a whine?
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:07 PM   #37
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Ya, it's probably time. Might be a good thing to have an expert look at it though. It's hard figuring it out in a blog.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:08 PM   #38
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So am I looking at a new clutch? It drives fine and there is no slipping.
No, that is not what I am thinking. I am thinking something in the shift linkage, or possibly the throw out bearing. But I will admit that this is where my knowledge ends, as far as a BMW is concerned. I am hoping that someone who knows more about the shift linkage can jump in here.
Also, have you checked your trans mounts? Are you sure nothing is loose or torn? Even if they were replaced recently, it is possible that one of them has torn because it was not installed correctly.
Forget what I said about getting under the car to check the clutch linkage, until someone can give some direction as to what you need to look at. You can get under there to check the trans mounts.
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Old 02-05-2013, 03:13 PM   #39
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Okay, yeah I have 145,000 on the stock clutch haha. I thought a bad throwout bearing would cause more of a whine?
Well, you can ignore my previous post. I would say it is time for a new clutch, and the noise most likely is the throw out bearing.
If the clutch is not slipping, and you can live with the clunk, then you may be able to get some more miles out of it. But I would say you got your money's worth. You don't want to risk damaging anything else.

It can be hard to feel the signs of slippage early on, when you drive it daily. You sort of get used to it, and you are not the best one to judge it. Someone else may jump in there and feel it right away. It is not something that is fine one day, and bad the next. As the daily driver, it can sneak up on you. Plus, you are in denial, because you don't want to think about having to replace it.
I am going to make a Mango suggestion here, and say that you may want to consider changing out the starter while the trans is out. There is no better time to do it, and you do have 145k on the car. I would do it, but you are not me. I do not know what your budget is, and how you feel about replacing old, but working parts. I am just throwing this out there, since it is a good opportunity.

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:53 PM   #40
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So a worn clutch can cause a thumping sound from the rear? How so? I dont doubt everything that you two have said, Im just curious as to how this creates this noise.
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