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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-17-2007, 06:26 AM
ctan ctan is offline
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Front suspension shudder over bump

This only happens about 1 out of 10 times when I'm going over bumps. On the more serious bumps, the whole front suspension seems to shudder violently for about 1/2 second. Any idea what it maybe? The front shocks have been replaced.

Is it bottoming out? The front shocks are bilstein (yellow color, not sure which model), I think the springs are the sport package stock springs.

I've also just ordered rear bilstein HDs to match the fronts.
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Last edited by ctan; 05-17-2007 at 06:45 AM.
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2007, 08:21 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Does it happen while braking?

I have the same problem with my 01 530 5 speed (sport package). On occasion if I hit a bump while braking the whole front end shakes until I release the brake and re-apply it. I've seen other posts on this before & on other boards (search the roadfly board). It seems to be a rather common problem.

I think I read it could be the control arms. I have not done anything about it because it happens so infrequently (2-3 times a year), it would be impossible to duplicate to a mechanic
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2007, 08:29 AM
ctan ctan is offline
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It does shake pretty violently, I don't know if it is the braking, but I can be more aware next time.

It seems to affect the whole front end rather than just the wheel that is being bumped. I kind of suspect it may have something to do with the sway bar.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2007, 09:15 AM
mhughett mhughett is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codog2 View Post
Does it happen while braking?

I have the same problem with my 01 530 5 speed (sport package). On occasion if I hit a bump while braking the whole front end shakes until I release the brake and re-apply it. I've seen other posts on this before & on other boards (search the roadfly board). It seems to be a rather common problem.

I think I read it could be the control arms. I have not done anything about it because it happens so infrequently (2-3 times a year), it would be impossible to duplicate to a mechanic
I've had this happen to me several times. I know it has to do with the ABS braking system because as you are going over a bump and the brakes are applied, there is a likelihood that you will lock up the wheel for a split second, which triggers the ABS. Once you release the brake and reapply, it will go away. I've noted this when I've had my car in the dealer and they tested the ABS system and looked at all my suspension components saying that everything looked fine. They also tried to re-create the behavior but once again said that nothing was wrong. I kind of felt like they knew what I was talking about and were giving me the "they all do that" routine. Like others have said, it happens so infrequently, it's not a major issue but it is bothersome when it occurs.
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  #5  
Old 05-18-2007, 05:52 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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I have always suspected the ABS system but the yellow triangle never lights up.

Actually I'm not sure if the triangle supposed to light up for braking or only traction loss?
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  #6  
Old 05-18-2007, 08:13 AM
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map map is offline
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Slightly different problem - mine has the front end shudder when going over almost any size bump, with or without the brakes. There is an audible rattle coming from the front left wheeel, as if it's bouncing. If I'm on an exit ramp or makig a turn at the time I can feel the back end lose it for a split second. I think it's probably either a sway bar, control arm, or some other ball joint issue. Any one else experience this?
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  #7  
Old 05-18-2007, 11:19 PM
Kosmos Kosmos is offline
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I had this same issue. It turned out it was front control arm end links. $150 including labor and parts to replace and and everything is great!!!
Good luck!
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2007, 11:24 PM
Kosmos Kosmos is offline
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Actually i dont think I had the same problem. Mine rattled and shook whenever i went over any bigger than small size bump on the road. HAd nothing to do with braking.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2007, 12:50 PM
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Think you and I have/had the same problem. I'll get the end link(s) check out - thanks!
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  #10  
Old 05-20-2007, 07:35 AM
mike43068 mike43068 is offline
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My 1999 and 2002 both seem to do this. I assumed it wss "normal". No ABS light that I've noticed. Would the bad end links be covered by the CPO?
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  #11  
Old 05-20-2007, 09:46 AM
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mimic mimic is offline
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Get your mechanic to check the front struts for leakage. I can almost guarantee that this is the problem. I doubt its ABS. I had my front struts leak and go about a year ago... and unfortunately due to lack of money only got them replaced a week ago. This is exactly what would happen to me. When I'd hit a bump, it felt like the front tires were bouncing on the road a bit, and the car would shudder.

Since getting them fixed the car feels like a whole new monster. Its as smooth as silk now.
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Old 05-20-2007, 09:54 PM
Spencer4Hire Spencer4Hire is offline
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Strut mounts, possibly?

I just replaced front and rear shocks/struts. I re-used one of the upper strut mounts because it looked ok visually. Within a week it failed and caused some symptoms like what you're describing. Replaced it and all was good. The FIRST thing I'd always check would be the front control arms. They're notorious for failing around 50,000. The design of the front suspension causes them to wear far more than any of the other parts. Good luck!
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  #13  
Old 05-23-2007, 01:05 PM
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map map is offline
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Originally Posted by mimic View Post
Get your mechanic to check the front struts for leakage. I can almost guarantee that this is the problem. I doubt its ABS. I had my front struts leak and go about a year ago... and unfortunately due to lack of money only got them replaced a week ago. This is exactly what would happen to me. When I'd hit a bump, it felt like the front tires were bouncing on the road a bit, and the car would shudder.

Since getting them fixed the car feels like a whole new monster. Its as smooth as silk now.

Just got the news...need new struts. Mechanic said they had "no gas left in them" which would explain the shudder over the bumps, the loss of back end control, and the sea-sickness. Of well, it's just money, right?
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