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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 08-13-2010, 10:28 PM
Loves His E34 Loves His E34 is offline
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Location: The Mountains of North Carolina
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 36
Mein Auto: 1994 BMW 525i e34
Shaking and Clunking when Braking.

Hey guys, so i have been having this problem for a while, really since i bought my car 2 years ago and it has been getting steadily worse. when i apply my brakes gently such as coming up to a stop sign, my car shacks from side to side like a wheel out of balance at 50mph. the brake pedal "bounces" and there is a clunking sound that has a frequency of about 4 clunks per second. there is also a bit of a shimmy at about 55mph.

So I balanced my wheels. shimmy at 55 reduced but still there a little. this has had no effect on braking problem. I decided my next move needs to be replacing my rotors. maybe i have a warped one. that would explain a lot. here is a mysterious thing though.

when i go over a speed bump at moderate speed, there is a single clunk identical to the rapid clunks i hear when braking. that doesn't sound like a warped rotor to me. could this be something with my suspension. could i be dealing with a combination of issues? I'm really at a loss. what would you guys suggest i do to remedy the problem.

thanks for your help and input, Ya'll never let me down :-)
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  #2  
Old 08-14-2010, 04:35 AM
gtopaul gtopaul is offline
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Location: USA
 
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Posts: 131
Mein Auto: 540 & 525iT
Sounds like a combination of bad rotors and the control arm bushings are toast.
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  #3  
Old 08-14-2010, 08:04 AM
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BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
I think you may have several issues going on. You didn't say how many miles you have on your car, but these suspensions usually start giving problems at 100K+ miles.

It sounds like your rotors may be warped. However, worn thrust arm bushings also can cause the shimmy of the steering wheel and the shimmy at the 55 mph range.

The multiple clunk that you hear may be worn lower control arm bushings. If your strut cartridges are shot, you can get the one clunk when you hit a speed bump or pot hole.

The best solution would be to fully rebuild the front suspension. This can be a very expensive propsition, especially if you have a mechanic do the work. If you go with the top of the line products like Lemforder or Myle (? correct spelling), you can expect to spend $800 to $1000 in parts alone, depending on how much you replace.

There is a company called FCP Groton (fcpgroton.com) that sells front end suspension rebuild kits that vary in the number of components and costs. As I recall, you can get a kit that replaces all of the components for around $300. Some here question the quality and longevity of their parts and there are a couple here who have used them and sing their praises. I have not used them so I can't offer any feedback.

When I bought my car with 85K miles, I had some front end issues. I know the strut cartridges were shot and I decided to get most other components (including thrust arms, lower control arms, tie rods and stabilizer links) with the intention of replacing them all. It was about $800-900 for the parts if I remember right. I ordered from 2-3 different sites to get the best price. Anyway, I took it to my mechanic for the work because I just didn't trust my wrenching skills with something so important and so expensive.

When he began working on the car, he said that the only thing that absolutely had to be replaced were the strut cartridges. I had him replace the thrust arms for good measure because they are known to cause so many problems. I returned the other parts. Well, now I am dealing with a shimmy from about 50-60 mph when my 17" wheels are on. There is no shimmy at all with the stock 15" wheels. I just had my 17's road force balanced and will be putting them back on the car this morning to see if that resolved the issue. Two of them had a rather high road force and I will be putting them on the back. I'm also dealing with a very prominent clunk when I stab the brake. I noticed it when a cat ran out in front of me in my sub-division when doing about 25 mph. I'm thinking that either the front sub frame bushings are worn or the lower control arm bushings are worn.

Either way, I'm now regretting that I did not go ahead and have my mechanic replace all fo the parts I bought. Oh well, live and learn.

Now what was your question again Sorry for the long diatribe, but I'm off work today and had a lot more time to compose a novel.

Good luck with your situation.

Steve

Edit: Also, here are two very valuable sites. Realoem.com is a site where you plug in info for your car (VIN is the easiest and quickest way) and you can then look up any part for a diagram and part number.

Here is a link where you can download the Bentley manual which is like the E34 bible:

http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/5-s...0-a-42558.html

Edit #2: I was thinking about the clunk that you have at about 4 clunks per second. If that clunk is in conjunction with braking, you may have a cracked rotor.
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Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold


Last edited by BMR_LVR; 08-14-2010 at 08:50 AM.
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  #4  
Old 08-14-2010, 09:46 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Location: Berkeley California
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 595
Mein Auto: 1994 525it
I have a clunk in the front end and it is a control arm. I am buying Meyle brand. I did some research and they are the best buy. Great prices at AutohausAZ. If you need more than one component you can get "kits" of various items at FCPGroton at excellent prices and quality. You should be able to do the work yourself.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2010, 04:32 PM
lkoch57 lkoch57 is offline
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Location: united states
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 15
Mein Auto: 1995 525i
Cool Shaking and Clunking

Thanks for the information given, I was able to use it to figure out that I had a Cracked Rotor. I used your parts info to obtain parts cheaply I might add.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2010, 05:23 PM
BMR_LVR's Avatar
BMR_LVR BMR_LVR is offline
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Location: Asheboro, NC
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,264
Mein Auto: 1992 525i
Great !

Let us know when you get it fixed
__________________
Most problems are usually something simple !

Quote:
Originally Posted by noego View Post
It's Deja Poo - as in, I've heard this **** before.
Steve

Calypso Red 1992 525i with 200K miles

1991 735i - Sold
1992 525i - Sold
1995 325is - Sold
2000 528i - Sold

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  #7  
Old 08-20-2010, 03:35 AM
bluebee's Avatar
bluebee bluebee is offline
Seek to understand,^Value
Location: San Jose, California
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 21,578
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
FWIW, rotors (almost) never warp, even in hard usage ... (facts upon details upon experience all over the place in the E39 forums) ...

So, the one thing it's NOT, is warped rotors (see - Brake warp, shudder, and rebedding ... (including violent low-speed shuddering)).

At this point, it could be a whole bunch of other things we've seen in the E39 world ...
- rotor runout
- bad shocks combined with the ABS
- pad deposits
- worn suspension
etc.
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