(Klunking diagnostics) Coils? Struts? Can push the wheel up when it's on a lift? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 10-20-2012, 03:41 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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Mein Auto: 2001 530i (E39) 140k
(Klunking diagnostics) Coils? Struts? Can push the wheel up when it's on a lift?

I've been getting a klunking sound when driving over small bumps. I took it to a local indy to have him take a look. He put it up on the lift, and used a long pry bar to see what arms had play. None had any obvious play.

I told him the upper control arm (thrust arm) bushing is known to fail. This is the one with the large plastic shield around it. Nothing was obvious there either. I told him they are oil filled, but there was no visibile leak on either, and no hint of oil on the plastic shield.

He then pushed the entire wheel up with his shoulder, like he was pushing a tackling dummy. Here is the weird part: The passenger side went up fairly easily. He could lift the entire wheel several inches. However, the driver's side wheel would not budge. He was unsure what the correct behavior is, b/c he's not a BMW specialist. He suggested that one of the struts might be bad, but was unsure which one. Anyone know which side is faulty?

Also, when the car was on the ground, he was able to push down on both corners of the hood, so neither wheel appears "stuck" from that perspective.

Ok, so you should NOT be able to lift the wheel that much? That's the bad side? Either it's a bad coil spring and/or a bad strut. But, would this explain the "klunking" I'm getting over small bumps?

Just wondering, do coil springs go bad very often? Will you see a visible crack in the coil, or did it just loses tension/spring and is "dead"?
I think I will just replace both coils and both struts... since they are all original with 130k.

Anyone know a part number for the coil for a 530i with M-suspension?

Using my website, www.furiousmethod.com and part number 31311096857
it looks like each strut will run about $110.

Approx. what would an indy shop bill for doing both sides of front coils/struts?
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