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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 09-03-2013, 03:03 PM
pikejr pikejr is offline
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Location: Dallas, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 740iL
Question Rattling Noise in Front Axle

The front end of my 740iL rattles at low speeds and sounds like something a loose socket sound at 30MPH or lower. It takes a few minutes each day to start making the noise and it gets progressively worse throughout the day. At high speeds the car is as quiet as ever and no loss of control or steering tightness. I think some of the rubber components have broken down as some of the groans it makes from a start position sounds like metal on dried rubber.
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  #2  
Old 09-03-2013, 05:06 PM
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FABOCH FABOCH is offline
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Location: Thousand Oaks,Ca
 
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 740I SPORT
the ball joints and bushings are a bit harder on cold start ups...As you roll a mile or two they warm up and its ugliness show its ugly head....my money is your traction control arms are shot..when the Ball joints are bad the RATTLE!!
How u can tell theres 2 ways

1) jack up the front end- Driver Front side
a) put the car on jackstands
b) grab a hold of the wheel at 9 o`clock and 3 o`clock- wiggle left to right in a fluid motion..if it is NOT SOLID then its your Control arm thats bad( Alloy 1)
C) grab and hold the wheel at 12 o`clock and 6 o`clock and move it in a fluid motion
if its Not solid and it jerks then its ur Traction control arm is bad
D - repeat passenger front side
2) have a person to help u here
a) have person look and stare ate ur wheel as u ROLL
b) Driver side- roll at 2-5 MPH and Brake hard
- if u see ur wheel stop with out a Left to right movement( Wheek stays Centered) ur good on that side
C) repeat B on passneger side
if you see a left to right wheel movement( Not centered) traction control arm is bad
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  #3  
Old 09-03-2013, 09:19 PM
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ebida3 ebida3 is offline
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Location: High Point, NC
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 551
Mein Auto: 2001 740iL
A long prybar works wonders to check for play against the control arms too.

Lower strut rod bushings are the common culprit. These cars are notoriusly ft. heavy and they all go. Usually the rattle happens over bumps. But as Fabosh recommended check ft end. Then check the undercarrige and look for loose brakelines, exhaust componenets, etc.
My car would clunk over bumps and the strut rod bushing were torn. Also...

I had a rattle that I could have sworn was in the backseat. So much so i tore down the whole backseat, speaker cover and rear vent grille. It was a loose emergency brake cable rattling underneath.

Last edited by ebida3; 09-03-2013 at 09:22 PM.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2013, 11:27 AM
ou18 ou18 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1997 740 IL
+1
had same issue accompanied by the 50mph shimmy...
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  #5  
Old 09-07-2013, 09:12 PM
First740il First740il is offline
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Location: michigan
 
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Posts: 106
Mein Auto: 740il
Re: Rattling Noise in Front Axle

Pit the car on Jack stands and pound on the exhaust. I had a noise exactly like you are describing. My platinum combe in my cat came loose. If you have no loss of control feeling in the wheel i doubt it is control arms ball joints etc....

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  #6  
Old 09-10-2013, 05:58 AM
Podmore Podmore is offline
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Location: Adelaide South Australia
 
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Mein Auto: 2001 BMW 735i
I'm thinking I have something similar. Bought my 7/2001 735i (130,000 km) to replace the '99 (265,000 km) which was wrecked last year. Noticed when I had been driving for a while, and more noticeable when the weather was hot, that something in the LH front suspension was rattling over bumps. Thought maybe the strut was on the way out, but could not induce the noise by bouncing on the corners even after just pulling up from a run where the noise was persistent. Swapped the OEM struts for the Eibach/Bilstein B6 setup from the wreck, sure that it would fix the rattle. Nope. Still there, louder or at least more obvious in hot weather. New thrust arms and lower control arms and sway bar links - still rattles. Definitely not the upper strut bearing. I am thinking it must be the ball joints on the tie rods, as the tie rods and drag link are the only bits I have not replaced yet. The noise never shows up when first driving off, or when the ambient temperature is low. There is no obvious play in them, that's the odd thing.

However I will be doing the drag link and tie rods some time in the next couple of weeks and I'll post back if no-one has found a cause / solution for Pikejr's rattle yet.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2013, 09:10 AM
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FABOCH FABOCH is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 BMW 740I SPORT
well when u have replaced it all then its most certainly the center link...Its Not the tie rods IMHO...Its the center link that connects the tie rods.. Theres 2 ball joints...1) connects the pitman arm...2) Idler arm
WHen I went thru the checklist of stuff to fix my rattle, mine was like urs as well as the replacements....So I went ahead and bought aftermarket center link...That was a mistake, the damn thing wasnt stamped like OEM( L) and (R) so I had it backwards and it rubbed on the suspension frame.. Went back to the shop and bought TRW Center drag link
and ALL issues were gone....the Ball joint that connected the Pitman arm..(power steering shaft) was SHOT... I mean it was loose and when u bend it at certain point it jerked...New TRW link was smooth as butter and stiff...AGAIN Rattles were the thing of the past and I was a happy camper..
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  #8  
Old 09-13-2013, 09:43 AM
LuvTap LuvTap is offline
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Location: Indiana
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 16
Mein Auto: 740IL
Shaky tire

Dear sir (FABOCH) I was reading your instructions which by the way are very informative Thanks I have another question I have a problem with my front passenger side tire when I brake the tire shakes while breaking. I have new tires so obviously it is not the tire itself I really dont want to change all 3 items tie rods ball joints and the traction control arms. have you dealt with this situation before ? any suggestions for me ? My 740il has 1290000 miles on it so I am sure it needs some extensive work it is time but I am trying to save cash and not do it all at once if possible. thanks WDR
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