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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #1  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:52 PM
Proud Highway Proud Highway is offline
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Location: Utah USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 3.0; 2006 X3 3.0
Popping noise from front end -- UPDATE: FIXED

I have a 2006 3.0i that makes a popping/clunking noise from the front end when the wheels are turned at slow speeds. At first it started only when the car was going in reverse while making a 90* pull out of the garage. The popping noise has started to manifest itself when going forward now too. The sound almost resembles a clunk--but there is no feedback at the steering wheel or discernible vibration in the cabin. There is no slop or looseness in the steering either.

Any ideas?

Bearings -- no grinding noise.
CV joint -- possible, but doesn't have the characteristic clicking sound and steering wheel feedback.
Tie rods / linkages - everything feels tight in this dept.
Steering rack / pinion -- ?

[see update below]

Last edited by Proud Highway; 08-28-2011 at 05:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-17-2011, 08:05 AM
Supercourse Supercourse is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 X3 2.5i
Transfer case problems are not unheard of in 2006's:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...6&postcount=18

I'd change the fluid - good insurance anyway.

If it was that, noise could be transmitted forward making you think it was around the front suspension or steering gear.
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  #3  
Old 08-17-2011, 08:30 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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Mein Auto: 03 330i, 04 X3
Sway Bar End Links are known to do this. Easy to replace and not expensive either... about 30 dollars per side. There is also a Tension Strut/Thrust Arm Bushing that can cause a clunk when it's worn out.
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  #4  
Old 08-17-2011, 12:46 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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Mein Auto: 06 X3 Sport
I would definetly have it looked at

anything with the front end could be a safety issue
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  #5  
Old 08-28-2011, 05:39 PM
Proud Highway Proud Highway is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 3.0; 2006 X3 3.0
UPDATE:
After spending 5 hours inspecting every linkage and component in the front end, my indy shop found the culprit: A LOOSE BOLT ON THE FRONT SUBFRAME! They looked up the torque spec and 10 minutes later she was buttoned up and made not a peep. I was charged for 2 hours of labor. I though for sure I was going to need a new steering rack and pinion ($1800?). It was a happy ending.

Last edited by Proud Highway; 08-30-2011 at 08:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 08-30-2011, 07:09 PM
didymos didymos is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 X3 2.5
I just got something similar or may be same. Just heard it this Sunday. Right at the left foot. When the car begins to move and turns, drives with low speed and turns. It like knock or pop, crisp sound for sure. I begin to wonder. Where is this this front subrfame bold?
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2011, 04:09 PM
Proud Highway Proud Highway is offline
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Mein Auto: 2009 X5 3.0; 2006 X3 3.0
I wish I knew where the bolt was, I know it's under the front skid plate somewhere.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2011, 08:00 PM
didymos didymos is offline
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Mein Auto: '04 X3 2.5
Got it done today. bought extended Torx-18 at Napa and set of Torxs (another needed is T-14) at Sears. I knew that bolts (there are 4 of them) for T-18 require 105mN torque (77.4 ft-lb). I was not sure how much the T14 (there are 2 of them) need though so just tightened to 30 ft-lb. I am glad I had a torque wrench with the visible analog meter (neighbor had it), made me aware how far I was from the target.

FYI T-18 is 1/2" like most upper force torque wrenches. T-14 is 3/8 so needed a converter with it.

Adjusting with T-14 requires unscrewing two screws from the fender inner shield. Two front T-18 made me remove front tires and the angle was still tight.

Took a short, slow and full of turns ride and did not hear a thing, hopefully got it resolved.

Thanks for the original post, saved me time & $ identifying the issue.

Last edited by didymos; 09-24-2011 at 08:09 PM.
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  #9  
Old 05-12-2013, 01:03 PM
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X3emist X3emist is offline
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What caused mine

I had this issue but the problem was a few additional things, see my post here-
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=695692
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  #10  
Old 07-25-2013, 11:16 PM
Alance Alance is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW X3 E83 3,0d
Hello,

Didymos, do you have some pictures of this bolts? I do not know where are this bolts?
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  #11  
Old Yesterday, 05:14 PM
slilley slilley is offline
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Mein Auto: 2004 BMW 330i ZHP
Loose bolt holding Lower reinforcement plate

Quote:
Originally Posted by didymos View Post
I just got something similar or may be same. Just heard it this Sunday. Right at the left foot. When the car begins to move and turns, drives with low speed and turns. It like knock or pop, crisp sound for sure. I begin to wonder. Where is this this front subrfame bold?
I had the same problem as didymos. It was especially noticeable when backing out of the garage. It felt like something was happening right under the footrest where you rest your left foot.

I knew the shock absorbers were failed (leaking fluid, now they provide almost no damping), so I first suspected the upper shock mount, followed by the swaybar end link. But when I got under there to look at all the bushings and subframe, I found that one bolt on the lower reinforcement plate was so loose I could turn it by hand. After checking all the other subframe bolts to confirm they were still tight, I reinstalled that lower reinforcement plate. (Anyone know what the correct torque value is for this part?) Problem resolved!

Thank god for this forum...I don't know if I would have thought to check that. In fact, knowing the suspension was suspect, I almost placed and order for for over $1K for new springs and shocks. Now I can wait to do that until it's absolutely necessary.

Regards,
Steve
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