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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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  #1  
Old 08-23-2008, 05:03 PM
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Est1974 Est1974 is offline
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Help! Wheel Bearing Failure Symptoms?

question:

My right rear wheel has been making a metallic rattling noise over bumps etc. Fairly vague considering the MANY posts related to this on the board. However I have a fact pattern here that narrows down many of the variables and hopefully someone here can help.

Problem: metallic noise or clanking similar to keys on a chain. Dull sounding NO pitch coming from the Right REAR area under car.

History: In july i replaced the following items on my suspension; BOTH front lower control arms and bushings, BOTH Rear upper control arms, rear links, all tie rods, and boots, etc.

at the time I had a LEFT REAR wheel bearing malfunction. I replaced it. Tonight in efforts to trouble shoot the problem I basicly held the RIGHT rear wheel at the 10am and 2pm position and wriggled the wheel on its axle. The sound was a very low audible metalic "plate on rim" type sound. Plus the feel was "play". The force required was a low threshold as after i did this my 100lb wife with zero mechanical skills repeated the gyration while i was under the car and was able to duplicate.
Checked the lug nuts. ALL TIGHT

IS this a sympton of the Wheel bearing failure? OR something else. The initial diagnosis for the other bearing was done by a mechanic

thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 08-23-2008, 05:56 PM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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I was not aware a wheel bearing can make that sort of noise. I was under the impression you usually got a humming noise.

Could it be the swing arm ball joints?

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
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  #3  
Old 08-23-2008, 09:06 PM
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ashton540 ashton540 is offline
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Yeah man, I'm having a wheel bearing issue right now and it makes a humming noise... That doesn't really sound like a wheel bearing to me...
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  #4  
Old 08-24-2008, 05:08 AM
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Est1974 Est1974 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
I was not aware a wheel bearing can make that sort of noise. I was under the impression you usually got a humming noise.

Could it be the swing arm ball joints?

http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm
Yes. after 5 hours of research on the topic. M 540 sport IS officially the messenger with bad news! lol

thanks to both of you. It looks like that lower rear bushing. I have ALL the symptoms and the play noise seems to corroborate after a 3rd test. Also the stationary sounds when entering/exiting.

Now a follow up. Looks like i did the Rear Air springs at 89,000. should i do these concurrent with the joint repair?
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[SIGPIC] "yoda is my co pilot"
87' 318, 91' 525i, 95' 325iA (SOLD), 95' 318iA 96 M3 Sedan (Sold), 97 528i Sedan, 99' M5, 00 740iL, 00 323i wagon:
Current 99 528iT
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  #5  
Old 08-24-2008, 05:59 AM
dbruce dbruce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Est1974 View Post
Yes. after 5 hours of research on the topic. M 540 sport IS officially the messenger with bad news! lol

thanks to both of you. It looks like that lower rear bushing. I have ALL the symptoms and the play noise seems to corroborate after a 3rd test. Also the stationary sounds when entering/exiting.

Now a follow up. Looks like i did the Rear Air springs at 89,000. should i do these concurrent with the joint repair?
Sure.......but since we have no clue of your mileage.....probably shouldn't listen to our uneducated guesses.
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  #6  
Old 08-24-2008, 06:00 AM
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Est1974 Est1974 is offline
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107453 sorry
good point!
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[SIGPIC] "yoda is my co pilot"
87' 318, 91' 525i, 95' 325iA (SOLD), 95' 318iA 96 M3 Sedan (Sold), 97 528i Sedan, 99' M5, 00 740iL, 00 323i wagon:
Current 99 528iT
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  #7  
Old 08-24-2008, 06:05 AM
dbruce dbruce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Est1974 View Post
107453 sorry
good point!
Air springs are good for around 80k......so if you replaced both at 89......you have a long way to go before needing to change them. Rear control arms, sway bar end links and bushings are some things to look at.

Subframe bushings in the rear are definitely toast on your touring.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...d.php?t=741511

Other things to consider:

http://edgemotorworks.com/index.php?...d=27&Itemid=55
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  #8  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:15 AM
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Est1974 Est1974 is offline
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I looked at them yesterday. Logic says they are shot. They appear to have the typical crumbling look on the rim of the part etc.

how did your car drive after you replaced them? Massive difference?
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[SIGPIC] "yoda is my co pilot"
87' 318, 91' 525i, 95' 325iA (SOLD), 95' 318iA 96 M3 Sedan (Sold), 97 528i Sedan, 99' M5, 00 740iL, 00 323i wagon:
Current 99 528iT
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  #9  
Old 08-24-2008, 07:21 AM
dbruce dbruce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Est1974 View Post
I looked at them yesterday. Logic says they are shot. They appear to have the typical crumbling look on the rim of the part etc.

how did your car drive after you replaced them? Massive difference?
Night and day. The rear end always felt like something wasn't right.....clunks over certain highway runs and a second juggle feeling over speed bumps etc. Once replaced.....completely gone.

My experience and everyone else's you can find in the thread. Definitely top on the list after 70k or so. The entire suspension, both front and back, is suspect at 75k. Once you're past 100k......everything needs to go. Do yourself a favor and don't repeat my piecemeal mistake, replace everything at once so you don't have to pull anything out later.

Use OEM parts also......the cheap stuff has issues and it's not worth messing with.
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2008, 12:01 PM
pdschultz pdschultz is offline
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This may be far fetched, but I had a simillar sound coming from one of my tires. It turned out to be a wheel bolt came completely off under the wheel cap and was rattleing around. The tire shop didn't tighten it down to spec.
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