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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:10 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Clunking Noise in the Front-End

Hello All,

My 92' just developed this clunking noise over the winter due to snow pot holes and such. The clunking noise is more on the passenger side than it's the driver side. The who car moves sides to sides whenever I go over a bump or railroad tracks.

I jacked up the car yesterday and based on some articles on this forum, I tried to moving the wheel up & down, side to side and I don't get any movement other than turn the steering wheel to the right and left. The only thing that I couldn't test is the Struts other than bouncing the bumper up and down and that seems ok... The front Struts assembly were replaced 20K miles ago at the shop with oem parts..

So, what could possibly be? I also read that someone here bought replacement parts on FC gorton... How about autohausaz?

Please let me know where I should be focusing on before I have to take it to a shop...

Thanks and have a great weekend!!

Jay
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  #2  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:22 AM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Clunking in the front end could be cause by a number of different things. You could have failed ball joints/control arms (common), bad tie rods, bad control arm bushings, bad upper strut mounts, and/or bad struts. And yes, even though you said your front struts were replaced 20k miles ago, a solid hit from a pothole could have damaged them. So basically, you need to have all that stuff checked out. If the car steps out sideways while going over bumps (and it's a new behavior), that suggests to me that the struts/shocks are not doing their job correctly. But really, it could be any of the things I mentioned before.

What is the mileage on the car, and when is the last time the control arms, tie rods, control arm bushings, etc., were replaced? If any of those parts have 100k+ mile on them, they're due to be replaced.

FCP Groton is a good place to get parts for cheap, although I had a bad experience with their least expensive suspension overhaul kit. The parts failed within weeks and I had to replace them under warranty with high-end Lemforder units instead. Pelican Parts, BimmerWorld, Turner Motorsport, and ECS Tuning are also good places to buy parts.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
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For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-10-2012 at 09:25 AM.
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  #3  
Old 02-10-2012, 09:28 AM
flygmash flygmash is offline
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ZeGerman is correct... Front end part are very tricky... I just completed my front end replacing all what ZeGerman mentioned and the clunking and sqeeking noises gone, car handles great.

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  #4  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:14 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Yes, the front end is pretty much stock at 157K miles with an exception of the Struts..

Thanks,
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  #5  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:38 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Time for new control arms, control arm bushings, and tie rods.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #6  
Old 02-10-2012, 12:53 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Thank you!!
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  #7  
Old 02-10-2012, 01:04 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I am looking at Pelican BMW and I was wondering how is the brand Karlyn vs. Lemfoerder?

Thanks,
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  #8  
Old 02-10-2012, 01:11 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Never heard of Karlyn, but Lemforder is the top of the heap in terms of quality. It's what I installed in my car, and they are leaps and bounds better than the no-name stuff I received previously. Meyle is the other brand that you will often see, which is decent, although Meyle parts are known for not lasting quite as long as Lemforder parts, despite their "HD" claims.

My vote is for Lemforder parts.

Also, FCP Groton/Euro often has the best prices on suspension parts, including Lemforder. This is the kit you should be ordering:

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...e36-e36cakit8l

You'll also need two tie rod locking plates, which are a few dollars each.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback

Last edited by ZeGerman; 02-10-2012 at 01:15 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-10-2012, 03:18 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I will check them out.

Thank you!!
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  #10  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:39 AM
Robertbmwfan328 Robertbmwfan328 is offline
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Hi

Rm European have very cheap parts too all they sell is oem parts.And they give u free shipping over $65. I justed bought 2 lemfoerder complete tie rods assembly for $108 shipped.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2012, 10:41 AM
Robertbmwfan328 Robertbmwfan328 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jat007 View Post
I am looking at Pelican BMW and I was wondering how is the brand Karlyn vs. Lemfoerder?

Thanks,
Karlyn sucks china made junk.
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  #12  
Old 02-11-2012, 03:20 PM
tchavera tchavera is offline
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yes a front suspension overhaul is in need but if you're on a tight budget like some of us you could find the actual problem. it's probably a tie rod or a sway bar link. however a control arm is very possible too. put the right side if you can't do both on a jack stand. first do a visual inspection of your links and see if it's broke or wiggle the bar and see if you have unnecessary play. then wiggle the tire in and out, up and down, front to back. any way and see if there is play. you normally check the tie rods by putting a hand at the 9 and 3 o clock position and rock back and forth. as for control arms i'd stick a pry bar in there and see how much play you have up and down. i'm sure others will disagree but seems to work for me. of course if you have the $$ just forget checking it and replace it all and get ready for some fun weaving
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  #13  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:21 PM
Robertbmwfan328 Robertbmwfan328 is offline
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Driver side

Hi I jack up my driver side and did the 3 and 9 and the steering wheel rocks back and forth when I do the 3 and 9 is that normal are is the tie rods bad are is it the rack itself? Please help thanks
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  #14  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:31 PM
tchavera tchavera is offline
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Ok good. So it shouldn't have play like that. Of course is you push hard enough you can turn the steering wheel back and forth but if the wheel/tire wiggles pretty easily then its your tie rod. The only thing is figuring out if its the inner or outter tie rod. Id just replace both sides and get it done with. Good job though

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  #15  
Old 02-11-2012, 08:03 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Complete (inner & outer) tie rod assemblies are pretty cheap, so it's best to just buy whole thing instead of halves.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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