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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-29-2012, 03:50 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Unhappy Clunking Noise from Back

I've got an 02' 325ci with 82,000 on it. a few days ago it started making a clunking noise from the rear of the car. Its especially noticeable 30mph and below. The noise happens on bumps big or small. pretty much anytime the suspension travels.

I've inspected the areas around the subframe mounting points and there are no signs of cracks that i could see.

Any ideas as to what bushings, or anything else that could of be bad/going bad?

i appreciate any help as i'm clueless as to what it could be


**EDIT Added list below of the things i've checked out so far**

So today i put my car up on the lift and checked it out for a bit trying to figure out what the problem is. I checked the following..
  • Rtab's, pulled them down and inspected them. no visual signs of wear or tear
  • Diff mounts
  • Shock mounts
  • Jack
  • Looked closer for cracks on subframe
  • The bushings on the bottom of the trailing arms (the ones that the camber arms bolt to)

I didn't see anything that showed any signs of aging, wear, tear, or anything else along the lines of that. Anybody have any ideas as to what can be causing the clunking noise? it happens whenever i go over bumps. And also when i jack up the rear of the car.


Last edited by Dibaltic; 03-06-2012 at 09:49 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-29-2012, 03:56 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Broken coil spring
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2012, 04:00 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
Broken coil spring
nope i've got coilovers and just had the wheel off a few minutes ago, and the springs were intact. I appreciate the ideas though!
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  #4  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:06 PM
conrad721 conrad721 is offline
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have you checked the jack?
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  #5  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:16 PM
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Shock mounts?.
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  #6  
Old 02-29-2012, 05:54 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conrad721 View Post
have you checked the jack?
jack?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MalibuMafiaV View Post
Shock mounts?.
I will have to check those out I didn't think of that.
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  #7  
Old 02-29-2012, 06:02 PM
PancakeBimmer PancakeBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
jack?



I will have to check those out I didn't think of that.
I probably have same problem as you do, except mine occurs at different occasions.
Let us know the result if you are going to check mounts
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  #8  
Old 02-29-2012, 07:36 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jM2.me View Post
I probably have same problem as you do, except mine occurs at different occasions.
Let us know the result if you are going to check mounts
how long has yours been doing it?
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  #9  
Old 02-29-2012, 08:03 PM
PancakeBimmer PancakeBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
how long has yours been doing it?
Pretty much since I got it. Tho mine has almost 200k miles.
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  #10  
Old 02-29-2012, 09:46 PM
ckleung100 ckleung100 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conrad721 View Post
have you checked the jack?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
jack?
I think he means the car jack in the trunk next to the spare tire coming loose. Funny, through a process of elimination, that crossed my mind too because there's not that much left back there that can make a clunking noise but I thought, nah, I'm not gonna post that.

Do you have any loose golf balls in the trunk?

Last edited by ckleung100; 03-01-2012 at 04:27 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-01-2012, 04:05 AM
conrad721 conrad721 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conrad721 View Post
have you checked the jack?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
jack?
my apologies for not being clear and specific. i was half asleep when i posted that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
I think he means the car jack in the trunk next to the spare tire coming loose.
yes, that is exactly what i meant. thanks for clarifying it for me.
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  #12  
Old 03-01-2012, 09:54 AM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ckleung100 View Post
I think he means the car jack in the trunk next to the spare tire coming loose. Funny, through a process of elimination, that crossed my mind too because there's not that much left back there that can make a clunking noise but I thought, nah, I'm not gonna post that.

Do you have any loose golf balls in the trunk?
I see i never thought of that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by conrad721 View Post
yes, that is exactly what i meant. thanks for clarifying it for me.
thanks for the idea. i'm gonna check it out. I have nothing in the trunk other then the jack. i dont even have a spare.

I went to drive it this morning and the rear end felt kind of wobbly i guess you could say. and clunked a lot. so i just parked it in the driveway instead of driving it. I wanna figure out whats wrong because this is my only car
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  #13  
Old 03-01-2012, 11:08 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Bet you a cup of coffee it's got something to do with your wheels and the extreme toe you've had to put on your suspension to make them fit.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2012, 01:11 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Bet you a cup of coffee it's got something to do with your wheels and the extreme toe you've had to put on your suspension to make them fit.
I'm pretty sure you mean camber, not toe, i needed the camber to make them fit, not toe. toe is what i don't want.

And i'm not on those wheels right now. I'm running bmw wheels. 17" with 225/45 blizzaks on them. I did not have the problem til just a few days ago after driving thru downtown Harrisburg. (rough roads, pot holes, dips, etc)

Currently am only about 2.5" lower then stock so that is something else that you can rule out
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Old 03-01-2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
I'm pretty sure you mean camber, not toe, i needed the camber to make them fit, not toe. toe is what i don't want.

And i'm not on those wheels right now. I'm running bmw wheels. 17" with 225/45 blizzaks on them. I did not have the problem til just a few days ago after driving thru downtown Harrisburg. (rough roads, pot holes, dips, etc)

Currently am only about 2.5" lower then stock so that is something else that you can rule out
Yes, I meant camber.

The jury is still out, but maybe I owe you a cup of coffee...
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  #16  
Old 03-01-2012, 07:04 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Yes, I meant camber.

The jury is still out, but maybe I owe you a cup of coffee...
i figured you did, but i will give it to you though on the whole toe being off though. I need to get the car aligned. its toed in a lot from the camber i added. the only reason i didn't get an alignment sooner was because i couldn't find a shop with a pit to align my car (was too low to get on rack)



Could it be my subframe bushings? When i replaced my FCAB's they were pretty badly worn out. And from videos i've seen the clunking noise does sound similar to the noise i'm having.

How can i tell if my bushings are bad before tearing the car apart to replace them?
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  #17  
Old 03-01-2012, 07:41 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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So i've been researching rear suspension bushing kits in case it is the problem. What kits would you guys suggest?

I found these two kits so far

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219643/

or this one

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219641/

any ideas on some better kits? welcome to suggestions and ideas
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  #18  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:35 AM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
So i've been researching rear suspension bushing kits in case it is the problem. What kits would you guys suggest?

I found these two kits so far

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219643/

or this one

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219641/

any ideas on some better kits? welcome to suggestions and ideas
Or just ask Max from oembimmerparts to help you?. That whole kit is really un-needed. All you really need to change out is rear trailing arm bushings which are two bushings and rear shock mounts...
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  #19  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:42 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dibaltic View Post
So i've been researching rear suspension bushing kits in case it is the problem. What kits would you guys suggest?

I found these two kits so far

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219643/

or this one

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...330/ES2219641/

any ideas on some better kits? welcome to suggestions and ideas

Kit #1 = waste of money.
Kit #2 = a larger waste of money.

What are you trying to accomplish?
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  #20  
Old 03-02-2012, 08:55 AM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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So you guys just think its my trailing arm bushings and nothing else?
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  #21  
Old 03-02-2012, 09:28 AM
Hutchman Hutchman is offline
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I was watching a video of broken rear shock mounts. Every time it went over a bump it made a thunk. Pull out the liner in the trunk and check out the top part of the mount.

Mine are worn, but not broken. It only creaks right now, no thunk. I am going to tackle mine soon. Parts are $25 for both rear mounts and gaskets!
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  #22  
Old 03-05-2012, 08:38 PM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Location: Chambersburg, PA
 
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Mein Auto: e46
So today i put my car up on the lift and checked it out for a bit trying to figure out what the problem is. I checked the following..
  • Rtab's, pulled them down and inspected them. no visual signs of wear or tear
  • Diff mounts
  • Shock mounts
  • Jack
  • Looked closer for cracks on subframe
  • The bushings on the bottom of the trailing arms (the ones that the camber arms bolt to)

I didn't see anything that showed any signs of aging, wear, tear, or anything else along the lines of that. Anybody have any ideas as to what can be causing the clunking noise? it happens whenever i go over bumps. And also when i jack up the rear of the car.

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  #23  
Old 03-05-2012, 09:19 PM
EWeis EWeis is offline
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I had similar clunking and I could have sworn it was the shock mounts but it was the shocks themselves so, chk them out.
Try taking a ride in the trunk to pinpoint.....seriously.

Sent from my EVO
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  #24  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:27 AM
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rgk330i rgk330i is offline
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The upper shock mounts on my '01 330i went bad at about 65k mi. Serious deep thunking over bumps. It started suddenly after a very rough road trip to Boston. Replacing them was a very cheap and fairly easy job, and solved the problem completely. There were no visible signs of failure on the old parts.
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  #25  
Old 03-06-2012, 09:48 AM
Dibaltic Dibaltic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgk330i View Post
The upper shock mounts on my '01 330i went bad at about 65k mi. Serious deep thunking over bumps. It started suddenly after a very rough road trip to Boston. Replacing them was a very cheap and fairly easy job, and solved the problem completely. There were no visible signs of failure on the old parts.
i'll update first post with all the things i've already checked
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