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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 12-07-2019, 11:39 AM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Motor mount failure = clunk on bumps?

As the title says^^

I put some B6 Bilsteins in my 535xi and immediately afterward I started getting a clunk over certain bumps. I went over the whole suspension with a fine tooth comb, and had the alignment tech check and he found nothing loose either. The bumps that aggravate the clunk are fairly shallow but long (if that makes sense) and aren't really speed-dependent. I don't hear any clunking on higher frequency bumps.

I checked the strut brace and a bunch of other things but everything is tight.

It occurred to me that if the mounts were going bad they might extend to their mechanical stops during certain g-loads on bumps where the mass of the engine works to overextend the mounts. As if when starting into the dip the engine stays 'aloft' as the car drops, then the engine drops as the car rises. The new shox are firmer than the worn out OE ones, so the clunks may not have been possible with those shox, hence first hearing after the B6.

You can hear it at about 1:31 on this clip: E60 clunk on certain bumps - YouTube

Ideas welcome, especially from people who have done the mount replacement. I'm certainly not looking forward to dropping the subframe to change the mounts as the job will probably expand to other preventive things like wastegates and oil pan seals and...

Last edited by audiophool; 12-07-2019 at 11:41 AM.
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  #2  
Old 12-07-2019, 12:11 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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The old school way to check motor mounts on American V8's is to have an assistance inspect engine while you sit in car, foot on brake, put car into gear, and while keeping foot on brake, apply accelerator until engine lifts up in air. If it lifts on either side, you got broken motor mount. On an inline 6 BMW motor, I have no idea, but at least some of that may apply. It doesn't look like you need to remove sub-frame: (also see a few of the comments below)

https://www.pelicanparts.com/techart...eplacement.htm
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Last edited by SunglassesGuy; 12-07-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 12-07-2019, 12:16 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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looks like a sale over here, not sure if this works for our cars. https://www.ecstuning.com/b-schwaben...SABEgIx2vD_BwE
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  #4  
Old 12-07-2019, 01:23 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunglassesGuy View Post
The old school way to check motor mounts on American V8's is to have an assistance inspect engine while you sit in car, foot on brake, put car into gear, and while keeping foot on brake, apply accelerator until engine lifts up in air. If it lifts on either side, you got broken motor mount. On an inline 6 BMW motor, I have no idea, but at least some of that may apply. It doesn't look like you need to remove sub-frame: (also see a few of the comments below)

https://www.pelicanparts.com/techart...eplacement.htm
I was going to try the 'old school' method as well, but I suspect the mounts are perhaps not totally broken but rather are seriously weak. I don't notice any weirdness getting on/off the gas though.

Still, for what they cost, it'll be my next step.
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:27 PM
tstiglich tstiglich is online now
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Have you ruled out sway bar bushings? Mine make noise in the winter.
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:44 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by tstiglich View Post
Have you ruled out sway bar bushings? Mine make noise in the winter.
Thats odd. how do you account for that?
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Old 12-07-2019, 03:48 PM
tstiglich tstiglich is online now
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I assume that the rubber becomes stiff in the colder weather. They creak when going over speed bumps, etc
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Old 12-07-2019, 04:34 PM
pshovest pshovest is online now
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Check for play in sway bar links.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:28 PM
mjchecko mjchecko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunglassesGuy View Post
I generally like pelican articles, but this one is crap I never support the engine underneath because it isn't designed for that and the oil pan is expensive to replace. do it right: setup an engine support bar across the top and remove the 2 top engine mount nuts (one you can get through the exhaust without removing anything + some long extensions and a swivel, and the other by removing the airbox - use the pelican article for these it is good here).

Then, while engine is supported by engine support bar, use a jack on the subframe center point to lower the subframe once you remove the 6 subframe bolts. As you lower the subframe away from the suspended engine the bolts for the mounts will clear the mount holes and free up and you can crawl underneath and unbolt the mount and replace. if you need more clearance just unbolt the 3 nuts at the top of each strut and the subframe can come down another 8-10 inches or so and you've only loosened 12 bolts/nuts total. I think you could even do both mounts at one time this way. for the passenger side mount you probably have to remove the mount carrier bracket (connected to the block) which is 3 large awkward e-bolts and a ground strap but do-able.

unfortunately the X version uses stretch bolts for the subframe so they need to be replaced. rear drive for some reason uses non-fancy bolts that can be reused as I just found out on my recent project (check newtis.info to be sure for your application). But I bet both mounts can be done in 3-4 hrs tops this way.
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Old 12-07-2019, 06:41 PM
mjchecko mjchecko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjchecko View Post
I generally like pelican articles, Ö

...But I bet both mounts can be done in 3-4 hrs tops this way.
i should add that this is assuming you have to replace the mounts. others have posted that the sway bar end-links could be suspect, which is far easier and I would go there first as process of elimination for your issue.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:03 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Nothing is loose. Sway bar links, mounts, ball joints, tie rods, steering rack mount etc. Alignment tech confirmed every part of the suspension is toit toit toit.

I'll get the wife to load the engine against the brake in drive and reverse and see how much it moves.

I can fab up my own engine support bar from square stock and flat stock for about $10 bux in scrap steel.
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Old 12-07-2019, 08:29 PM
mjchecko mjchecko is offline
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the way you describe the issue in original post, if the B6 have a lot more rebound damping than the worn out stock units you might have uncovered exactly a mount issue. The chassis/susp is reacting much tighter and closer to those slow shallow dips and the 350lb motor is not keeping up with the transitions. you might be in for a motor mount project.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:14 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjchecko View Post
the way you describe the issue in original post, if the B6 have a lot more rebound damping than the worn out stock units you might have uncovered exactly a mount issue. The chassis/susp is reacting much tighter and closer to those slow shallow dips and the 350lb motor is not keeping up with the transitions. you might be in for a motor mount project.
That follows my thinking. But the clunk happens during the compression portion of travel. Sure sounds like something big and heavy banging around rather than the thinner metallic rattle of a ball joint or the like. Like a BFH wrapped in leather hitting the frame.

I drove that same road again today and the clunk was worse at that spot than in the video which was taken in September. Bunch of other dips perturbed the noise as well.

Not looking forward to crawling under the E60 even with a heated garridge.

Last edited by audiophool; 12-07-2019 at 09:15 PM.
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  #14  
Old 12-07-2019, 10:23 PM
tstiglich tstiglich is online now
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I suppose that if you replace the motor mounts, you may want to replace the oil pan gasket. Need to lift the motor for that as well, no?
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Old 12-08-2019, 02:00 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tstiglich View Post
I suppose that if you replace the motor mounts, you may want to replace the oil pan gasket. Need to lift the motor for that as well, no?
If I have to drop the subframe to do the mounts, there's a myriad other little things I'll do at the same time. But it can wait until spring unless the mounts go totally fubar and come apart.

My car-hole is crammed with crap from the basement whilst our basement renovation progresses. Hard to install subfloor and partition walls when there are couches and boxes of junk to step over and move around.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:04 PM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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I had the same symptoms as you, all front suspension except the sway bar links and bushings replaced. After I got it all back together clunking developed. I checked the bushings and he links. they were tight. I checked them with the car in the air. The car on the ground. Had the shop check them. They were in good shape.

So I replaced them anyway because no one could find the cause. It fixed the noise.
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Old 12-08-2019, 07:07 PM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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Oh. And I have a 535xi also. I have looked at replacing he motor mounts. The subframe has to come down and the turbos may need to come off. When I took the subframe down I could not get the passenger mount free from the engine. The turbos block access to the bolt. So I left the mount and mounting bracket attached to the engine and detached from the subframe.
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Old 12-08-2019, 09:17 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgjks6 View Post
I had the same symptoms as you, all front suspension except the sway bar links and bushings replaced. After I got it all back together clunking developed. I checked the bushings and he links. they were tight. I checked them with the car in the air. The car on the ground. Had the shop check them. They were in good shape.

So I replaced them anyway because no one could find the cause. It fixed the noise.
No to dispute your issue, and I'd tend to suspect swaybar bushings except that the noise (if you look at the youtube clip) happens on a bump that wouldn't cause any torsion on the bar - both sides working up and down equally. And the noise only happens on dips (bumps) that cause a certain g-load. Sharper or softer bumps of similar magnitude do not cause the clunk. I've reefed on the joints. Tight. So did the alignment tech.
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Old 12-09-2019, 05:06 AM
dgjks6 dgjks6 is offline
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I canít see the YouTube clip for some reason. My noise sounded like loose trim. It was a rattle/thunk.

I have seen my passenger engine mount from several positions with the subframe off and on. Itís not easy task. The driver side you can probably do with just lowering the subframe a couple inches.

And for the squeaking in the cold from another post - I have that too. I have it narrowed down to - I think - the shock mount.


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Old 12-09-2019, 07:44 AM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgjks6 View Post
I canít see the YouTube clip for some reason. My noise sounded like loose trim. It was a rattle/thunk.

I have seen my passenger engine mount from several positions with the subframe off and on. Itís not easy task. The driver side you can probably do with just lowering the subframe a couple inches.

And for the squeaking in the cold from another post - I have that too. I have it narrowed down to - I think - the shock mount.


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Oops, I did copy/paste from a post on another forum (no traction there) and thought the link would paste but it didn't. Here at about 1:30 mark:
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Old 12-09-2019, 10:38 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjchecko View Post
I generally like pelican articles, but this one is crap I never support the engine underneath because it isn't designed for that and the oil pan is expensive to replace. do it right: setup an engine support bar across the top and remove the 2 top engine mount nuts (one you can get through the exhaust without removing anything + some long extensions and a swivel, and the other by removing the airbox - use the pelican article for these it is good here).
agreed. I've never used one of these top supports before. can you use one to lift the engine a few inches? enough to clear the subframe so it doesn't need to be removed for this job?
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Old 12-09-2019, 12:01 PM
mjchecko mjchecko is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunglassesGuy View Post

agreed. I've never used one of these top supports before. can you use one to lift the engine a few inches? enough to clear the subframe so it doesn't need to be removed for this job?
Yes, I was able to move the engine all over the place as it hangs by the toe hook. It isn't that heavy and just use a little muscle to push it sideways a couple inches when necessary. And the top adjuster allows you to pull it up down as far as you want, limited by the firewall / tranny tunnel. Have to be careful not to go too far as the bars are strong no bending if you please. Well worth the 90 I spent on it. I can send an amazon link tonight when I land.

I was able to clear both top mount bolts without even releasing the strut tower nuts. Releasing the struts gives a LOT more clearance. I've been wondering why we think the turbos have to come out - i don't even think you have to remove the bracket (but I'm sure that makes it easier). The bracket is under the turbos and my bracket was definitely out before the turbos were out.

I've never done the mounts before but I do remember staring at the passenger side mount and seeing how easy it would be to change it with the subframe lowered, and figuring whether i had enough $ for yet another part to throw at the car. I decided not to sell one of the kids and left the mounts alone.
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Old 12-09-2019, 09:29 PM
audiophool audiophool is offline
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I had the wife brake-torque it in drive and reverse. The engine moves a fair bit but I'm not sure whether it moves a lot more than it should. Still, at 235k kms, the mounts are probably well bagged.
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Old 12-10-2019, 12:42 AM
City and Colour City and Colour is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiophool View Post
I had the wife brake-torque it in drive and reverse. The engine moves a fair bit but I'm not sure whether it moves a lot more than it should. Still, at 235k kms, the mounts are probably well bagged.
I don't think it's the motor mounts. Mine were completely shot on my RWD 535i and it just caused a terrible vibration in reverse and then later in drive. I got a clunk after replacing my struts with coilovers, although I used new strut mounts, I don't think I torqued the giant nut that goes through the top into the strut properly. Did you replace the strut mounts with new ones?
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Old 12-10-2019, 06:38 AM
cmyachtie cmyachtie is offline
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If you don't remember when the sway bar links were replaced, I'd start there .......a lot easier (and won't break the bank), than motor mounts and likely will fix your issue. If not, then tackle the harder job of motor mounts would be my approach.
Those sway bar links have a habit of surprise in my experience.
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