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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 09-05-2019, 05:05 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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Driveline Experts Please Chip In

I've been chasing the source of squeaking brakes on rear driver side.

Triple checked brakes. All's good. So I jacked the car up, and started it up. Looks like the caliper is moving from side to side when the wheel turns. So I thought it must be the axle shaft pushing on the wheel bearing and carrier. Took out the shaft, cleaned it and regreased. Same issue. Swapped it out with a new FEQ unit. Same issue. Could it be a bad diff?

When I last checked, there was some clicking going on. It's hard to pinpoint the exact location of the noise, because the whole half shaft is resonating, so I'm planning on disconnecting the axle shaft today to isolate the diff. Anyone seen this before? Car has 105k miles (170k KM). Pretty sure it's only on one side. Brakes are new btw.

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  #2  
Old 09-05-2019, 07:45 AM
CSMBlack-540i CSMBlack-540i is offline
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Seems like quite a bit of suspension movement just from the wheel rotating at low speed. Was the rear suspension ever overhauled? Movement of the driveline could also be a worn Giubo aka flex disc. But, overly worn Giubo also exhibits clunking when releasing gas during acceleration. While movement of the wheel could also be attributed to worn wheel bearings. Hard to really diagnose off a 15 sec video.

Last edited by CSMBlack-540i; 09-05-2019 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 09-05-2019, 08:33 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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Suspension has been changed recently. Wheel bearing as well. Flex disc and CSB are in surprisingly good shape. The rotor is getting pushed out once per rev, making the rotor rub on the outer brake pad, causing the squeaking. I can see the axle shaft move in and out in sync. There's some harsh grinding sound coming from the rear when I'm sitting inside the car jacked up, but it disappears during normal driving.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:03 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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You can clearly hear the clicking in this video. The low rumble in the cabin doesn't come through on camera though.


Last edited by mtl_dom; 09-05-2019 at 11:05 AM. Reason: extra info
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:47 AM
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Time to get old school. Get yourself a wooden dowel and place it against the back of the diff. Put your ear against the other end of the dowel and chase the source of the sound. Just keep the dowel, and your head, away from rotating parts.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:46 PM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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Crazy4trains. I forgot I had a stethoscope. Turns out the clicking is not from the diff, but from the wheel side. So Iíll have to strip down the wheel assembly and see how the bearings are doing. Sounds like a job for a Saturday. At least I wonít have to swap the diff!
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Old 09-05-2019, 01:24 PM
CSMBlack-540i CSMBlack-540i is offline
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Originally Posted by mtl_dom View Post
Turns out the clicking is not from the diff, but from the wheel side. So I'll have to strip down the wheel assembly and see how the bearings are doing.
Since it's now narrowed down to wheel side;while checking the bearings, might also want to check rotor for warpage. While doubtful, can always temporarily swap rotor from one side to another to rule that out.

Guess, sometimes even when suspensions and bearings have been changed it doesn't necessarily mean that's not the issue
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Old 09-06-2019, 04:55 AM
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Appears to me that the caliper is moving but most everything else is behaving as it should. I would remove the wheel, caliper, pads and rotor then thoroughly clean all mounting surfaces and ensure all fasteners are correctly torqued. Maybe the axle shaft is making stuff move but start with the simple stuff first.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:28 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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I've already removed the rotor and even checked the parking brake hardware, but everything looked good. I'll have to remove the brakes again anyway to check the bearings. New Brembo rotors and Meyle ceramic pads were installed two weeks ago. It's smooth as butter when I brake. I'll report back after the weekend.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:11 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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After taking off the brake hardware, it appears the bearings are the culprit. Itís really rough when turning the hub by hand. Parts ordered on rockauto. Theyíre the best when shipping to Canada, as broker fees and taxes are included.
Iíll confirm when job is done.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:30 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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After taking off the brake hardware, it appears the bearings are the culprit. Itís really rough when turning the hub by hand. Parts ordered on rockauto. Theyíre the best when shipping to Canada, as broker fees and taxes are included.
Iíll confirm when job is done.
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  #12  
Old 09-09-2019, 10:54 AM
CSMBlack-540i CSMBlack-540i is offline
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Suspension has been changed recently. Wheel bearing as well. .
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtl_dom View Post
After taking off the brake hardware, it appears the bearings are the culprit. It's really rough when turning the hub by hand. Parts ordered on rockauto.
If wheel bearings are culprit after already being changing recently. More info on brand. mileage and vendor of those "new" bearings would help future members to avoid a certain brand.
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Old 09-12-2019, 01:55 PM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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Quick update: received new Timken bearings. To my surprise, no part of them is made in the USA. Looks like cheap Chinese crap. Given cnnís great write up on replacing the rear bearings, and the pictures on most websites selling these, I thought at least the bearings were made in the US. Looks like Timken is getting the whole thing done in China now, except for the box lol. Should I return the part and just get *** (OEM)?

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Old 09-12-2019, 03:17 PM
CSMBlack-540i CSMBlack-540i is offline
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Might want to check out National Wheel Bearing Part Number 512225. Last time I picked them up they were F.A.G. Made In Germany in a Nat'l Box.

There is one on Ebay and if you zoom in on the middle picture, you can make out the word F.A.G. Germany. Assuming the auction is a picture of the actual bearing you get:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/National-51...r/183792899110


Also try F.A.G. 580494 as a possible interchange part since that is also the number stamped on the bearing and matches this auction which also for just one left.


https://www.ebay.com/itm/Wheel-Beari...4/173905908808

Last edited by CSMBlack-540i; 09-12-2019 at 03:31 PM.
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  #15  
Old 09-12-2019, 05:02 PM
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German made bearings blow away China's in This simple test, don't just get your bearings and settle for less, get the good ones.



I don't need to tell you which is the German manufactured bearing.

F.A.G. for the win, nothing beats German made bearings.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:19 PM
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Google search might help in the decision. It appears Timken has been sourcing from China for over 8 or 9 years, so research might show if there are problems with them or not.
I found plenty of threads of people upset they are made in China, but not of any failures or complaints of failures...so maybe they are fine.

I always have used F.A.G. brand fwiw.
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  #17  
Old 09-13-2019, 05:46 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I'll be returning the Timken bearing, and buying F.A.G. from FCP. I believe they're made in Slovakia. Spent enough time on this already, not gonna take chances with Ebay. Just looking at it and feeling the Timken does not inspire confidence. Reason I went with Timken is I think the failed bearing is a F.A.G., but to be confirmed.

If memory serves, I had bought the bearings maybe 3 years ago, and had them installed on my previous bimmer by local garage. When the engine died last year, I saved as many parts I could, including wheel bearings, since they were relatively new (15k miles tops). They sat for a couple months, then installed on my newer bimmer in June 2019. Not even sure when the problem started, as I only noticed after the new brakes 3 weeks ago. So the bearings have a bit of history, but not that much. It's hard to tell which brand with the hub on. To be confirmed.

Why is the hub so expensive??
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  #18  
Old 09-13-2019, 01:36 PM
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sounds like an axle to me

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  #19  
Old 09-14-2019, 10:10 AM
mtl_dom mtl_dom is offline
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sounds like an axle to me
Right??? That was also my first thought. But after installing a new axle shaft, the noise is exactly the same. Also the clicking sound disappears when car is on the ground. Squeaky brakes while driving only, and a little shimmy. Kinda thing my mother would never notice it's so faint. I'm not used to hearing that click sound from a bearing, they usually howl when old. We'll only find out the real problem once it's all appart in a week or 2.
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