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Thread: Strut Clunk!!

  1. #1

    Default Strut Clunk!!

    Hello ,

    Faithfully followed the superb instructions on the maintenance page and changed the front two shocks......I seem to get clunks from driver and passenger side on small bumps.....More on the passenger side. Looks like something is loose.....Should the strut tower bolts at the bottom be tightened using Impact Wrenches ??

    I tightened the strut housing bolt (circular) to where it was before.....Tightened the control arm bolt......How tight should be the single (22mm) bolt on top of the strut bearing be ?
    Thanks.....

    -prasad

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    418

    Default

    when i changed my shocks over i tightened the strut into the tower using an air gun and impact sockets. if they're not real tight it could cause the strut to move around slightly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    in a sexy house
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by prasad
    Hello ,

    Faithfully followed the superb instructions on the maintenance page and changed the front two shocks......I seem to get clunks from driver and passenger side on small bumps.....More on the passenger side. Looks like something is loose.....Should the strut tower bolts at the bottom be tightened using Impact Wrenches ??

    I tightened the strut housing bolt (circular) to where it was before.....Tightened the control arm bolt......How tight should be the single (22mm) bolt on top of the strut bearing be ?
    Thanks.....

    -prasad
    The top nuts on the strut housing (those accessed from under the hood) are not to be too terribly tight - IIRC the torque on them was in the 25ft-lbs range, and hitting them with an airgun will definitely break the studs.

    The big nut on the top of the strut can/should be cranked down as hard as you can get it - it's going to be easiest with the spring compressed, either by the car's own weight or off the car and with the spring collapsed by a spring compressor.

    Movement from either of those items should be noticeable with the hood open simply by getting the front end moving up and down - if that's the source of your clunk, you should be able to see it easily.

    The big bolts on the bottom of the steering arm do get a very high torque value (don't have Mr. B in front of me), but again, it should be obvious if that's the source of your noise.

    Where I got noise in the time immediately following a strut replacement was from the housing itself. I found that the insert had a bit of movement inside the housing. This was remedied by jacking the car up, taking off the wheel on the noise-producing side, and cranking down HARD on the big collar nut that holds the insert into the housing with a big effing pipe wrench. You don't need to remove the strut from the car to do this.

    If it continues, you may want to take the strut back off the car, remove the insert, and put a few (very few) ounces of oil into the housing. The oil is there from the factory both for heat dissipation as well as to take up any slack space.

    But the BF pipe wrench should be all you need.
    --Micah O'C
    '17 M2 6MT, Mineral Grey
    '04 330i ZHP
    '88 M5 2791445
    '92 M5T BL01001
    formerly '90 535iM, '92 525iT

  4. #4

    Default Wrench b/wn springs

    Thanks a bunch Micah....
    I tried using a 14" wrench with the wheels off, But couldnt get in enough between the springs to get a good grip on the collar nut on the housing.....THe springs prevent me from tightening the wrench nut....All I could do was a tongue and grove plier to turn the nut. I am not sure if the spring is compressed more that it needs to from the top nut on the strut piston/bearing.

    -Prasad

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the sway bar links weren't retorqued and they're jostling around whenever you go over a bump.

    That, or the bushings are shot.

    Gotta read BMWe34.net -- it would've probably solved this issue completely.

    best, whit

  6. #6

    Default Lowell You are the Man

    Lowell ..I saw your PDF posting on strut removal ....Good stuff..... Where did you find the box wench (22mm) that you used to hold the top nut while holding the shaft with a hex set ?

    Thx,
    Prasad

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Scotland
    Posts
    119

    Default

    There's a very good chance this is a knackered upper control arm bush which is allowing the control arm to hit the steering rod leading to light knocking sounds (esp under braking). On mine I can see where the steering rod has been hitting the upper control arm.

    Stu.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,730

    Default can you feel it in the steering wheel?

    Quote Originally Posted by stu1
    There's a very good chance this is a knackered upper control arm bush which is allowing the control arm to hit the steering rod leading to light knocking sounds (esp under braking). On mine I can see where the steering rod has been hitting the upper control arm.

    Stu.
    .
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  9. #9

    Default Not on steering...Feel it under the foot....

    Cant feel it in steering wheel....
    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    .

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    3,395

    Default

    Hey Prasad.

    I picked up a $5 chinese made 1' long box wrench at a local discount place. If you have a wal*mart around (and who doesn't?), I'm sure you can find one there as well. Box wrench = pipe wrench...same deal...same great tool.

    I'm still thinking it's a loose sway bar link...I could be wrong, but I had the clunk-over-bumps for about two days after SLIGHTLY loosening one of the sway bar links prior to doing my sachs install.

    I was SURE that I'd gone through a thrust arm bushing or something...but I got under the car and just started shaking things until I found the loose component...then felt really really stupid for forgetting to tighten it up the last time I was messing with it.

    again, if you're getting a clunk, you should be able to reproduce it by putting the car up on jack stands and checking for play in the various components.

    Good luck mate.

    best, whit

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