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Thread: Front suspension help needed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Sydney, Australia
    Posts
    2,699

    Default Front suspension help needed

    I keep on hearing a clunk when I go over bumps in the road. Looking retrospecitvely, I think when I got my h&r lowered springs and koni shocks the clunking sound was was more pronounced.

    I've already placed an order at BMA auto parts for the front suspension. I'm receiving:
    - front swaybar links - pair
    - center tie rod
    - two tie rods
    - idler arm

    I had the car on some stands today and I took these pics. These are from the left hand side - but the right is in similar condition.

    The ball joints of the upper thrust arms don't look good. I recently had the bushings replaced.

    Can I replace the ball joint or do I have to replace the whole arm, in pic 1 - http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=878&stc=1

    you can see a crack in the rubber of the thrust arm ball joint - this is of concern for me and I think the clunking is maybe? coming from here and the front swaybar links.

    My other pics are

    - how the tie rod is sitting - not straight - pics 2 and 3
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=879&stc=1
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=880&stc=1

    - pic 4 - how the front suspension looks
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=881&stc=1

    - pic 5 - lower control arm bushings - they look okay
    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=877&stc=1

    Can you guys please help a newbie mechanic?

    Regards

    Kristian
    Attached Images Attached Images      

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bellingham
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BigKriss
    I keep on hearing a clunk when I go over bumps in the road. Looking retrospecitvely, I think when I got my h&r lowered springs and koni shocks the clunking sound was was more pronounced.
    Sounds like loose swaybar end links OR a loose strut tube collar nut. I've had both situations cause clunking noises. You can differentiate between the two... A loose swaybar link won't make any noise when both front wheels are moving with eachother - over a speedbump, for example. It will be loudest when one wheel (either side) hits a bump while the other wheel stays in position. A loose collar nut can make noise anytime.

    Actually, the clunk I heard that my shop attributed to a loose collar nut never really went away until I replaced the strut inserts just recently. The side that was making the noise also had almost no oil in the strut tube (and from what I've learned, there's supposed to be a small amount in there to act as a thermal conductor and as a sort of viscous setting that keeps the shocks from moving around inside the tube).

    The ball joints of the upper thrust arms don't look good. I recently had the bushings replaced.

    Can I replace the ball joint or do I have to replace the whole arm, in pic 1 - http://www.bimmer.info/forum/attachm...ntid=878&stc=1
    You can replace the boot, if you like. See: http://www.bmpdesign.com/product-exec/product_id/683

    you can see a crack in the rubber of the thrust arm ball joint - this is of concern for me and I think the clunking is maybe? coming from here and the front swaybar links.
    I think it's unlikely either control arm ball joint is making the clunk. If the arms are installed correctly, they're under a good bit of pressure from the bushings. I can see them making noise on turning the wheels, but not over bumps. I could always be wrong. I wouldn't start here, though.

    - how the tie rod is sitting - not straight - pics 2 and 3
    Eh. Nothing to see here.

    Yank on the bits down there and look for any significant movement in the ball joints. I bet it's the sway bar links - possibly even just a loose bolt on one.

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

    Default

    I'm gonna agree with mobius on this one, Kristian. I bet one of those end bolts on the links is loose.

    This happened to me last month...drove me with the clunking sound over *SOME* bumps, until I realized that I'd loosened and hadn't completely retightened the pass side link where it meets the struthousing.

    If that thrust arm ball joint has been cracked for a while, chances are it's lost the grease (according to Bruno). I'd replace it, or if it's a recent development, put some more grease in and seal the sucker up.

    What's going on with your brake pads? I'd like to get your trans kit sent out ASAP.

    Best, whit

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    446

    Default

    I was chasing a clunking over bumps for quite awhile. It was really noticible over slow speed bumps in my driveway & entering and leaving my garage. Turned out to be a worn ball joint on my left thrust arm. The rubber was shot like yours & you could see it move up & down by jacking up that corner & pushing and pulling on the wheel. I replaced both thrust arms with the Lemforders w/750 bushings and the car rides better & feels tighter then it has in years.

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