GO FISHING, use SLABSAUCE Fishing Attractant
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Results 11 to 13 of 13

Thread: Ball joint... but which one ?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2004


    I had a harsh clunk on the right front when hitting a large pothole... or even a medium one. It was the sway bar links on the front that was the culprit.

    If you want to test it out, swap your driver side link with the right one.

    German ball joints are such a tight tolerance that it is not easy to figure out. All the ball joints I pulled out... center link, two tie rods, 2 sway bar links, thrust arms, and the right lower control arm. They all do not have any play that you can push down to feel the gap. However, you can feel the difference when you wiggle it... the bad one is very easy to wiggle and move around. The good one is tough to move and sometime really stiff to move.

    That's the best I can explain. Our time spent on diagnosing is expensive... we spent hours that we could use for other things. $170 for the entire steering components is cheap that I would change them out based on mileage on the car.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Eastern Tennessee USi


    Quote Originally Posted by Claude View Post

    Again, to sum up:- sway bar end link bar OK (no loose at all)
    - Tie rod end ball joint OK (no loose there neither)
    - Trust collar nut can't be tighter Maybe it is loose in the strut tube
    - clunking noise heard only when the wheel passes over a good step / bump or pot hole, otherwise nothing there
    - sometime not always, when slightly breaking at low speed (below 40 km),
    i feel a vibration on this right wheel and hear the clunking noise at the same time. Can't reproduce this vibration when i jab the breaks at high speed
    - tires are good (would say half milage done) no abnormal wear sign.
    - From outside the car, near this wheel, running over a 2x4 stud produce the clunking noise and it come from the center of the wheel (at steering plate level) not from the strut head level.
    2 things man which I dont think you read, it is either the strut being loose in the tube or the top strut mount. This is my opinion with your inspection of all other things being correct.

    How about the strut mount? Also I wrote that jamming the brakes at SLOW, REAL SLOW speed will produce a clunk with a bad balljoint.

    Edit: The strut still could be loose even though the collar nut is maxxed.
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005

    Default Real happy !

    Quote Originally Posted by Claude View Post
    i made some other tests on the road, here are the results:

    1) At low speed (forward and reverse) i jam the break, no clunk no nothing, so according to Jeff comment that should confirm that the sway bar links are good and not the clunk source. Running on gravel road with regular but small bumps there is no clinking neither, i need to pass on a goob pot hole or greater step to hear the clunk.

    2) Did some breaking tests first at moderate speed (at 60 km and at 100 km ), no vibration, straigth stops.

    3) I noticed that some time (1 out of 5) there is a wheel vibration at the same time as the clunking noise (on the passenger side, the one where i have the clunk noise) when i do break but in the following conditions: at low speed (below 40 km) and with very light breaking, just touching the break pedal a bit. Seems to be more noticeable when breaking when turning on the left... didn't made enough tests to be completly sure of this one.

    Question always the same, if ball a bad ball joint is the cause of that clunk noise and those low speed vibrations, what's the most probable bad one ? The lower control arm one or the upper trust arm one ?

    Again prying those ball joint when no load on the front of the car, they both seems OK, but noise coming front there and one of those is the culprit... but which one ? For sure changing both control arms amy solve the problem, but i will be better of replacing only the defective one.

    Just a follow up guys. I finally get rid of my front clunk noise by changing the trust arm (upper one and it's bushing) this arm ball joint had a small play, obvious when the trust arm was on the bench but gave no such sign when tested on the car.

    I also had some clunk noise coming from the rear end of the car (both side), same clunk noise that the bad front ball joint's one, the dogbones was the culprit. So with those new dogbones on the rear and this new trust arm FINISH with the clink / clunk

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12

Similar Threads

  1. Help! In ball joint hell
    By 530iBall in forum 5 Series BMW
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 09-30-2007, 03:59 PM
  2. I am in Ball Joint Hell.....need help big time!
    By leicesterboy15 in forum 5 Series BMW
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-13-2007, 02:32 PM
  3. Bottom ball joint
    By gazz200581 in forum 5 Series BMW
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-06-2006, 05:03 PM
  4. Ball joint
    By mamilapon in forum 5 Series BMW
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 07-06-2006, 03:01 AM
  5. ball joint tool?
    By 632 Regal in forum 5 Series BMW
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-08-2006, 08:16 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts