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Old 02-01-2011, 10:13 PM
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Front suspension "clunk" during turns (.wav file) - wheel bearing?

I currently have a "clunk" comming from the front suspension on my 2004 X5 with 64,000 miles. The level of noise it makes is not consistent, but when it's loud you can feel it in the floor board through your feet.
Driving straight ahead, going over bumps, hitting potholes or using the brakes does NOT lead to the "clunk". Making turns is where you often hear multiple clunks. It is not consistent - sometimes zero, sometimes one, sometimes two clunks. Left or right turns. Occasionally when changing direction, forward to reverse (after the car has sat in the garage) I can get one clunk.

I'm leaning towards SIB 31 01 05, Front Wheel Bearing Noise for E53 X5's produced up to January 2005. Here's why...
Left outboard CV joint rubber gater replaced at 45k miles (CV joint looked good, despite torn boot)
Right outboard CV joint rubber gater replaced at 58k miles (CV joint was good, repair before complete boot failure)
Front tension arm bushings replaced at 61k miles (these bushings when worn make a different noise, repeatable upon breaking)

Using the search tool I found the following past threads...
Wheel Bearing Clunk: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...ise-again.html
Wheel Bearing Replacement: http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...ny-advice.html

I tried the test procedure in the SIB, but when I am stationary and make 3 revolutions with the steering wheel, the clunks occur about mid-way through the revolutions. I make the last revolution or so, then accelerate quickly in reverse, but no more clunks. The clunks I do hear are not as loud as those heard while driving, and there are more of them. To me, it does sound like metal sliding.

(recordings taken with Blackberry phone, tires are on packed snow)
Steering revolutions Wave File 1: http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/r...ng%20Revs1.wav
Steering revolutions Wave File 2: http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/r...ng%20Revs2.wav

Your thoughts?

=============================
So here's a picture of the front suspension and front axle from TIS:




Here is a picture of the backside of the swivel bearing:


I assume there is a lip on the back side of the swivel bearing which limits the inward travel of the wheel bearing?
There is a snap ring on the front side to limit outward movement. So the play in between these two parts is what allows the wheel bearing outer cage to slide and make this clunk per the SIB?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2011, 10:39 PM
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I'm gonna say this, I don't know, but that WAV file sound does not sound like suspension or a bearing. From what I've read and experienced they all pop or slop. That sound like splines slipping. I would think one of your CV's is slipping in the splines (or not in) or the front drive shaft is slipping.

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...sfer-case.html

I would think you could remove the front drive shaft and take it for a drive. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. but I would try it.
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Old 02-02-2011, 01:40 PM
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Mine had a cv boot replaced Oct 09 and by Feb 10 driveshaft knocking. Sounds pretty much the same as that.
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:55 PM
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I can't tell what is going on with the sound there, too much background noise. I have a clunk which is most noticeable when backing out of my garage and turning the wheel all the way. Every time I take it in for a real problem I mention this. They always say they found the cause and changed this or that out, but it's always there the next day. Doesn't do it every time. I've seen multiple threads blaming everything from body trim rubbing to a known issue with air bubbles in the power steering. They have changed boots, hubs, arms, etc. and it's still there. Mine is post Jan '05 production.

Scott
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Old 02-02-2011, 06:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLW View Post
I'm gonna say this, I don't know, but that WAV file sound does not sound like suspension or a bearing. From what I've read and experienced they all pop or slop. That sound like splines slipping. I would think one of your CV's is slipping in the splines (or not in) or the front drive shaft is slipping.
Wouldn't an outer bearing cage sliding in its bore make a similar sound? This is what the SIB indicates can happen.
I do agree the .WAV files sound like splines slipping, but with the vehicle stationary I wouldn't expect any rotation within the front diff or transfer case.
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:20 PM
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Control arms?

Did you check the control arms for wear? You should put your car on a rack and check the suspension... I had a similar issue in two different BMWs; 540i/6 and X5 4.4. My suspension would pop and when making turns at parking lot speeds and over speed bumps... sounded horrible and pedestrians would turn to see what was making that horrible noise.... I understand it is a common BMW failure at +/- 90k.
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Old 02-02-2011, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gixxerboy63 View Post
Did you check the control arms for wear?
Same issue on my 2005 X5 4.4 last year (low mileage though...maybe 30k miles). Pop sound that could be felt through the steering wheel when backing up and turning. Diagnosed as play in the upper control arm. Replacing it fixed the problem.
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Old 02-03-2011, 12:33 AM
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I had this issue as well.

I was thinking all kinds of things like Control Arm Bushings, Drop links, Wheel bearing etc.

Here is what happened. And my Mechanic and I are bot still shaking our heads.

The car had really worn out Pirelli tires on it. We went out of town for 8 days and when I came back all 4 corners had deflated. It was in low rider mode. I tossed the new tires in the back, drove to the shop, mounted the tires and came home. Not a single sound since. The prevailing thought is that the full deflation of the shocks lined them all up again. Apparently there is a cone type deal inside the shock that can be out of align. I have no idea just posting what the speculation is.

Personally I think it is garden Gnomes
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:13 AM
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im agreeing with phil47 and gixxerboy63 about the noise youre hearing from the front end . im experiencing the same noise right now and iknow exactly where its coming from.From the worn out bushings . Just to cover all the bases i am going to replace the lower, upper, control arms bushings ,ball joints,sway bar links,using powerflex bushings to restore the quality ride i use to have when it was new..FYI you can purchase the control arms and all the other stuff @ bimmerworld .They can press the polyurethane bushings into the control arms for $10. ea.
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:19 AM
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I've experienced similar issues on 3 separate X5's...i can tell you that your root issue could possibly be what has already been mentioned and possibly not. You're better off having a dealer perform a thorough diagnosis to drill down on the actual cause.
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