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Old 08-24-2012, 01:40 AM
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Clunking sound in steering/suspension

Hi all,
My X('04-3.0-122K miles) has developed a "clunking" sound when I do slow speed turns or while braking as I turn. I changed the ball joints and control arm bushings about a year ago, but now there is a distinct sound coming from the front suspension area now. I can "feel" it in the steering wheel as well when it happens. It feels like something is binding or getting hung up a bit while turning/moving, but then quickly slips, binds up, slips, etc. It produces a "clunk" or knock sound each time it happens. It also seems to do it only on uneven surfaces. Any ideas where to start on the trouble-shoot for the prob? Any help or advice would be appreciated! Thanks


Steve
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  #2  
Old 08-24-2012, 07:15 AM
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Steve,

That clunking sound could be anything. Check the following.

You said you changed the control arm bushings. Did you change both? With what? If it wasn't regular OE,Meyle, lemforder, Powerflex, then they may be shot.

Check the left and right wing supports. Its the "rod with two ball ends" attached to the strut and the sway bar link. If those haven't been replaced, that could be where the clunk is coming from.

Also when the bushings were replaced and everything was tightened, was it rechecked for torque under load?
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Old 08-24-2012, 02:46 PM
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I was surprised at how much what "seems" like insignificant play or wear on a sway bar link transmitted to the driver.
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Old 08-24-2012, 06:53 PM
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Steve,

Keep us posted on where exactly the problem is, cuz I have exactly the same "cluck" sound each time when I turn, mine only happen at left turn.

Thanks,
Lei


Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjetvette97 View Post
Hi all,
My X('04-3.0-122K miles) has developed a "clunking" sound when I do slow speed turns or while braking as I turn. I changed the ball joints and control arm bushings about a year ago, but now there is a distinct sound coming from the front suspension area now. I can "feel" it in the steering wheel as well when it happens. It feels like something is binding or getting hung up a bit while turning/moving, but then quickly slips, binds up, slips, etc. It produces a "clunk" or knock sound each time it happens. It also seems to do it only on uneven surfaces. Any ideas where to start on the trouble-shoot for the prob? Any help or advice would be appreciated! Thanks


Steve
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Old 08-25-2012, 12:55 AM
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Well, add me to the list.

Mine only happens when turning to the right. Absolutely no pop/clunk when turning the wheel to the left.

It's weird...it's almost like it's in the slip ring and something is hanging on the plastic. I think I'm going to jack the vehicle in the air and see if the noise/sensation is still present.
Frankly, I hope it is the sway bar links...that would make the repair very simple and cheap!

FYI, mine is an '02 4.4 Sport with 132k miles.
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Old 08-25-2012, 07:44 PM
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Hi all,
I just returned from my bud's shop, where I drove over the oil change bay and we listened to the noise from underneath. It definitely is in the area under the metal pan(not in either wheel area), mid-way between the wheels, under the engine. I have to return on tues to take off the pan and pinpoint what is up. Might be a steering column issue or something else. It makes the sound when the car wheels are turned, no matter if not moving or moving slowly. It definitely sounds like something is binding up, then releasing under stress. Gotta do some more investigation, but I'll report back here after figuring it out.


Steve
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Old 08-25-2012, 08:19 PM
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Thanks for keeping up posted, Steve. Looking forward to hearing back from ya soon.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackjetvette97 View Post
Hi all,
I just returned from my bud's shop, where I drove over the oil change bay and we listened to the noise from underneath. It definitely is in the area under the metal pan(not in either wheel area), mid-way between the wheels, under the engine. I have to return on tues to take off the pan and pinpoint what is up. Might be a steering column issue or something else. It makes the sound when the car wheels are turned, no matter if not moving or moving slowly. It definitely sounds like something is binding up, then releasing under stress. Gotta do some more investigation, but I'll report back here after figuring it out.


Steve
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  #8  
Old 08-26-2012, 09:50 AM
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RealOEM.com * BMW E53 X5 4.4i STEER.COL.-LOWER JOINT ASSY

I had a similar clunk sound like something was binding whenever I make a left or right turn. No problem/sound when going straight, even on bumps.

I sprayed part #2 steering u-joints with lots of lube (BreakFree) and worked the steering wheel several times. To my surprise...the noise went away and now the steering is smooth and quiet. No more popping/clunking sound.

X has 122K miles on original steering parts.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:40 PM
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Hi all,
MrFixIt, thanks for the info. Funny, your X has the exact same mileage as mine with the clunk sound development! Did you have to take off the metal plate protector(part of suspension) to get to the steering assy? I'm going to have my bud take the plate off at his shop and check everything out underneath there. I will buy some of the "Break Free" before going over there to try as well. I knnow I have to change the bolts on the plate when I remove it, as it is part of the susension, I believe. I'll report back after finding the prob. Thx everyone!

Steve
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Old 08-26-2012, 08:31 PM
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I had a similar problem a clunking sound when turning bmw thought it was the rack but my diligent brother in law a bmw tech found that the bolts on the stiffening plate behind the rack where loose once he tightend those the problem was gone cost 1.50 for blue loctite or bmw solution 2900 for the rack plus labor
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