1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

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rishabhb
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1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:42 pm

As the title states, i have clunking coming from front right side only when going over bumps and potholes. I have got under and checked and all looks pretty tight except the inner and outer tie rods have slight play. Same amount of play is noticed on the front left side but no clunk from there. Before i throw parts at it, i wanted to to hear your thoughts on it.

My hunch is that wheel bearings would not clunk but whine, but i could be wrong there.
Upon pressing down on suspension no clunk is noticed. It only happens when driving.

Happy to hear your thoughts.

canada karl
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by canada karl » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:48 pm

Check the ball joint on the inner tie on the right side at the idler. The ball joint may be loose because it slipped out of the "taper" it sits in. I just had this issue on another car. Bad thing was there was a lock nut on the ball joint stem and the stem moved with the nut when I tried to take it off. Had to dremel the damn nut off. When you install the new ball joint tighten a regular nut to push the ball joint into the taper. Once it's tight you can always replace the regular nut with a lock nut.
1976 530i. BMW 59 Triumph TR3A(rolling resto). 67 Triumph TR4A(salvageable). 86 900S Winter car

PatinaBeforePolish
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by PatinaBeforePolish » Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:58 pm

Blown out strut insert or strut mount bearing. Bad struts would make your car noticeably porpoise. It's likely the strut bearing if they're the original ones. They seem to be pretty stout on e12s but eventually the rubber deteriorates or the bearings seals go and the clunking starts. You should feel worn tie rod ends in steering play and see abnormal tire wear. I'd replace them for sure even with a little play.
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528i-1981
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by 528i-1981 » Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:08 pm

Just a note that if you need to replace your strut mounts, the E12 front strut mount (part no. 31331101663) is identical to Part 31331106060 for the 2.5CS-3.0 CSL (04/1971 — 11/1975) and the 2500-3.3Li (08/1968 — 02/1977) with the exception of the length of the locator bolts. The 6060 part is much cheaper ($109 vs $309 each). If you order from Mesa Performance, Jim will include the shorter locator bolts matching the E12.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Fri Mar 20, 2020 11:30 pm

Thanks for all the pointers. I am replacing the tie rod ends anyway as they look worn and have a little bit of play. If that doesn't do it i will get Part 31331106060 from mesa perf. Will keep you posted here.

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:31 pm

Tie rods did not do it.
Strut bearing is what i will do next. Is Mesa Perf the best place to get it. Any other places that will ship to Canada?

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:34 pm

Is there a DIY to tackle the strut bearings? I searched here but did not find one, neither could i see one in the tech section. While i am there what else should i replace?

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Sat Mar 21, 2020 9:29 pm

What's strage is that everything in the front end feel tight. No excessive play, clunks only when going over bumpy roads, on smooth surfaces: nothing.
Never had a strut mount fail on me so not sure of its symptoms.

I have a 27mm 45 degree wrench, will that be enough to loosen that nut on the mount?

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528i-1981
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by 528i-1981 » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:19 am

My strut mounts were replaced while replacing the strut inserts, so the springs were compressed. Recently while having some rust repair done on the wheel house, my body man unbolted the strut mount bolts from the strut tower while the car was on a lift and the strut lowered enough to clear the strut tower without compressing the springs. Maybe somebody else has replaced the strut mounts without compressing the springs?

Jim at Mesa hooked us up with this info, so it's nice to send the business to him. But if for whatever reason you buy them from somewhere else, you can still use the longer mounting studs. I did this so I can mount a strut brace in the future, and will cut them off with a rotary tool afterward. Or just leave them long, they're not a total eyesore or anything.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:09 pm

If i hear carefully, it seems to be coming from the center area of the car.
When the car hits a pothole, it seems to start in the passenger lower area and radiate to center of the car and at times the driver side. I feel a little rock in the steering as well. The struts are relatively new, they were from a 528i parts car which had them installed new. The whole assembly was replaced and no springs were compressed.

I also have road force balanced the wheels and i get some vibration when taking a mild corner at speed. I am going to look at the sway bar end links and mounts to rule them out first.

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maybeillbuyit
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by maybeillbuyit » Sun Mar 22, 2020 3:18 pm

528i-1981 wrote:
Fri Mar 20, 2020 7:08 pm
Just a note that if you need to replace your strut mounts, the E12 front strut mount (part no. 31331101663) is identical to Part 31331106060 for the 2.5CS-3.0 CSL (04/1971 — 11/1975) and the 2500-3.3Li (08/1968 — 02/1977) with the exception of the length of the locator bolts. The 6060 part is much cheaper ($109 vs $309 each). If you order from Mesa Performance, Jim will include the shorter locator bolts matching the E12.
great info Eric. Thx for posting. I'm sure I'll forget again unfortunately. :D
1977 530i another project
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1987 635csi

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:47 am

I did some more checking under the car.

The car has some really thick sway bars, i measured them and its a 24mm sway bar.
I then proceeded to take the end links out and pull on the sway bar. It had lots of play and it hit the frame when pulled down.

I then had someone pull on them while i sat in the cockpit to hear, it resembled what i was hearing going over small bumps and potholes.

I am going to change those bushings and links as they are cheaper items to tackle.

Now, since they are the thicker sway bars does anyone know where i can get those bushings from?
Thinking about these:

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-superpro-pa ... 8424k~spr/

They look stock, looks like early E24s come with thicker sway bars or maybe they are from a M535i?

PatinaBeforePolish
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by PatinaBeforePolish » Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:01 am

rishabhb wrote:
Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:47 am
I did some more checking under the car.

The car has some really thick sway bars, i measured them and its a 24mm sway bar.

I don't have my car handy to check but RealOEM lists the diameter as 23mm. Seems to me upgrades are 27mm. Others?

I then proceeded to take the end links out and pull on the sway bar. It had lots of play and it hit the frame when pulled down.

You'll likely need to partially lower the subframe in order to remove the sway bar and replace the bushings. Having a safety net such as a jack or stand to support the subframe assembly if it falls is mandatory. I use an engine support bar from Harbor Freight.

https://www.harborfreight.com/1000-lb-c ... upport+bar


I then had someone pull on them while i sat in the cockpit to hear, it resembled what i was hearing going over small bumps and potholes.

I am going to change those bushings and links as they are cheaper items to tackle.

Now is the time to replace the strut mounts and tie rod ends as you'll need to detach the sway bar links and tie rod ends in order to push the strut assembly down far enough to clear the fender lip.

Now, since they are the thicker sway bars does anyone know where i can get those bushings from?
Thinking about these:

I've had good results from this supplier:

https://www.energysuspensionparts.com/u ... 8424k~spr/

They look stock, looks like early E24s come with thicker sway bars or maybe they are from a M535i?
78 F150
79 528i
81 528i parts car
01 540i
86 944
08 X3 don’t judge me it’s there to preserve the others

rishabhb
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:01 am

Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:06 pm

Lower the subframe for bushings sounds a lot of work.

I have done bushings onthe rear end of e30 and e36 before and i simply just unbolted the subframe mount and they came out. Maybe fronts are more involved.

I think they are 24mm, i measure the circumference of the sway bar and it was 3 inches.

rishabhb
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Re: 1975 BMW 530i - Clunking Noise from Front Right

Post by rishabhb » Mon Mar 23, 2020 2:15 pm

https://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showpa ... Id=31_0026

According to this; if i remove the mount and end links it should come out and on install i just need to jack under the tires to install the links. No?

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