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Thread: Rear end rumble/vibration source

  1. #1
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    Rear end rumble/vibration source

    Hey there,

    I have a rear end rumble/vibration. The r/v happens only when slightly applying the throttle. It seems to be loudest at 4k rpms. Audible at 3k rpms and barely detectable at 2k rpms. I am trying to pull a list of things to check out. So far, I have ruled out loose brake dust shield, unbalanced tires, loose items in trunk.

    Any other ideas?

    TIA,

    scoon

  2. #2
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    Noise happens when you're in gear as well? How many miles and auto or manual?

  3. #3
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    I can only get it to happen when I am in gear.

  4. #4
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    When's the last time you had your differential fluid checked?

  5. #5
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    Hey there,

    Just had it changed in November. It was done by a BMW shop.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
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    I have a car in shop doing same thing - I found the diff mount bushing in rear was completely torn - going to start with that...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NCJunglist View Post
    I have a car in shop doing same thing - I found the diff mount bushing in rear was completely torn - going to start with that...
    Hey there,

    I'll double check that. I do have the shifting thud, but didn't notice that it was that bad. How many hours are you getting billed for that job?

    Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Here is a parts list for that job.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the input. I have driven it more and more and the r/v never really changes. It is very easy to produce it. The more I drive it, the more it seems to be coming from the rear passenger wheel. I also had a buddy drive and get the r/v and he also thought that it sounded like it was coming from the same place.

    What would be some things to check here? I am thinking it could be something with that caliper, even thought the dust shield is tight, I'll dig into that little deeper. Would a blown strut or strut mount give this r/v at such a specific point in the throttle? I have even checked and re-checked the battery for tightness. A hub or wheel bearing could be a culprit, but how does one go about checking them?

    I am not interested in chucking parts at the noise until it goes away. If anything, I'll do just the opposite -- wait and see if the noise changes or moves from it's suspect area. I am hoping that with a little more digging, something obvious will show.

    Thanks again.

  10. #10
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    *bump*

  11. #11
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    How about the diff guibo (flex disc)?

    by Dane Wilson, on Flickr

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by danewilson77 View Post
    How about the diff guibo (flex disc)?
    Hey there,

    I have looked at it and it looks good to me. I thought another sign of a bad FD would be that the car is difficult to put in gear. Mine shifts nice and easy.

    Thanks for the input.

    Skip

  13. #13
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    *bump* to keep this going.

  14. #14
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    I vote for the wheel bearing. Those things going bad will make everything from grinding to a squeaking to a humming noise and everything in between. If it is the bearing, it will gradually keep getting worse and will obvious where its coming from.
    Test by seeing if it stops making the noise when you make a sweeping turn to the right.

  15. #15
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    One important thing you left out was does it increase with vehicle speed.

    I know it increases with engine RPM but what about vehivle speed. That will give you a better idea of what's going on and how much we will be able to help you.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    One important thing you left out was does it increase with vehicle speed.

    I know it increases with engine RPM but what about vehivle speed. That will give you a better idea of what's going on and how much we will be able to help you.
    Hey there,

    I just drove 100 miles and it seems to be the most evident in 3rd and 4th gear. It is noticeable at 3k rpm and very light throttle pressure in either gear. With a little more throttle the r/v goes away and then comes back at 4k rpms with very light throttle pressure. Being able to drive for a longer time this evening, I thought that if the wheel bearing was going bad that the center of the wheel would be hotter than the other three. That just wasn't the case. In fact, I got to listen so much tonight that I now think I hear something also in the drive line. Honestly though, I am thinking about this a bit much and am just trying to find the noise and move on. The noise still sounds like it is coming from the right rear.

    Does this explanation help any more.

    Thanks in advance.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    Hey there,

    I just drove 100 miles and it seems to be the most evident in 3rd and 4th gear. It is noticeable at 3k rpm and very light throttle pressure in either gear. With a little more throttle the r/v goes away and then comes back at 4k rpms with very light throttle pressure. Being able to drive for a longer time this evening, I thought that if the wheel bearing was going bad that the center of the wheel would be hotter than the other three. That just wasn't the case. In fact, I got to listen so much tonight that I now think I hear something also in the drive line. Honestly though, I am thinking about this a bit much and am just trying to find the noise and move on. The noise still sounds like it is coming from the right rear.

    Does this explanation help any more.

    Thanks in advance.
    Still didn't give me vehicle speeds just engine RPM, but from what I can gather it's most likely your CSB (center support bearing) from the driveshaft, flex disc, or universal join on the driveshaft. It's never something outlandish like a wheel hotter then others. It's usually something more simple. Don't overthink it.

    My vote is flex disc as it happens at higher speeds and it's a common problem.

    Another thing that I highly doubt but you seem to be insistant that it's from the right rear is your axle may be bad but I doubt that. Vibrations can be weird as they travel through areas of the car.

    If it was the wheel bearing it wouldn't make more noise with accel load, only side load or cornering. It's not a wheel bearing unless it makes noise when you load a particular side. Example, it's comming from right rear, take a left corner hard. If the noise increases it's a wheels bearing.

    Since this issue happens on accel load, it more point to something is out of balance or not true. It goes away at a certain RPM because it harmonically balances itself almost like an out of balance tire that comes and goes.

    As a general rule:

    Vibrations are from the driveline ie driveshaft (but could also be an unbalance tire)

    Growls are wheel bearings

    Growls under accel load will usually lead you to a rear end problem as the more you load the gears the worse the noise becomes.

    Inspect the flex disc more and look at the yoke on the driveshaft universal joint. Also try to pull the driveshaft, if it move up and down or side to side it's probably a CSB. If the yoke has side to side play it's the universal joint. If the flex disc is cracked that's what it is.

    Also to check to see if an axle is bad try to move it up and down. It will and has to have side to side play but if there is any play up and down that is also bad. But unless a boot is torn that is not the issue.
    Last edited by 1988 325ix; 05-07-2011 at 01:00 AM.
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  18. #18
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    Not to hijack Scoon's thread, but I've got the same problem on my 2003 325XI. At about 20-25 mph, under a decent load, I get a vibrations coming from, what feels like, the drivers side rear wheel. It goes away around 30 mph and doesn't do anything else until I stop and accelerate back through 20-25 mph. My front control arms/bushings were shot, so I replaced those, hoping it would help, but it still does the same thing. I also got an alignment, but that did nothing, also.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    Still didn't give me vehicle speeds just engine RPM, but from what I can gather it's most likely your CSB (center support bearing) from the driveshaft, flex disc, or universal join on the driveshaft. It's never something outlandish like a wheel hotter then others. It's usually something more simple. Don't overthink it.

    My vote is flex disc as it happens at higher speeds and it's a common problem.

    Another thing that I highly doubt but you seem to be insistant that it's from the right rear is your axle may be bad but I doubt that. Vibrations can be weird as they travel through areas of the car.

    If it was the wheel bearing it wouldn't make more noise with accel load, only side load or cornering. It's not a wheel bearing unless it makes noise when you load a particular side. Example, it's coming from right rear, take a left corner hard. If the noise increases it's a wheels bearing.

    Since this issue happens on accel load, it more point to something is out of balance or not true. It goes away at a certain RPM because it harmonically balances itself almost like an out of balance tire that comes and goes.

    As a general rule:

    Vibrations are from the driveline ie driveshaft (but could also be an unbalance tire)

    Growls are wheel bearings

    Growls under accel load will usually lead you to a rear end problem as the more you load the gears the worse the noise becomes.

    Inspect the flex disc more and look at the yoke on the driveshaft universal joint. Also try to pull the driveshaft, if it move up and down or side to side it's probably a CSB. If the yoke has side to side play it's the universal joint. If the flex disc is cracked that's what it is.

    Also to check to see if an axle is bad try to move it up and down. It will and has to have side to side play but if there is any play up and down that is also bad. But unless a boot is torn that is not the issue.
    Hey there,

    Thanks for the response. On my trip home, I'll take note of the speeds and post. I keep giving rpm's because they don't seem to vary. For example, the r/v is quite noticeable in third at 3k and then again at 4k, just like in 4th gear. I should also mention, that I can't get the r/v to happen unless I am driving. I have tried those rpm's and higher and lower ones at stand still and no rumble or vibration happens. When I get back, I'll take another look at the flex disc and double check the csb.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate the response.
    Last edited by scoon; 05-07-2011 at 01:13 AM.

  20. #20
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    Hey there,

    Driving back, the same r/v was around but only when the throttle was slightly applied. For speeds, in 3rd between 35 and 40mph and at 3k rpms. In 4th, between 45 and 50 mph and around 3k rpms is the worse. To me, it still seems more interesting the rpms. The speed is just what the speed is for me at those rpms. I will mention that I had a new trans put in the car back in january but I have already had it back at the shop for a quick double check that everything is as it should be. All is well there.

    The more I drive, the more and more it sounds as if it is coming from the right rear. I think at this point, I will need to pull the wheel off and really look for a broken spring or something else loose or broken.

    1988325ix, the noise does not seem to get louder with engine speed. What would that point to if if did?

    Any other input will be greatly appreciated.

    scoon

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    Hey there,

    Driving back, the same r/v was around but only when the throttle was slightly applied. For speeds, in 3rd between 35 and 40mph and at 3k rpms. In 4th, between 45 and 50 mph and around 3k rpms is the worse. To me, it still seems more interesting the rpms. The speed is just what the speed is for me at those rpms. I will mention that I had a new trans put in the car back in january but I have already had it back at the shop for a quick double check that everything is as it should be. All is well there.

    The more I drive, the more and more it sounds as if it is coming from the right rear. I think at this point, I will need to pull the wheel off and really look for a broken spring or something else loose or broken.

    1988325ix, the noise does not seem to get louder with engine speed. What would that point to if if did?

    Any other input will be greatly appreciated.

    scoon
    If the noise does not seem to get louder with engine speed then don't worry about what may or may not be if that could be the case. Narrow down our possibilities.

    You mention the tranny was replaced, have you checked tranny mounts? If it has to do with certain gears and RPM's in the gears check how the tranny is sitting.

    Did you try the hard cornering I told you about to see if it's a wheel bearing? Evidence seems to be pointing away from that now anyways but still a shot.

    It seems to happen @ 3K RPMs which leads me to think a driveline failure. Do this, find your 1-1 ration gear. Most cars it's 4th, idk what it is on the bmw. For the most part it is when the RPM's match the vehicle speed. So lets just say cruising along in your 1-1 ratio gear @ 3K RPMs which means the driveshaft is spinning at 3K. If the vibration is there drop it a gear and maintain same speed. If the vibration goes away its a CSB, flex disc or universal joint in the drivehsaft
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    If the noise does not seem to get louder with engine speed then don't worry about what may or may not be if that could be the case. Narrow down our possibilities.

    You mention the tranny was replaced, have you checked tranny mounts? If it has to do with certain gears and RPM's in the gears check how the tranny is sitting.

    Did you try the hard cornering I told you about to see if it's a wheel bearing? Evidence seems to be pointing away from that now anyways but still a shot.

    It seems to happen @ 3K RPMs which leads me to think a driveline failure. Do this, find your 1-1 ration gear. Most cars it's 4th, idk what it is on the bmw. For the most part it is when the RPM's match the vehicle speed. So lets just say cruising along in your 1-1 ratio gear @ 3K RPMs which means the driveshaft is spinning at 3K. If the vibration is there drop it a gear and maintain same speed. If the vibration goes away its a CSB, flex disc or universal joint in the drivehsaft

    Hey there,

    Thank you for the input. I'd still like to know what speed could be indicative of. Let me make certain I understand what you are saying.... Get the car in 4th and at 3k rpms, at this point I'll be going about 45 or 50 mph. Drop to 3rd and maintain speed. I'll try it, but I can tell you what will happen -- the rpm's will shoot way up and I'll need to dig deeper in the throttle to keep that speed. The r/v will go away because it is only present during slight throttle use and goes away with a little more throttle. I will try this on my way into work tomorrow and post back.

    Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it.

    scoon

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by scoon View Post
    Hey there,

    Thank you for the input. I'd still like to know what speed could be indicative of. Let me make certain I understand what you are saying.... Get the car in 4th and at 3k rpms, at this point I'll be going about 45 or 50 mph. Drop to 3rd and maintain speed. I'll try it, but I can tell you what will happen -- the rpm's will shoot way up and I'll need to dig deeper in the throttle to keep that speed. The r/v will go away because it is only present during slight throttle use and goes away with a little more throttle. I will try this on my way into work tomorrow and post back.

    Thanks again for your input, I really appreciate it.

    scoon
    OK lots of questions to answer and as lol.

    1. idk what the 1-1 gear is, usually whatever gear the RPMs match vehicle speed (dials are on the same plane or angle, parallel to eachother) I may be wrong on this information though. Look up gear ratios of your car.

    2. When you're in your 1-1 gear make the car have the vibration, then downshift. If the vibration goes away it has to do with an item I told you in my previous post. If not, well we will cross that bridge when we get there.

    3. So if the r/v present under no load or only under slight load? Usually a vibration will get worse the heavier it's loaded ie more throttle.

    4. This entire process may be getting over thought. Easiest thing to really do is pull off a wheel and see what's going on if you really think it's from that corner.

    5. Once again if the problem isn't with vehicle speed but more on the lines of gear choice and engine RPM it's most likely driveline. I still really think it's a guibo (flex disc) starting to go bad. How many miles are on your car?


    It's really hard to diagnose a car without driving it haha.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    OK lots of questions to answer and as lol.

    1. idk what the 1-1 gear is, usually whatever gear the RPMs match vehicle speed (dials are on the same plane or angle, parallel to eachother) I may be wrong on this information though. Look up gear ratios of your car.
    I can shake the google and find out.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    2. When you're in your 1-1 gear make the car have the vibration, then downshift. If the vibration goes away it has to do with an item I told you in my previous post. If not, well we will cross that bridge when we get there.
    I am certain that it will go away because I'll need to dig deeper in the throttle. I'll try this on my way into the office this morning.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    3. So if the r/v present under no load or only under slight load? Usually a vibration will get worse the heavier it's loaded ie more throttle.

    Only under very slight load.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    4. This entire process may be getting over thought. Easiest thing to really do is pull off a wheel and see what's going on if you really think it's from that corner.
    I've wondered that as well. Admittedly, I am hyper-sensitive to noises in the car now because dropping a new trans into wasn't in my plan for the car and cost more than I wanted it to.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    5. Once again if the problem isn't with vehicle speed but more on the lines of gear choice and engine RPM it's most likely driveline. I still really think it's a guibo (flex disc) starting to go bad. How many miles are on your car?
    I have 82k on it. It is a manual. The shop that put the new transmission in are very thorough. They checked the flex and csb while everything was out and really felt that they were all right. They would not have hesitated to call and recommend replacements for those items.


    Quote Originally Posted by 1988 325ix View Post
    It's really hard to diagnose a car without driving it haha.
    Ha, yeah it is. This is why I really appreciate the suggestions.

  25. #25
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    Ok sorry to steal your thunder(and good luck with your problem. I hope you figure it out soon)

    But I have the same issue on my 87 325i and im going to be replacing my Guibo/csb. and (directed to 1988 325ix) is it hard to replace these? As someone who works on cars but never dabbled with it before?

    Like I said sorry for stealing your thunder lol

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