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Thread: e39 mystery clunk finally solved!!!!

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    2001 540i sport 6spd

    e39 mystery clunk finally solved!!!!



    after new upper and lower control arm bushings, upper control arms, tie rods, sway bar bushings and sway end links i still had a bad clunk return a week after all these new parts were installed. the clunk start only on rough pavement and rumpled asphalt but eventually turned into a nonstop popcorn machine sound


    one day i realized that if i bounced on the fender i could make it clunk. i had my dad push while i crawled under feeling around for a click. feeling the strut bearing, no movement. i expected it to be the thrust arm ball joint as this was the last peice in the front end not yet replaced.
    nope.
    i could feel the click in the sway bar when i put my hand on it! wtf? the sway bar was not making contact with the lower x frame anywhere and my bushings were 2 weeks old. felling around i was able to trace it to the new end links i had just installed. the ball joints were so tight i couldnt even wiggle them.





    the ball joint on the endlinks were good. the problem was that the threaded rod on the upper end was sliding around in the hole where it attached to the strut pinch tube.
    as the supsension goes up it yanks the end link with it pulling on the sway bar up which is attach to the other side making that side of your car compress too helping to keep you squatted lower and flatter in the corners



    you can see the hole where my middle finger is. the hole had become elongated in the up and down direction due to the sway end link slapping around inside. the inside of the hole actually had the thread pattern stamped into it. i dont think this is a case of me not tightening enough because it has a fiber nut. it was making the noise when the old end links were still on. as you can see there is a round area indented around the fiber nut, it appears there are supposed to be a washer there. mine had did not have any when i swapped them out and i never even thought about it but the end links dont have a very large surface area they contact the bracket. it might be wise to align the area where your bicycle wrench would go so the the oval shape is longer up and down . you see in my first pic that this area is positioned kind of diagonal on mine when i took it out.




    i installed washers to give it a larger contact surface area and clamped it down super tight. so far the noise is gone, for now. if the noise returns i will have to replace the mount. as you can see in the last pic the mount is separate from the main axle carrier/strut pinch tube unit and only connected by two bolts. hopefully this is not an expensive part. it is an odd part though so i will prob be forced to buy it from the stealer if needed.




    one more e39 mystery demon slayed

    Last edited by topaz540i; 08-26-2011 at 08:00 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  2. #2
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    1997 BMW 540i 6 speed
    No pics.


    Ed in San Jose '97 540i 6 speed aspensilber over aubergine leather. Build date 3/97. Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA Nr 62319.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    2001 540i sport 6spd
    Hmm they were there half an hour ago.
    ~2001 540i/6speed~
    SPEC stage2+ kevlar clutch, JBR 11lb lightweight flywheel, ESS Tuning m60 manifold software tune, 3" SS freeflow OBX catback, afe cold air intake, m60 intake manifold, Cdv delete, powerflex urethane sway bar bushings, M5 rear sway bar ,Autozone replacement driver side blinker light bulb, 545 short shifter zhp weighted, "dsc off" sticker, m5 3.15 lsd differential, m5 chassis rods, akebono ceramic pads, G2 caliper epoxy, ecs braided lines, BC-Racing br-plus series w/swift springs 8/6
    [IMG][/IMG]


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    just germans
    would like to see pics!
    2001 BMW 540i E39
    Lots of mods and more to come...

    under construcion
    ... http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1204241
    Quote Originally Posted by NoTempoLimit View Post
    so I have "Master's Degree in Tail Happy", with a minor in "spinning out and somehow not hitting anything".

  5. #5
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    ok i got the pics up now. finally fixed my card reader to upload them again
    ~2001 540i/6speed~
    SPEC stage2+ kevlar clutch, JBR 11lb lightweight flywheel, ESS Tuning m60 manifold software tune, 3" SS freeflow OBX catback, afe cold air intake, m60 intake manifold, Cdv delete, powerflex urethane sway bar bushings, M5 rear sway bar ,Autozone replacement driver side blinker light bulb, 545 short shifter zhp weighted, "dsc off" sticker, m5 3.15 lsd differential, m5 chassis rods, akebono ceramic pads, G2 caliper epoxy, ecs braided lines, BC-Racing br-plus series w/swift springs 8/6
    [IMG][/IMG]


  6. #6
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    get this part new
    install links with proper torque
    what you did is a temporary solution
    GL
    Last edited by champaign777; 08-26-2011 at 09:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Probably. Im just glad to have solved it so i know it wouldnt interfere with getting an alignment if i didnt. I thought it might have been a bearing or ball joint. An end link wont affect the settings.
    ~2001 540i/6speed~
    SPEC stage2+ kevlar clutch, JBR 11lb lightweight flywheel, ESS Tuning m60 manifold software tune, 3" SS freeflow OBX catback, afe cold air intake, m60 intake manifold, Cdv delete, powerflex urethane sway bar bushings, M5 rear sway bar ,Autozone replacement driver side blinker light bulb, 545 short shifter zhp weighted, "dsc off" sticker, m5 3.15 lsd differential, m5 chassis rods, akebono ceramic pads, G2 caliper epoxy, ecs braided lines, BC-Racing br-plus series w/swift springs 8/6
    [IMG][/IMG]


  8. #8
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    97 540i/6
    nice coulour.

    "beef will have you keying our cars, heart broke yours dont look like ours..."
    ig:@theaccredited


  9. #9
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    '00 540it, '97 B4 TDI
    Good on ya.

    Refer to these things as a "diagnostic coup"

    Feels good doesn't it?

  10. #10
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    It was driving me nutz and i was dieing to get my new tires installed and 4 wheel alignment on but i couldnt figure out what it was. My luck the part would require re-aligning. Its been raining for the last two weeks here and my rear tires were looking like racing slicks
    ~2001 540i/6speed~
    SPEC stage2+ kevlar clutch, JBR 11lb lightweight flywheel, ESS Tuning m60 manifold software tune, 3" SS freeflow OBX catback, afe cold air intake, m60 intake manifold, Cdv delete, powerflex urethane sway bar bushings, M5 rear sway bar ,Autozone replacement driver side blinker light bulb, 545 short shifter zhp weighted, "dsc off" sticker, m5 3.15 lsd differential, m5 chassis rods, akebono ceramic pads, G2 caliper epoxy, ecs braided lines, BC-Racing br-plus series w/swift springs 8/6
    [IMG][/IMG]


  11. #11
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    98 540iA (Prd 11/97)

    Thumbs up

    Good job on tracking that down.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for sharing! The problem is there is supposed to be an aluminum washer between the endlink and the bracket. If you look on realoem they show it. When you buy new oem end links from the dealer, or from Lemforder, you actually get a new washer for each end, even though realoem only shows it on one end, the end that connects to the bracket, not to the bar. Many aftermarket endlinks like Meyle do NOT come with washers! ( I am curious what brand you bought) It is confusing, and I am not home to check, and forget what my car came with originally...I know when I put on new ones, I matched the washers the way it came off. Did the same on the rear, the washer layout did not match realoem diagram.

    Good luck, get a new bracket, they are cheap...about $15 at the dealer. Please don't call them the "stealer" or that is how they will treat you in return.
    Last edited by f355spider; 08-27-2011 at 12:12 AM.
    2001 540 M-Sport (cdn), ST X (KW) coilovers, H&R 15mm spacers, M5 rear stabilizer bar, M5 rear chassis reinforcements (traction rods), Strong Strut front upper strut bar, Dinan Stage 1 software, factory M-Audio subs, USA Spec Ipod/Iphone intergration, factory bluetooth phone integration, Stop Tech SS brake lines, Akebono Euro Ceramic brake pads

  13. #13
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    1989 325i convertible
    your avatar is disturbing
    I still own an e30, but life has picked up speed and I no longer frequent this forum or own my e39. Thanks for 7 years of help everyone!


  14. #14
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    +1

  15. #15
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    i wanted to bump this beccause this is a great fix for rear 'clunk' noise when going for small bumps. found out i also missed bushings on the rear driver side swaybar endlinks; result is the endlink has play. it wasnt loose enough i can jiggle it but when i removed the endlinks, i can see the endlink already started wearing out the bracket hole from circular to oval. endlink bushings themselves were still fresh and very stiff. hopefully this fixes the issue.
    Last edited by mifesto; 04-25-2012 at 02:57 PM.
    2001 540i 6speed metallic silver

  16. #16
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    Does everyone torque these endlinks with the suspension in "normal" position,

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
    Does everyone torque these endlinks with the suspension in "normal" position,
    if you are referring to certain suspension piece having to be loaded before being torqued, its similiar for sway bar but i dont feel its for the same reason. the other pieces must be torqued with proper weight so it sits properly "at rest". sway bar end links won't even go into the bracket holes if sway bar is loaded, its simple as that. once you put even load weight on a sway bar, the sway bar is not loaded.

    also the top nut of the sway bar end link has integrated rotating nut so that allows sway bar to load/flex/rotate.
    Last edited by mifesto; 04-25-2012 at 03:02 PM.
    2001 540i 6speed metallic silver

  18. #18
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    You are missing washers in the photos which should come if you purchased oem equiv / oem

    Without them you would be causing friction / the answer to any "clunk" sound

    Not sure what brand you purchased but you just waisted time if you installe Chinese made junk

    Let us know

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    it was lemforder endlinks. i dont recall if they had bushings (and i forgot) or never came w/ them.
    2001 540i 6speed metallic silver

  20. #20
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    Hmmm ..... I guess I should also track this clunk noise which comes from front right under moderate to hard braking at relatively low speeds. All the suspension components are original and has never been touched in a long time. I do have certain speed vibrations. Last time I checked for the bushings on the upper and lower arms they didn't look like being cracked but very minute wet patch/leak.



  21. #21
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    yeah it looks like from stock it should have a bushing on BOTH sides of the bracket. you can tell from the wear mark it has from the original bushings.
    2001 540i 6speed metallic silver

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexkid View Post
    You are missing washers in the photos which should come if you purchased oem equiv / oem

    Without them you would be causing friction / the answer to any "clunk" sound

    Not sure what brand you purchased but you just waisted time if you installe Chinese made junk

    Let us know

    chinese junk. oops. lemfoerder
    ~2001 540i/6speed~
    SPEC stage2+ kevlar clutch, JBR 11lb lightweight flywheel, ESS Tuning m60 manifold software tune, 3" SS freeflow OBX catback, afe cold air intake, m60 intake manifold, Cdv delete, powerflex urethane sway bar bushings, M5 rear sway bar ,Autozone replacement driver side blinker light bulb, 545 short shifter zhp weighted, "dsc off" sticker, m5 3.15 lsd differential, m5 chassis rods, akebono ceramic pads, G2 caliper epoxy, ecs braided lines, BC-Racing br-plus series w/swift springs 8/6
    [IMG][/IMG]


  23. #23
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    Topaz,

    There are two broken pic links in your OP.
    Also just to be clear, part #7 and #10 in this diagram correct? The swing support bracket (#7 ) looks to be different than the photo you posted.
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 08-24-2012 at 12:30 PM.

  24. #24
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    Rather than replace the support bracket, drill it out & sleeve it with a piece of steel tubing with the proper ID, or slightly smaller & drill to proper ID.
    "The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By dilligent effort, I learnt to like it." Sir Winston Churchill

  25. #25
    Join Date
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    01 525iT 98 323is
    I must get under the touring and see if this is where my clunk comes from.
    On a side note, i have been secretly keeping an eye out for every topaz blue E39 in NJ hoping to get a glimpse of Schnitzel the Wonder Clown.

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