Clunk, click, clunk, groan

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Mad Max
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Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 13:09

Hey everyone,

I've just got back from my local BMW specialist and even they're stumped with this one. When I pull off, and occasionally on downshifts and low speed, tight corners (either direction) there is a creaking/clunking/clicking sound from the drivers side rear wheel.

The car has been up in the air, diff hanger is fine (phew!), all the suspension bolts are tight, the ARBs are on tight, the half shafts are in tight, both wheels spin the same direction when spun by hand, the hub nut is done up tight... but the noise is still there! It is intermittent noise but it is very disconcerting.

All my specialist can really suggest is that it's either the diff or the half shaft on it's way out.

It's a long shot, but has anyone on here ever had a similar problem? If not which should I replace first, half shaft(s) or LSD?

Cheers everyone.

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Brian H
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Brian H » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 13:17

Are your handbrake shoes OK? The pins that hold back the shoes can come free and allow the shoes to rub against the disc.

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Gazza » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 13:24

Worth checking the doughnut on the propshaft.
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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 14:30

Hey guys,

Thanks for the replies :)

Brian - how do I check these? If I just put the handbrake on and tried to drive away, see if it clicks then? When we were at the garage we had the car up in the air, running. Popped it into first and let it idle whilst pulling the handbrake up and letting it off still produced the clicky noise. It is literally just on take off and slow speed corners though, so would that rule it out?

Gazza - how would I check the donut? Is that at the diff end of the prop shaft..?

:)

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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 15:18

Did you check the rear spring on thae offending side? I've heard of them breaking... alternate:- check the covers over the shocks, as well as the top mounts...and the possibility that the "noise" does happen at higher speeds, but due to road / wind noise, it isn't as apparent. Finally, there is a "counter-weight" bolted inside the rear bumper and from what I have read on the forum, these sometimes come adrift and can cause a knocking noise which annoying. There is reading matter on the above on this forum...and trust me, you're the umpteenth person with a clunk, clonck etc at the rear of the car....it's a favourite and recurring subject.... :wink:
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 15:29

Heya Southernboy, thanks for the response :)

Brand new springs, brand new top mounts, brand new shocks with covers that are fine... I have not heard of this counterweight though... a quick search brought back a thread, but it really sounds and feels more drive-train related.

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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 15:39

You would "feel" it as well as hear it if it was drivetrain...did you check for a broken exhaust rubber "hook"..the figure "8" type things that the system hangs by..?
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 15:49

All still present and doing their job as they should... unfortunately! That'd have been a lovely cheap fix!!

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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 15:56

Check the "counter-weights"...they are located directly behind the rear wheel between the bumper mounting bar and the bumper outer...From what I understand, they have mounts which have a central rubber section with a stud either end and these weights are essentially suspended and can move under normal conditions...if one of the rubber mounts breaks, this will allow it to come into contact with the body...not sure how many mounting points each weight has...I think you can approach them by removing the rear wheel and the wheel arch liner and going in that way to the bumper innards..??
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 16:34

Well I've had a look for them, but I can't see them!

It's hardly definitive, but I'm guessing this is the area to look in:

Image

One thing I did find was a loose bit of wiring loom, where it plugs into the rear numberplate light it had a second plug just dangling around. That'd make a noise, but not the right one. Still, taped 'em up so they won't make any noise in the future!

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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 16:51

Have a look in the Z3 roadster Knowledgebase...I'm fairly certain you will find quite a bit there on the subject.
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Brian H
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Brian H » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 16:53

Mad Max wrote:Brian - how do I check these? If I just put the handbrake on and tried to drive away, see if it clicks then? When we were at the garage we had the car up in the air, running. Popped it into first and let it idle whilst pulling the handbrake up and letting it off still produced the clicky noise. It is literally just on take off and slow speed corners though, so would that rule it out?
If you look at the inside of rear brake area from the underside of the car at about 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock you should see the retaining pins popped through the protection plate (these hold the handbrake shoes in place), I you cannot see them or are still unsure it is the rear disc off to check.

Pic below shows position of the pins to look for (pic below is from the inside of the protection plate).

Image
Last edited by Brian H on Sat 03 Aug, 2013 17:01, edited 1 time in total.

DAVE P
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by DAVE P » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 17:01

There are no counter weights fitted to the M Coupe only the roadsters :head:

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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 17:08

Brian - Spot on! I'll be checking that all tomorrow morning with a mate for backup. Thanks for the pic, that's perfect.

Southernboy - Worth checking out the KB anyways, there's a load of good articles in there! Couldn't find one on the counterweight, but...

Dave - D'oh! Ah well, it was fun lying on the garage floor for a bit, hehe! I don't think I've ever been as familiar with the underside of any car I have ever owned as I am with this one!

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 17:10

:oops: ...that possibly explains the elusiveness encountered trying to find them...
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sat 03 Aug, 2013 17:13

Southernboy wrote::oops: ...that possibly explains the elusiveness encountered trying to find them...
No worries matey, I appreciate the help anyways :)

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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 13:02

Well the calliper was more than a little reluctant to move, she'd need to go up on ramps and get a bigger breaker bar than we had available this morning to get it off I'm afraid.

Still, it all looks fine, the pins are still poking out of the back as they should.

Damn!

Del
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Del » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 13:50

I had a similar issue when I renewed my rear shocks in February this year as the old ones were very tired and soft. After doing so, when I cornered to the right or went around a roundabout, I had quite a loud repetitive “clink, clink, clink” noise from the rear right-hand side. The noise hadn’t been there before changing the shocks. It also happened occasionally when going over bumps at any speed but this was very much intermittent

I posted a query on this forum and had some similar suggestions i.e. something loose in the handbrake or something fell into the drum whilst changing the shocks etc. As I had an aftermarket stainless steel exhaust fitted last year I was also concerned that it might be touching somewhere.

After three months I still hadn’t identified the problem and it was getting gradually worse. All I could see underneath was that the rubber bushes in the left-side drop-link looked a bit perished – but otherwise it was intact and had passed an MOT.

In May I took the decision to take the ARB off and renewed the mounting bushes, drop-links and the 4 rusty 13mm locking collar nuts holding it all on the car. Problem completely solved!! :)

All I can think is that stiffer, new suspension must put tired drop-links under strain. The ARB passes quite closely over the top of the drive-shafts and I suspect that there might be slight contact on certain movements of the suspension and car under-body. I have been having a PM exchange recently with another forum member who had similar “mystery” issues and who is now suspecting the drop-links.

On the picture of the rear suspension in your progress thread, the drop-links don’t look obviously new. Also, probably a dumb observation but is the upper coil spring pad incorrectly placed on the bottom? I thought on the E36 range that the pad with the long protrusion normally went at the top? :rtm:

http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... 32&t=38329

You’ve had professionals involved and they may well be right – please take this as just another forum suggestion into the melting-pot.

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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 14:14

Hummmmn, good spot there Del - it does appear that the spring pads are in upside-down, they need swapping around!

Image

vs:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do ... g=33&fg=45

Still, unfortunately that couldn't account for the noise as it still made the noise the other day when we had her up in the air on ramps whilst running :S

I was gonna swap the drop links for new ones, but again as it made the noise whilst in he air I can't see them being the problem either :( Though actually it would still load the rear suspension up a little when applying power, even when there's no weight on the suspension... I just don't know!

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pingu
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by pingu » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 14:20

Check with the car in the air, but with the car's weight on the wheels.

Bounce the car from underneath and listen for knocks, etc. Also, rock it back and forth.

If you test with the wheels in the air, the suspension is fully loaded - you want it to be unloaded when you test it.
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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 14:37

Heya Pingu,

Cheers for the input... how would I have her up in the air and be able to rock her around? Even on ramp that wouldn't really be safe.

Unfortunately I'm thinking it's something to do with the drive train... which includes the most expensive failures..! :(

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pingu
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by pingu » Sun 04 Aug, 2013 19:29

[quote="Mad Max]Even on ramp that wouldn't really be safe.[/quote]

It's how I do it.

Re drive train. Gain access to the front of the propshaft and rock it while the wheels are on the ramps. You will be able to see play (or hear noise) in the propshaft, the diff and halfshafts.

Do the above in neutral, then do it in gear - that will test the gearbox.

Do the test with the handbrake applied lightly and you may hear noise in the mechanism.
Pingu

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Del » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 17:53

Didn't realise you'd tested the car with wheels raised and suspension static. Quick, broad brush input from me:-

- does sound like drivetrain issue.

- hopefully not diff or gearbox as they would tend to either whine when driving along and/or exhibit (for gearbox) problems engaging certain gear(s).

- universal joints tend to cause vibration at certain speeds.

- Common BMW cause for "clunking" on acceleration is an issue in the prop-shaft - typically the central support bearing in the middle and/or the rubber "connector doughnut" at the end (see Gazza's suggestion above). Damage to the latter is obvious visible cracking or shredding.

best of luck

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pingu
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by pingu » Mon 05 Aug, 2013 18:23

Del wrote:Didn't realise you'd tested the car with wheels raised and suspension static. Quick, broad brush input from me:-

- does sound like drivetrain issue.

- hopefully not diff or gearbox as they would tend to either whine when driving along and/or exhibit (for gearbox) problems engaging certain gear(s).

- universal joints tend to cause vibration at certain speeds.

- Common BMW cause for "clunking" on acceleration is an issue in the prop-shaft - typically the central support bearing in the middle and/or the rubber "connector doughnut" at the end (see Gazza's suggestion above). Damage to the latter is obvious visible cracking or shredding.

best of luck
You should test everything with it in the normal running position if possible.
Pingu

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Mad Max
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Tue 06 Aug, 2013 10:19

Del - Cheers for the thoughts. I'd agree that it's most likely a drivetrain issue... There are no whines once in motion, I've been listening out for them. There's no vibrations and there's no issues engaging gears. Doughnut sounds like the next one to check... but that doesn't fit with the location of the noise! :s

Pingu - that all sounds good, I've got the lads over on Thursday night so that'll be a good time to get her jacked up and have a good fiddle around again.

Thanks again for all your help and patience guys... As long as I've owned a BMW I don't think I've ever had an issue that's not diagnosable by a garage before and I really appreciate your inputs and experience.

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Kornknarr » Wed 07 Aug, 2013 14:52

Maybe you have ruled out the vibration dampers. They only occur on the roadsters. This is what they look like. They can swing quite freely from left to right stopped by two rubber stops. There are people who have reported that the rubber in the mount have deteriorated and the weight therefore started to made sounds.

I removed them and notice no difference whatsoever in the handling of the car. They are supposed to be vibration dampers, probably have something to do with movements in the chassis, cowl shake or something similar. I don't recommend removing them but it is interesting to try to see what they do.. They weigh around 7 kg each so they are quite heavy.

Here are two pictures one of one of the weights and one of the car without them. They rear bumper is very simple to remove.

Image

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Mad Max » Wed 07 Aug, 2013 21:53

Nope, I definitely don't have those...

That second pic looks awesome! :)

On it you can see the spare light plug that just dangles down inside the back bumper. I tied that up with a little bit of tape the other day when I was taking the pics of inside the bumper. I mused that it might be for the US spec cars with twin numberplate lights, but then I remembered that they'd be mounted on the boot, not the bumper... so I'm still puzzled as to what that's for.

Update on the noise - it's still there and still very annoying and it even had me looking at Z4 Coupe's last night! Don't worry, I've sat myself down and had a little word with myself. Me and the MC are just going through a bad patch right now, we'll get through it..!!

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by BladeRunner919 » Thu 08 Aug, 2013 08:39

Mad Max wrote: On it you can see the spare light plug that just dangles down inside the back bumper. I tied that up with a little bit of tape the other day when I was taking the pics of inside the bumper. I mused that it might be for the US spec cars with twin numberplate lights, but then I remembered that they'd be mounted on the boot, not the bumper... so I'm still puzzled as to what that's for.
Non-///M cars have the numberplate in the bumper, not on the boot. I guess the same loom is used on all the cars and just attached as and where needed.

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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Flight » Sat 10 May, 2014 09:31

Hi Everyone.
Reading through clunk click groan posts. I would like to flag up my own problem. I am happy with my 3.0i except for an under floor knock especially on 1st / 2nd gear changes, and the cause of this knock is not apparent. I am in the happy position of having a four post car lift, and have examined all the bushes and moving parts etc. I have had the wheels turning whilst on the lift and applied the brakes no knock, I have dropped the clutch suddenly which caused the rear of the diff to rise and touch the boot floor, but this was extreme abuse, and I can't believe this would happen in general driving. All the spot welds are intact. In essence, nothing is wrong with the car but still it knocks on low speed gear changes. I honestly don't think I have a bush problem. My next thoughts are transmission wind up, if the clutch is pressed ahead of releasing the accelerator pedal a knock free change can be made but this causes a rapid rise in revs. The car has a fly by wire accelerator which possibly has too much free movement before the engine speeds rises, and consequently a delay in rev reduction on release. Has anyone got the answer to this knocking problem? I intend to replace the prop shaft rubber donut, and check out the centre bearing. I would be grateful for any info which might be available.
best wishes
Flight

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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 10 May, 2014 10:31

......... It all comes back to me now.... I had a similar click click clunk noise on my 2.8.... it turned out to be the rear univerasl joint on the propshaft. OEM universal joints are "sealed" units. ie. they can't be disassembled like some which have a circlip on each of the 4 points. These joints wear, and in doing so, they don't rotate accurately with the result that the little pin rollers inside the joint begin to break down and catch on each other... ie. they have too much room to move in their housings. I had a temp solution done which lasted about 6 months... some propshaft guy used a hammer and punch to smack some well positioned punch marks on the periphery of each of the 4 points... ultimately it got worse... was intermittent, and happened mostly during and after a corner.... this may be as a result of the differing wheel turn speeds through a corner.
Anyhow, I replaced the propshat - OEM & expensive !! but it sorted the problem.
There are specialist drive line guys who will open up the OEM universals, and machine the parts, re-pack them and turn them into the circlip type fixing system... it's cheaper than a new propshaft, but will require the shaft to be re-balanced, and advisedly the replacement of the "doughnut"...
The only way to check the unversal joints is by removing the propshaft and checking for stiffnes in the joints and / or play in the housing of the "+" parts where they fit into their sockets.

Another clicky clunky issue I had.....
One other place to look are the inner side shaft CV joints. They are housed inside rubber boots with an OEM metal clip to hold it in place... removing those clips will break them, but a decent cable tie is as good a substitute as the metal clip... anyhow, those CV joints are emersed in greas, and it does happen that over time the grease dries and hardens, resulting in a noisy clicking sound. You can remove the larger of the 2 clips on the rubber boot, insert a nozzle of a grease gun filled with CV joint grease and pump in not more than 10 repeats of the pump. Then re-seal with a good strong cable tie around the rubber boot ensuring it is in it's correct position. You may as well do both sides whilst you're under there...

The drive shafts on these cars are indestructible !! I have a mate who races e36's and his motor is hugely more powerful than OEM... he has never personally or amongst the race fraternity encountered anyone ever breaking or destroying a drive shaft.

My bet is the universal joints on the propshaft.... you may choose to find a spare from a scrappy, which is in good condition vs buying a brand new part...
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Southernboy
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Southernboy » Sat 10 May, 2014 10:33

...... PS.... 99.9% of the time it's the rear universal... just in front of the diff... :wink:
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Re: Clunk, click, clunk, groan

Post by Flight » Mon 12 May, 2014 10:29

Hi All
Further to my posts regarding my under floor noise, my car has been examined by several knowledgeable people, bushes have been levered, the car has been abused by releasing the clutch suddenly whilst the brakes were on, and no noise could be heard. I am convinced now it must be in the drive train. Bearing in mind this noise only occurs whilst changing from 1st to 2nd gear, perhaps the dual mass flywheel has a problem catering for the engine speed/propshaft speed differential.
Has any one experienced this?
Cheers
Flight

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