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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > The suspension clunking, clicking, rattling, banging noise fix thread.



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      09-21-2012, 07:17 PM   #1
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The suspension clunking, clicking, rattling, banging noise fix thread.

Over the years I've seen plenty of threads about people complaining about suspension clunks, clicks, rattles, bangs, and however else you can describe these noises. The threads are all over the place and it's simply hard to pinpoint and search for the fixes.

I thought a thread that combines the solutions for specific noises would be helpful. We can all try and describe the noises as best we can, and how we effectively FIXED the problem. To keep this thread clean, let's try not to just post questions in this thread, but just post solutions. Over time the thread will become a useful resource and may be a worthwhile sticky. Feel free to post links to individual posts or threads that have solutions.

I'll start:

Symptom: Clicking noise when the wheels go over speed bumps. The front suspension clicks when I go over speed bumps slowly. I can barely hear the clicks when hitting bumps in the road (maybe because the road noise overcomes it). Even when the rear wheels go over the speed bumps, I can hear the noise as it "twists" the car and the loads cause some clicking noises. There are no noises when I turn or take corners, only over bumps.

Solution: The front sway bar endlink was loose. One side of the endlink connects to the sway bar, and the other side connects to the shock on the front of the E9x. The nut that holds the endlink to the shock was loose on mine, about 1.5 turns. I removed the nut, added a drop of blue loctite, and torqued it back down. The clicking is now gone.

Notes: This was on an adjustable endlink from Hotchkis (I have Hotchkis swaybars front and rear). I ended up checking all the other nuts and added a tiny bit of loctite to prevent them from coming loose again.
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      09-21-2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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some of the common issues:

loose top nut - symptoms include clunking sound over bumps. solution, re tighten top nut with car on ground and suspension loaded.

strut guide lower washer (tapered) installed upside down - symptoms include steering that sticks and doesn't center properly, and/or makes noise when turning. solution is to remove front strut guide and flip the washer over, then reinstall.
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      09-24-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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Awesome! Now I'll give whoever props if you tell me how to get to the drain bolt on the PS unit from the bottom of the car....My car has AS.

As of now, I figured the only way to loosen the PS drain bolt is from the top, under the hood. It looks like I have to remove the CP possibly for more room to work.....
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      09-25-2012, 02:23 AM   #4
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Got one more I forgot to post. The problem is a really obvious banging sound from the trunk when going over bumps and making turns. It is not subtle at all and sounds like something is definitely smashing around in the trunk. It comes from the upper rear shock mount, and if you have fold down back seats, you can hear it very distinctly if you fold one seat down and listen for it.

The problem is that the rear shock mount may not be properly seated inside the hole of the body of the car. It is part #6 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...63&hg=33&fg=45

The nipple that faces up, fits into a hole in the sheet metal of the car. If the nipple doesn't sit in there properly (during installation, or it gets worn and breaks), then the actual metal part of the shock bangs against the sheet metal itself. To fix, replace that part and ensure that it is properly mounted.

Original thread where a few members had this problem:
www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168304
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      09-26-2012, 07:49 AM   #5
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Great thread, Brian!
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      10-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #6
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Good thread. Great idea. Helpful.
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      02-16-2013, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
some of the common issues:

loose top nut - symptoms include clunking sound over bumps. solution, re tighten top nut with car on ground and suspension loaded.

strut guide lower washer (tapered) installed upside down - symptoms include steering that sticks and doesn't center properly, and/or makes noise when turning. solution is to remove front strut guide and flip the washer over, then reinstall.
The 19MM nut that is on the top of the strut was the cause of my issue. It had loosened itself to the point where I could move it with my finger.
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      05-06-2015, 08:26 AM   #8
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      07-20-2016, 10:57 AM   #9
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Hello everybody,

Here is a solution (and not a question) for a clunking noise that developed on my car's front end: it was the swaybar endlinks.

How to recognize this noise ? First, it is extremely annoying It appears over rough pavement and small bumps, and seems to be "out of sync" with the suspension movement. Like something is loosely moving around there. The noise appears a fraction of a second after the "thump" made by the suspension when going over a bump.

After I installed the Koni Sport shocks and Eibach springs and swaybars together with M3 front parts, the front end of the car developed a clunking noise after a few months.

Thinking that the swaybar endlinks are new and couldn't be the issue, I first replaced the swaybar bushings. No luck. Then I replaced the front strut mounts (which were the original ones at 60.000 miles). No luck either.

It turns out that the swaybar links are rapidly destroyed by this setup. I have replaced them with the same brand (Lemforder) as they are quite cheap, but if they break again shortly I will try some TRWs or other, reinforced alternatives. The Lemforder ones are really very flimsy.

Hope this helps someone.
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      07-21-2016, 09:54 AM   #10
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I recently got Airlift V2 air ride and everything was riding pretty smoothly. Last week I started to develop a clunk in the front right. I have checked the end links which were tight and looked okay and also the top now was tight. No idea what else it could be.
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      07-24-2016, 06:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmuum3 View Post
I recently got Airlift V2 air ride and everything was riding pretty smoothly. Last week I started to develop a clunk in the front right. I have checked the end links which were tight and looked okay and also the top now was tight. No idea what else it could be.
Did you reuse the front strut mounts? I made that mistake and now I have a clunking noise that is likely from strut mounts that have 103k mi on them.
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      11-09-2016, 07:57 PM   #12
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I have a pretty loud popping noise coming from the driver front side. it seems like it only happens when the suspension decompresses.
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      12-02-2016, 09:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlevrone View Post
Hello everybody,

Here is a solution (and not a question) for a clunking noise that developed on my car's front end: it was the swaybar endlinks.

How to recognize this noise ? First, it is extremely annoying It appears over rough pavement and small bumps, and seems to be "out of sync" with the suspension movement. Like something is loosely moving around there. The noise appears a fraction of a second after the "thump" made by the suspension when going over a bump.

After I installed the Koni Sport shocks and Eibach springs and swaybars together with M3 front parts, the front end of the car developed a clunking noise after a few months.

Thinking that the swaybar endlinks are new and couldn't be the issue, I first replaced the swaybar bushings. No luck. Then I replaced the front strut mounts (which were the original ones at 60.000 miles). No luck either.

It turns out that the swaybar links are rapidly destroyed by this setup. I have replaced them with the same brand (Lemforder) as they are quite cheap, but if they break again shortly I will try some TRWs or other, reinforced alternatives. The Lemforder ones are really very flimsy.

Hope this helps someone.
Thanks Kevin Levrone. Your appearance at the Mr Olympia definitely inspired me

I have the exact same set up as you with Koni Yellows and Eibach Pro kit and am on Febi Bilstein OE sway bar end links. The first few weeks on it the ride quality was great but nowadays its feeling a bit more loose and I have a strong feeling the links are getting destroyed rapidly. What other alternatives would be better?
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      12-02-2016, 02:01 PM   #14
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Awesome thread! Subscribed
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      12-09-2016, 09:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE7EN335 View Post
Thanks Kevin Levrone. Your appearance at the Mr Olympia definitely inspired me

I have the exact same set up as you with Koni Yellows and Eibach Pro kit and am on Febi Bilstein OE sway bar end links. The first few weeks on it the ride quality was great but nowadays its feeling a bit more loose and I have a strong feeling the links are getting destroyed rapidly. What other alternatives would be better?
Well, my "alternative" was to replace the Koni Sports with my former Bilstein B12 setup which luckily I did not sell. Much more compliant and bearable ride with the B12.

But before this, I replaced the endlinks with Meyle HD, and they have much beefier bushings, they surely outlast Lemforder. They lasted until now with no problems (I used them for 1.5 months with the Konis but then I replaced the shocks because they were just too stiff on compression - too rough over bumps).
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      12-09-2016, 10:57 AM   #16
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I had a similar noise, ended up being the front strut mounts. They were absolutely destroyed and were compressed 10mm lower than the new replacements.
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      12-10-2016, 06:13 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlevrone View Post
Well, my "alternative" was to replace the Koni Sports with my former Bilstein B12 setup which luckily I did not sell. Much more compliant and bearable ride with the B12.

But before this, I replaced the endlinks with Meyle HD, and they have much beefier bushings, they surely outlast Lemforder. They lasted until now with no problems (I used them for 1.5 months with the Konis but then I replaced the shocks because they were just too stiff on compression - too rough over bumps).
Ah sweet as! I thought Koni yellows gave a smoother ride than Bilstein B12 (Bilstein b8s with lowering springs). Since Bilsteins are a monotube design and Konis are a twin tube design?
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      12-17-2016, 08:16 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE7EN335 View Post
Ah sweet as! I thought Koni yellows gave a smoother ride than Bilstein B12 (Bilstein b8s with lowering springs). Since Bilsteins are a monotube design and Konis are a twin tube design?
The construction type would (probably) matter if their valve settings would be similar, but in this case, difference in valve settings far outweighs design. The Koni Sport is set much stiffer on compression than the Bilstein B8, or at least this is my impression. The Koni Sport could probably be successfully used on a track, while the Bilstein B12 is set like a 20% stiffer M-Sport suspension.
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      12-18-2016, 05:37 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinlevrone View Post
The construction type would (probably) matter if their valve settings would be similar, but in this case, difference in valve settings far outweighs design. The Koni Sport is set much stiffer on compression than the Bilstein B8, or at least this is my impression. The Koni Sport could probably be successfully used on a track, while the Bilstein B12 is set like a 20% stiffer M-Sport suspension.
Ah ok. I have to say my friend's 135i Bilstein B8 shocks paired with H&R sport springs and Hotckis adjustable sway bar end links feels much rougher over bumps than the Koni Yellows with eibach pro kit on Febi Bilstein sway bar end links. My Koni yellows are dialled at 1/4 turn from full soft on rear and 3/4 turn from full soft on front and they ride much better than my friend's Bilstein b8 shocks with H&R sport springs. Now that my sway bar end links are worn out and clunking again, it feels the same roughness as the Bilstein b8. And I assumed it was because of the shock design and how the konis can be adjustable on rebound which gives the comfort factor. And his Bilsteins are newer than mine. His one has about 5k kms on them and mine has about 18k kms on them. But I also must say the B16 coilovers from Bilstein feel much better over bumps than the Koni Yellows and eibach pro kit.
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      03-10-2017, 12:56 PM   #20
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I had Bilstein B12, new front and rear top mounts, and M3 upper and lower front control arms installed about 200 miles ago, followed by an alignment. All seemed well.

About 100 miles ago I had a new water pump and thermostat fitted. Now, with lots of steering input at parking speeds, you can hear a creak/crack/pop sort of noise from the front.

Any ideas what this could be?
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      03-12-2017, 08:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sleepysnake View Post
I had Bilstein B12, new front and rear top mounts, and M3 upper and lower front control arms installed about 200 miles ago, followed by an alignment. All seemed well.

About 100 miles ago I had a new water pump and thermostat fitted. Now, with lots of steering input at parking speeds, you can hear a creak/crack/pop sort of noise from the front.

Any ideas what this could be?
From what I have read the sway bar end links are the problem. When you lower the car about 1" in the front for example, the OEM swaybar links are too short in the front and are under a lot more stress, so the bushings are shot.

The only way to counter act this is to get adjustable swaybar end links front and back. Remember, your rear is lowered too.

I am in the same boat. I have a set of hotchkiss end links coming and will be putting them on when I do a much larger project in a couple weeks.
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      03-16-2017, 09:21 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowbow View Post
Got one more I forgot to post. The problem is a really obvious banging sound from the trunk when going over bumps and making turns. It is not subtle at all and sounds like something is definitely smashing around in the trunk. It comes from the upper rear shock mount, and if you have fold down back seats, you can hear it very distinctly if you fold one seat down and listen for it.

The problem is that the rear shock mount may not be properly seated inside the hole of the body of the car. It is part #6 in this diagram:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...63&hg=33&fg=45

The nipple that faces up, fits into a hole in the sheet metal of the car. If the nipple doesn't sit in there properly (during installation, or it gets worn and breaks), then the actual metal part of the shock bangs against the sheet metal itself. To fix, replace that part and ensure that it is properly mounted.

Original thread where a few members had this problem:
www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168304
In my case, that nipple disintegrated over a pothole and the shock extended fully upward - remnants of mounts and all. It was literally rattling around in the wheel well, and on compression would allow the rear tire to toe just a bit to make for some very white knuckle highway driving.

Super easy fix. Shocks are easy to replace on this car.
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