Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
10/30/17 12:50 a.m.

Wreck Racing's driver training E30 has a clunk in the front-right corner.  It clunks whenever you transition from bump-rebound or rebound-bump (ie you change direction on the shock).  The car is a 1991 318i.  The shocks/struts were replaced a few years ago with Bilstein HDs, but other than that the car is stock.

Things I've checked so far, all of which check out okay:

  • Wheel bearings
  • Ball Joint/control arm/control arm bushings
  • Tie rod end
  • Sway bar end link (this was worn out too, but the noise persisted after removal)
  • Strut retaining nut (which I've had make this noise before on my Volvo when it was loose, but this one is tight)

Next suspect is the strut top bearing.  Because it only clunks on changing direction of the shock, I feel like it can't be subframe or control arm related, and has to be strut related.

Anything else we should be looking at?

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
10/30/17 4:11 a.m.

Motor mounts

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
10/30/17 6:58 a.m.

My money is on the rear upper shock mounts. I went through a similar exercise in my car recently.

itsarebuild
itsarebuild Dork
10/30/17 8:05 a.m.

Check the LCA ball joints again. Mine had the same thing but the suspension wouldn't show the worn out ball joint until I disconnected the rear bushing. Geometry held it tight before that.

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
10/30/17 2:28 p.m.

In reply to collinskl1 :

I'm 100% certain it's not the rear end, as you could reproduce the clunk by jumping on the front bumper.  It's pretty clearly from the front end.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
10/30/17 2:46 p.m.

I've had worn ball joints that would only clunk under significant load.

Do you have a set of chassis ears? If you can reproduce the clunk easily at rest, that might help you locate the area.

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
10/31/17 12:43 a.m.

Shock was blown.  Pulled the strut out, and it was covered in shock oil.  While we're in there, we're replacing the control arms, tie rod ends, and top hats.

collinskl1
collinskl1 Reader
10/31/17 6:32 a.m.

Reading comprehension strikes again. Sounds like you found the source!

itsarebuild
itsarebuild Dork
10/31/17 8:11 a.m.

Just so you know BMW recommends that the strut carriages be in an oil bath within the strut tube for cooling. I hope this fixes your issue, but I wouldn't take 'oil on the strut' as a guarantee it was bad. Was it still pressurized?

Matthew Kennedy
Matthew Kennedy Reader
10/31/17 9:00 a.m.

In reply to itsarebuild :

That's...interesting.  The car has Bilstein HDs in it, which shouldn't need the oil as they're both upside down and pressurized.  That said, I'm not sure I trust whoever installed these struts to have cleaned out of the factory oil.

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