This was originally a PM conversation, but I thought I'd expose it in case anyone can benefit from it . .
Originally Posted by Dudesky
Paul, this is a great help, thanks a million! I have this clunking noise coming from somewhere underneath, and I'm figuring it's either the thrust arm bushings or worn brake caliper guide pins/bushings. There's no telltale vibrations at 50-60mph tho. I really have to get under there and figure this out, but right now I'm still mesmerized by the car . .
Originally Posted by dinan540
When I had the clunking noise it was driving at parking lot speeds and turning the steering wheel. It turned out that I needed to replace the upper and lower control arms. Mike Miller from tech talk in BMW Roundel and Bimmer magazine said with any e39 suspension parts, "if it has play throw it away." When I had the clunking, I could never replicate the noise when I was underneath it. I ended up going to an Indy Mechanic and he diagnosed the problem. I didn't need to replace both sides, but thought that preventive maintenance was smart with the e39. If you need to do the control arms, I would recommend buying the entire arm with the bushing pressed in, replace both sides, check out the sway bar brackets, sway bar bushings, tie rods and end links. They all wear on the e39, especially the V8 e39s. After I did those parts, picked up some M5 sway bars and had an alignment, the car was totally different . .
Yea, I know what you mean, it's so hard to diagnose . . some things can only be replicated when the suspension is unweighted, or if the chassis is flexed a certain way. This E39 suspension is far more complicated than my old E36! However my issue turned out to be quite minor- I just discovered the problem is the right front sway bar link, worn to crap. Luckily, they cost next to nothing and only a few minutes to replace
did this clunk start after or before buying the car? i know its probably completely coincidental, but i hate it when you buy a car, its perfect, and just like a friggin week later something goes wrong!
Originally Posted by c1apton
I keep forgetting that - I have a great memory but it doesn't last long
^^^It was there when I bought the car, but I also figured it wasn't gonna be a major issue, just couldn't diagnose exactly what it was at the time. All I knew was that I wasn't gonna find any other 5'er in as great a condition as this one, so I took it, clunking and all. I'm planning to replace a few suspension parts before winter comes anyway, just for peace of mind . . preventative maintenance FTW