Frank 6/24/2010Check the upper strut mount adapters/bushings. If these are worn or damaged, you will get all kinds of noises, even if you have new struts. This is one of the items that gets overlooked when changing out the struts. They don't go bad often, but when they do, they are noisy and you will get clunks and grinds because the mount is loose in its mount. Check the adapters by removing the covers on the fender under the hood and do a bounce check. If the strut moves in the mount bracket, you have found your problem. I am presuming your problem is in the front. If it is in the rear, you may have to get vehicle on a rack and have it lifted so you can use a prybar to move the strut to check for movement. Good Luck!
TomM 6/24/2010Hi Corey,
I saw you question so I decided to reply.
I also have a 1997 740i 197,000 miles.
I do all of my own work so i am somewhat familiar with this front end
Have you examined and or replaced the sway bar bushings and links.
Often these bushings look good but allow the sway bar to move around and make nois on rough roads.
Was the rattle and popping existting before you changed the strut, and other items. I assume most likely. if not you may have disturbed something or one of your replacement parts could be bad.
Popping sounds can also come from loose tie rod ends especially while turning or braking.
From exprience i have found more than one issue may be making the dfferent souinds you hear,