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CoreyH ... 6/24/2010

1997 BMW 740iL Base 8 Cyl 4.4L

Steering & Suspension

Front end noise driving crazy

Replaced struts , barking strut, and lower control arms but still have a heavy rattle when driving down bumpy roads. Also hear dull popping noise when braking and turning at low speeds. What could be making the noises?

2 Answers


Frank 6/24/2010

Check 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!


CoreyHardenburg 6/29/2010

Frank, thanks for the suggestion...I had the struts installed with the low bidder so maybe he did not change the mounts. it seems that the noise was less and has gotten worse over time. I will check them asap. If needed are they hard to change in my own garage? Thanks again!


TomM 6/24/2010

Hi 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,

Good luck.

Tom M


CoreyHardenburg 6/29/2010

Tom Thanks for your suggestion, if I recall the noise was less after changing the struts ( i had a shop do it for $600 parts and labor) but has steadily gotten worse and it has been about 11 months since the struts. This car has 220,000 so a lot could be loose. Is it a hard job to change out the sway bar bushings? I am going to check the upper strut mounts as well...maybe the guy did not replace them and they have loosened? Thanks again!

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