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benztech08 3/20/2010
2005 BMW 325i Base 6 Cyl 2.5L - Steering & Suspension
What is makeing the "clunk" noise from the front right under the car?
I have been a mechanic for only about 2 years and have been putting off fixing my own car. This is just one of a few things that need fixing. But first I have to figure out what is making the noise. It started about 5000 miles ago, maybe 4 or 5 months. When it started it wasn't as loud, could hear from the front but could not tell if left or right, was more of a "pop", and only happened when entering or exiting a driveway at just the right angle. As it got worse, sometimes it would make the noise when braking hard, or taking a turn a little faster than normal. Now, it is a much louder "clunk" type noise and happens almost everytime I make a left hand turn, especially if I accelerate through the turn. It may be important to know that September of 2009 the front right was damaged in an accident and the tie-rod was replaced. The bushing on the rear of the lower control arm has signs of leaking. The ball joint boot is NOT torn.
2 Answers
  • benztech08
    benztech08 3/30/2010
    There must be very few people on this website. No thanks to anyone who answers questions on this website, I managed to figure out the noise on my own. In case you were wondering, it is coming from the ball joint on the lower control arm. Not the one that connects the steering knuckle to the control arm. The one that connects the lower control arm to what I think is the subframe. You can't replace just the joint. The whole control arm has to be replaced. Thats to bad. Since it is only a noise and physically there is nothing wrong, I am going to do what all good mechanics do and leave it alone.
  • Steven
    Steven 4/1/2010
    I too have a noise that I believe is the LBJ, but you should know that the LBJ can be replaced separately from the control arm. You'll need some special tools and perhaps a press to R&R the LBJ at home, or you can replace the entire lower arm with a new LBJ pre-installed. Since this is a labor-intensive job, you should only use top quality replacement parts. (What good is a warranty if the part fails and you have to pat for labor a 2nd time?).

    What you should not do is ignore the problem. The noise is from excessive play between the ball and the socket (like a person's shoulder joint) will only worsen with time. If failure occurs (where the ball separates from the socket) the the tire/wheel will immediately move away from the suspension, causing a suddenly causing a change in steering geometry and direction. This is something you'll want to avoid...

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