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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 80K miles, I brought my car in to replace the usual sway link clunking. After replacing it, the clunking is 90% gone, but I now find the center link to clunk.

I've had to replace my sway link on my 528i at around the same mileage, but I've never had a problem with the center link.

Has anyone ever had a center link to go bad at 80K miles?
 

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This was done on my 02 at around 60k along with both tierods. Done by previous owner at the dealer so I don't know the story.
 

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mine had about 108k when i replaced all 3 tie rods, the car feels lovely once they have been changed though, steering is nice and tight. i also did both front wheel bearings as one was noisy
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Pretty normal to fail at mileages like these....
Don't know; I came in with a bad FR stabilizer link that clunked when I pull a right turn over a curb. I left the shop with different problems. Now my FL stabilizer link has a fresh tear on the seal and my FR clunks when I pull a left turn over a curb and my suspension whines when I bump my tires up to a curb in a parking spot.
 

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hi guys
i got the annoying noise from front after car gets hot and driven 30min or so, park for 15min and it goes away till gets hot again etc you guys call it clunking, i would say "rattle" myself, but whatever- tap the brake pedal and it makes it worse, ive read all the threads about tie rods centre link and thrust arms,but
had front steering and suspension checked 3 times by 2 diff mechanics, the only movement noise they can get out of anything is the steering idler arm to body bush- so i have ordered one, will go in next week- if it fixes the noise will let you know.
cheers
has 56k miles (89k km)
 

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Pretty normal to fail at mileages like these....
+1

When mine started to squeal I just replaced the whole drive-shaft. Not much cash ($1200 or so) and you get a new flex disc/guibo, and all the other bits that may fail over the next 20K miles.

GL
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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update on front end rattle or clunking-

replaced steering idler arm bush- that fixed it 75%- now i think the centre link and or ite rods are the culprit for residual noise.

but what gets me is i get whole front end checked and they say its not much wear and should all be ok.
 

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guy I bought my 5 off had pretty much the same experience had the steering idler replaced and this cure most of the noise, but I now find I get this creaking/knocking noise after a good run, you don't notice it as speed but driving slower its noticeable. They didnt find any wear in other places either. But researching on here seems to point to the tie rods and centre link.
 

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guy I bought my 5 off had pretty much the same experience had the steering idler replaced and this cure most of the noise, but I now find I get this creaking/knocking noise after a good run, you don't notice it as speed but driving slower its noticeable. They didnt find any wear in other places either. But researching on here seems to point to the tie rods and centre link.
and it will cost us $400 odd bucks to find out for sure!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Bad Lower Control Arm

I waited until the problem got worse so that it's easier to identify the loose part. It turns out I have a loose ball on the lower control arm.

The first shop told me nothing was wrong and then they later said it was the center link. The second shop said nothing was wrong. The third shop said nothing was wrong and then later said it was a worn shock. Unbelievable.
 

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My tie rod went around the 105-108k mile mark and I replaced them last weekend. I felt play in the RF wheel doing Inspection II. I replaced both left and right outer tie rods and the center link in one shot. I bought the idler arm bushing, but failed to buy the BMW press parts to remove the old one. The bushing looked good so I left it for now. I was able to do the job with two different width pickle forks. Removing the pitman arm is more difficult due to the location. You really need a long fork or ideally the BMW pitman arm puller. It's a tight fit and a random pitman arm puller from Advance was too big. You will need an allen to hold the ball end while turning the nut. I believe the nut is 18mm on my replacement parts.

I got my parts from Pelican. They were the cheapest and TRW is actually the OEM. The parts I pulled off are marked TRW and the packaging and finish of the new parts was excellent. I was very happy to have saved about half the cost vs. BMW boxed items.
 
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I also replaced the center link and tie rods at about 125K with OEM TRW. I replaced the idler arm bushings and thrust arm bushings for good measure. I inspected the control arm ball joints and reused them for now. If they ever go, I'll replace with Lemforder.

Now I just need to replace the 130K struts with the Koni yellows sitting in my garage. Maybe next weekend...
 

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I also replaced the center link and tie rods at about 125K with OEM TRW. I replaced the idler arm bushings and thrust arm bushings for good measure. I inspected the control arm ball joints and reused them for now. If they ever go, I'll replace with Lemforder.

Now I just need to replace the 130K struts with the Koni yellows sitting in my garage. Maybe next weekend...
How long did it take you to pull the thrust arms and replace them? I saw my bushings are shot and I'm trying to find time to do them.
 

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I have 67K miles on my 2002 and I do not have any clunks, squeeks or any other noises/sounds.

All I have is "wandering" steering which gets worse or better depending on the road surface. I also have a 1"-1.5" "play" in the steering wheel.

Does this sound like the usual Center link issue?
 

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I have 67K miles on my 2002 and I do not have any clunks, squeeks or any other noises/sounds.

All I have is "wandering" steering which gets worse or better depending on the road surface. I also have a 1"-1.5" "play" in the steering wheel.

Does this sound like the usual Center link issue?
Could be a number of things. Worn center link ball joints (there are 4), one or two bad tie rods, play in the steering box. Are your front tires wearing evenly? I'm in the midst of a complete front end job (3 tie rods, 4 control arms, all hydraulics). Front left outboard center tie rod ball joint was shot. The balljoint connecting the pitman arm to the link was shot. Front left wishbone ball joint moves freely in any direction with little more than a pinky, and has radial play. Before tearing it down, I could BARELY exhibit the play in the tie rods, and could not for the life of me create any play in the control arm ball joint. Driving the car, however, it was very obvious there were worn parts. Wandering, self-steering, jitters over bumps.
 
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