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Old 01-16-2004, 05:37 PM   #1
E36pilot
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UH OH!!!! rear end?

Ok a little background here. I have purchased my first E36 M3 back in August. It had 60,000 miles on it with a warrannnty good until 80,000. This issue started about 6 weeks ago and is loder than ever now. When I pull off of a stop I get a one time thump noise, also when I shift gears as well. I noticed it also occurs when I take corners too. At first I thought maybe it was the sound of bad stuts, but now it seems to interact more with my releasing of the clutch. Loose rear end? Driveshaft? am I totally off? Anyone have anything remotely close to this sound? thanks in advance!
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:06 PM   #2
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I don't know if this apllies to e36's also, but I have the same problem with my e30, and it also makes the thump when braking and pushing the clutch in.

There was a thread a while back about some others having this problem, and what it came down to was the flex coupling on the drive shaft that needed replacing. I am planning on replacing mine soon, and hopefully it fixes the problem. I suppose it could also be the transmission mounts, and/or the subframe bushings, however, I replaced both of these on mine and it did not fix the problem. Hope this helps.
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Old 01-16-2004, 06:41 PM   #3
E36pilot
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HUH, well I am sorry to say, but I'm glad that someone else can relate. I will look at the clamp and see whats up.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:10 PM   #4
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yeah apparently its a pretty cheap part, like $40 or something like that....and its just a disc that bolts in made of a hard rubber I believe. I checked the service manual on it, and there is no specified change interval, but it does say that it can wear out over time, with road grit and the tourque of the engine, so its a good possibility that it's the problem.
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Old 01-16-2004, 07:42 PM   #5
Jattdee328
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motor or tranny mount is my best bet.
take it in and find out.
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Old 01-16-2004, 08:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jattdee328
motor or tranny mount is my best bet.
take it in and find out.
I second that.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:37 PM   #7
E36pilot
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It may be a tranny mount, however the noise clearly comes from the back of the car.......the trunk if you will. This is why I initially thought it might be bad struts. So maybe this piece lies at the end of the drive shaft, the rear universal joint or perhaps the differential input flange. I picked up a 3 series service manual from Barnes & Noble, here is what it had to say:

Symptom = Noise on/off throttle or when engaging clutch.

Probable cause = Final drive components worn, or driveshaft mounting flanges out of round or damaged.

Probable cause # 2 = Drive axle or CV joint faulty.

Probable cause # 3 = Sliding coupling siezed.

Last edited by E36pilot; 01-16-2004 at 09:44 PM.
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:45 PM   #8
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Man to top it off I have to replace my thermostat this weekend as well. I was hoping this ride wasn't going to require alot of maintenance......BMW doesn't = Porsche
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by E36pilot
Man to top it off I have to replace my thermostat this weekend as well. I was hoping this ride wasn't going to require alot of maintenance......BMW doesn't = Porsche
Thermostat is an easy job to do,basic tools needed.If you wanna save money start doing these small jobs by yourself.
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Old 01-16-2004, 11:36 PM   #10
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Yeah I am, in fact these are the first and hopefully last for awhile repairs that I will do on a German car. I have worked alot on American and Jap cars......never a Bimmer tho. I dunno if the warrannty will cover it, I will do all simple repairs myself anyway.
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:09 AM   #11
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Check your sub-frame (differential carrier mounts), you could have a cracked rear sub-frame.

When your carrier mounts are cracked the thud noise you actually hear is the differential hitting against your chassis. It's most noticeable when you're changing gears. This is usually a result of improper shifting techniques or just plain abuse.

Hoist your car up and get a mechanic to check it out immediately. Driving around with a cracked rear sub-frame is very dangerous. Avoid highway driving until you comfirmed the problem is not the rear sub-frame.

Just a note 1991-1993 E36 models had weaker rear sub-frames and it was actually a common problem that they cracked. Usually a $600-$800 job depending on the shop. M3's have stronger reinforced sub-frames. However, because of the power cracked M3 rear sub-frames are also quite a common problem.

This is the sub-frame, the only thing holding your differential and your wheels to the rest of the chassis. This is NOT the sub-frame bushings.

Bryan
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:33 AM   #12
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What the hell? This sounds like BS to me, I mean if it's a common problem then perhaps they should address it. I didn't pay 22K for a piece of s**t. Geez my import was rated for 140 HP, I boosted it for an additional 80HP and NEVER any issues with drivetrain etc. This weekend I'll take a look, can you tell me this, if it is in fact a rear sub frame then would this persist or should I say evolve over time or all at once? My issue seemed quiet and became louder as time goes on. Thanks a million you guys for all this help, man my stomach is turning now. I'll be honest, if this piece costs me 1K to fix on top of my thermostat and other piss ant issues....this bitch is goin up 4 sale!!!!!!! My German experience will be over, I didn't get this car to become a mechanic, fix odds n inns sure, but not welding sub frames etc....what the hell. I do hope this is not my issue.
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Old 01-17-2004, 03:45 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by E36pilot
What the hell? This sounds like BS to me, I mean if it's a common problem then perhaps they should address it. I didn't pay 22K for a piece of s**t. Geez my import was rated for 140 HP, I boosted it for an additional 80HP and NEVER any issues with drivetrain etc. This weekend I'll take a look, can you tell me this, if it is in fact a rear sub frame then would this persist or should I say evolve over time or all at once? My issue seemed quiet and became louder as time goes on. Thanks a million you guys for all this help, man my stomach is turning now. I'll be honest, if this piece costs me 1K to fix on top of my thermostat and other piss ant issues....this bitch is goin up 4 sale!!!!!!! My German experience will be over, I didn't get this car to become a mechanic, fix odds n inns sure, but not welding sub frames etc....what the hell. I do hope this is not my issue.
BMW was aware of the problem. Many '92 E36's have had this problem come up. At 12+ years how can BMW still be responsible for any wear or damages on the car? 2 years ago my 1992 318i had a rear sub-frame failure, it costs $650 for me to have it repaired. This happened to 2 other people I know with 325's, and even 1 person I knew with a '96 328! In the states I've read on many message boards that even the M3 has rear sub-frame failures due to hard driving or improper shifting. BMW simply cannot recall this problem, it would put them out of business.

Anyways, this problem builds up over time. At first it's just a small thud sometimes when you shift, later it gets more obvious as you start to hear it on almost every shift, when you depress the clutch and release as well. When it's really bad it's loud and you can feel the "thud" on your body like something is hitting against the bottom of your car. When the sub-frame cracks there is nothing else holding your differential to the rest of the chassis except for 3 bolts. If this isn't the problem, great! If it is, I'm warning people to make them worry, this is a serious problem and if ignored could cause a serious accident resulting in death.

This problem is usually caused by improper launching techniques. Avoid dumping the clutch and high revving when launching your car, try to slip the clutch. Anything that puts a lot of pressure on the sub-frame will cause cracks or damage. Very common in E36's which are tracked. Although it's rare to see sub-frame failures on newer E36's, it's not unheard of. If you drive your car hard you should suspect this as a possible outcome.

Good luck, and please post your findings,

Bryan
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Last edited by Autotechnica; 01-17-2004 at 03:52 AM.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:32 AM   #14
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Well I'll tell ya, I drive the hell out of this thing so I'm betting your right. I went through a set of SO3's in roughly 9K miles. I may not be the best shifter..... I honestly don't think I shift improper, but maybe I do. I can get er to run 14.1 now at the track whic is what it's suppose to do on paper. If I was shifting improper I'm guessing I wouldn't be ablee to pull off these times. I do drive hard cause every day I get into it I serously smile and and think to myself how lucky I am to own this thing and what a pity it would be not to mash the gas pedal. I love EVERY aspect of it from the luxerous feel to the screaming engine and man.......I have to say this is a blow. Tomorrow I am going to check it out, I have my service manual open and am getting geared up as we speak. I already have a welding shop lined up (FREE thank goodness) should be asy to produce a clean weld on such a new frame, with no rust etc.... Thanks for all the advice as well as help, ya know a proper weld can actually be as strong/ somtimes stronger than the material itself so maybe I'll keep it awhile after all....cause I this ride!! I was considering selling my 98 boosted Integra and grabbing a supercharger, however that doesn't appear to be a bright idea, I mean adding an additional 150HP and all on a subframe known to give way to 240HP. BTW what do the Germans do with the 321HP model, they really must catch hell over there.
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Old 01-17-2004, 04:41 AM   #15
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The more I think about it the more I realize that my launches go rather smooth. If anything the Potenza SO3's bite to well if that even makes sense. there are times when the tires bite and the car just can't propell itself out of the hole. It's like ALL the tension/ pressure is placed back to the rear end and it takes a sec for the car to build inertia and release the pressure with the higher RPM's. It felt as if the car would bind for a sec, the tires wouldn't spin. Does this make any sense? I mean lets be real 240HP isn't s**t. I mean Saturn has a cracker Jack Box SUV now with this HP rating, hope that crappy subframe doesn't give way.
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