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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 02:18:40 AM   #1
M3Seeto
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Default Changed FCAB and front passenger clunk when turning

I had just changed my FCAB to Powerflex. Everything has been torqued and lubed to spec. Used copper antiseize.

Now i have an issue with front clunk when turning and on bumps. It does not happen all the time. The sound can be heard coming from the passenger side.

Symptoms :-
A clunk sound when turning and over bumps. Sounds like "clunk ..... clunk"... its hard to describe the sound. Sort of rattling.

When i jack up the car with the window up on the passenger side, could the car twist and broke something in the door?

I have taken the FCAB out for the second time and relubed them and retorqued everything to spec. Still have the sound.

Questions
1) anybody had this problems before ?
2) What could it be ?
3) Could the sound be coming from the windows ?
4) Could this be tie rods ?

I need solution !! =[
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Last edited by M3Seeto; Sat, Jan-10-2009 at 02:27:14 AM.
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 02:25:48 AM   #2
PanzerM3
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I had the same problem with my fcabs when they were replaced, I could not figure out for the life of me what was wrong, I took it to a aligment shop and the guy drove the car and came back with a smile and told me to come back in 1 hour, I came back 50 dollars later the clunk is gone, he would not tell me what he did, but it must have been easy fix.
I suggest you take your car to a aligment shop and have them check the car.
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 03:07:03 AM   #3
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Any idea what it could be ?
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 03:14:07 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3Seeto View Post
Any idea what it could be ?
Control Arms/Ball Joints???
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 05:06:42 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockheedRules View Post
I had the same problem with my fcabs when they were replaced, I could not figure out for the life of me what was wrong, I took it to a aligment shop and the guy drove the car and came back with a smile and told me to come back in 1 hour, I came back 50 dollars later the clunk is gone, he would not tell me what he did, but it must have been easy fix.
I suggest you take your car to a aligment shop and have them check the car.
i just ordered the PowerFlex FCABs as along with some other suspension parts.
i am looking forward to getting rid of ANY rattles/problems i am having now; hence not looking forward to MORE problems with these.

do you remember which shop you took it to?
thanks!
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 06:05:04 AM   #6
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Check your engine mount.. might be sagging causing it to make noise when it comes in contact w/ a sway bar. I've seen that a few times.
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 07:38:06 AM   #7
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do you remember which shop you took it to?
thanks![/QUOTE]

PM Me ill get the number for you and the address.
I honestly dont have a clue what they did, all I know is he deals with alot of M3's due to the shop in front of it which deals with nothing but M cars gives him alot of business. They are in the Valley.
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 09:18:29 AM   #8
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i have the same issue. anyone else have any ideas what it may be?
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 02:57:40 PM   #9
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ahhh, the famous clunk right after or not long after an FCAB replacement haha..

been there done that

Here is something a lot of people don't know about our control arms:
the hex points on the lower control arms that slide into the FCAB sleeve vary in size. Yes, I'm talking about the OEM control arm and what i like to refer to as the FCAB "pivoting" (for lack of a better word I guess) point. And while the thickness of this pivoting point is very close to that of another random control arm's pivoting point, it is NOT as equal and precise in size as other components on the car. Go ahead, call TCKline, ground control, etc. and ask them about it.

That is why 50% of people experience some sort of issue with their FCABs at some point. Now, you may wonder why the stock FCABs are NEVER affected by this varying size of the pivots. That's because the stock FCABs are extremely tight and are able to be seated on the sleeve perfectly snug due to the fact that they are essentially made of rubber. Rubber stretches and so even with the variances in pivot sizes, OEM FCABs are able to provide a perfect fit. Of course all this at the expense of reduced steering response.

Aftermarket FCABs are typically urethane or some other material. Some have rubber-like components also, but they are typically reinforced by metal (e.g. Powerflex FCABs - also note that there were 2 versions of the Powerflex FCABs) or another material. Whatever the case, aftermarket FCABs are stiff and they are stiff for a reason. Because of this stiffness, they are able to tremendously improve your car's steering response. The downside is that because of this stiffness and "non-stretchiness" (like that of the OEM FCABs), it's much more difficult to have them seated properly.

When installing aftermarket FCABs, you will experience one of the three:
(1) they fit perfectly the first time you try to hammer them on (wow, this rarely happens), but they are seated very tight and snug.
(2) they appear to be too small. You try to hammer the sleeve of the FCAB onto the pivot and it's a no-go. You have to sand down the pivot point little by little until you can hammer them on. Like in #1, they end up being seated very tight and snug.
(3) they fit perfectly (almost with ease), but it seems too good to be true, so to speak. That's because the pivoting point is smaller than the typical (if there is such a thing ) pivoting point. In other words, it appears that the sleeve of the FCAB is bigger than it needs to be. But actually, it's the control arm pivot that is too small.

Honestly, #3 gives a lot of people trouble later down the road. Ask me how I know. I had this happen with my Ground Control urethane FCABs twice. They are MUCH stiffer than the Powerflex FCABs and they are superior in terms of steering response. This is not even up for debate, they ARE superior in that regard. However, they are also much more difficult to seat properly due to the fact that the bushing has no flexibility whatsoever. The Powerflex does.

that is why in terms of steering response,
GC FCAB > Powerflex FCAB

...but in terms of being more comfortable, noise-free, and clunk-free ,
Powerflex FCAB > GC FCAB

To me, it's a no-brainer. For street and semi-track applications, always go with Powerflex FCABs. For serious track/race setup, choose GC FCABs. In either case, the improvement over the stock FCABs will be noticeable and significant, to say the least.

Also, that's not to say that Powerflex FCABs will never give you trouble and will remain completely clunk free. Again, with the FCABs you are sort of rolling the dice because how well it is seated depends more on the pivot of the control arm rather than the FCAB itself. I've had my Powerflex FCABs for 1.5 years and they are 100% clunk-free. I've had GC FCABs prior to this and replaced them twice within 6 months. No matter what I did, I would develop a clunk after a while on the drivers side (another proof that not all pivot points are equal). I personally spoke with several individuals who experienced the same identical issues on either driver or passenger FCABs. Then again, there were those who did not.

Last edited by swaybar; Sat, Jan-10-2009 at 03:01:33 PM.
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Old Sat, Jan-10-2009, 03:13:19 PM   #10
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In addition, I should mention that when MOST people on this board attempt to diagnose an FCAB-relate noise, they fail. That's because in most cases it is virtually impossible to do with the car being still. You can lift the front of the car up or leave the wheels on the ground - it doesn't matter. In most instances, trying to move and jerk the control arm will do NOTHING in terms of reproducing the actual clunk or noise. The way that the weight of the car loads and unloads during turns and other irregularities on the road is almost impossible to replicate when the car is still. And even when you are absolutely sure that there is no play or jiggle by the FCAB, there could be while driving! Trust me, been there done that.
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Discussing Changed FCAB and front passenger clunk when turning in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)