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E60 B5S - steering vibration and clonk
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 7:35 pm    Post subject: E60 B5S - steering vibration and clonk Reply with quote

Hi all,

It feels like I am having an unlucky time with my first Alpina Sad . After the ECU and or CAU failing I now have two problems I wondered if I could get your expert advise on please, as I have taken the car to two different garages here in Germany and both gave different diagnoses.

Issue 1: Vibrations in the steering wheel when braking at over 60mph. Wheels have been balanced and tracked but this only made a small difference.
Garage 1 had what I think was a crazy explanation: the rear wheel is buckled and needs replacing. Rear disks don't look good and need replacing as well. They even put a new wheel on and said it fixed it, which I find hard to believe especially as I had summer rims on the car and it did exactly the same then. Rear disks look fine to me. I think this diagnosis is crazy, if the car vibrated as well I could understand but it doesn't. Views?

Garage 2: Suggested it might be the front control arms (however I don't think they have actually looked to see if the bushes are worn or not, I know this is a common problem on E60's generally. Plus one of my disks has a small groove in it, like a small stone is stuck inbetween the brake pad and disk.

Issue 2: A clonk from either the drivetrain or differential when either a) travel at slow speed and low rpm, like there is some slack in the drivetrain and its picking it up when engaging b) sometimes when driving hard and the car downshifts quickly.

The above doesn't happen all the time, generally when its warmed up. Its just had a service and I had the rear differential oil replaced but to no avail.

Garage 1: This is a ridiculous diagnosis - left bank catalyst failed. Now they may have misunderstood my bad german so I will give them the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Garage 2: Need to remove exhaust system to further diagnose.
I think this is fair enough but i don't want BMW main dealer doing this at a crazy cost.

From reading up I think this may be an issue with the prop shaft guibo or worst case the differential? But it doesn't sound like it is coming from the back.

Very interested to hear your knowledgeable thoughts on this! Thanks as always in advance.
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Charles
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jimmy,

It would be helpful to know the age/mileage of your car as some of the problems may be time/distance related. In the meantime, some thoughts that might help (apologies if I am teaching you to suck eggs):

Issue 1 (I have just resolved a similar problem on my car)

A vibration when braking is most likely to come from one of three things - poor balanced wheels, worn discs/pads or worn bushes. There may be some more obscure reasons but you should eliminate these three first.

If you have had the wheels correctly balanced then, even with a small buckle in one of the rims, they should be running fine. I have a buckle in one of my winter rims and they have all been balanced up correctly. To check this, if they don't vibrate at a range of speeds (not when braking), then the balancing is fine and not the cause of the vibration when braking

This then moves us onto braking and the cause of the vibration.

If your pads and/or discs are worn then this will cause a vibration. This is easily checked as the discs have a minimum width (printed on the hub) and the width of the discs can be measured directly using a set of vernier calipers. You just need to remove the wheel and measure them. The garage can do this in front of you, if you feel it necessary to confirm what they are saying for yourself. The same applies for the pads. If any of them are on/below minimum width then change them (in pairs).

Once the discs/pads have been checked/replaced, then see whether the vibration continues.

If so, then you will need to check whether any of bushes connecting the suspension components are worn. On a ramp, your garage will be able to manipulate the wheel and "feel" if there is any movement in the wheel/suspension. If so, then this is likely to be the cause of the vibration and the offending part(s) will need to be changed.

This should solve the vibration problems (hopefully)


Issue 2 (again, I've experienced similar in my car)

As above, I would recommend a sequenced investigation into this.

Unless it has been done recently, then I would recommend that firstly you change the gearbox oil. Although it states "sealed for life" accepted wisdom (and advice from Buchloe) is the gearbox oil should be changed every 60,000 miles (100,000 km). When cold, the oil is thicker but once warmed up, the thinner oil will not lubricate the gearbox internals quite as effectively.

There are two ways to do this - a partial change and a full change. The partial change replaces about 65-70% of the oil and involves a simple drain and refill (following a procedure based on oil temperature which any garage should be able to do). The reason it isn't a total change is that the torque converter holds a fair amount which doesn't empty on a simple drain/refill process. This generally makes a hugely positive difference to gear changes and drivetrain "shunts".

Alternatively, you can go for a full "flush" which is expensive and doesn't necessarily make any significant difference above a simple change.


Once changed, review whether the shunt/knock is still there. If not then problem solved.

However, if it is still there, then it is likely to be a knocking coming from the drivetrain. Again, from my experience, there are a couple of bearings that support the propshaft and these may have worn. To access either of these, you will need to remove the exhaust to access the propshaft - so Garage 2 may be heading in the right direction. But get the gearbox oil changed first.

I hope that this helps

Charles
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CharlesM
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A recent problem with my now dead E39 was brake wobble under braking. Turned out to be poorly fitted front discs where the hub had not been properly cleaned before fitting the new discs. New discs and proper fitting cured this (for a week as the head gasket blew at that point.
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
Posts: 15

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles and CharlesM - thanks so much for your replies, some very useful information.

Issue 1:
All wheels balanced and tracked, plus the disks and pads are relatively new - replaced by the previous owner at less than 10000 miles ago so there should be sufficient 'meat' left on them. I did wonder if they could be warped but I think that is very unlikely as the previous owner said he only ever used it on the autobahn, so no real heavy use of the brakes which could cause warping.

The last garage did put the car up and manipulated the wheels with his hands and said there was no movement. My question is - could you see if bushes are worn just from moving the wheel back and forth? I thought you would need to get a crowbar or something in the joint and check it out? I am loathed to pay out for new disks and pads at this stage with so little miles on them.

Issue 2:
The car has done the equivalent of 73,000miles. Gearbox oil has already been changed but that was at 53000 miles 4 years ago. So I don't think a new oil change would be required at this stage after such a small period of time?

So I reckon the exhaust is going to have to come off and check out the bearing etc as you suggest.

Thanks once again.

James
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PhillV8S
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A cheaper try for the drivetrain issue would be to replace the guibo as it is only rubber and can deteriorate regardless of mileage and would explain the shunting you are experiencing.
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charles wrote:


It would be helpful to know the age/mileage of your car as some of the problems may be time/distance related.


Realised i didn't give you the full details:

July 2007 registered so nearly 11 years old and 73,000 miles.

Cheers,

James
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EdJ



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

QQ - Does it always happen and only above 60mph? Or only after you've been doing M'way speed for a while?

Reason I ask is I had similar on my e39 a while back. Turned out it was a partially seized brake calliper that was picking up on a tiny high spot on the disc and warming it. Gave me a wobble on braking.

Obviously I ignored it until one day it decided to cadence brake 1 wheel at 70mph all on it's own! Got it fixed soon after that......

hth - Ed
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EdJ wrote:
QQ - Does it always happen and only above 60mph? Or only after you've been doing M'way speed for a while?

Reason I ask is I had similar on my e39 a while back. Turned out it was a partially seized brake calliper that was picking up on a tiny high spot on the disc and warming it. Gave me a wobble on braking.

Obviously I ignored it until one day it decided to cadence brake 1 wheel at 70mph all on it's own! Got it fixed soon after that......

hth - Ed


Hi Ed,

Thanks for the info. Yes only and above 60mph and pretty much immediately. It doesn't get worse so, therefore my theory is it can't be anything seized but I will get them to check just in case.

Cheers!
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Jervint
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2018 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check the bushes in the rear lower trailing arms (H shaped wishbones) for delamination. Very common issue on 5 series, X5 etc

Brake judder could be lots of things...very hard to tell although a lot of 5 series owners have success replacing the caliper guide pins.

Proper bedding of brake pads is essential also.
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2018 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I should have updated this thread a while ago, better late than never! Hope this helps any other people with the same issue....

Regarding Issue 1- steering vibration.
New control arms fitted. Tracking done. Vibration reduced but still there and noticeable.
Changed winter wheels over to summer. Vibration still there. Checked tyre pressure. They were low all round despite garage telling me they had checked. Now up to correct PSI, vibration has completely disappeared!

Regarding Issue 2 - still need to fit new guibo but the issue isn't that bad. Plus i have a new issue with what I think is the left bank CAT blowing rather loudly. I think this may be an expensive repair. Producing a rather beefy V8 sound now.

Cheers.
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PhillV8S
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had both my cats replaced on warranty, it is not cheap. Make sure your not passing oil through your supercharger as I believe this is what caused my cats to fail.
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jimmy_biggles



Joined: 25 Apr 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PhillV8S wrote:
I had both my cats replaced on warranty, it is not cheap. Make sure your not passing oil through your supercharger as I believe this is what caused my cats to fail.


Thanks Phil - the cats were replaced on the other side a few years ago by the previous owner so that would suggest there is an issue. Does this mean a new supercharger or just seals have perished? Is there a way to find out? Although the car doesn't seem to be losing any oil is my ownership.
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PhillV8S
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Take out the plug in the bottom of the intercooler, if oil is in there you have an issue. Either supercharger or the crankcase ventilation valves are passing oil most likely. CCV are an easy check and cheap to replace.
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jimmy_biggles



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PhillV8S wrote:
Take out the plug in the bottom of the intercooler, if oil is in there you have an issue. Either supercharger or the crankcase ventilation valves are passing oil most likely. CCV are an easy check and cheap to replace.


Cheers Phil. Is this quite obvious and simple to do / are there any guides? Just had a quick search but can't find anything.
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PhillV8S
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can’t find any specific guides but the plug is number 17 on this diagram, it’s cast into the outlet pipe of the intercooler. Loosen the bolt and if oil is there then the problem is “upstream” so either the seals have gone in the supercharger or the oil is passing through the CCV and passing through the charger. You can see the vent pipe just in front of the charger, if you remove the air intake pipe from the charger throttle body you may see oil coming in from the pipe in front of the charger. If this area is clean and you have oil in the intercooler then it is the supercharger that is faulty probably.
The pipe highlighted in red in the second picture is where the vent pipe from the CCV enters the charger throttle body.





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