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Strange front end noise / clunk

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I wonder if anyone has suffered this issue before and can share their advice please,  getting pretty desperate.

When manoeuvring off the drive in first thing in the morning, when i turn to almost full lock in either direction there is a strange feeling and clunking noise from the N/S/F wheel.  It almost feels like something is under tension and then all of a sudden, it releases and I can feel it through the steering wheel and also the car moves slightly.  It only happens when the weather is is getting colder, no issue in the summer.  

I've had the following work done 

  • Fully checked by 2 garages (one an independent BMW specialist)
  • Power steering fluid changed
  • New wheel bearing
  • Front wheels swapped over 
  • I've got power flex wishbone bushes
  • Full four wheel alignment

Was told at the last service that the front shocks have started to weep slightly so they will be replaced soon with new springs.  Can anyone recommend any good after markets?  

I am at a loss and been throwing money at it to try and rule things out. I've had the car for 10 years + and it started and been getting steadily worse over the past year and a half. 

I wonder if the rack is at fault?

Car is on 182k E46 05 plate 320D touring with 18" MV2's.

Any suggestions or advice greatly appreciated

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Worn shocks certainly produce noises, and you can't tell easily if they are completely blown. Get them replaced first before guessing further. I tried non-BWM shocks before, they were not as heavy duty as the BMW ones. Also they messed with the front alignment. I'd get dealer ones. 

Edited by E46Driver330Ci

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The clonk and feeling of something releasing I don't believe can be the ball joints on the wishbones or the track rod ends or they'd do it no matter what temperature. 

You've done the wishbone bushes, so to my mind it only leaves the steering rack or the UJ on the steering wheel column down to the rack binding, but why it's temperature related I am at a loss. 

As for shocks, new Sach's from a Motor Factors will feel much better than worn originals.

How much longer do you intend on keeping this 182k mile car though? Has it got any rust issues?

I'm just wondering if you are spending money on something that you are going to have to get rid of in the not too distant future through it being uneconomical to repair. 


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thanks for the advice, you've given me the inspiration I needed to carry on with it. 

I think I'll try a pair of shocks and see how it goes.

182k is high mileage but it's in good shape bodywork wise.  It had all the rust addressed, including new wings and both rear arches under the BMW anti corrosion warranty.

It cleans up really well and is still going strong 🙂

Agreed that a turbo or a clutch may push it into the uneconomical bracket for repair but, if a pair of shocks will get me through the last 10 or 15k of its life then happy to make that investment. 

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