'88 325 - bumps make a front end clunk,..

147k miles. Our roads are worse than ever this spring and I notice my beautiful red car makes a loud clunking sound, more from the right wheel than the left when I smash into a big pothole. If I jack the car
up there's no play anywhere. Is there a rubber bushing somewhere that commonly wears out about this time? Is it hard to fix? I have a car hoist and air tools I can use. I also notice someone ran off the road as there's scarring on the skid plate, passenger side, but nothing looks bent. You need a front end alignment after the bushing job, right? Thanks as always.
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cosmo wrote:

Only replying to your first couple of lines, as I know nothing of your other problems.
I have the same problem. It took 4-5 years before I found where the play was. It is of course in the steering. When I looked for it, it seemed to be a very common problem for BMWs. It is a vertical shaft (if that is the right word) in the steering, close to the wheel that develops a play. It even got a a lot of nicknames on swedish sites, like clunkshaft.
The good news is that the parts are not expensive and they do not seem to be complicated to replace. Since it is not dangerous to drive around with this problem I am going to wait until summer vacation to fix it. And it is not illegal to drive around with the problem (at least not in sweden, and we do have a lot of hash laws).
Third party parts here in sweden are ~30 dollars each, which are close to nothing for a BMW, for of course you replace both sides at the same time.
Unfortunately I am at the wrong computer right now, otherwise I should have been able to append a picture of the shaft.
So, not a dangerous or expensive problem, if my guess is right.
/NS
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On Fri, 16 May 2008 22:30:43 +0200, Nils Strandberg

I think you are talking about the (U.S.) sway bar, (U.K.) roll bar drop links. The ball joints in them go bad and rattle and clunk badly but without seriously affecting the non-aggressive handling. It's a simple and inexpensive DIY job to replace them.
If you're *really* lucky, then that will be your only problem in the front suspension. Next up will be lower control arms and struts...
--
Dan.

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Could be tie rod ends (inner and outer, replace as a set). I had this annoying little rattle and it turned out to be the strut bouncing up and down inside the carrier. The sleeve nut that holds it in have come loose and the strut was free to move up and down. Found this while replacing the upper strut mounts, one of them had a sloppy bearing but it was on the quiet side. No noises now except the exhaust rattling around. New cat back system being ordered soon...
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