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4rephill

1,980 posts

62 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
il-mostro said:
Hey there.
I have just bought an E46 Alpina with auto box, and mine clunks, especially in first and second gear. Does yours do it when you roll on and off the throttle at low speed? Mine does.
He's got a manual and this particular clunk is an affliction that affects the manual cars.

It's not a clunk when rolling on/off throttle, it's a clunk when engaging 1st gear from a standstill (and they sometimes do it when changing into 2nd but this is not so common).
Rolling on/off the throttle will not reproduce this particular clunk. In fact, as I have noted previously, if you can get the car to roll slightly, it doesn't tend to clunk (or the clunk is at least greatly reduced).


il-mostro said:
I just had mine insp2 serviced by a local indi, and he suggested the Diff mounts, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread. I have been quoted £250 to get this sorted.
Be sure to come back and tell us if that has fixed your issue but I suspect it's a completely different clunk to the one being experienced by the OP (and thousands of other manual owners).

il-mostro said:
I used to have an E46 330 ci auto, and that never clunked.
Again, that's because this particular clunk is found only on the manual cars.

il-mostro said:
Don't accept 'they all do that sir'. If you have a warranty, get them to check it.
Nobody is saying not to get it checked out under warranty, what we are all telling the OP is don't be surprised if they cannot find anything causing it, and if they do say they can find no fault, chances are they are not just fobbing you off, they genuinely cannot solve it.

Thousands of other owners around the World have looked into this clunk since the days of the E36 and no one has ever got to the bottom of it!
There is a very good possibility that the OP will have no choice but to accept that: 'they all do that sir'


However, if you know the definintive solution to the E36/E46 manual gearbox clunk then please let us all know, because the rest of the BMW e36/E46 World is baffled by it!


Paul M

Original Poster:

367 posts

88 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
il-mostro said:
Hey there.
I have just bought an E46 Alpina with auto box, and mine clunks, especially in first and second gear. Does yours do it when you roll on and off the throttle at low speed? Mine does.
I just had mine insp2 serviced by a local indi, and he suggested the Diff mounts, as mentioned elsewhere in the thread. I have been quoted £250 to get this sorted.
I used to have an E46 330 ci auto, and that never clunked. Don't accept 'they all do that sir'. If you have a warranty, get them to check it.

God luck.
Mark
Mark,

Firstly congratulations on acquiring an E46 Alpina.
I've been tempted on several occasions and hopefully one day will get my hands on one smile

With regards your clunk I'm not sure it is associated with mine. However, I previously owned an E39 535iA and occasionally on "spirited" acceleration in auto mode it would change up from second to third with quite a thump and a jerk.

I'd be interested to know if your problem is cured should you have the diff mounts changed.

As for the "they all do that sir" my update post below reveals a few interesting points.

Paul M

Original Poster:

367 posts

88 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
Apologies for the delay in replying.

I returned to the dealer last week and spoke with the Head Technician. Yes he agreed that the noise was still present. No he did not think they could do anything else to sort it. He had hoped that the leaking flywheel was the cause but now that appears to have been a side issue. Evidently the drive shaft, donut and diff were checked as a matter of course when the clutch was replaced.
I asked him if the noise was a known issue to which he replied it was. Why was I not told that on my first visit? I suppose if you don't ask the pertinent questions!

He then went on to explain how the gearbox is spinning and under load a noise will be heard when engaging gear. He accepted not a noise to the degree I was experiencing. His only real explanation was "some do and some don't" Auto gearboxes are not affected he stated!

Using thicker gear oil would possible reduce the noise but would make changing gear more difficult from cold - so not a solution at all.

So all in all - It is a known issue. There is no known cure (as many already know)

I don't believe vehicles left the factory like that rather it is something that develops for whatever reason. My logical side says there is a cause for everything and there are effects as a result. If it is just the mechanicals "doing their thing" albeit not in every vehicle and in those effected in such a manner then there is a cause. Problem is no one knows what it is!


Fox-

11,085 posts

130 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
I think I've noticed mine do this (It's an E39 but same box). Even after it had a brand new box fitted by BMW in 2006.

dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
Fox- said:
I think I've noticed mine do this (It's an E39 but same box). Even after it had a brand new box fitted by BMW in 2006.
It's not the gearbox.

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Paul M

Original Poster:

367 posts

88 months

[news] 
Saturday 21st July 2012 quote quote all
dr_gn said:
Fox- said:
I think I've noticed mine do this (It's an E39 but same box). Even after it had a brand new box fitted by BMW in 2006.
It's not the gearbox.
Can the gearbox be ruled out entirely?

dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd July 2012 quote quote all
Paul M said:
dr_gn said:
Fox- said:
I think I've noticed mine do this (It's an E39 but same box). Even after it had a brand new box fitted by BMW in 2006.
It's not the gearbox.
Can the gearbox be ruled out entirely?
99% sure mine is from the propshaft back...somewhere. If you get underneath and rock the propshaft from the front coupling by hand, a distinct knocking noise comes from the rear axle area. I've not been able to pinpoint it any colser than that.

4rephill

1,980 posts

62 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd July 2012 quote quote all
Paul M said:
Apologies for the delay in replying.

I returned to the dealer last week and spoke with the Head Technician. Yes he agreed that the noise was still present. No he did not think they could do anything else to sort it. He had hoped that the leaking flywheel was the cause but now that appears to have been a side issue. Evidently the drive shaft, donut and diff were checked as a matter of course when the clutch was replaced.
I asked him if the noise was a known issue to which he replied it was. Why was I not told that on my first visit? I suppose if you don't ask the pertinent questions!

He then went on to explain how the gearbox is spinning and under load a noise will be heard when engaging gear. He accepted not a noise to the degree I was experiencing. His only real explanation was "some do and some don't" Auto gearboxes are not affected he stated!

Using thicker gear oil would possible reduce the noise but would make changing gear more difficult from cold - so not a solution at all.

So all in all - It is a known issue. There is no known cure (as many already know)

That all sounds so familiar! wink

Paul M said:
I don't believe vehicles left the factory like that rather it is something that develops for whatever reason. My logical side says there is a cause for everything and there are effects as a result. If it is just the mechanicals "doing their thing" albeit not in every vehicle and in those effected in such a manner then there is a cause. Problem is no one knows what it is!
Although it's not going to solve the annoyance of the clunk, at least you know it's not just your car that does it!

Try engaging 1st when the car is rolling very, very slowly forward and see if it still does it, I would be very interested in the result.

As I've previously posted, Mine doesn't clunk in those circumstances but does when 1st is engaged and the car is completely stationary. It's almost as if there is some "drive slack" being taken up when 1st gear is engaged stationary, that has already been taken up when the car is rolling forward.

This is what makes Me suspect the gearbox. When the car is stationary, and out of gear, there are no moving parts in the drive-train after the gearbox, and when 1st gear is engaged with the clutch depressed, there is still no movement in the drive-train after the gearbox until the clutch is released. As we know though, the clunk occurs at the exact moment that 1st gear is engaged, not when the clutch is released.

I'll have a look into if Mine clunks when engaging any other gear from a standstill (I'm pretty sure it doesn't but it's been quite a while since I last experimented with the clunk. At least your post has re-ignited My curiosity about the clunk issue if nothing else! smile ). *





  • * This experiment will have to wait until after I get the car running properly again though as she's miss-firing like a bh at the moment!
I'd driven through some flood water last Saturday that was a bit deep, but she got through okay and drove fine afterwards right up until Wednesday night when she suddenly went lumpy out the blue whilst driving.
My monies on it being the crank sensor playing up, but it could just as easily be a broken coil, plug, camshaft sensor. She goes to BMW Tuesday to be checked, but I'll be sure to post My experiment results here when she's working properly again. (Bloody car! bangheadwobblehehe)




Paul M

Original Poster:

367 posts

88 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd July 2012 quote quote all
4rephill said:
Although it's not going to solve the annoyance of the clunk, at least you know it's not just your car that does it!

Try engaging 1st when the car is rolling very, very slowly forward and see if it still does it, I would be very interested in the result.

As I've previously posted, Mine doesn't clunk in those circumstances but does when 1st is engaged and the car is completely stationary. It's almost as if there is some "drive slack" being taken up when 1st gear is engaged stationary, that has already been taken up when the car is rolling forward.

This is what makes Me suspect the gearbox. When the car is stationary, and out of gear, there are no moving parts in the drive-train after the gearbox, and when 1st gear is engaged with the clutch depressed, there is still no movement in the drive-train after the gearbox until the clutch is released. As we know though, the clunk occurs at the exact moment that 1st gear is engaged, not when the clutch is released.

I'll have a look into if Mine clunks when engaging any other gear from a standstill (I'm pretty sure it doesn't but it's been quite a while since I last experimented with the clunk. At least your post has re-ignited My curiosity about the clunk issue if nothing else! smile ). *





  • * This experiment will have to wait until after I get the car running properly again though as she's miss-firing like a bh at the moment!
I'd driven through some flood water last Saturday that was a bit deep, but she got through okay and drove fine afterwards right up until Wednesday night when she suddenly went lumpy out the blue whilst driving.
My monies on it being the crank sensor playing up, but it could just as easily be a broken coil, plug, camshaft sensor. She goes to BMW Tuesday to be checked, but I'll be sure to post My experiment results here when she's working properly again. (Bloody car! bangheadwobblehehe)
I will try the slow rolling forward test as you described.

Yes mine does "thump" when engaging other gears from standstill although to a lesser extent than selecting first. Of course there is no thump when chamging down!

I've noticed it does not do it when I first start off, i.e. when the car has being standing overnight etc. but after it has had a short run and stop/starts from thereon.

As you describe the noise is exactly when 1st gear is selected and the clutch depressed. Keep the clutch depressed when at standstill, in neutral and with the handbrake on and the thump does not happen when 1st is engaged - A cure? but still does not get rid of the 1st to 2nd clunk.

Interestingly when I was with the BMW Technician the other week and carrying out the stationary 1st gear issue the thump on occasion was that "violent" I could feel it through the seat!

Hope your car-cum-hovercraft is well soon wink

4rephill

1,980 posts

62 months

[news] 
Sunday 22nd July 2012 quote quote all
Paul M said:
I will try the slow rolling forward test as you described.

Yes mine does "thump" when engaging other gears from standstill although to a lesser extent than selecting first. Of course there is no thump when chamging down!

I've noticed it does not do it when I first start off, i.e. when the car has being standing overnight etc. but after it has had a short run and stop/starts from thereon.
Mmm... You've got Me thinking now! The first gear I use in the mornings is reverse, so that might be why I get a clunk the first time I select 1st gear in the morning. I'll have to do a bit more experimenting with my gears and when I first pull away !

It would be interesting to see what happens if you engage another gear first (say 3rd), without lifting the clutch and then engaging 1st gear (so in essence coming to a standstill and then going: clutch down- into 3rd - out of 3rd - into 1st - clutch up and go).

Paul M said:
As you describe the noise is exactly when 1st gear is selected and the clutch depressed. Keep the clutch depressed when at standstill, in neutral and with the handbrake on and the thump does not happen when 1st is engaged - A cure? but still does not get rid of the 1st to 2nd clunk.
With Mine it's: Clutch down - no clunk, and then as soon as the gearlever slots into 1st - clunk!


Paul M said:
Interestingly when I was with the BMW Technician the other week and carrying out the stationary 1st gear issue the thump on occasion was that "violent" I could feel it through the seat!
Mine can be felt through the whole car too!

Paul M said:
Hope your car-cum-hovercraft is well soon wink
She's just making Me pay for making her go swimming! biggrin

(Bit weird how it took 4 days though! This is how I know My car is female, something happens, days later throws a strop out of the blue and then says: "Oh!, as if you don't know what's up!" irked , and I end up paying to make things better again! biggrin )

buggalugs

7,300 posts

121 months

[news] 
Thursday 2nd August 2012 quote quote all
I changed the diff in my 328 yesterday, it was leaky & noisy. The new diff was a fresher 2.93 unit from a 320d auto. I swapped all the flanges over and whacked it in. Have done about 20 miles of A roads and urban so far. I'd say the clunk has improved but it's still there.

There was quite a noticeable amount of driveline shunt that had built up over the last year or so; that's a lot better now and not really noticeable tipping in the throttle like before.

I noticed while under there that there's visible play in the rear UJ on the prop; can't get to the middle one with the exhaust in place but I assume it's going to be similar. The guibo / coupling is showing some small cracks in places too. I've picked up a 323i prop with no play and am going to whack it on with a fresh guibo and centre bearing, will post back then.

Car is on 191K miles now BTW.

Broccers

2,891 posts

137 months

[news] 
Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
Worn bush somewhere is what Id say. smile

4rephill

1,980 posts

62 months

[news] 
Friday 3rd August 2012 quote quote all
4rephill said:
Mmm... You've got Me thinking now! The first gear I use in the mornings is reverse, so that might be why I get a clunk the first time I select 1st gear in the morning. I'll have to do a bit more experimenting with my gears and when I first pull away !

It would be interesting to see what happens if you engage another gear first (say 3rd), without lifting the clutch and then engaging 1st gear (so in essence coming to a standstill and then going: clutch down- into 3rd - out of 3rd - into 1st - clutch up and go).
To follow up on My previous post above:

(NOTE: The clunk that is heard/felt occurs when the car is completely stationary, either from being parked or completely at a complete stop in traffic. It is not a drive-train shunt or caused when the clutch is engaged - the clutch is fully depressed at the time of the clunk and the clunk occurs as the gear lever is moved to select the gear).

1) If I start off by reversing out of a space, completely stop the car and then engage 1st gear, I occasionally get a clunk but more often there is no clunk.

2) If I start off by engaging 1st gear, most times I get a clunk (not always though which is a bit baffling!), and the clunk is more pronounced than that experienced in example 1) above.

3) If I select another gear first (for example 3rd gear), and then go to 1st gear, there is no clunk going into 1st - but there may be a slight clunk going into the initial gear selected (3rd gear gear in this example). Again, this clunk seems to be less pronounced than the 1st gear clunk would be.

4) If I select 1st gear and get the clunk, immediately take the car out of 1st gear (with the clutch still depressed at all times), and then select 1st gear again - there is no clunk when 1st is re-selected. (The same thing happens if I select any other gear and then 1st without releasing the clutch).

5) If the car has only just become stationary and 1st gear is selected immediately - there is no clunk.

6) The clunk does occur when other gears are selected when the car is stationary but 1st gear is the most pronounced. (3rd seems to be the next worse, followed by 2nd, then 4th. 5th didn't seem to clunk at all).

7) As stated before, if the car is rolling even slightly forward then there is no clunk.

Based on My own findings (and the fact that auto's don't have this clunk issue), I'm convinced it's something worn inside the gearbox.





dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Saturday 4th August 2012 quote quote all
4rephill said:
4rephill said:
Mmm... You've got Me thinking now! The first gear I use in the mornings is reverse, so that might be why I get a clunk the first time I select 1st gear in the morning. I'll have to do a bit more experimenting with my gears and when I first pull away !

It would be interesting to see what happens if you engage another gear first (say 3rd), without lifting the clutch and then engaging 1st gear (so in essence coming to a standstill and then going: clutch down- into 3rd - out of 3rd - into 1st - clutch up and go).
To follow up on My previous post above:

(NOTE: The clunk that is heard/felt occurs when the car is completely stationary, either from being parked or completely at a complete stop in traffic. It is not a drive-train shunt or caused when the clutch is engaged - the clutch is fully depressed at the time of the clunk and the clunk occurs as the gear lever is moved to select the gear).

1) If I start off by reversing out of a space, completely stop the car and then engage 1st gear, I occasionally get a clunk but more often there is no clunk.

2) If I start off by engaging 1st gear, most times I get a clunk (not always though which is a bit baffling!), and the clunk is more pronounced than that experienced in example 1) above.

3) If I select another gear first (for example 3rd gear), and then go to 1st gear, there is no clunk going into 1st - but there may be a slight clunk going into the initial gear selected (3rd gear gear in this example). Again, this clunk seems to be less pronounced than the 1st gear clunk would be.

4) If I select 1st gear and get the clunk, immediately take the car out of 1st gear (with the clutch still depressed at all times), and then select 1st gear again - there is no clunk when 1st is re-selected. (The same thing happens if I select any other gear and then 1st without releasing the clutch).

5) If the car has only just become stationary and 1st gear is selected immediately - there is no clunk.

6) The clunk does occur when other gears are selected when the car is stationary but 1st gear is the most pronounced. (3rd seems to be the next worse, followed by 2nd, then 4th. 5th didn't seem to clunk at all).

7) As stated before, if the car is rolling even slightly forward then there is no clunk.

Based on My own findings (and the fact that auto's don't have this clunk issue), I'm convinced it's something worn inside the gearbox.
It sounds like you've definitely got some kind of clunk issue there.

4rephill

1,980 posts

62 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
dr_gn said:
It sounds like you've definitely got some kind of clunk issue there.
I literally Clunk-Click every trip! biggrin

It's always been the same, no better - and no worse in the 6 years I've owned the car!
Like many a 3 series owner, I've just learnt to live with it.

As auto's aren't affected by this clunk, it would be interesting to find out if it's only ZF gearboxes that suffer the clunk or do Getrag gearboxes also do it?

dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
4rephill said:
dr_gn said:
It sounds like you've definitely got some kind of clunk issue there.
I literally Clunk-Click every trip! biggrin

It's always been the same, no better - and no worse in the 6 years I've owned the car!
Like many a 3 series owner, I've just learnt to live with it.

As auto's aren't affected by this clunk, it would be interesting to find out if it's only ZF gearboxes that suffer the clunk or do Getrag gearboxes also do it?
The manual gearbox on my 330i is a joke (notchy, sticks to the right of the gate). In fact my c.50 year old E-Type Jaguar engine and transmission is easily a match for it in terms of refinement.

I wish I'd have stuck with my instincts and got an auto.

Fox-

11,085 posts

130 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
dr_gn said:
The manual gearbox on my 330i is a joke (notchy, sticks to the right of the gate).
This is because your gearbox is broken and requires repair. Whilst I admit that it isnt going to win awards for Manual box of the year, at least fix it first before declaring it terrible.

An Automatic thats broken isn't much fun either..

rm163603

368 posts

132 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
dr_gn said:
The manual gearbox on my 330i is a joke (notchy, sticks to the right of the gate). In fact my c.50 year old E-Type Jaguar engine and transmission is easily a match for it in terms of refinement.

I wish I'd have stuck with my instincts and got an auto.
The sticking to the right is fixable, there is a repair kit for it. Getting access is a bit tricky though..

If it only does it when cold I wouldn't worry.

This won't help the auto drivers but it's worth checking to see if your car has a CDV (clutch delay valve) fitted. This is a valve that limits the flow through the clutch line and slows engagement or disengagement of the clutch.

It can make the clutch difficult to modulate properly and also causes gears to clunk because the clutch may not be properly engaged / disengaged when the gear is actually changed.

Apparently BMW started fitting them when when clutches were included in the warranty to limit the speed the clutch can actually be dropped.

Some info here:

CDV Removal

dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
Fox- said:
dr_gn said:
The manual gearbox on my 330i is a joke (notchy, sticks to the right of the gate).
This is because your gearbox is broken and requires repair. Whilst I admit that it isnt going to win awards for Manual box of the year, at least fix it first before declaring it terrible.

An Automatic thats broken isn't much fun either..
LOL!

Broken? On a 68,000 mile prestige car that was, what, £30K+ when new? It's a common problem too: Like I said, it's a joke.

Same with the suspension bushes - they're like a consumable item on these things. My 120,000 mile + Honda Prelude was still as tight as a nun when I sold it, and the gearbox was in a different league.

I know exactly how to cure the gate sticking, but I can't face removing the box to do it. Bottom line is it shouldn't need doing at all on a car like this.

dr_gn

8,601 posts

68 months

[news] 
Sunday 5th August 2012 quote quote all
rm163603 said:
dr_gn said:
The manual gearbox on my 330i is a joke (notchy, sticks to the right of the gate). In fact my c.50 year old E-Type Jaguar engine and transmission is easily a match for it in terms of refinement.

I wish I'd have stuck with my instincts and got an auto.
The sticking to the right is fixable, there is a repair kit for it. Getting access is a bit tricky though..

If it only does it when cold I wouldn't worry.

This won't help the auto drivers but it's worth checking to see if your car has a CDV (clutch delay valve) fitted. This is a valve that limits the flow through the clutch line and slows engagement or disengagement of the clutch.

It can make the clutch difficult to modulate properly and also causes gears to clunk because the clutch may not be properly engaged / disengaged when the gear is actually changed.

Apparently BMW started fitting them when when clutches were included in the warranty to limit the speed the clutch can actually be dropped.

Some info here:

CDV Removal
Thanks, yeah I know what causes the sticking and I did remove the CDV which made it at least possible to set off without kangarooing down the road!

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