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Jameswsb

E39 M5 Mysterious Clicking Noise

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Been noticing recently a sort of metallic clicking coming from the rear (i think) of the car whilst moving away from a standstill. Its particularly noticeable if in a confined space such as covered car park where obviously the noise is effectively amplified. I've heard people mention a 'jangling keys' noise when describing the failure of the prop bearing which is a pretty good description but the car drives spot on otherwise.  Is that a likely culprit of perhaps driveshafts?  anyone had any similar experiences?

 

Cheers 

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Had a couple of similar noises - one turned out to be a broken support bracket for the exhaust/catalytic converter (original fear was it was the converter itself) and the other time it was an anti-roll bar link.

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A few possibilities:

 

Is it a short series of metallic clicks, like tick tick tick? That can be the prop CV joint balls falling as it goes round and making noise due to being dried out. Easy to spot on a ramp. The CV joint is the one at the diff nose.

 

Is it a tinny 'clink' or 'chink' sort of sound, just as power is applied? Mine went 'ker-clink' sort of! That can be the prop centre UJ (mine was) or possibly wear in the centre splined joint. This was very difficult to get to the bottom of and wear in the UJ was only obvious once the prop was completely removed. I replaced the complete prop assembly as one new balanced item from BMW. Not cheap but took a huge amount of shunt out of the drive line even though each component part was only a little worn. It also made the car perfectly vibration free on the motorway. Some people report replacing the centre bearing fixed a similar sound, and others that it didn't fix the sound. That could actually be down to the splined joint being split and reassembled rather than the noise being the support bearing itself.

 

Other sources of noises like that are failing rubber exhaust mounts half way along the transmission tunnel. They also can make a light knock. The originals were red in colour. They have been updated to black ones with extra material in them to better support the weight of the exhaust.

 

Otherwise as gbrownings said, it could well be things that get loaded up as you pull away like those metal exhaust brackets by the gearbox. They can get very rusty and crack right through.

 

Good luck with the search. The M Tech specialist in Bristol I visit for servicing very kindly put the car up on a lift with a person inside applying power in first and then reverse over and over with the handbrake on. Stood underneath we quickly found the sound was coming from the propshaft. They ring like a bell and amplify the slightest thing.

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Thanks for the suggestions guys. I know my centre exhaust brackets are knackered so ill change those out along with the rubber mounts as a starting point. I hadn't actually thought of this being a potential cause despite the state of the originals. 

 

Looks like the clutch will get done soon too so an opportunity to get the centre bearing etc done at the same time. I'll get the garage to look at the prop joint and driveshafts at the same time.  

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I've had the same on my M5 for a good while.  I changed the centre prop bearing which improved it and also the rear prop CV joint but on take off or reversing I get a single 'clink' noise sometimes.  I've lived with it for now but I'll check the cheap stuff like exhaust hangers etc. next time I'm under it.

 

Be interested to follow this one and see if you ever found the culprit.  Is the centre prop UJ able to be replaced?  If not it's a new/recon prop shaft I suspect

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The centre UJ is staked in so not an easy replacement. A propshaft specialist quoted to recondition the whole thing by cutting the centre joint out and welding a new one in complete with new spline joint. That work together with new CV joint, centre bearing and flex disc etc. came to within a couple of hundred of a complete new one from BMW. I decided to go for the new one as I knew I would be getting the exact parts all assembled and balanced.

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