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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Tue, Nov-15-2011, 05:18:07 AM   #121
Frostillicus
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but it's not limited to Ms; this is common to the E46 chassis in general. It's actually much more noticeable in my 325 than in my M3.
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Old Tue, Nov-15-2011, 04:14:34 PM   #122
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

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Originally Posted by Frostillicus View Post
Not sure if this has been mentioned yet, but it's not limited to Ms; this is common to the E46 chassis in general. It's actually much more noticeable in my 325 than in my M3.
Ya as I stated on the previous page, my 135i made similar sounds. Just like the exhaust rasp, it's one of those things you have to learn to love on the M3.
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Old Sun, Nov-20-2011, 10:56:15 PM   #123
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

I as well have the "thump" on my 2003.5 smg. I hate it! People ask me what's wrong with my car when they hear it. Only does it in s5 and s6. I know it's the diff and have changed motor mounts, all diff bolts, bushings, mounts, heat shield, fluid you name it. Same thump still there. My question is I'm thinking about changing to 3.91 gears and am wondering would this remove the thump? Anyone that has changed to 3.91 or 4.1 had the thump stick around or did it exit stage left after?
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Old Mon, Nov-21-2011, 12:21:57 AM   #124
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

i dont so much mind the thump when changing gears, that sounds quite normal.

its the rattle when i shut the car off that freaks me out a little.. if i keep the clutch disengaged when i turn the car off it goes away.. is that saving anything, or should i just let it rattle?
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Old Mon, Nov-21-2011, 12:48:49 AM   #125
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

I don't mind it either, but mine may not be as bad as some of the other SMG's
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Old Mon, Nov-21-2011, 02:27:57 AM   #126
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

mine is a 6-mt, but from what i understand the transmissions (at least the parts that clunk) are the same
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Old Tue, Dec-27-2011, 07:51:22 PM   #127
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

Just got my "new" M3... its an '01 6sp mt clocking at 80k miles...and believe I hear the "clunk".

I put it on jack stands and rotated the tires back and forward and I see the tires moving before I can feel/see the differential and driveline moving. Is this all normal? how much play should there be before the diff/shaft moves?

I hear/feel the "clunk" when I let go the gas pedal. drives smooth and so far no grinding noise, but then again is my first BMW... I was not aware that the ultimate driving machine came with a symphony of noises included... I don't mind the noises as long as they are the right ones.


How do I know how much noise is ok? how much clunk is ok?...

anyone?? any input?
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Old Tue, Dec-27-2011, 08:54:31 PM   #128
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

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Originally Posted by jonchacon View Post
How do I know how much noise is ok? how much clunk is ok?...

anyone?? any input?
I'll give my input any experience with the infamous "M-Thump". I have a 2004 M3 and have had it for about a year. When I first got it I thought something was majorly wrong with it when I heard the clunk. It didn't happen all the time, more so when in s5 or s6 (smg). Almost always happened when the pedal met the floor and a gear shift came. Now I had already heard about the thump and it is a "normal" thing but I said Nay! There has to be a way to fix this. So... I went at it. Let me give you the list here

Changed diff mount bolts -no difference
Changed diff rubber mounts -no difference but have wondered if going with a solid bushing would of helped??
Changed diff mount/heat sink -first day seemed better but after that -no difference
Changed motor mounts -no difference but they needed to be changed
Changed diff fluid with anti fiction additive -no difference although it stopped the slow turning roaring (more on that in a minute)
Had the subframe checked -no problems with it

So at that point I was discouraged for sure. My thump had progressively gotten louder during all of this actually and a few of my bimmer friends kept telling me it sounds like gear lash to them. So I say fine I'll just deal with it till it breaks. Well guess what, the roaring that had plagued me before the fluid change came back with a cheated on womans vengeance! So that was that. Time for a whole new diff. I had been thinking about changing to 3.91 gears anyways so I went ahead and played it safe and got a whole new Dinan 3.91 diff.

First of all the *Diff*erence from 3.62 to 3.91 is very apparent and very welcomed. Much more pull over stock as seen in this vid of me running my friends stock 6spd on a 1/8th. Bear in mind this was my first time ever completly getting on it since break in so it took some adjusting because the gears came faster and the rev limiter was visited from 1st to 2cnd in both runs.
M3 vs M3
Here was my best run of the day after I got a little more comfy with the *Diff*erence.
M3 and the 8th
So what about that thump/clunk you ask?? Still there just not as loud. Seems like it may really just be a "normal" sound after all...
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Old Wed, Dec-28-2011, 06:05:21 AM   #129
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

Did anyone try this?
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Old Sat, Mar-03-2012, 03:29:21 PM   #130
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Default Re: Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew!

I 've got the solution fellas!!! Trust me you will bethankful.

1st: Go out, get in your car, start it and for go*'s sake please do not release the clutch before pressing the gas pedal. Do this for 1st,2nd, and 3rd.
2nd: Come back and completely ignore this thread forever.

I have seriosly forgotten about this noise because after awhile I got used to switching gears in a way that prevents that noise from happening. It was this thread that reminded me of what I used to hear an year ago.

Thanks and GL.
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Discussing Infamous "M-Clunk" fixed, car shifts like brandnew! in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)