Front end clunk (when going backwards) - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 7:36 am Thread Starter
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Unhappy Front end clunk (when going backwards)

OK, let me explain first, NOT in reverse gear, just freewheeling backwards.
You see my driveway is pretty tight and on a slight downwards angle, going in forward is not an option (unless I want to burn out the starter reversing aaallll the way up the hill every morning!) so I line the bike up, turn the engine off and freewheel back doen the incline. Now my driveway is a bit bumpy and when the front of the bike goes over an irregularity, it "clunks". Now I've had the bike up on the jack and the main stand and shaken pretty much everything I can front and rear, but there seems to be nothing loose or worn (see previous instability thread for details of that), it's nothing to do with the pads/calipers, but it certainly sounds wrong.
What sort of wear could result in a "clonking" (coming from up under the fairing/headstock-ish area) making itself heard when going backward, that would NOT make itself heard going forwards or when shaking or moving the suspension/steering aroung? Any advice or tips would be MOST appreciated.

Simon

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post #2 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 8:33 am
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
OK, let me explain first, NOT in reverse gear, just freewheeling backwards.
You see my driveway is pretty tight and on a slight downwards angle, going in forward is not an option (unless I want to burn out the starter reversing aaallll the way up the hill every morning!) so I line the bike up, turn the engine off and freewheel back doen the incline. Now my driveway is a bit bumpy and when the front of the bike goes over an irregularity, it "clunks". Now I've had the bike up on the jack and the main stand and shaken pretty much everything I can front and rear, but there seems to be nothing loose or worn (see previous instability thread for details of that), it's nothing to do with the pads/calipers, but it certainly sounds wrong.
What sort of wear could result in a "clonking" (coming from up under the fairing/headstock-ish area) making itself heard when going backward, that would NOT make itself heard going forwards or when shaking or moving the suspension/steering aroung? Any advice or tips would be MOST appreciated.

Simon
Steering head bearings going bad. To check, get front wheel off the ground, slowly turn left to right. The feel should be smooth with no "stopping" points. If you feel a slight stop (not sure how else to describe) your bearing races and pitted.
With the front wheel off the ground, grab the front tire and do a push pull the front end should not move (should be tight) if if "gives front to back, bearings/races are bad.

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post #3 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 8:37 am
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Shake your discs up and down as well. One of mine is clunking at the mement

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post #4 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 9:10 am Thread Starter
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Thanks chaps, I'll check the discs tonight. I have already tried moving the front wheel back and forth (with the bike on the centre stand and a jack under the sump) and can't find any movement. I'll try the sideways movement when I get home again.
Would steering head bearing going have any effect on the handling of the bike?
Thanks again

Simon

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post #5 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 9:22 am
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
Thanks chaps, I'll check the discs tonight. I have already tried moving the front wheel back and forth (with the bike on the centre stand and a jack under the sump) and can't find any movement. I'll try the sideways movement when I get home again.
Would steering head bearing going have any effect on the handling of the bike?
Thanks again

Simon
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post #6 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 9:32 am
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

I'd look real closely at the steering head bearings. If you have checked them loaded, check them unloaded, both ways.

Get someone to help if needed.

If bad steering head bearings, can it affect the handling? Yes!

Any chance that its the suspension topping out? Reaching the limit of travel?

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post #7 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 4:07 pm
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

I roll mine out in a similar way. My brakes make a clicking ,clunking sound sound when first applied while I roll backwards down the incline . There have been threads about this and It seems there nothing to be concerned about.
Try it and play with the brake,hope this helps
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post #8 of 9 Old Jul 18th, 2008, 4:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Thanks, I wondered about the brakes, but it's not coming from that area (and applying the brakes makes no difference one way or the other) and only happens when the front wheel rolls down over a "lump"

Simon

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post #9 of 9 Old Jul 19th, 2008, 7:46 am
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Re: Front end clunk (when going backwards)

Quote:
Originally Posted by simon
Thanks, I wondered about the brakes, but it's not coming from that area (and applying the brakes makes no difference one way or the other) and only happens when the front wheel rolls down over a "lump"

Simon
Since it is a 1999, you might just be in need of a front end overhaul. All bikes are a bit different, and without seeing your bike, I'll offer the following. Follow what I said about the steering head bearings, they will get old and need replacing at some point (sooner if the bike was a trailer queen at some point).
Go with a heavy fork fluid. Change the spring rate, your bike is no spring chicken, she might need new springs up front (reaching a travel limit). You can put a pre-load on the springs by cutting PVC pipe at some different length (find what works) and install them on-top of the springs, then install the fork cap.

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