Wheel Shimmy/Wobble - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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#1 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 01:51 AM
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Angry Wheel Shimmy/Wobble

I recently replaced my control arms with the Lemfoerder arms because my ball joints were destroyed. The worst I had ever seen ball joints on any car. I assumed that was the cause of my severe wheel shimmy. I also replaced the control arm bushings with Powerflex M3 Offset Urethane's. Then I had the car alligned...or an attempt to...they said they couldn't fix camber and caster because the vehicle had been lowered and they had no more room for adjustment. They said I need camber/caster kits. But, in my eyes, this would just cause excessive tire wear. The wheel still wobbles after 60...bad. Then the next thing one would think is that the wheels may be bent or off balance. But, my wheels are all recently balanced. But, knowing this, I still rotated the tires. Wheel shimmy was exactly the same. Then coincidently my power steering failed. Probably rack failure. Any ideas on why my wheel still shimmy's after 60 and the car feels like it is going to fall/rattle apart? Tie rods? I wouldn't assume this...maybe bent tie rods could affect toe but not cause my problem. Steering linkage from rack to wheel?

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#2 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 09:27 AM
OMFG another one!?
 
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That may be bad enough for a total overhaul of the front end.

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#3 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 10:55 PM
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so, who did all this 'work' for you? cause I gotta say, it's not that complex...believe me it's not...it's a stupid BMW 3 series, they are not this complicated....I have one and have redone a front end (4 years ago in New Mexico) and have used it for 40K miles since and it is still fine...who has done this to you? It's a fundementally simple front end...there is absolutely no magic to this...what?
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#4 (permalink) Old 06-30-2009, 10:59 PM
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I agree with silversled. I helped one of my good friends work on his E30 and we were able to tear apart the front and put it back together in 4 hours with hand tools. This problem sounds suspicious.
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 11:19 PM
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Okay...

Now, I have been taken for a complete idiot. Understood. Just because I am new to the BMW scene does not mean I don't know S**T. NOW, WHO HAS DONE THIS TO ME???. Like I'd let some a**face work on my car. I bought this car and it had steering wheel shimmy to start. Am i used to BMW suspension/front end set-ups...NO. Have I built from top to F**king bottom (Engine, suspension, etc.) many american turbocharged cars...YES. Might someone test my overall knowledge on gasoline, computer controlled engine setups(european or not), they better know what they are talking about. I'll give it to you though, I do admit that the wheels have been "balanced"...according to the previous owner. I sure hate to seem like a guy that cuts one down, or one-ups the other guy...pardon me. I figured I'd give people on this site the benefit of the doubt. You know, that they are answering a question from an ill informed noob. Which I am with the BMW's. I thought maybe there was an odd snafu that causes this common "wheel shimmy" that I have heard about. Maybe a linkage problem because of the clusterf**k rack to wheel design. SO, I replaced the control arms, ball joints(of course), and CA bushings. Was it done "right". Yes. Next time you knock on someone, ask yourself..."How many full enigne rebuilds have I done". Then, ask, "How much custom modification and fabrication have I done". THEN, ask, "how many fuel injected, computer controlled, turbocharged cars have I tuned". I hate to be the jerk. You may be well ahead of the curve. Have you ever made a 3000lb. car run high eleven's in the 1/4 mile? Maybe I am stepping on toes here. So, shame on me.

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#6 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 11:27 PM
OMFG another one!?
 
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Well, you clearly have every possible reason to be upset. I know from looking myself that working out a front strut type suspension issue for a first time is no fun. Best of luck!

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#7 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 11:30 PM
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I don't think anyone was trying to knock you down. I know I wasn't for sure and if you took my response as trying to "one up you" I can assure you it wasn't the intention. I also don't presume to know more than anyone else because I'm still learning new stuff every day. I was merely pointing out the simplicity on the E30 setup and I thought it was suspicious that a rebuild like you did would still result in wheel shimmy. I for one am lost because any shimmy I did have on my E39 was fixed by replacing the upper and lower control arms and adding heavy duty bushings.

If the wheels and tires are balanced I'm even at more of a loss because that eliminates the only other possibility I could think of...
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#8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2009, 11:59 PM
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...as cocky as I may sound, why do you think I am here? I am into answers and others input. I have never had a front strut cause this problem in my previous genre of cars. Someone may know from experience that worn struts can cause such a terrible front end problem in the BMW's. That's what I'm fishing for. An answer. I am used to being an a** because I am used to forums...mostly dips**ts that want to be recognized for their knowledge. "Respect" whiteshark. Not sh**ting.

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#9 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 12:03 AM
OMFG another one!?
 
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I hear that, again, best of luck sorting it.

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#10 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 12:04 AM
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Funny you mention struts...I recently had a problem with my front struts. Actually it was a rather nasty problem. I found that my Bilstein sports were both defective. There was a large amount of play between the piston rod and body of thee strut. However, when I had this problem there was a lot of noise to go along with the play and a lot of nasty feelings including shifting of the suspension under throttle (which was felt through the car as well as through the steering wheel). I didn't have a shimmy problem with the bad struts though, so I don't think you're suffering from a strut related issue.

Are they stock or are they aftermarket?
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#11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 10:39 PM
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you said something cogent here. The front end has been 'lowered'? Did you lower it? That indicates that the front end has been screwed with, possibly incorrectly and that throws all bets out right there. Are you sure about that?
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#12 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 10:49 PM
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there's only one way to 'lower' a front end right? That's the springs; if the springs were replaced and then improper stuts installed that could explain it eh? I could see untold and endless issues resulting from that kind of bone headed move.....the short spring travel could be fighting against stock cartridges and causing undo stress upon the entire rest of the front end, leading to many of the problems you describe.....
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#13 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 10:55 PM
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and don't even start about your experience with turbo chargers and fuel injected computer controlled engines...this is a BMW site so back off....this stuff has been around for decades here.....
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#14 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:30 PM
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Oh no....

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#15 (permalink) Old 07-02-2009, 11:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silversled View Post
there's only one way to 'lower' a front end right? That's the springs; if the springs were replaced and then improper stuts installed that could explain it eh? I could see untold and endless issues resulting from that kind of bone headed move.....the short spring travel could be fighting against stock cartridges and causing undo stress upon the entire rest of the front end, leading to many of the problems you describe.....
I have Bilstein sport struts in the front, they're designed to work with lowering springs and lowering springs only. The lowering springs are H&R sports and they dropped the front 1.3" and the rear .75" (which is mild). Both components are designed to work with one another so that is not the problem. My factory strut bearings were replaced with fully adjustable components from BavAuto, my tie-rods were replaced last year, and this year I replaced both upper and lower control arms and opted to have Powerflex bushings pressed in. It's not like I cut my factory springs and threw them back onto the factory struts. My suspension is far from ghetto-fabbed and I made sure everything was done correctly.

I received an answer as to my struts failure from Turner Motorsport today though. They told me there was a manufacturers defect on a production run and my struts were part of that production run. I never received that information when I installed them last year and the best part, they were covered under warranty so I didn't pay for replacements.

Faulty components are faulty components and I certainly had no control over what I received last year when I installed them.
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