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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-09-2004, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My 97 318I started vibrating recently. Not while braking. It happens while accelerating or slowing down at higher speeds. 60-80 mph. I think it may be the cv joints. Do they exist on BMW's? If so, what is the part name and number? Has anyone ever replaced them?
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Old 11-09-2004, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Your problem could be the lower ball joints, they tend to wear out faster than the uppers and give you that problem. But before that check your tires to make sure they are in balance.
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Old 11-09-2004, 03:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Check: tires in balence, rotors, wheel alignment.
lower control arm bushings tend to wear out much faster than their M counterparts and can go bad in as soon as 30,000 if driven hard so check them.

Yes, we have ball joints.
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I had the tires rebalanced. They said the front ones were a little out of balance. I tested it out today and the shaking is still there. Will concentrate on the bushings. How can you tell if they are bad?
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It definitely sounds like the balljoints and/or control arm bushings. If one wears out, usually the other one will follow. It's better to replace in pairs so they wear out evenly.

A worn control arm bushing should just look like deformed rubber. The end of the control arm should look like it's pushing the bushing out of place. You might also noticed cracks around the rubber. These are sure signs the control arm bushing is worn. A good control arm bushing should be properly seated within it's metal carrier. You should be able to see it's round and flat surface.

A worn balljoint is very easy to spot. Just look at the bottom of the balljoint. If it looks like the round metal plate has fallen off or is lose, that's another sure sign the balljoint is worn. It should be tight with no lose moving parts.

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