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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 06-27-2008, 11:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Red face 328ic Problems.. Need Input

Hey Everyone,
I have a 99 328ic e36 and I recently put new shocks and struts on the vehicle.. However there was no improvements! Still has the bummpiest ride ever, that the CD even skips!! I know when I changed the front I did not replace the top strut mount and I believe the back top mount was not replaced,the piece that stops the strut from hitting anything, When I go over bumped it makes a noise clunk like noise. Would that be why? And what else could be the reason for such a terrible ride? The mounts? I was also wondering.. I have read up alot of common tranny problems with these cars the car just hit 120k and first gear occasionally shifts a little hard does not slip or anything and second is mild. but nothing crazy, would this be it is in need of a tranny fluid flush? I just got the vehicle like two months ago so I do not really know what the prior owner had done to it.. I am also thinking the previous owner may have bent three rims for two reasons one being when i went to get a balance done they said three were, but it was not my mechanic and I do not know if i would trust the balancer, but there is a wobble on wheel once I hit 40 and into the 60's.. Anything that would cause this? Sorry for the novel just so many questions and not enough info! any help would be appreciated! Thanks Jessica
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The suspension system needs to be inspected for damage, I hate to say it.
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Old 06-27-2008, 11:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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what kind of damaged are we talking about?
specific please?
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lightbulb

It's a new vehicle for you... i would try and make contact with the previous owner(if possible) and see if the springs were changed prior. If the are perfomance springs... yes, they will have a much stiffer ride than stock springs.

The clunk you hear is most likely from poor installation of the shocks/struts. On takedown and replacement, a mech usually inspects the rubber bushings for wear, and replaces or reinstalls them depending on how he deems fit.

For the rear, removal and replacement is pretty straighforward. The only thing that might go wrong there is the mech forgot to torque down the fastener bolts. Front struts however, are tricky. If the rubber parts showed damage and were not replaced and/or the spring did not rest squarely on the spring base, then those are areas to re-inspect. the top strut bolt is also worth checking for looseness.

New 40 series or 35 series tires will also give u a "hard" ride. Tires pressure also come into play when we talk of stiff rides.

Wobble at 40-60... that is indicative of bad rims or need for balancing-specify DYNAMIC balancing. Static balancing that most shops do will not detect tire/rim imbalance at speed.

Tranny at 120K. I would recommend a tranny filter and oil change. That would be more efficient than a flush and less expensive.

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Old 06-28-2008, 11:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Hello there,
I think what you need is a four wheel alignment, I recently replaced my tires and had a four wheel alignment done on my 2000 328i and I tell you, it made a huge difference, the car is much more comfortable, it feel as if I had a new suspension on it.
The funny thing is, I did not realized how important that was.
Hope this helps!
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Old 06-29-2008, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes this is a new car for me, and not able to get into contact with previous owner I had a alignment prior to getting the front shocks put on, and once they were put on the whole alignment got screwed up, but prior to that when i had an alignment there was still a wobble I am lead to believe that it really would be bent rims.. its terrible.. but I will have to bring those other things to attention thanks alot. hope thats what it is and nothing MAJORR and crazy, but other question I just thought of, are the rear wheels supposed to sit at an angle? and it looks like the rear is alot lower than the front is that the norm? Does anyone also know about the tail light failure warning? they are all working and seem to spec, only thing is that the left one does not have a clip that holds the plastic cover piece over the actual tail light in the trunk.???
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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hey i get the tail light warning all the time too; you probably just have a loose connection somewhere but it will probably go away/ come back on and off.

The rear wheels are meant to have a little positive camber as this makes the handling sharper, but if it looks like the rear of the car is sitting lower, then you might have a broken spring (also happened to me). look in the spring seat where the bottom of the springs sit. Definitely check the rear shock mounts too as these are failure prone.

If you think the rims are all really bent/ unbalanced, just get new ones. And get a stock size!! Nothing big and fancy. Much easier than trying to balance them all. hopefully you woulndt need to do that but good luck.
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Old 06-29-2008, 11:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hey i get the tail light warning all the time too; you probably just have a loose connection somewhere but it will probably go away/ come back on and off.
http://www.bimmerwerkz.com/forum/3-s...ing-55136.html
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Old 06-29-2008, 02:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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the tailight warning has been on ever since I owned the car.. only goes away when the lights are not on?.. if I go and check out the wiring on the left side, thats on the bottom by the tail light? bc i thinkk i was in there a few days ago and the bunch of wires looked fine..
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi! Jessakah! So far from everything I've read, it seems to me that the previous owner lowered that car with some brand of racing springs........There are stock oem springs & then there are springs that lower the vehicle to different extremes! The lower you go, the stiffer the ride & the more your camber will be thrown off! So with the fact that you have a very stiff ride, wheels that are slanted out! I think it be a pretty good guess that those springs are more of a extreme race type spring that probaly bent some wheels.....
I was going to lower my e36 with H&R Race springs, but was told that I would have to adjust the camber & I would have a rougher ride, so I went with the H&R Sport spring which was not as low, & did not need a camber adjustment, also not that harsh of a ride either.....
As for your brake light circuit failure....I had the same problem & it was a defective brake switch, located up behind the brake pedal..... this is a common problem for the e36...
These links should help you out.....
p.s. so have those springs checked out......
johnny,

brakeswitch.page

Pelican Technical Article: BMW Brake Switch Replacement
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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hmm, I checked with my mec and he said the springs are stock. so I don't think that they would be the problem but kudos on the link for the brake switch I will prob do that next weekend! but let me ask, the brake lights do work, thats still a fault switch?[/COLOR]
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:50 PM   #12 (permalink)
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hmm, I checked with my mec and he said the springs are stock. so I don't think that they would be the problem but kudos on the link for the brake switch I will prob do that next weekend! but let me ask, the brake lights do work, thats still a fault switch?[/COLOR]
Yes, I just read your post again, sorry do you have tail light circuit failure or brake light circuit failure warnings? Because with my problem I had brake light cicuit failure, but all my brake lights were fine.....
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Yes, I just read your post again, sorry do you have tail light circuit failure or brake light circuit failure warnings? Because with my problem I had brake light cicuit failure, but all my brake lights were fine.....
johnny,
tail light failure, and i thought maybe bc the hard plastic piece was not on the tailight bc the clip was lost, and thats why it did that, but all the lights work 100% so in this event it would not be that piece right?
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Old 06-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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tail light failure, and i thought maybe bc the hard plastic piece was not on the tailight bc the clip was lost, and thats why it did that, but all the lights work 100% so in this event it would not be that piece right?
Ok! Not brake lights, so its not the brake switch, but when I had that problem with with the warning, I found out that, you should check each tail light socket to make sure you have good contact surfaces, meaning clean & corrosion free & also sometimes the contacts burn slightly. So the slightest break in continuity will cause that warning.......so check that out.....

Some other links to help you with your BIMMER with any other repairs....

BMW E36 DIY (Do It Yourself)

RealOEM.COM * Online BMW Parts Catalog

Brake Warning Light Problems
Brake warning light problems are fairly common. Sometimes the check control system will erroneously display information that a brake light bulb is out. The warning circuit checks the resistance in the tail light circuit and illuminates the warning light if it senses anything out of spec. We recommend starting off by checking the bulbs. Make sure they are the correct voltage and size. Then check the bulb sockets for any corrosion or buildup. If these things check out but you're still having problems then you may want to try Original BMW bulbs. The resistance of some aftermarket bulbs may not meet the tight tolerances that your check control system requires. The BMW bulbs seem to work better. If that doesn't work check all the wiring connections. Also be aware that some cars (5 series 89-95, 7 series 88-94) use a bulb control module that when it fails can cause the warning lights to come on erroneously and/or turn off the lights randomly.
johnny,
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