E36 316i - Play/wear In Front End -help Pse - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com

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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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 07:36 AM Thread Starter
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Hi there everyone - new to this forum, but am posting in the hope that some of you maybe able to help me with a problem with my E36 316i SE with 100,000 on the clock that I recently bought.

I did have a lot of judder coming from the front end and through the steering wheel during braking, which turned out to be warped discs. I changed discs and pads and that solved that problem.At the same time I had the rear bushes and suspension top mounts replaced as they were knackered.

However, what I'm finding now is that as I'm driving I can feel some play and vibration coming from the front end. It is more noticeable on rough or worn tarmac or bad roads. It almost feels like there is some slight play somewhere in the steering setup which I can feel through the steering wheel.

On smooth roads it is fine .Almost as if something has worn and there is some play in amongst that lot somewhere. Not enough to cuase any real major concern but enough for me to want to solve it.

The other thing is that sometimes, but not always, I can grab hold of the tops of the front wheels and pull them towards me. If I said 1 - 2mm of play then that would be realistic. Wheel nuts are tight. Sometimes they are fine, and it's the same for both sides.Its like the whole wheel and hub assembly moves.

I recently had the car MOT'd and it passed with no problems. I asked the garage to have a look due to the above, but they said that apart from some wear in the steering rack everything was fine. When I entioned about the give in the wheels they mentioned something about free floating suspension. They aren't a BMW dealers but work on them all the time and do excellent work. I've had my cars serviced there for years with no problems.

I kind of drummed up a possible cause list, but probably am way off the mark...

Wheel bearings
Front suspension top mounts worn
ball joints on front end
shocks worn and need replacing

Umm, and thats about it. Anyone got any advice


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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 09:52 AM
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Not sure about your particular problem however I get some play with steering during braking - I have put this down to tracking. After reading your post I am also going to get new discs so thanks for that.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 10-12-2004, 10:29 AM
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The number one reason for front end shimmy is off balance wheels.. go get those suckers balanced... it might save you in the long run... if it stops the vib directly after the balancing.. then you have a warped or bent wheel.

Its good you just replaced those rotors... narrows it down a little...

Next is probably your front end bushings... get all of those suckers replaced atleast every two years. Thats probably the number three cause right there.... second being the rotors...

As for wheel bearings.... if you hear a sorta high pitched constant noise from your wheels.. then its time to replace those bearings... but they shouldnt cause a shimmy or vib while breaking unless they are really really worn out.

Good Luck


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