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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 12-06-2004, 12:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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1995 318i, got the same old front end vibrations as ive read many people have. This is starting to really drive me crazy. When the cars in the air, the I try shaking the tires and I get no play whatsoever, so I assumed it was the rotors as everyone seems to say that is the main culprit, after new rotors and pads, I still had the same problem. I then went on and replaced the bushings, they were pretty torn up, I just got out on my car and now the vibration has eased up a bit at lower speeds but is still there. It occurs at about 60 mph and over. I doubt that its the ball joints as when i bought my car less than a year ago, they were replaced and ive inspected them and they seem in good condition. So with everything I just replaced im plain out of ideas. Btw, my alignment is perfect. Speculating it was a bent rim, I swapped the rears to the front and had the same problem.

-If it was the wheel bearings id assume there would be some play in the wheels when id try to shake them? is this correct?

-My tires are fairly worn so I was planning on buying new ones, could this be the culprit?

Ive always done all my own work to my car, but this is starting to really drive me nuts. Im new to working on bmw's so I cannot isolate exactly what it is that is causing this. When the car starts to vibrate the car maintains its speed so I cant see it being a sticking caliper. Someone give me some input as at this point im frustrated beyond belief, and no I do not wish to take it to a dealer. Ive always done all my own work on my cars and this is going to be no different, I just need some input and ideas. Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2004, 05:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by wushu762@Dec 6 2004, 12:34 AM
1995 318i, got the same old front end vibrations as ive read many people have. This is starting to really drive me crazy. When the cars in the air, the I try shaking the tires and I get no play whatsoever, so I assumed it was the rotors as everyone seems to say that is the main culprit, after new rotors and pads, I still had the same problem. I then went on and replaced the bushings, they were pretty torn up, I just got out on my car and now the vibration has eased up a bit at lower speeds but is still there. It occurs at about 60 mph and over. I doubt that its the ball joints as when i bought my car less than a year ago, they were replaced and ive inspected them and they seem in good condition. So with everything I just replaced im plain out of ideas. Btw, my alignment is perfect. Speculating it was a bent rim, I swapped the rears to the front and had the same problem.

-If it was the wheel bearings id assume there would be some play in the wheels when id try to shake them? is this correct?

-My tires are fairly worn so I was planning on buying new ones, could this be the culprit?

Ive always done all my own work to my car, but this is starting to really drive me nuts. Im new to working on bmw's so I cannot isolate exactly what it is that is causing this. When the car starts to vibrate the car maintains its speed so I cant see it being a sticking caliper. Someone give me some input as at this point im frustrated beyond belief, and no I do not wish to take it to a dealer. Ive always done all my own work on my cars and this is going to be no different, I just need some input and ideas. Thanks.
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When you say bushings replaced, do you mean the control arm bushings? the 60 MPH shake is generally associated with bad control arm bushings.
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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"When you say bushings replaced, do you mean the control arm bushings? the 60 MPH shake is generally associated with bad control arm bushings."

Yes those are the ones that I just replaced, the ride feels a lot smoother, but sure enough the vibrations are still there and its still pretty bad.
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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possibly ur tired and balance + it might be the control arms themselves or the tie rods..
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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How are the front dampers? Blown front struts could cause vibrations at higher speeds or while braking. How are the tires? Any flat spots or uneven tread wear? Other than that, if the balljoints and control arm bushings are good, you shouldn't be having problems.
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm having the same type of problem.
I balanced the tires and replaced a control arm. According to my mechanic everything else looks good. Guibo, wheel bearings and alignment is all fine.
One thing he did mention is that a belt may have separated in the tires. He said if that happened then you'll never get rid of the shake unless you get new tires.
He went as far as putting my summer tires back on the car. When he did that he said there was no shake (I wish I could have been there when he did that, then I could have judged for myself). So I hope that will solve my problem. Maybe it will solve yours as well.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have the same problem with my 94 318is. I just recieved my new control arms and control arm bushings this afternoon from Bavarian Autosport. I'm changing them out tommorow, so if it corrects my problem I will let you know.
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Old 12-07-2004, 08:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I thought it could be the tires, but if it were the tires wouldnt it vibrate at all speeds? Instead of just over certain speeds.

I took the car out today and I was going about 20mph and hit some ripples in a piece of the road that was being paved, the second I hit it, the shake started. Im really starting to think that one of my wheel bearings is bad. Heres something else I noticed, when im on the highway and taking turns sometimes it feels like one side is really loose and like its veering off by a tiny bit, its hardly noticable unless im going pretty fast.

-front dampers look ok, car holds its height and rides fine.

-lca looks good too.

It almost feels like something is loose up in the front of my car, Its definitely coming from the front suspension or steering somewhere. I say this because when i saw the lca bushings they were torn to hell, after I replaced them it still vibrated, so im assuming this vibration was what tore up my bushings. Whatever it is, is making my lca's vibrate like hell. Has anyone had any wheel bearing problems? what exactly did the car do?
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Old 12-10-2004, 03:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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so i finally gave up and took it to bmw to diagnose exactly what it is instead of shooting in the dark. They say its the balljoints. When I saw them they looked fine, and were on the car for a short time, they were the older style ones tho so im guessing they went bad.

Anyone know how to get these suckas in. Taking them out looks fairly easy, but pressing these in looks like its gona be pretty hard. Any tool that can get this in? I noticed theres a bmw tool but screw layin down 500 bucks for something ill use very little. Any other tools that can do this? Anyone ever done this with a press? The gas station near my house has one and for 30 bucks they let me use it. Any info would help out, thanks for all the posts.
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