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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 01-11-2005, 11:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Guys,
I have a 323i and the back end is very easy to get out of shape, or should I say it slides like it's on ice especially in the cold and damp. Is this likely to be a suspension/bushes issue or are they normally this skittish. I never really cane it as it's not that kind of car but it is disturbing that it gets out of shape so easily.
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Old 01-11-2005, 12:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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can you give more details, am having a hard time understanding your issue...
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, basically my problem is that the rear end of my car steps out of line very easily, especially so when it is damp on the road or has been very cold and you get that light frosty effect on the road. Even in the dry it feels like it's not happy and very wishy washy at the back. I was told that my rear bushes were about ready for a change but this feels more serious, I can't see the bushes having such a drastic effect on handling and it does step out of line very easily, so much so that I'm very cautious when i go around bends or roundabouts.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarrellS@Jan 11 2005, 12:37 PM
Guys,
I have a 323i and the back end is very easy to get out of shape, or should I say it slides like it's on ice especially in the cold and damp. Is this likely to be a suspension/bushes issue or are they normally this skittish. I never really cane it as it's not that kind of car but it is disturbing that it gets out of shape so easily.
[snapback]268900[/snapback]
If I understand your post correctly, the rear sways side-to-side easily.
First thing you should do is jack up one of the rear wheels, try to rock the wheel side to side as well as top and bottom. There should be no play. If there is some play in either of the case, you probably will need ball joints or trailing arm bushings. you may also want to test the rear shocks.
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Old 01-11-2005, 01:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by DarrellS@Jan 11 2005, 02:04 PM
Ok, basically my problem is that the rear end of my car steps out of line very easily, especially so when it is damp on the road or has been very cold and you
[snapback]268977[/snapback]

What is the condition of tires? are they bald?
When was the alignment done?

In icy conditions, do you gently press the gas pedal ?
Rear wheel drive cars' rear will fish tail if not careful on icy conditions.
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been reading a lot on another forum about this same problem, as i have it too. From what i can gather, it very well may be the RTAB's (rear trailing arm bushings)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but does it feel like the back end likes to jump out when cornering, and especially when going over bumps. I know in my car, hitting a bump in the road through a turn *almost* feels unsafe ... because the back end feels so very loose..

I'm due to replace all shocks and struts, RSM's, and maybe springs, so i may swap out RTAB's in the process if new shocks/struts doesn't solve the problem

Note: There is at least one or maybe two very good DIY write-ups for RTAB's on bimmerforums.com. From what i've heard and read ... it can be a royal pain, take some time, and requires a few special tools, but it can be achieved without any major headaches.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey guys,
Thanks for all the feed back. My gut feeling is it's a rear bush issue. It is very jittery through bumpy corners to the point I don't feel safe taking them quickly and I can get the back end out without too much gas whether it's icy or just damp.

Anyway I'm inclined to replace the shocks and springs along with the rear bushes and just have done with it. I'll let you know when I've had it doen and what the resultant drive is like.

Thanks
Darrell
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Old 01-19-2005, 04:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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when the bushings on the rear fail that is waht you feel, on my car i've rebuilded te whole suspension, new spring, shock, ball joint, and bushings.

on the rear suspension there are 5 bushings per side.. and they are a pain to change..

but if you are a true DIY and have goo jackstands you can simply pull out the rear trailing arms take it to a shop and for a little money thell press the bushing in..

then reasemble evertything and most importantly get an aligment.

also make sure you have good tire treat.

the e36 suspension is a very good and very well made suspension, but after so many miles the bushing do wear out, this are considered replaceble parts on a car, just like a filter, but you dont do it that often..

make sure you get them change, my car handling was ok, but after changing it all, specially the bushings, o my gosh what diffrence, i know where the car is going, i feel the road very crisp and driving cannont be more fun...

to do this job it is a royal pain in the ass, specially the bushings, but is totally worth it.. o did them myself, i know what im telling you.
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Old 01-22-2005, 11:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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i have a 323i coupe as well and suffer from the same, although I have no traction control, there is nothing mechanically wrong with mine, just an excitable accelerator foot.
so I take it easy on the gas until i'm back in a straight line again then floor it
i've nearly lost it 10 or so times, not at any speed, once I had all 4 tyres skidding when I went round a roundabout, that was scary, but straighten themselves out OK if you get it right ( Think my Gran Turismo playing may have helped there)
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Old 01-22-2005, 12:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by bmw323inewbie@Jan 22 2005, 12:32 PM
i have a 323i coupe as well and suffer from the same, although I have no traction control, there is nothing mechanically wrong with mine, just an excitable accelerator foot.
so I take it easy on the gas until i'm back in a straight line again then floor it
i've nearly lost it 10 or so times, not at any speed, once I had all 4 tyres skidding when I went round a roundabout, that was scary, but straighten themselves out OK if you get it right ( Think my Gran Turismo playing may have helped there)
[snapback]276745[/snapback]

just so you know, when bushing fail, you wont hear noises or arithing that you can look at it and see that it has fail..

when they fail, they let the part that they are attached to move, flex, more than thaye are supposed to.. so althoug you say there is no noises and that everything seems to be on place,, your bushings might just be gone...

and the control arm and trailing arm are the buhsings that fail first,, so if your car is around 100k and it never got a bushing replaced... you should consider it..

i know what you meand by everything seeming ok, mine was the same..
everything seeming nice and thigh under there...

but after getting the whole thing replaced,, o my god.. the drive is so swell..
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