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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 06-06-2006, 07:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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whole car is shacking, help a girl please!

Ok I just put my summer ATA 18" wheels back on and the car shackes like crazy from 50mph all thay way up! I had the front wheels balanced twice at NTB. I know my rear tires are bad, my front tires are new and balanced. Why is this happening? I got new front control arms (balljoint reasons) but have yet to have the car aligned, can that cause the terrible shacking of the steering wheel and the whole car?
Please if you guys have an answer forward it to me also on gcortes17@sprintpcs.com thank you...
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Old 06-06-2006, 07:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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A car not being aligned can def cause these problems. When you let go of the steering wheel does the car jerk to one direction? Have you bent your rims at all?
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Old 06-06-2006, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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alighment? ps- where are you located, i live outside Boston...
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Old 06-06-2006, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you can describe the vibration a little more and the conditions that exacerbate it, we can possibly help you narrow it down, but here’s a write-up anyways because I was procrastinating work…

Shaking is damned elusive unless you fix it right away. Some guys on BF.C have replaced practically their entire front suspension and keep getting the shakes.
First off, if it becomes significantly worse and pulsates with the wheelspeed when you apply the brakes and it gets worse the more pressure you apply, replace or turn your rotors because they are probably warped. I've had a rotor so bad that it shook during cruising speeds without braking. Never neglect your braking system.

Anyways, It's difficult to isolate the cause of a vibration in a system of many parts where any one part that is bad could cause large vibrations. As you prolly know, generally the thinner the tire sidewall, the more road disturbances you'll be able to notice on the road, I'd try swapping back to your old wheels (unless the tires have been removed or something) and then you can either isolate it to the wheels\tires on your 18" or rule the 18’s out as the cause.
If it goes away and it our 18"s are causing the vibration, go somewhere else with a better balancer. If they have to put a significant amount of weight on the wheel, you will still get vibrations at different speeds because of the tires' apparent shitty construction.
If it's not the tires that are causing the vibrations, first: Get a damned good alignment before you proceed to diagnose the rest of the suspension --save checking visually for worn parts. You should also have the guy doing the alignment also do that for you – if it’s a good alignment shop, they will tell you that you should replace parts if they are worn before you get an alignment. A worn part won’t hold the alignment spec, so an alignment would be useless if something was worn. Misaligned wheels can really cause strange things to happen with the car, especially if your car's toe is out of whack. Hopefully this will fix the vibration. If not, the mechanics didn't align it right or this is not your problem and it’s time to move onto replacing parts!
I would still seriously try to rule out the wheels/tires before you start buying things. (besides replacing rotors) If doing one of these things doesn’t work, move onto the next part to replace.
1. Wheels/tires and rotors. Discussed above.
2. Were the LCA bushings reused (I don't see how you could with the stock ones…)? Really unlikely but you probably have the stock ones on anyways, worn or not. Those stock ones SUCK and I'd toss them anyways (I consider them "worn" right out of the box) and stick solid M3 bushings on. Get the offset ones if you want more caster.
3. Worn tie rods. (replace the whole assembly) These really don't wear out too badly, but they aren’t that expensive to replace and if they are bad, they are bad. Don't cheap out on these though, go for lemfoeder or genuine bmw part replacement. If a cheap tie-rod fails and snaps, you ARE going to crash – and you’ll regret saving that extra $30-50. You can check them by taking a pair of channel locks and clamping on the ball joint and nut that attaches to the hub. If it compresses, it's bad.
4. Worn strut hat's/bearings - get new ones, and you might as well throw in a sport suspension while everything's all apart.
5. Worn steering rack, try replacing the fluid first, it might help, but if the rack is worn or bad, you might want a rebuild or a new one. Quite expensive, if you get this deep into the suspension, there's something really wrong.
6. Wheel bearings - You would probably notice a grinding noise when the wheels are turning, whirring or something strange other than a low frequency vibration - but it's possible.

7. This is in the back of the car, but I suggest you replace the RTA bushings, and get Ground Control shims. MpactMotorsports has a RTA bushing kit with the GC shims for 79$ or something. Quite a deal, instead of buying the bushing and shims separately elsewhere (no I don’t work for them). The shims are very helpful. This would stiffen the rear end quite a lot and would prevent the back end from ‘swimming’ around the road under acceleration, braking, and turning.
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just a note . . the term "warped" rotors is a misnomer. They don't actually warp; they develop high and low spots; the degree to which they do is known as "lateral runout"
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Old 06-06-2006, 03:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Get new tires on back....

If even one tire is out of round or out of balance it will shake the whole car. What brand tires are you using? Not Falkens I hope. But try a new pair on the back and see if it helps. Anything but Falkens.






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Old 06-06-2006, 03:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just to add to bitcore's write-up.

You should be trying to isolate the problem from the ground up starting from simple issues and moving to the more complicated (read expensive) issues.

All wheels/tires must be balanced. If wheels are bent this needs to be fixed. I had two bent wheels and this caused a horrible shake. Tires, if old or parked for long periods of time may develop flat spots as will uneven wear. Once the wheels have been ruled out you need to move upwards. Bad shocks and coils can also cause vibrations. Next on your list is control arms, links, bushings and bearings. Once ruled out a proper alignment is your next step. At this point a good alignment shop may tell you if your tie rods are shot as well as many issues mentioned above. Next would be brake discs. Your final stage would be to isolate the vibration coming from the drivetrain. An out of balannce drive shaft, worn universal joint as well as a worn transmission mount may cause your issue. The last thing but highly unlikely would be an engine mount. My guess is your wheels are out of center.

I'm no expert but I've been where you are now. Hope this helps.

Let us know.
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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This must have something to do with the wheel switch or possibly a rotor cooling off too quickly (possibly after very aggressive driving with lots of braking, you can't do this without being completely illegal or on a track.... or splashing a ton of water onto them) while sitting still, so the brake pads act as heating blankets. Cool one part of the rotor while the other has essentially heat shield on it, it's going to create stresses and 'warp'. I've done it. Drove hard as hell one night, no cooldown driving, next morning - Fucked up.
I agree with surge, but I wouldn't rule out the rotors as a least likely cause that deep into repair options.
My vote: flatspotted tires. Go do some burnouts, rotate, and burn out some more >: ) (of course, after you've checked for this... and that's not a good solution, you should replace them.... but I'd go ahead and waste them by doing doughnuts or something fun at least)

Hamfisted, my first set of tires on mine were falkens, although quite some time ago, I rather liked them. Compaired to a set of khumo ecstaca's, they were great.
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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wow bitcore... you should write some stuff for the FAQ about different stuff... all i see is kickass writeups comming out of you...
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:41 AM   #10 (permalink)
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i had this issue when i put on my 18'' wheels on. The steering would vibrate like crazy, the hubs didnt sit on properly...i was missing these littles hub allign peices...
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Old 06-07-2006, 03:49 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
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i had this issue when i put on my 18'' wheels on. The steering would vibrate like crazy, the hubs didnt sit on properly...i was missing these littles hub allign peices...
OH YAH I FORGOT ABOUT THAT.

Hubcentric thingeys, if your wheels arn't perfectly centered on the hub, it's going to suck, but since you said you put your 18"s BACK on, I assumed that before, you had no trouble with them.

Perhaps the first time they were put on, they happened to install them with care (hey it's possible I guess), and now they did a slapjob with throwing them on.

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wow bitcore... you should write some stuff for the FAQ about different stuff... all i see is kickass writeups comming out of you...
Oddly, I never get any rep-points for any of my huge articles on things. It's that little white-ish icon at the bottom left that looks like a law-style weight measuring scale...... clicky?
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Old 06-07-2006, 08:49 AM   #12 (permalink)
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nothing to do with the subject, but what does you being a girl have to do with helping...

obviously u got the attention of them.. hahah
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Is the hub really that important? I had a set of wheels on my truck that did not match the hub but never had any issues. I always hand tightened the lug nuts before torquing them. The only thing matching hubs simplify is hanging the wheel on a BMW lug bolt setup. It would be a pain to get the bolt in with one hand while holding the 45Lb wheel in the right place with the other.
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Old 06-07-2006, 04:48 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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nothing to do with the subject, but what does you being a girl have to do with helping...

obviously u got the attention of them.. hahah
It didn't stop RexKing86 for asking where she lived.... And dude, just so you know, women in everyday life use their 'powers' as a female to get things they want, just look at how many men compaired to women are in mental hospitles, shows who's driving who crazy.... (no I dont dislike women, I love my girlfriend to death - She's sane!)
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Old 06-07-2006, 05:21 PM   #15 (permalink)
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but yeah anyways just get it alligned... see how that turns out... shuold help it alot if not fix it totally...
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