Wheel balancing for E39 - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-21-2006, 09:38 AM
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Wheel balancing for E39

Not sure if this has been posted before apologies if it has I'v just joined the forum.

I've just bought a new set of 18" M parallel wheels and they are very cool there fitted with 235/40R18 at the front mounted on a 18x8 and 265/35R18 at the rear mounted on 18x9.5 All zr rated.

Problem I have when I was driving on the motorway I noticed strong vibrations at 50mph and 70mph only (other speeds was smooth) through the steering rack and on the seats. First thing I thought was balancing.

So I took it to my local garage and they re-did the balancing. It went fine 50mph was smooth with no steering rack vibrations but when I went to 70 mph the strong vibrations is still felt through the seats and felt like the car is juddering.

Is it to do with the different tires sizes I have? ie 235/40front and 265/35rear


Someone please help cause this is driving me insane.

Thanks in advance.
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-21-2006, 02:22 PM
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E39s have notoriously hard-to-balance wheels, and the larger wheel/tire combo only exacerbates the problem. That said I can suggest exploring a couple of things:

1) I've read that a worn control arm bushing (particularly the large, pressed-in one in front lower control arm on the I-6) can cause a shimmy at certain speeds (check 540i6.com "Common Problems & Fixes")

2) Many aftermarket rims can be lug-centric, whereas OEM wheels are often hub-centric, resulting in impossible-to-balance rims. The only solution I know to this one is to purchase hub adapter rings to make your aftermarket rims essentially hub-centric. I've checked and I know that Summit Racing sells these, but you will need to know the O.D. of your car's hubs and the I.D. of each wheels' hub. Fortunately they're cheap, but not everyone owns vernier calipers for such fine measurements.

3) Also, make sure your hub and rim mating surfaces are completely cleaned off and rust-free, using brake cleaner and fine sandpaper. Then apply a fine film of CV joint or axle grease to your hub surface prior to re-mounting the rim. This will give you the best fit and facilitate removal of the rim next time.

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#3 (permalink) Old 05-22-2006, 09:58 AM
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Eric, I don't know if you know this but I read somewhere that the torque apply to mount the tires has been increased in some cases to fix this problem. I'm looking for it on the net... Anyway, thought I would share this with you guys.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2006, 10:09 AM
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Monkeyman, here is some additional info... check the tips & tricks section. They covered the shimmy experience.

http://bmwtips.com

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#5 (permalink) Old 05-22-2006, 03:30 PM
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Thanks guys, much appriciated will let you know how I get on.
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#6 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 03:29 PM
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Ok an update.

I put my old wheels back on, the standard turbine alloys with 225/55/16 all round luckily I haven't sold them yet.

Then went on the motorway and cruised at 70mph no problem it was as smooth as silk as you would expect from a BMW. So this eliminates any problems with the cars suspension, control arms, bushes, cv joints, springs, dampers etc.

It cant be the alloys cause there brand new got them 3 days ago and I saw them beeing assembled out of the box they came in and the tyres are brand new as well.

And I've had it balanced twice first time when they assembled the wheels and second time when I took it the a local garage.

So next port of call. Can anybody recommend tyre pressures for 235/40/18 and 265/35/18 I got a sneaky suspicion that they are the same all round. I've looked in the car manual but it only gives figures for upto 17".

If that fails then the only problem would be the lug nuts. My car is 1999 reg which I think, might of used heavier lug nuts back then than they do today. And cause I'm re-using my old locking nuts ( saves me having to pay for another set ) which originally came with the car, there mixed with the brand new lug nuts that came with the wheels. Which could be chucking the wheels off balance.

So when I get some tyre psi figures I'll try that, then if it doesn't work I'll put on my old lug nuts.

Thanks in advance.
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#7 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 04:33 PM
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I still stand behind my aftermarket rims not being hub-centric comment above....

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#8 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 05:05 PM
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yeah that is possible, but he could have purchased the same aftermarket OEM replicas rims I have, which are hub-centric. Mine, however, are smooth all the way to 120+mph....: uh, i meant 70mph, that is the speed limit, right?

Monkey, where did you get your rims from?

Jason / 1997 528i
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#9 (permalink) Old 05-23-2006, 05:15 PM
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I'm from the United Kingdom btw got the wheels at a local wheels dealer who fitted them on there and then they only do prestige car alloys and tyres.

Looking at your pic winters97E39 its exactly the same ones what tyre pressures you running on?
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#10 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 01:11 AM
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Not all aftermarket wheels are manufactured to the same quality.
So it doesn't mean if they are brand new out of the box, they will run straight. That's why I was asking winters how his ran, good for him he got a set of good quality aftermarket's. I've heard stories of poorly manufactured aftermarket wheels.

So, what I'm saying is it could "possibly" be the new wheels.

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#11 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 03:32 PM
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CosmosBlack that is a scary thought being poorly manufactured, having just paid a shed load of dosh for em.

Any way the tyres where the same pressures all round they are now lower psi at the front than the rear.

So I took it for another test drive on the motorway. It was less vibration but could still feel a slight juddering. Then I whacked on my old lug nuts and took it out again.

And guess what, it's as smooth as gliding a hot knife through butter. I can know enjoy my car again.
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#12 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 06:24 PM
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sounds good... happy you got this figured out...
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#13 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 07:23 PM
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It often comes down to a problem with nuts...of one kind or another.

Glad you nailed the problem, and better yet, I am happy your new wheels turned out to be OK!

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#14 (permalink) Old 05-24-2006, 07:55 PM
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No doubt!! Its always nice to have an easy fix...

BTW, I havent really checked what pressure I have mine at, usually I go by a few lbs under the recommended as a general rule. I just havent checked what these tires are recommended at yet..

guess maybe I should do that this weekend...........

Monkeyman... post up some full pics of your ride.. I wanna see the rims on yours

Jason / 1997 528i
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#15 (permalink) Old 05-27-2006, 10:28 AM
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Cheers for your interest dudes,

My ride 530i

It's lowered by 30mm not 40mm because here in the UK we have some massive speed bumps enough to break your back, also light blue smoke tints, a superchip has been added giving an extra 14bhp not that it needs it but I do find the flats spots at 1000rpm are annoying and this sorts it out.

Hope you guys like it.



Last edited by monkeyman54; 05-27-2006 at 10:37 AM.
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