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#1 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 06:01 AM
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just wondered if anyone can help with a very frustrating wheel vibration on a 1998 E39, the car has done 70,000 and i have upgraded from 15" to 17" wheels but have had the problem with both, both sets of wheels are true and tires are ok and i have experimented with pressures. I had the front control arms and bushings replaced and for the first time in 12 months the vibration (between 50 - 55mph) disappeared only to now appear between 75 - 100mph, it shakes really bad despite being balanced 'again'. It seems the only thing left is the shorter side control arms & bushings which are the originals.

can anyone suggest anything else before i spend £200 on these arms, i have been assured my steering rack is ok.
any thoughts much appreciated
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-01-2004, 08:19 AM
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Check your power steering fluid.... I know it sounds crazy... but the faster you drive... the less power steering fluid it ports to your steering rack. So it might be doing something gay. Check that..

I know you said you wheels and tires are in good conditioned.. balanced and everything.... are you sure you didnt buy wheels that have wider specs in the rear wheels ..than on the front... *enabling you to run wider tires in the back*.... if you some how got them mixed up... say... a 7.5 in the front left and a 8.5 in the front right.. you might get what you called a wheel shimmy. Maybe check that if you bought wider wheels for the rear and had some jack ass install your tires...and switched things up on ya.

I'm pretty sure you've checked to make sure you have all of your lug nuts installed.... BMW are great at working one or two of those nuts off over time.

Other than the above reasons... I would just jack the car up... and started pushin.. and pullin on your control arms... anything mechanical that is attached to your front wheels.... and make sure everything is sound.

Hope this helps.


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#3 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 06:27 AM
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i will try the things you mentioned, will check the power steering fluid next that sounds feasible
cheers 97alpineM3
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-02-2004, 11:42 AM
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I would say check the bushings.. thrust arm bushings or whatever you may have that you said are original.. I had the same thing on my E34 (between 42-52 mph).. I dont know how similar problems can be between E34 and E39, but give it a shot! Mine works just fine now..

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#5 (permalink) Old 08-03-2004, 01:58 AM
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I've had slight but annoying wheel shimmy at low speeds.
It's interesting how the shimmy disappears at high speeds.
Checked everything, all seem fine. Wheels have been balanced over and over again. Immediately after balancing, the shimmy seem to go away, but then comes back to haunt me after a few days!
I've kinda accepted it as a common E39 problem. If I have to make a guess, I'll say it's the tires.

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:23 PM
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I have the exact same problem on my 97 540ia, had shaking between 40-45, and then again between 95-110 (on a track of course) but i took it to bmw, they told me i had a bad front right tire, and return it to where i got it....

ps. bmw said that balancing them would fix them only temporarially...
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-07-2004, 05:25 PM
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When that was happening to me...(vibration at highway speeds)....my steering rack was broken on one side....

REplaced it and it's fine now.
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