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That makes me second!

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by e30guy, Mar 6, 2008.

    e30guy guest

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    Charlottesville, Virginia BMW e30 owner here. Anyone who might have insight into suspension related issues please chime in!

    BrianLoeb guest

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    Hey E30Guy,


    I could probably help you a little , it could not hurt right ? i am an Automotive student at UTI in Arizona. Let me know what the problem is,like i said maybe i could help a bit.Let me know.

    Your fellow E30 nut in Arizona.
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    Odiekokee

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    I might be able to help a little myself, mostly with the front. I've rebuilt the whole front suspension, exceptions being the springs and struts themselves.

    e30guy guest

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    Well here is what I have done:

    • New front brakes
    • New front rotors (car was shaking much worse)
    • New control arm bushings

    There is a 'general' slight shake, starting say around 50-55. It's not terrible, just annoying. I don't notice any sort of vibration as a passenger - the sensation is transmitted into the steering wheel only.

    Last inspection was August '07. At the time I asked the garage to let me know if anything was really wearing; one tie rod is 4 years old and I am not sure of the age of the other components.

    BrianLoeb guest

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    Front end re-build anyone ?

    E30 Guy ,


    I was talking to a friend of mine tonight who is very well versed in E30 and also attends school with me, he owns a 89 325is (which i might add is very nice) he has informed me that it is time to get a front end re-build. New control arms, ball joints,tie rods..etc. However with out really getting a good look see, i would say take it to an independent shop that specializes in BMW. Let me know, hope this helps a bit.

    e30guy guest

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    Well, throwing enough $$$ at it will certainly work! He's probably right.

    BrianLoeb guest

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    In Response

    You could throw a whole bunch of $$$ at your car , but that is very unwise and in the end it might fix the car. He(my friend) has re-built his front end before,i mean this kids family eats,sleeps,breaths,BMW! it is insane, and a wee bit unhealthy as well.But i have to hand it to him, he knows whats up. Have you put the car up on a lift and done an inspection? that little shimmy in the steering wheel sounds like it is going to get whole lot worse.Parts are super exspensive on those E30's so really getting down to the problem is the way to go. Geese long winded.Good luck E30 Guy, let me know how it goes.
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    mjweimer

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    I have rebuilt many an E30 front end and it sounds like your control arm bushings are toast.

    You don't mention how many miles are on your car but it may be a good time to do the control arms as well since they contain the inner and outer ball-joints. Also have a close look at the tie-rods for wear. Check the outer ball-joint for damage to the boot and excessive play and pull back the corrugated cover on the inner tie-rod (at the steering rack) and check the ball and socket assembly for excessive free play.

    Eating, breathing and sleeping BMW's is a good thing!

    Matt
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    Odiekokee

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    Go ahead and do the stabilizer bars or links or whatever they're called while you're at it too...i skimped on them cause of money....and now the rattle is paying me for it. :(

    Healy325 guest

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    How about the Wheels?

    I had some vibrating issues and it turned out to be that my wheels needed to be balanced.
    Are you running any kind of aftermarket rims and tire sizes? Are you on standard 14's with 205 wide tires that haven't been changed in a four years or so? That may be the ticket. It costs very little to have the wheels balanced so maybe try that first.

    e30guy guest

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    Good idea; actually the wheels are four years old and have maybe 15000 miles on them. It was balanced last fall. The rims were replaced after I discovered two were bent. Standard factory size tire and wheels.

    How much for say, new control arms (shop installed)?

    jmalter guest

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    well i don't think new control arms are warranted, if your shake hasn't gone away after competent rim-rounding & re-mount/re-balancing of tires. W/ aged cars like ours, it's the rubber mounts (bushings) that have deteriorated over time, or that might not've been robust enough to begin with.

    I'd guess that, w/ round rims & balanced tires mounted, if you're still getting a wobbly feel, that you might want to use 'M3-type' front lower-control-arm bushings, that they are (presumably) made of harder stuff. In which case, you should research the part-numbers, to ensure that you're buying an M-part instead of a stock part.

    Doubtless, they'll be more expensive, but it's the rubber parts, not the steel parts, that are important here.

    rudyracer guest

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    stock rims ? most after market fims need a hubsentric ring to keep wheel centered without it on the bmw you will almost be certaain to get a vibration. PS if you need rear suspension help I can give you all kinds of help that most sites overlooked. as in a convetible is soooooo much different than the sedans good luck my email is onegrnspit@aol.com

    jmalter guest

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    well all my sets of aftermarket wheels (BBS, MSW & Alpina) fit snugly to the center hub w/o any adapter ring, but ain't it really the boltstuds that 'center' the rims? Once they're torqued, the rim is as centered as it can possibly be, if they're not rollin' roundly at that point (i.e., if the angled seats of the bolt-holes in the rim aren't in the right geometry wrt the rim's center), i'd think that you're dealin' w/ a low-quality item.
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    mjweimer

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    Modern BMW's use the hub center (hence the term hub-centric) to align the wheel to the hubs. The taper of the wheel bolts is simply for a large surface area to distribute clamping loads.

    Not all aftermarket wheels require the hub-centric adapters and those that do are not necessarily low quality, just made for multiple applications.

    Matt


    jmalter guest

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    kudos to Matt for improving my understanding of 'hub-centric'.

    Another thing I just learned from Dan the mechanic, was that my aged anti-sway bar bushings had disintegrated. I've got M5 links that tie the ends of the bars to the active (bouncing) parts, they were all in fine shape, but the bushings in the mounts where the bars were attached to the frame had cracked & failed. The bars are aftermarket Dinan parts (22mm front, 16mm rear), mebbe now that they're more reliably connected to the frame they will do their duty. Or, when stressed, it'll be one of those M5 end-links that breaks at the next opportunity!

    jmalter guest

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    another thing is there's an essential difference between a car that's street-prepared & one that's track-prepared - the difference between "havin' fun" & "take no prisoners" modes of driving.

    IMO, the best gauge of what your set-up needs is the wear-pattern you get on your tires after a season's-worth of driving. Are your outside-fronts wearing faster, or is it the outside-rears that wear out mopre heavily? Can you relate those wear-patterns to your driving style, & to your sense of the car's balance? Can you adjust your car's balance w/ a tire-pressure differential between front & rear, would more stiffness across either axle make a difference, do you need a more radical change to get the front to turn in more quickly, are you comfortable w/ the way the rear end steps out? Is your steering working ok, or is it too sensitive to road-changes?

    These questions can best be answered by the driver, by the 'report-card' of wear-pattern from a set of 4 used tires, and by what environment you want your car to perform at its best. There are tons of variables - tire-size, rubber grip-quality & inflation-pressure; body roll-stiffness vs. wheel-camber; steering precison vs. road-feel - it gets more complicated (& more subjective) the more you talk about it.

    But the best result is, when you look at your tires after a full season of driving. What you want is that they should show an even amount of wear across each tread-width, whether front, rear, left or right. That's the sign where you know your driving-style is in sync w/ your car's susspension!

    eicarguy guest

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    is it aligned?

    Rotating imbalances cause vibrations that get amplified by bad rubber, loose ball joints or worn struts. It's good you changed rotors already. If you switch wheels front to rear is there a difference?

    I'd take the car for an alignment and go by the recommendations of the shop. Of course it would help if they had some experience on the E30. They might make it new for a reasonable amount, too. New lower control arms and tie rods would do a wonder to my sense of security if I had a question about them. Check prices and get familiar with the parts and prices before you go.

    hope this helps,

    ei

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