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Old 02-03-2012, 08:02 PM   #17
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Eugene, OR USA
Posts: 43
My Ride: 2000 323i
Originally Posted by havnfun328 View Post
There's been a lot of good info on this thread, here's my take on how you should approach your specific issues:

1. Your main complaint is steering wheel shaking "at low RPM / engine loads". This is a little difficult to interpret, but most wheel shaking gets worse at high speed or occurs under braking. If I read you correctly, I agree with dmax and would concentrate on your wheels/tires. If the shaking happens under braking, then your FCABs may be the cause. I have never heard of steering wheel shaking under engine load.

2. If your FCAB's are indeed shot (regardless of whether they are a cause of your issue), it is an easy DIY and relatively cheap ($100). Swaybar end links are also easy and cheap, but the main symptom they cause is noise when going over bumps.

3. Only replace control arms if the ball joints are bad or if they are bent. An alignment shop can tell you that.

4. Only replace shocks/struts if they are leaking or otherwise bad. Or if you want to upgrade your suspension.

In summary, get a proper diagnosis of your issue. Don't just throw parts at it.
Thank you havnfun328, I quite agree with what you said. In fact, I have just had my car in the shop today for a look over. As it turns out, my CABs are shot and in need of replacement. I also found out that I need a wheel alignment. I therefore intend to proceed as follows:

1. Replace the CABs with Treehouse Racing "Eyeball" Control Arm Brackets from Bimmerworld. I know that this doesn't agree with some viewpoints, but I also have testimonials from others that say they work well in street applications.

2. Get a four wheel alignment. The shop I use should be able to help me identify any other suspension related issues.

After doing these two things, I will at least have solved my CAB problem, and may very well have solved the steering wheel issue. If not, no harm done, and I should have more funds available to track down that issue. Keep posted and I will let you guys know how things work out.

Quadrant5 is offline   Reply With Quote