Thread: krappy handling
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:58 PM   #12
fiveightandten
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,202
My Ride: '03 330ci / '98 M3
Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
well correct me if im wrong...but strut is the full assembly on the front end. but the dampers in the front are still called SHOCKS.
The E46 has Macpherson strut assemblies up front and separate shocks and coil springs in the rear. While the Macpherson assembly can technically be described as an "assembly that houses a shock absorber inside a strut housing with a coil spring seated on it", that's what a Macpherson "strut" is. In automotive applications, we basically just refer to them at "struts" to differentiate from "shocks", which are just the damper without a housing that holds a coil spring around it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
as far the caster goes...what the dealer recommended from their experience is to do a $1300 repair on the front shocks and mounts to see if that adjusts the caster since thats what they know from experience causes the caster to be off.
I can't comment on that without knowing what this $1300 repair is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
they advised me they are not sure but i would need to do section at a time to narrow it down. so its not a sure thing that replacing these front end parts would fix the problem for sure.
Understood. But if your caster is far out of spec, a good mechanic should usually be able to tell what the issue is without having to replace parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
they are telling me there is no mushrooming on the strut tower but possibly there is damage to the shock mounts and shocks themselves from a impact of some sort from their past experience.
This is where I get confused. Either there's damage, or there isn't. The strut mounts are cylindrical pieces of aluminum. If there is deformation from an impact, it should be visible.

Here's a picture of one (I've taken this from the ECS tuning website)



And, the top...



See how you should be able to tell if that's bent just by looking at it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
so im not gonna just throw money into something even the dealer is not sure of
I agree. I think maybe explaining the issue to a good indie shop may put you in a better position where they can actually look the car over well and tell you what needs to be replaced without throwing parts at the car and hoping they fix the issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
....to explain whats going on, the car will a) vibrate at speeds above 60,
This is most likely a balance issue or bent wheel as mentioned above. It sounds like the car had an impact, so a bent wheel is quite plausible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
b) steering wheel has about half inch of play.
This could be due to a lot of things, including: worn front end components (ball joints, tie rods, etc), worn steering guibo, or possibly even the steering rack. Seeing as you replaced the control arms and bushings, that limits the components that could be responsible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by daimler55 View Post
c) occasionally alignment will pull towards left unless steering is cocked towards 1oclock position on a straight road and when braking. all the work i did on the front end is mentioned in my first post. so thanks for all your replies
If it's ONLY when braking, then you probably have an issue with brakes. But I suspect that if your caster issue is fixed, the car will not pull anymore. Right now, if the caster is uneven between sides, it could cause the car to pull. It could be the brakes, or even RTAB's. But First things first and get the caster issue sorted out. The vibration still sounds like a balance issue to me (bent wheel, or wheel out of balance).
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