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Old 11-01-2011, 07:59 AM   #1
crehzy78
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Exclamation Wobbly feel/instability at speed/noise after braking

Hi, I have recently noticed that the steering is quite "wobbly" as in the slightest bump will take the steering and make the car feel out of control. If i turn the steering wheel several times quickly the car will respond once or twice but after that it seems to sort of have to catch up with itself, not as sharp as it used to be. I'm aware that tramlining can occur due to the width of the wheels (wheels are standard) but not to the extent that it will follow every line in the road!

There is also a very noticable clunk after braking but only if i release the brake pedal immediately after braking hard and follwowing this if i turn right there is a load groaning, only if i turn right and only after braking.

I have checked the control arms and the steering flex for any wear and cannot see anything, the tyres are all good with good pressures, the power steering fluid is good. I can't think what else to check, its making what should be a pleasurable drive very hard work.

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:00 AM   #2
crehzy78
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the car in question is a 2001 330ci M-sport
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:02 AM   #3
VonGeiss
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What about your control arm bushings?

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Old 11-01-2011, 08:06 AM   #4
jasonbimmer
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what about rear shocks?
when the rear shocks on my xi totally blown, the back end would sway side to side going over a bump.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:12 AM   #5
crehzy78
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Haven't checked the control arms bushings apart from the typical jacking the car up and pulling the arms left and right hard (hardly moving) technique. If the rear shocks have gone would the car feel bouncy over bumps? because if anything if feels quite hard.....
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:14 AM   #6
jasonbimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crehzy78 View Post
Haven't checked the control arms bushings apart from the typical jacking the car up and pulling the arms left and right hard (hardly moving) technique. If the rear shocks have gone would the car feel bouncy over bumps? because if anything if feels quite hard.....
push on the rear shocks several times see how many rebounds you get. you should get none.
yes, my car felt it was outta control when the rear shocks were blown going over bumps. felt like I was drifting in a straight line.
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Old 11-01-2011, 08:46 AM   #7
GoingNuts
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Neither a front nor a rear blown shock made the slightest difference to my steering. When those happened, I drove normally for months before inspections shown them as gone while working on something else. The steering wheel becoming extremely sensitive to the road surface indicates a front end alignment problem. If there's a noise there too then that would indicate something is broken: bushes, springs, arms, or knuckles. A broken shock can also make noise. But it shouldn't affect the steering that much.

Go find a narrow speed bump and roll over it one wheel at a time and determine where the noise is coming from.

Last edited by GoingNuts; 11-01-2011 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:07 AM   #8
hummer
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Despite what is said here, my bets are on the front struts being totally gone! Could be other things also - arms and bushes. How many miles? your road conditions? As the struts and shocks wear out, the ride can stiffen cosiderably as the shock piston slams the oil after free movement. Kind of like "it's not the fall that will kill you it's the sudden stop!" Also as struts wear there can be play that allows the shaft to wobble in the housing. Very bad! Regardless, get a thorough inspection as something in there has failed big time.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:20 AM   #9
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I had similar symptoms from bad fcabs. When moving at 30mph, tap your brakes and see if your steering wheel quickly jerks side to side. This is symptomatic of worn fcabs.

Don't rule out multiple issue either, our suspension has many common failure points.
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Old 11-01-2011, 11:39 AM   #10
VonGeiss
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonbimmer View Post
what about rear shocks?
when the rear shocks on my xi totally blown, the back end would sway side to side going over a bump.
+1 My 325's ass end would get all squirly over bumps when my rear shocks were completely blown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spage View Post
I had similar symptoms from bad fcabs. When moving at 30mph, tap your brakes and see if your steering wheel quickly jerks side to side. This is symptomatic of worn fcabs.

Don't rule out multiple issue either, our suspension has many common failure points.
+1 This was the case on my bmw's when they go bad, and would also notice a bad vibration at highway speed. It would be going along just fine, but once I got up to speed I would get a bad vibration and steering wheel shake, especially on a slight turn. And this would vibration would happen at a very specific speed, fine one second, 1mph faster, very noticeable.
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Old 11-02-2011, 02:22 AM   #11
crehzy78
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Thanks for your replies guys, I have noticed a jerkiness when braking i.e. the side to side motion and there is loads of vibration at speed, I originally put this down to tracking/balancing.

The roads round here are crap, potholes, patches etc so with the problems im having it's more of a chore driving than anything. Appreciate the responses and will get it on the ramp asap. I'm assuming replacing struts/shocks is as easy as it is on an e36?

Any ideas on what the groaning could be, hopefully it's tied in but i'm concerned its something to do with the bearings. Its quite a high miler (160000) but previous owners maintained it meticulously and I'd like to do the same.
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