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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 09-24-2013, 12:31 PM   #21
peytonracer4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
don't get "vibration" mixed up with road feel. if you are getting an unnatural shimmy, it's not your control arm bushings. if your front end is immaculate, even having solid spherical CABs won't cause a shimmy. Things vibrate at the speeds you describe (or any speed for that matter) when something is broken or out of balance.
This. Oem bushings will only mask the problem. If you went back to oem and the problem went away, it's still there. You just can't feel it anymore.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:51 PM   #22
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I had the Meyle HD ones on my car and was not impressed. After 40,000 miles of use I started to get vibration under braking and some imprecise steering.

I also tried the powerflex ones on my competition car, and they disintegrated after three events. So I will never go back to those bushings.

I replaced them this weekend with MZ4 bushings, which are made of solid rubber and are offset for about a half degree more positive caster. They tightened up the front end, improved steering feel and eliminated all my steering wheel shake. Best part, they are cheap!
Where did you get these? I'll check ebay but it there a reputable source?

As far as the lifetime warranty on the Power Flex, I don't think I have the receipt, although I can have them look up my name if they have it in their data base. No idea if they were lifetime, so I'll check into that. I got 80K, I am assuming that life time is like never having to replace them again??

Also no you don't need to re-align after changing them.

Yes if you have a different problem then new CABs will mask it for some time.
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:54 PM   #23
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Where did you get these? I'll check ebay but it there a reputable source?

As far as the lifetime warranty on the Power Flex, I don't think I have the receipt, although I can have them look up my name if they have it in their data base. No idea if they were lifetime, so I'll check into that. I got 80K, I am assuming that life time is like never having to replace them again??

Also no you don't need to re-align after changing them.

Yes if you have a different problem then new CABs will mask it for some time.
you can get them anywhere bmw parts are sold. they aren't a secretive part. ive been planning on getting them for quite a while now once my Meyles give out. chances are though my Meyles will last 10 years +. no signs of giving up.
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Old 09-24-2013, 04:52 PM   #24
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don't get "vibration" mixed up with road feel. if you are getting an unnatural shimmy, it's not your control arm bushings. if your front end is immaculate, even having solid spherical CABs won't cause a shimmy. Things vibrate at the speeds you describe (or any speed for that matter) when something is broken or out of balance.
Mango, you know I respect you, but that is a semantics argument. A vibration is a vibration. The bushings might not be a direct cause, but it's still worth pointing out that stiff bushings may cause more vibrations to be felt. Fact of the matter is, some parts of the US have worse roads than other parts. East coast is particularly bad (with a couple exceptions). Lately the pavement they're using over here in PA is just awful. In such a situation, I would hesitate to recommend a Meyle HD bushing

I ran with the Meyles for about 40k miles, but I noticed the vibrations pretty early on. Eventually I came to accept it as part of the car, until I switched back to OEM. At that point, my front end was probably less maintained than when I initially installed the bushings at 65k miles.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:00 PM   #25
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Mango, you know I respect you, but that is a semantics argument. A vibration is a vibration. The bushings might not be a direct cause, but it's still worth pointing out that stiff bushings may cause more vibrations to be felt. Fact of the matter is, some parts of the US have worse roads than other parts. East coast is particularly bad (with a couple exceptions). Lately the pavement they're using over here in PA is just awful. In such a situation, I would hesitate to recommend a Meyle HD bushing

I ran with the Meyles for about 40k miles, but I noticed the vibrations pretty early on. Eventually I came to accept it as part of the car, until I switched back to OEM. At that point, my front end was probably less maintained than when I initially installed the bushings at 65k miles.
Word. Massachusetts roads eat bushings on the daily. And Mango, I highly doubt those Chinese bushings will last 10 years on your car.


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Old 09-24-2013, 05:38 PM   #26
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Yeah due to economic reasons, streets here USED to be great. Now a lot of the surface streets I have to drive on a daily basis just beat the hell out of my suspension and cause all sorts of things to creek, moan, rub and jiggle. My friend with a new VW confirms the same thing even on that.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:14 PM   #27
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Mango, you know I respect you, but that is a semantics argument. A vibration is a vibration. The bushings might not be a direct cause, but it's still worth pointing out that stiff bushings may cause more vibrations to be felt. Fact of the matter is, some parts of the US have worse roads than other parts. East coast is particularly bad (with a couple exceptions). Lately the pavement they're using over here in PA is just awful. In such a situation, I would hesitate to recommend a Meyle HD bushing

I ran with the Meyles for about 40k miles, but I noticed the vibrations pretty early on. Eventually I came to accept it as part of the car, until I switched back to OEM. At that point, my front end was probably less maintained than when I initially installed the bushings at 65k miles.
It's important that we correctly distinguish between vibrations and unacceptable shimmy. Using your argument, any ///Motorsports part causes vibration and thus would be considered "bad". Is that vibration necessarily bad? No. It's preferred--it's wanted. ///M balljoints versus rear trailing arm bushings? ///M RTABs? ///M engine and transmission mounts? The point is sportier, more direct feel/handling. As driving enthusiasts, that's a good thing. We want that. We crave it.

Now in the case of a shimmy, no, solid rubber bushings regardless of brand will not cause an unacceptable shimmy. Will you have more road feel? Yes. Is that a bad thing? You decide.

As for Meyle bushings--you know I like quality. My friend (I've repeated this story many times--yawn) has close to 100k on his Meyle HD CABs. That's 100k supercharged balls-to-the-wall canyon driving. He can chime in if he'd like. We periodicallly inspect them on the lift and they're still solid. Absolutely no play. Mine have 40k on them and needless to say, still rock solid.

BTW, it doesn't matter to me if they last 100k or not. I don't want them to. Changing them out every 40k would not be unacceptable to me.
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Old 09-24-2013, 06:21 PM   #28
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I just visited New England a couple weeks ago. Went to Maine from West Virginia and back. I'm glad my new suspension is still in the garage and yet to be installed. I'm not used to seeing potholes on Interstate highways but some of the back roads were not so bad especially along the coast. Beautiful area but the roads suck. With 68,000 miles on the car, the suspension still performed quite well. I've ordered most all the suspension components but the CABs and keep hearing conflicting reports on the Meyle HD vs OE. I want something that will last and I do not track or autoX and the car is a garage queen and used sparingly. I know there is no definitive answer on the CABs so I will decide on my own after sorting through all the reviews. Thanks to everyone for there comments and personal experiences.

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Old 09-25-2013, 05:11 AM   #29
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The Meyles apparently work for a lot of people, but they didn't work for me. I won't be going back to them. The MZ4 bushings improved the steering feel enough over the Meyles that to me they're worth every penny. You can get them from any BMW dealer (I ordered mine from getbmwparts.com).

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Old 09-25-2013, 09:32 AM   #30
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Well, either way I'm not changing them. That vibration is indeed more like unnatural shimmy. Will need new tires soon, so will be doing balancing and alignment.
Can a steering coupler cause that shimmy? And when I say shimmy or vibration I mean frequent series of Left-Right movements between 60 and 80 mph. Nothing outside that range.


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Old 09-25-2013, 10:21 AM   #31
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Powerflex is typically very easy to deal with when it comes to Warranty parts, I'd suggest at least shooting them an email before buying new parts. Worst thing they can do is email you back a no go. HERE is a link to their warranty info page, contact email for warranty issues is going to be service@powerflexusa.com

As for options:
Meyle HDs (LINK) great options, super popular. 4 year warranty, proven, quiet, etc not many reasons not to go with them.
MTC Poly bushings (LINK) are also solid option. Id suggest slathering them in grease to keep them quiet, but that's about the only issue we've heard of in regards to them. They carry a one year warranty.
Z4M solid rubbers (LINK) another options that's growing in popularity. Keep in mind as stated you'll be adding some caster to the suspension by going with these.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:37 AM   #32
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No a steering coupler cannot and will not cause any shimmy. It will, however, cause slop or "play" in the steering wheel and its connection to the front wheels.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:49 PM   #33
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I just replaced my FCAB with Meyle HD and got a shimmy at 60-65mph. Got my tires balanced and the shimmy in gone.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:17 AM   #34
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I just replaced my FCAB with Meyle HD and got a shimmy at 60-65mph. Got my tires balanced and the shimmy in gone.
Looks like this is what I need to do then


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Old 09-26-2013, 11:11 AM   #35
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I just replaced my FCAB with Meyle HD and got a shimmy at 60-65mph. Got my tires balanced and the shimmy in gone.
But, you didn't gat an alignment and your tires may be worn badly?
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Old 09-26-2013, 11:12 AM   #36
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I just replaced my FCAB with Meyle HD and got a shimmy at 60-65mph. Got my tires balanced and the shimmy in gone.
But, you didn't get an alignment and your tires may be worn badly?
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Old 09-26-2013, 12:30 PM   #37
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Imagine a completely solid/rigid suspension with no rubber bushings. All solidly mounted hardware. If the wheels/tires are balanced and are free of any bends and defects, there should be no shimmy of the steering wheel. You will feel the road though. Wheels/tires are put on machines and spun balanced and correctly balanced wheels/tires will show zero vibration directly on the machine. This includes road-force balancers. As tires wear down, you might need to rebalance as weight distribution may change.
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Old 09-28-2013, 08:16 AM   #38
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But, you didn't get an alignment and your tires may be worn badly?
hummer, this is twice that you have commented on my replies on this subject with which seem to be sarcastic questions. I don't know what you are trying to say. Could you elaborate.
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Old 09-28-2013, 03:40 PM   #39
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Alignment is not necessary if you are old replacing oem fcab with new oem fcab. Reason is, there is nothing fundamentally changing when you replace old with new.
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Old 10-16-2013, 03:34 PM   #40
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Powerflex is typically very easy to deal with when it comes to Warranty parts, I'd suggest at least shooting them an email before buying new parts. Worst thing they can do is email you back a no go. HERE is a link to their warranty info page, contact email for warranty issues is going to be service@powerflexusa.com

As for options:
Meyle HDs (LINK) great options, super popular. 4 year warranty, proven, quiet, etc not many reasons not to go with them.
MTC Poly bushings (LINK) are also solid option. Id suggest slathering them in grease to keep them quiet, but that's about the only issue we've heard of in regards to them. They carry a one year warranty.
Z4M solid rubbers (LINK) another options that's growing in popularity. Keep in mind as stated you'll be adding some caster to the suspension by going with these.
Followed your advice and contacted Powerflex and yes they were great and warranted them out. My drivers side was slipping up the lower CAB and the right one had some play in them. I bought them a while ago and they have since improved the quality so they sent me a new pair (Street/Track). I will put them on over this coming weekend and hopefully this will take care of the last remaining issues for the front suspension.
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