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Old 07-01-2014, 05:29 PM   #1
Bavarian2009m3
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Suspension Help!!!

Ok so I may be new to this forum but not to the world of bmws. I have been searching over two weeks try to crack the case of my problem to no prevail. I have a very odd steering wheel vibration from my car. Before I ask the advice, I'll give all the details.

2004 330 ci sport package. 129,000 miles.

In the last 6 months the car has had the following done.
1. New meyle fcab's
2. New meyle control arms
3. BMW performance BBK I am running 10 mm hub centric spacers for caliper clearance

Just two weeks ago put new tires on all four corners and had them road force balanced.

Other history .... The steering rack and tie rods were replaced a year ago as well as the power steering pump. The only thing that has not been replaced recently is the actual suspension ie.. Struts and springs.

So here is the problem... When driving from 0 to 45 mph there is no vibrations when cruising braking or even under hard acceptation. Once I hit 50 mph all the way up to 75-80 mph there is a really noticeable vibration when accelerating braking or cruising, but it comes and goes in its intensity. The few times I have gone a little above the 80 it seems to get a lot better. Now let me also state it gets the worst after turning the wheel side to side or going around a curve.

Now I have already addressed the issue with the fcab's by replacing the ones that were on there with a brand new set and it made absolutely no difference.

I have taken the wheels back to the tire shop and had them road forced again .

I really am at a loss. Can't seem to figure this one out. I wanna get to the bottom of this as I do have brand new hr springs, blistering shocks and struts , all new spring pads and hardware , new camber plates etc that I am going to be putting on the car. I just don't wanna put brand new parts on and still have the problem do I'd rather fix this first . Any help ?? Advice??
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:37 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I've think you found your own problem.. considering the mileage your struts are shot, (one side more so than the other, very likely) causing the noticeable vibrations you are describing, at speed.

Also, have you checked the strut tower itself and make sure they are not damaged/mushroomed? Use a straight-edge and line it up on the strut tower tops and see if they are flat (both sides)

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 07-01-2014 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 07-01-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
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Well thank you for the warm welcome. I have looked at the towers and there is a very minor bump in the tower. I have give this serious thought about it being the struts but then why would the car handle and act just fine under 45 mph?


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Old 07-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
... I have give this serious thought about it being the struts but then why would the car handle and act just fine under 45 mph?
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Due to your fresh CAs and FCABs, they're dampening the harmonics/vibrations at low(er) speeds "better", than at high(er) speeds.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Well thank you for the warm welcome. I have looked at the towers and there is a very minor bump in the tower.
...
As you stated > the 'minor' bump or "bulge" on the top of the strut tower USUALLY indicate a severe strike of some sort.. running over a speed bump/road debris/jumping a curb, etc.

When you have the sports package, you're suspension is firmer with stiffer tires making those issues more likely to cause damage.


Now knowing that there is tower damage, I'd say you probably have hub/bearing problems too.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:26 PM   #5
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Well i purchased the car three years ago and i have not replaced the hubs i guess it wouldn't hurt to replace them since ill have the wheels off anyway. Do you think it could be worn out sway end links or bar bushings that bolt to the body? And i have never ran a lowering suspension will the end links need to be replaced to accommodate the lowered height ?


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Old 07-01-2014, 08:27 PM   #6
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Could it be the ball joints on the c arms are already worn out ?


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Old 07-01-2014, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Well i purchased the car three years ago and i have not replaced the hubs i guess it wouldn't hurt to replace them since ill have the wheels off anyway. Do you think it could be worn out sway end links or bar bushings that bolt to the body? And i have never ran a lowering suspension will the end links need to be replaced to accommodate the lowered height ?


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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Ok so I may be new to this forum but not to the world of bmws. I have been searching over two weeks try to crack the case of my problem to no prevail. I have a very odd steering wheel vibration from my car. Before I ask the advice, I'll give all the details.

2004 330 ci sport package. 129,000 miles.

In the last 6 months the car has had the following done.
1. New meyle fcab's
2. New meyle control arms
3. BMW performance BBK I am running 10 mm hub centric spacers for caliper clearance

...

You stated you have the sport package, so it's lower than stock height.


And, yes.
Replace hub/bearings every ~65K


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Could it be the ball joints on the c arms are already worn out ?


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Yes, anything is possible.

Last edited by BimmersGarage; 07-01-2014 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:37 PM   #8
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OP, I'm going to go a different direction on this one, based on this statement: "Now let me also state it gets the worst after turning the wheel side to side or going around a curve.".

My thought is it's a drive shaft problem, when was the the last time you replaced any of the following:

1) Motor Mounts
2) trans mounts
3) Guibo
4) Center Bearing


Good luck,
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:45 PM   #9
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Rob actually none of these have been replaced since my ownership of the car. I considered this as a possibility however i can feel the vibrations in the left footwell while driving but i guess drivetrain vibration can be felt anywhere. So my question would be how would one diagnose the drive shaft aspect and does it help to say that the problem showed up one day after simply rotating the tires? I figured if get advice in many directions which i appreciate from everyone just dont know how to tackle it all


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Old 07-01-2014, 09:46 PM   #10
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Also after looking tonight there is a decent chop in the inner side of both tires?



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Old 07-01-2014, 10:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Rob actually none of these have been replaced since my ownership of the car. I considered this as a possibility however i can feel the vibrations in the left footwell while driving but i guess drivetrain vibration can be felt anywhere. So my question would be how would one diagnose the drive shaft aspect and does it help to say that the problem showed up one day after simply rotating the tires? I figured if get advice in many directions which i appreciate from everyone just dont know how to tackle it all

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I could easily be off base, I mentioned that because I've caught similar issues while turning right or left.

Based on the fact that it all started following tire rotation, maybe it has nothing to do with a drive shaft issue.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 01:05 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
Also after looking tonight there is a decent chop in the inner side of both tires?



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^
Define "chop".
You mean feathering..

And, post photo of the top of your strut towers. Let's take a look at the degree of deformation.

Rob made some good suggestions..
However, I'm still leaning toward your front suspension areas as the cause of your problems.

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Old 07-02-2014, 04:08 PM   #13
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:30 PM   #14
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Tires: If what I'm seeing is "Raised Tread Blocks", if you have uneven tread blocks that will Certainly cause vibration.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 06:04 PM   #15
Bavarian2009m3
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Agreed but these tires have less than 1500 miles on them they are brand new. I can only think that there is something worn out causing the uneven wear just unsure what it is?


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Old 07-02-2014, 06:44 PM   #16
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Bad worn out struts/shocks will do that to tires. I refer to this issue as "cupping". When you run your hand over the tire surface, it feels like a "wave"
of uneven tire wear. You MUST immediately install new struts/shocks to stop further damage. Once your new struts/shocks are installed, your tires will most likely wear-back to perfectly round in a few thousand miles. Or you can buy four (4) new tires.


Good luck,
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Quote:
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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
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Old 07-02-2014, 08:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
As I suspected..
Two obvious indicators >
1. Your alignment knub/knot is missing.. either sheared off or removed because they couldn't do a "proper" alignment after the accident.

2. Tell-tale sign mushroomed towers >


So, your vibration problem is with your bad/poor alignment which is caused by damaged towers.. and it's resulting in your new tires developing those cupped treads.

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Old 07-02-2014, 08:36 PM   #18
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What kind of accident are you referring to?


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Old 07-02-2014, 09:05 PM   #19
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I was generally speaking..
Usually it's an accident that caused such a mushrooming of the strut tower(s).
It's certainly NOT from normal wear & tear.
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Old 07-02-2014, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bavarian2009m3 View Post
........
2004 330 ci sport package. 129,000 miles.

Other history .... The steering rack and tie rods were replaced a year ago as well as the power steering pump. The only thing that has not been replaced recently is the actual suspension ie.. Struts and springs.
................ Any help ?? Advice??
I would guess it like this, probably not an alignment problem at all, but almost definitely a shock problem.
10% alignment problem
90% shock problem
Like already stated, get new shocks - problem solved.
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