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Old 01-28-2013, 04:01 PM   #21
jimmyz_garage
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
My car still tramlines quite a bit. I believe that is what you guys are experiencing. It wanders a little too. I think my struts may be bad. I'm only at 75k miles but I believe the PO's location had crap roads. My steering is vastly improved after RTABs, FCABs, control arms, and a steering guibo. It's not perfect yet. I'm going for some coilovers or H&R for new suspension components. If that doesn't work, I'm getting a new steering rack.
I just replaced my steering rack due to two problems, it was leaking and it needed inner tie rods. Unless your rack is leaking, I would just replace the inner and outer tie rods. Check your FCABS again. Mine went to crap in a short period of time.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:03 PM   #22
WDE46
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I just replaced my steering rack due to two problems, it was leaking and it needed inner tie rods. Unless your rack is leaking, I would just replace the inner and outer tie rods. Check your FCABS again. Mine went to crap in a short period of time.
My FCABs are powerflex polyurethane. They are good. I check them often. I forgot to mention that I replaced my tierods as well (inner and outter) with Lemforders.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:24 PM   #23
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There's hope!

Hi guys, I am no expert, but want to tell you there is hope. I've got a '99 328i with 176k miles that four years ago was sometimes frightening to control, with rattling, "tramlining" on highway grooves and road bumps. Today, it handles very well. Here's what's been done. 4 years ago: front struts, control arms (due to bad ball joints), front control arm bushings, rear differential bushing. All this got rid of a lot of looseness and rattling. Three years ago, new tires helped a lot. Within the last year: rear shocks, steering rack (it clunked inside), inner tie rods (came with the rebuilt rack), and outer tie rods (as a group, all that helped a lot), lower steering coupler helped more, rear trailing arm bushings and the other two bushings on the rear hub helped further. My view: struts and shocks go bad, so replace them if you suspect them to be worn. Rubber goes bad, so replace all the bushings you can afford the time or money to. And as I learned recently, worn tires may be more prone to tramline than new ones, according to the TireRack website: "...And because tires become more responsive as their tread depth wears away (which is why tires are shaved for competition and track use), a tire will become more likely to tramline as it wears." (http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=47). Okay, take that with a grain of salt -- they are selling tires. I still have not replaced sway bar bushings or end links, but will do those on the front soon to see if there's further improvement.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:27 PM   #24
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Steering guibo?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:48 PM   #25
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Yeah, I called that the lower steering coupler. I did not replace that upper one, since it's harder to get to, more expensive, and I got a good improvement with the lower one. Surprising how such a small part can make such a big difference, though!
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:01 PM   #26
Bart Taylor
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ITT: people who don't understand bump steer
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i know in your head that sounded like a nice comeback/argument but you just sound like a fool.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #27
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ITT: people who don't understand bump steer
This isn't bump steer we are talking about. If you drove my car you would understand.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:38 AM   #28
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I need to replace mine too. My steering is getting a little... Squishy.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:07 AM   #29
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My car still tramlines quite a bit. I believe that is what you guys are experiencing. It wanders a little too. I think my struts may be bad. I'm only at 75k miles but I believe the PO's location had crap roads. My steering is vastly improved after RTABs, FCABs, control arms, and a steering guibo. It's not perfect yet. I'm going for some coilovers or H&R for new suspension components. If that doesn't work, I'm getting a new steering rack.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
My FCABs are powerflex polyurethane. They are good. I check them often. I forgot to mention that I replaced my tierods as well (inner and outter) with Lemforders.
You have replaced a large part of your suspension, and that is good. Don't feel like it is a waste because the problem is still there. They all probably needed replaced anyway, and most people will tell you that you can not sort out a suspension issue with worn components.
You mentioned wanting new shocks and springs, or coilovers. I really think coilovers are not the way to go, unless you plan on Autocrossing. If that is the case, you will need an expensive set. Some like them because of the adjustability, but 90% of the people I know that have them never change the settings.
Get a good set of Koni's or Bilstein's, and some H&R sport springs, and I think you will be happy. But, I don't know you, so if you are wanting a drastic drop, then you will need to do some other mods, and a bit of tramlining will be the least of your ride and handling issues.
The inportant thing to do if you go with the traditional strut/shock setup is to go to RealOEM.com, and order all of the little extra bits you will need to install them. That means all of the rubber spring pads, a new bump stop, the bolt that clamps down on the strut (important to replace - not reuse), and a new upper strut mount.
For the rear, you need new bump stops, bottom rubber spring pad and the upper one as welland you should look into one of the heavier duty upper shock mounts. The Meyle HD is the Minimum. I listed some good options at the bottom. You will also need a rear shock mount reinforcement plate. (PM me, I have a spare set, and I can direct you to someone who makes them cheap. Don't buy online. It is just a metal plate)
Reusing the old parts is just not a good idea, and they may be in such bad shape that they can't be used. People do reuse them, but do you want to spend all that money for shocks/struts/springs, and have a $6 rubber pad cause squeaking and grinding noises?

I mention all of this because, given everything else you have replaced, it is very likely that the issue is worn out shocks, and more importantly, the front strut mount and rear shock mount.
Pull back the covers in your trunk, and have a look at your rear shock mounts. I would bet that they are shot. If you can grab the shaft of the shock, and move it side to side fairly easily with the car on the ground, then they are really bad.
If you remove the cap on your upper strut mount, at the center of the shock tower, you can see some of the condition of the mount. The bearing may be out of grease, the rubber around the bearing may be cracked or tearing, or bulging out in places.
These two items will cause the car to feel a bit off. It may feel loose, it may tramline, and it may cause squeaks, bumps, and knocks. This may be the source of your issues. You have eleminated almost everything else at this point.

These are a good option, and are rebuildable, but they will definitely be better than OEM:
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-36...3-z4-pair.aspx
Don't buy them from Turner. They can be found cheaper. (If you are really interested in these, PM me.I have an unused set I will make a deal on). But, to be clear, I listed these because they are good, not so I could sell mine
These are also extremely good. Some may consider them overkill. They are also rebuildable:
http://www.europeanautosource.com/pr...ultiple-models
When you consider that the OEM mounts cost about $40 a set, then these are not so bad. The factory mounts WILL fail. Some last years, others will wear out in a year or two. They will wear out faster with heavier shocks and springs.

Last edited by MJLavelle; 01-29-2013 at 04:45 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:34 AM   #30
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MJ, I definitely feel that it was all money well spent. My situation has drastically improved. You are right about the mounts. I was planning on replacing all that. Basically anything that touches the shocks and car is getting replaced.

As far as coilovers are concerned, I really just want a quality suspension setup that is height adjustable. I know once I get the right height I will never move it again. I'd just rather not get stuck too low with something like H&R race springs. A Bilstein PSS kit or some ST V1 coilovers will be perfect for me I think. The STs are just Koni V1 with a different shock material.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:50 AM   #31
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MJ, I definitely feel that it was all money well spent. My situation has drastically improved. You are right about the mounts. I was planning on replacing all that. Basically anything that touches the shocks and car is getting replaced.

As far as coilovers are concerned, I really just want a quality suspension setup that is height adjustable. I know once I get the right height I will never move it again. I'd just rather not get stuck too low with something like H&R race springs. A Bilstein PSS kit or some ST V1 coilovers will be perfect for me I think. The STs are just Koni V1 with a different shock material.
Well, if you are going to spend that sort of money, then you should be fine. Sometimes, when people speak about coilovers, and they are talking about some of the cheaper ones. You will definitely want to add the rear shock reinforcement plates, and probably the front strut tower reinforcement plates that Turner sells (I have not seen them sold anywhere else).
Fronts
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx
Rears
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-34...ement-kit.aspx
Like I mentioned above, I have a spare set of Vorschlag plates I can sell you. I can also put you in touch with a guy that will make you a set cheaper than you can find them on the Internet. He will also make custom thicknesses, if you want them (which is why I no longer want the Vorschlag's. They are fine, I just went for overkill)

Last edited by MJLavelle; 01-29-2013 at 05:01 AM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:52 AM   #32
WDE46
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Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
Well, if you are going to spend that sort of money, then you should be fine. Sometimes, when people speak about coilovers, and they are talking about some of the cheaper ones. You will definitely want to add the rear shock reinforcement plates, and probably the front strut tower reinforcement plates that Turner sells (I have not seen them sold anywhere else).
Fronts
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx
Rears
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-34...ement-kit.aspx
Like I mentioned above, I have a spare set of Vorschlag plates I can sell you. I can also put you in touch with a guy that will make you a set cheaper than you can find them on the Internet. He will also make custom thicknesses, if you want them (which is why I no longer want the Vorschlag's. They are fine, I just went for overkill)
I refuse to cheap out on a $45k sports car with a $500 set of coilovers.

I was already planning on the FSM reinforcements and I was looking into the Z3 RSM reinforcements. Is that basically what this Turner kit is for the RSMs? Should I get some Rogue engineering RSMs or are new OEM mounts going to be okay?
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Old 01-29-2013, 12:04 PM   #33
MJLavelle
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I refuse to cheap out on a $45k sports car with a $500 set of coilovers.

I was already planning on the FSM reinforcements and I was looking into the Z3 RSM reinforcements. Is that basically what this Turner kit is for the RSMs? Should I get some Rogue engineering RSMs or are new OEM mounts going to be okay?
The upgraded OEM (or Z3) mounts still are not that great, especially with an upgraded suspension. I would go with either of the ones I listed in post #29, but I think the Rouge mounts would be best.

Last edited by MJLavelle; 01-29-2013 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:57 PM   #34
yannis4ny
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Originally Posted by WDE46 View Post
This isn't bump steer we are talking about. If you drove my car you would understand.
+1

I decided to start with the RTABs and take it from there. I don't want to go ghost hunting and change all struts and shocks and mounts. I will probably DIY this next weekend. I will post update as soon as i do this.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:36 PM   #35
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Eagerly awaiting updates. My steering feels tight but I have the same wandering problem. Tramining I guess you guys are calling it? Is that when the car follows grooves or ruts in the road? I notice it mainly in sections of black top highway and much less in concrete sections. I only have 45 k miles on my 01 325i and just did the front control arms with little improvement. Mine kinda feels like a ghost is grabbing the wheel and turning is slightly, but it seems to go back and forth as if its in a depression in the lane. Very similar to driving in tire tracks on the beach in my 4x4. I did notice that when I had the control arms off that the whole strut and hub/ rotor and brake assembly could swing back and forth pretty freely. Is that normal? Thanks guys!
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:42 PM   #36
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Steering guibo

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Originally Posted by 123Shift View Post
Eagerly awaiting updates. My steering feels tight but I have the same wandering problem. Tramining I guess you guys are calling it? Is that when the car follows grooves or ruts in the road? I notice it mainly in sections of black top highway and much less in concrete sections. I only have 45 k miles on my 01 325i and just did the front control arms with little improvement. Mine kinda feels like a ghost is grabbing the wheel and turning is slightly, but it seems to go back and forth as if its in a depression in the lane. Very similar to driving in tire tracks on the beach in my 4x4. I did notice that when I had the control arms off that the whole strut and hub/ rotor and brake assembly could swing back and forth pretty freely. Is that normal? Thanks guys!
Have you replaced you steering guibo?
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Old 02-25-2013, 09:54 PM   #37
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I have not. I'll check out some diy's and prices. The steering feels good though and I only really noTice it significantly on blacktop highways. How can I tell if the guibo needs replaceing?
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #38
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I have not. I'll check out some diy's and prices. The steering feels good though and I only really noTice it significantly on blacktop highways. How can I tell if the guibo needs replaceing?
If there is any play whatsoever in the wheel, replace your guibo. I actually needed to go a step further and replace my u joint. It's sitting here in front of me at the moment. I'll put it in later this week and post results.

You replaced the control arm bushings as well right?
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:46 PM   #39
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I have not. I'll check out some diy's and prices. The steering feels good though and I only really noTice it significantly on blacktop highways. How can I tell if the guibo needs replaceing?
You can't tell it is bad while on the car. It is rubber riveted and will have play in it over time. I have replaced them on all my BMWs. Once you take it out, you will be surprised that there is movement in it. Cheap part and makes hell of a difference.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:38 AM   #40
MJLavelle
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Eagerly awaiting updates. My steering feels tight but I have the same wandering problem. Tramining I guess you guys are calling it? Is that when the car follows grooves or ruts in the road? I notice it mainly in sections of black top highway and much less in concrete sections. I only have 45 k miles on my 01 325i and just did the front control arms with little improvement. Mine kinda feels like a ghost is grabbing the wheel and turning is slightly, but it seems to go back and forth as if its in a depression in the lane. Very similar to driving in tire tracks on the beach in my 4x4. I did notice that when I had the control arms off that the whole strut and hub/ rotor and brake assembly could swing back and forth pretty freely. Is that normal? Thanks guys!
You may want to check out the tie rods as well as the steering guibo. Most likely, it is the guibo, but you did mention the whole hub assembly moving freely, so it could be the tie rods.
That is some very low milage you have on that car! Did you buy it new? If you bought it used, you got a bargain.
But, at that age, your bushings and your steering guibo are still going to be in less than perfect shape. The problem is not miles, but time. The rubber will dry out one start to fall apart, just because it is old. I would try changing out the steering guibo, because it is fairly cheap. If that does not do it, then either have the alignment shop check out your tie rods, or just replace them. You may want to consider the RTAB's as well, since they may have degraded as well. But it would be nice to have a car with such low milage.
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