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Old 11-03-2014, 12:54 PM   #1
Skydaver
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330xi Front End Advice Needed

Hi,

First time posting, but I've been a lurker for years.

I've got a 2004 330xi - I'm the only owner. 158k miles.

Last summer, I replaced all four rotors (see below), brake pads (Pagid Red), rear shocks (Sachs) and springs, and front struts (bilstein).

Since that time, after about 3,000-5,000 miles or so, the car develops significant shimmy when braking. Thinking that it was a problem with bad rotors, I replaced them, and the problem went away. Then I replaced them again, because the problem reappeared. And then one more time. I've had three different types of rotors on the car ("BavAuto rotors", Meyle, and now Zimmerman).

To confirm my suspicions, I used a dial indicator to check the runout of the second set of rotors before I replaced them - it was around .006". However, the runout of the third set of rotors, which are also now exhibiting the problem, are .002" at most.

At times, there's a faint front-end shimmy at highway speeds, too. I've noticed that during a long drive, a short but firm tap of the brakes can sometimes change a very smooth ride into a ride with a slight shimmy.

Now on my third set of rotors, I'm at a loss as to what to do. I shouldn't be replacing rotors every few months, and I'm thinking that replacing them won't fix the problem this time.

Perhaps unrelated question (or maybe not) - I'm on the original set of bushings. I'm thinking that maybe it's time to replace the control arms, bushings, and ball joints. I'm not a fan of doing things just to do them, but rather I want to do things because they are needed and will either fix a problem or show noticeable improvement. Is it overdue?
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Old 11-03-2014, 01:54 PM   #2
Rob43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skydaver View Post
Hi,

First time posting, but I've been a lurker for years.

I've got a 2004 330xi - I'm the only owner. 158k miles.

Last summer, I replaced all four rotors (see below), brake pads (Pagid Red), rear shocks (Sachs) and springs, and front struts (bilstein).

Since that time, after about 3,000-5,000 miles or so, the car develops significant shimmy when braking. Thinking that it was a problem with bad rotors, I replaced them, and the problem went away. Then I replaced them again, because the problem reappeared. And then one more time. I've had three different types of rotors on the car ("BavAuto rotors", Meyle, and now Zimmerman).

To confirm my suspicions, I used a dial indicator to check the runout of the second set of rotors before I replaced them - it was around .006". However, the runout of the third set of rotors, which are also now exhibiting the problem, are .002" at most.

At times, there's a faint front-end shimmy at highway speeds, too. I've noticed that during a long drive, a short but firm tap of the brakes can sometimes change a very smooth ride into a ride with a slight shimmy.

Now on my third set of rotors, I'm at a loss as to what to do. I shouldn't be replacing rotors every few months, and I'm thinking that replacing them won't fix the problem this time.

Perhaps unrelated question (or maybe not) - I'm on the original set of bushings. I'm thinking that maybe it's time to replace the control arms, bushings, and ball joints. I'm not a fan of doing things just to do them, but rather I want to do things because they are needed and will either fix a problem or show noticeable improvement. Is it overdue?

This.

My first choice would be Meyle HD.



Good luck,
Rob43
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:24 PM   #3
Ken@BavAuto
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If the vibration is felt in the steering wheel and not the brake pedal it's control arms/bushings for certain. Even if it is felt in the pedal too that much mileage on original bushings would lead me to believe they are pretty shot. I don't know if the Meyle HD bushings are available for the XI. We don't carry them. But we do have Lemfoerder, genuine BMW, and Powerflex. I run the Powerflex on my older 3 series and love them. Very noticeable difference even from fresh solid rubber M3 bushings on my car. Lifetime warranty too.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:02 PM   #4
Skydaver
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Sure about the control arms and bushings?

Two resounding "yes" replies - OK, got it.

However - the thing that makes me wonder is that it's not just feel - the steering wheel literally dances when braking. It's really just feel when driving at highway speeds, but it jumps around otherwise.

Confirmation?

I'll be ordering control arms and bushings this week...
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:46 AM   #5
Ken@BavAuto
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Yes, that "dancing" is a direct result of the control arm flopping around in the bushing underneath the car. A new pair of arms, ball joints, and bushings should result in a much nicer car to drive overall. Even when not braking.
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Old 11-17-2014, 04:29 PM   #6
Skydaver
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Thank you!

You guys were 200% correct. Not only is the front end nice and tight like it was ten years ago (the result I expected), but the steering wheel wobble when braking is gone, too.

Thanks!
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