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Old 08-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #1
Caden
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Braking Issue

Just in the past few days my brakes have been acting weird. Whenever I hit the brake and let off the steering wheel does a quick jolt left to right. It also sounds like a brake pad is sticking or something because it makes a thud noise too. It won't happen if the car is at a stop. But anything like over 5mph the problem is happening. If you guys need a video to help diagnose just let me know. It wouldn't be a problem. Thank you.
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:13 PM   #2
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Sounds like one of two common things...either bad cab on one side or one of your brake pads is sticking...causing that side not to brake as well as the other.

Drive on highway for 5-10 mins. and pull over without using the brakes. If one rotor is hotter than the others, there you go.

Make sure you have pad material on all sides, clean up caliper and guidepins (I grease, but it's breaking the rules of TIS I know)...I sprayed out the inside of the bushing and greased that lightly too. I'm ocd that way!

Inspect rotor for abnormal wear too.

Also inspect all ball joints (tie rods if CAs are new)..and might as well look at everything, because you might just find a loose bolt somewhere random like sway bar endlink or bushing.

Use really good led flashlight and mirror. You can test balljoints by squeezing them hard with channel lock pliers and trying to rock them back and forth...see if they have play. Large channel locks for large ball joints like on CAs.

HTH
The thud makes me suspect CAs
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:22 PM   #3
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Don't suspect. Replace. See sig, do it all. Second link, scroll to bonus.

Time to pull brakes, inspect, clean and reinstall (assuming all components within spec)

CABs definitely shot.
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Old 08-06-2012, 03:10 PM   #4
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Most likely lower control arm bushings, they only last 30-40k miles at the most.
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:55 AM   #5
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I bought the caliper grease and some CRC Brakleen. But didn't try to grease it yet because i'm pretty sure it is the CABs. Any recommendations on which ones to buy that are too pricey?

Also wanted to know how hard it is to change the front CABs? I am a novice but have done everything DIY so far. Like replacing sensors, basic stuff.

Last edited by Caden; 08-07-2012 at 02:58 AM. Reason: because racecar.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:05 AM   #6
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Don't suspect. Replace. See sig, do it all. Second link, scroll to bonus.

Time to pull brakes, inspect, clean and reinstall (assuming all components within spec)

CABs definitely shot.
Your suspension guide is awesome. I'm on a low salary (part-time job, full-time student) so i'm only replacing what I can afford. I'm saving for the whole cooling system and it's still working fine. But this control arm bushing is making me really mad. So that's first on my list and i'm going to order them tonight. Anything else I really need to replace while I'm down there?
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:08 AM   #7
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check the hose that runs from your intake piping to your power brake booster. you might have a crack. I had the same problem and it ended up the connector on the intake pipe that the hose feeds into was cracked.
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Old 08-07-2012, 03:22 AM   #8
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"I've had my 2004 BMW E46 325i since it was new. Just a few months ago, at about 75,000 miles, I noticed several symptoms. A knocking in the front right every time I stepped on the brake or took my foot off it, a slight stutter in the steering wheel at the same time, a soft bouncing sound from the suspension when I hit a bump, and a bit of lag when turning hard into a corner. After little online research I decided the front lower control arm bushings were likely at fault and I was willing to attempt the repair myself." - Amazon Review on some CABs

Those are my exact symptoms. wtf. Pretty sure it's CABs now.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #9
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Just FYI, if you want to double check to make sure it's your CABs, jack up the front right side of your car, grab a hold of your tire on each side and see if it moves. There's videos online that will show this and there should be very, very little if any play. My CABs were shot in my ride when I picked it up with 50k on the odometer and from what I've read it's not uncommon at all for these things to go out. I know your pain about being on a budget and everyone will preach poly bushings, but I went with some Dorman from Amazon and they've treated me very well. I PM'd a user on here and he said they lasted him 60k and probably would have lasted him longer, but his control arms were so shot the CABs went out earlier than they probably should have. Anyways, ECS tuning and a few other shops sell great poly CAB's, but I ordered these since I was on a budget - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00

Last edited by dpower2012; 08-07-2012 at 08:14 AM.
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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Happened to me. Jack up the front and push the each front wheel toward the back of the car then pull it toward the front bumper if there is any movement then you need to replace your FCAB
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:48 AM   #11
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all this jack cab inspection advice. forget it. if your cabs have 50k on them, they're busted. fail modes wont always reveal itself by shaking the wheel. if you feel and hear a noise in your brake pedal with a quick but light jab of the brakes, that's usually the best and easiedt way to diagnose this. as far as what else to replace while down there... not much without replacing big components. new brackets should come with new high grade bolts

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Old 08-07-2012, 09:32 AM   #12
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all this jack cab inspection advice. forget it.
Because that takes all of 5 minutes and might save you some $$$. OP is on a budget and doesn't have money to throw at his car. This is just a very simple task that will clearly show if the CABs are loose. I agree they probably are, but this is just a simple verification.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:56 AM   #13
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Because that takes all of 5 minutes and might save you some $$$. OP is on a budget and doesn't have money to throw at his car. This is just a very simple task that will clearly show if the CABs are loose. I agree they probably are, but this is just a simple verification.
if the CABs are bad enough to reveal themselves by simply grabbing the wheel with the car jacked up in the air, then it will reveal itself during normal driving. no need to get dirty, lift the car, etc.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:06 PM   #14
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...I know your pain about being on a budget and everyone will preach poly bushings, but I went with some Dorman from Amazon and they've treated me very well...
These were the ones I was looking at $60 with Amazon Prime free shipping. Thank you for the recommendation. I'll definitely buy these, the reviews are decent. I'm going to go ahead and check other things while I'm down there because I bought my car at probably 135k and I don't know what's been replaced. It now has 147k and this is the first suspension related problem. Thank you everyone.

Last edited by Caden; 08-07-2012 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:01 AM   #15
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Here's the pic of the torn thing. Please confirm that it's the CAB and the whole CA isn't shot. Thank you guys.
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:07 AM   #16
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yes, thats the CAB. dont know about those dorman bushes and dont listen to the ass on amazon who said put oil to get it on - it will slip out of place. i just used water alone was enough. if you can afford a little more id recommend meyle HD - people have said are better than oem
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Old 08-15-2012, 02:09 PM   #17
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CABs replaced with the dorman bushings. Less vibration in the steering wheel and no more braking issues. I didn't use a three jaw puller, my dad had this air tool chisel thing and it ripped the stubborn bushings off in less than a minute each. Overall the job was faster and easier than I was expected. I even located my PS leak when I was down there. I'm so glad to have my car back to normal. Thanks again.
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